Jurassic Park is rightly considered one of the most influential films ever made, as its iconic characters, thrilling action, and ground-breaking effects redefined the summer blockbuster. It also spawned a ton of rip-offs (including the mostly mediocre sequels), as studios have been desperate to cash-in on the success of dinosaur movies since Jurassic Park‘s release more than two decades ago. Most of the rip-offs are predictably awful but they also have dinosaurs, which means kids are almost guaranteed to love them. Here are five mediocre Jurassic Park copies that your kid will still enjoy.
What’s it about? The actual plot of the movie is extremely difficult to make much sense of but all viewers really need to know is that Dr. Jane Tiptree (Diane Ladd) is a mad scientist who creates dinosaurs using spliced chicken DNA in order to destroy the entire world.
What will kids like about it? The movie follows the insane sci-fi logic that kids absolutely love and the cheesy effects make the dinosaurs fun without becoming too scary.
What will you like about it? John Brosnan, the author of the novel of the same name, may have summed it up best when he described the movie as “interesting crap.” Nobody is going to argue this movie is any good but at least it’s not boring, right?
Dinosaur From the Deep (1993)
What’s it about? Dinosaurs From the Deep takes place in the future (2004) when the death penalty has been abolished. So what does the government do with the worst criminal they have? Send him back to the first dinosaurs, obviously.
What will kids like about it? This was one of the first to Jurassic rip-offs, as this “French horror science-fiction B movie” was immediately pushed into production after the success of Spielberg’s masterpiece. But while Jurassic Park holds up brilliantly, this movie’s special effects are laughably bad, which will delight your kid.
What will you like about it? The same reason as your kid. This movie is so bad, it’s good. Don’t overthink it, just enjoy the absolutely insane ride.
Raptor Island (2004)
What’s it about? A team of SEALs are chasing a band of terrorists on an island in the South China Sea to retrieve a hostage when suddenly they are attacked by mutated dinosaurs. Suddenly, it’s not a rescue mission. It’s a motherfucking survivor mission.
What will kids like about it? Um… A team of SEALs pitted in a fight to the death against mutant dinosaurs while also fighting off dangerous terrorists? There’s nothing kids won’t like about it.
What will you like about it? Not much. The dinosaurs in this movie somehow look worse than movies made more than a decade before but the pure escapism fantasy of SEALs vs. dinosaurs is just enough to not make the entire viewing experience miserable.
100 Million BC (2008)
What’s it about? SEALs vs Dinos: Round Two! This time, the team decides to use time travel technology to rescue a group of scientists that previously went back in time and accidentally got stuck back with the dinosaurs. After most of the two groups have been wiped out by dinos, they finally team up and have to survive long enough to figure out a way back to the present.
What will kids like about it? The movie sort of sounds like it was dreamt up by a kid so it stands to reason kids will enjoy the insanity.
What will you like about it? Everything about this movie is indisputably insane. In 2018, that would probably mean the movie tried using some lazy self-awareness to assure viewers it’s in on the joke. But 100 Million BC plays it pretty straight, which makes it that much more entertaining for viewers.
Triassic Attack (2010)
What’s it about? By this point, pretty much every version of dinosaur movies had already been made, right? Wrong! What if, instead of bringing dinosaurs back, a movie brought dinosaur skeletons to life instead? The ridiculous answer lies in Triassic Attack.
What will kids like about it? It’s a fun twist on a well-known genre and the movie knows how to make the most of its over-the-top moments for maximum entertainment value. Warning: The movie might be a bit scary for young kids so you may want to check it out and judge for yourself if your kid will enjoy Triassic Attack or be haunted by it for years.
What will you like about it? Game of Thrones fans might enjoy the chance to see Emilia Clarke act in a terrible movie before she became famous. But there’s not much else to enjoy.