×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pterodactyl Woman from Beverly Hills

Barry Humphries' "Dame Edna" character turns up in a supermarket scene. All the actors (including Moon Zappa as Pixie's best friend) are defeated by the drab material, though as the Chandlers' bratty son, Aaron Eisenberg goes that extra mile to be even more obnoxious than his lines require.

With:
Pixie Chandler ... Beverly D'Angelo Dick Chandler ... Brad Wilson Salvador Dali/Sam ... Brion James Susie ...Moon Zappa Tommy Chandler ... Aaron Eisenberg Jenny Chandler ... Sharon Martin With: Bruce Critchley, Barry Humphries, Ruta Lee, Stephen McHattie, Philippe Mora, Ron Soble, Carmine Zozzora. Aclassic case of a title in search of a movie, "Pterodactyl Woman From Beverly Hills" can't decide whether it wants to send up L.A. lifestyles or sci-fi conventions. Failing either, this talky, unfunny and very dull comedy flaps rapidly fossilizing wings in vain. Minor vid and cable prospects will presage extinction. Beverly D'Angelo plays upscale housewife Pixie Chandler, whose husband, Dick (Brad Wilson), is a paleontologist. When Dick angers "tribal magic man" Brion James while on a desert dig, the latter casts a long-distance spell on the researcher's spouse. Soon Pixie is eating live fish, waking up in trees and swinging between various mutational stages. Egg-bearing pregnancy, a Navajo-Irish shaman and government investigators figure in the story before the vaguely "environmentalist" happy ending. Pic is almost action-free, relying on mild scatology (Dick's name earns the expected limp puns) and gag lines so lame you can't believe they made the final cut. (Dixie exclaims, "I feel like I'm trapped! Trapped ... like a trap in a trap!"-- huh?) There's nary a laugh throughout, despite D'Angelo's game attempts at avian mannerisms and a few moments of deliberately cheesy, Dynamation-style dinosaur effects.

Barry Humphries’ “Dame Edna” character turns up in a supermarket scene. All the actors (including Moon Zappa as Pixie’s best friend) are defeated by the drab material, though as the Chandlers’ bratty son, Aaron Eisenberg goes that extra mile to be even more obnoxious than his lines require.

Documentarian-turned-B-pic vet Philippe Mora (“Communion,” “The Howling II/III”) barely attempts the kind of affluent-suburbia satire that buoyed “Meet the Applegates,” Coneheads skits and other aliens-among-us comedies. Nor does his direction offer a stylistic approach to elevate his witless screenplay. While tech aspects are adequate, the pace soon grows torpid.

Pterodactyl Woman from Beverly Hills

Production: A Ptero Pictures Inc. production. Produced by Philippe Mora, Bruce Critchley. Executive producers, John F. Remark, Jay Rifkin. Co-producer, Scott Billups. Directed, written by Philippe Mora.

Crew: Camera (color), Walter Bal; editor, Ross Guidici; music, Roy Hay; production design, Pamela Krause Mora; costumes, Reve Richards; special effects supervisor, Billups; associate producers, Beverly D'Angelo, Brion James; line producer, Karen Penhale. Reviewed at Camera One Cinema, San Francisco, Jan. 24, 1996. (In Cinequest, San Jose Film Festival, Calif.). Running time: 99 MIN.

With: Pixie Chandler ... Beverly D'Angelo Dick Chandler ... Brad Wilson Salvador Dali/Sam ... Brion James Susie ...Moon Zappa Tommy Chandler ... Aaron Eisenberg Jenny Chandler ... Sharon Martin With: Bruce Critchley, Barry Humphries, Ruta Lee, Stephen McHattie, Philippe Mora, Ron Soble, Carmine Zozzora. Aclassic case of a title in search of a movie, "Pterodactyl Woman From Beverly Hills" can't decide whether it wants to send up L.A. lifestyles or sci-fi conventions. Failing either, this talky, unfunny and very dull comedy flaps rapidly fossilizing wings in vain. Minor vid and cable prospects will presage extinction. Beverly D'Angelo plays upscale housewife Pixie Chandler, whose husband, Dick (Brad Wilson), is a paleontologist. When Dick angers "tribal magic man" Brion James while on a desert dig, the latter casts a long-distance spell on the researcher's spouse. Soon Pixie is eating live fish, waking up in trees and swinging between various mutational stages. Egg-bearing pregnancy, a Navajo-Irish shaman and government investigators figure in the story before the vaguely "environmentalist" happy ending. Pic is almost action-free, relying on mild scatology (Dick's name earns the expected limp puns) and gag lines so lame you can't believe they made the final cut. (Dixie exclaims, "I feel like I'm trapped! Trapped ... like a trap in a trap!"-- huh?) There's nary a laugh throughout, despite D'Angelo's game attempts at avian mannerisms and a few moments of deliberately cheesy, Dynamation-style dinosaur effects.

More Film

  • 'Star Wars Episode IX' Has Officially

    'Star Wars Episode IX' Has Officially Wrapped

    The end is nigh! Filming for “Star Wars Episode IX” has officially wrapped, bringing an end to a franchise that has spanned more than 40 years and eight films. Director J.J. Abrams confirmed the news Friday tweeting, “It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on ‘Episode IX.’ There is no adequate way to thank this [...]

  • Ben Affleck Batman

    Ben Affleck Explains Why He's Done Playing Batman: 'I Couldn't Crack It'

    Ben Affleck is hanging up his cape and saying goodbye to Batman. In an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Thursday, the actor explained why he will not be returning as the Caped Crusader in the 2021 film “The Batman,” to be written and directed by Matt Reeves. Affleck is retiring from the role after playing [...]

  • 'Great Bear Rainforest' Review

    Film Review: 'Great Bear Rainforest'

    Imax documentaries take us into the wilderness in ways we could only ever dream of experiencing in person, inviting us to marvel at the majesty of mother nature. Director Ian McAllister’s “Great Bear Rainforest” journeys deep into a remote, relatively untouched landscape where crystal clear lakes mirror the mountains and misty, mossy cedar forests tower [...]

  • Seu Jorge, director Wagner Moura, Bella

    Makers of Berlin Competition Title 'Marighella' Worry About Distribution at Home

    Worried that growing political tension in Brazil may hamper the domestic release of “Marighella,” Wagner Moura’s directorial debut about a leftist revolutionary, the movie’s producers may seek to crowd-fund its distribution independently. “We are going to fight for it,” producer Andrea Barata Ribeiro said ahead of the film’s world premiere at the Berlinale on Friday. [...]

  • Isle of Dogs

    ‘Isle of Dogs’ Called for a Thousand Sophisticated Puppets

    Andy Gent says it was clear as soon as he read Wes Anderson’s script for “Isle of Dogs” that the project was very ambitious. It just took a while to understand exactly how ambitious. For example, it was originally estimated the animated movie would require between 300 and 400 puppets, the same number needed for [...]

  • Roger Guyett Integrated Old and New

    'Ready Player One' Integrated Familiar and New Characters for Spielberg's Take

    In helmer Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” a vast group of familiar characters and those created for the film had to be integrated into one story and some had to travel between two worlds. Visual-effects supervisor Roger Guyett knew he’d be working with multiple styles and sources to pull it off. Original characters including the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content