It is the future, and it is bizarre. Humans and dinosaurs live peacefully together.
Theodore ‘Teddy’ Rex (George Newbern) is a genetically created dinosaur. He works as an assistant press liaison officer with the Grid Police Department. His ambition in life is to become a police detective.
When a dinocide occurs in the carnival graveyard, Alex Summers (Peter Mackenzie) convinces Commissioner Lynch (Richard Roundtree) to allow Teddy to investigate the case in sort of an interspecies collaboration. Teddy is paired with a street wise veteran of the police force. A soft skin named, Katie Coltraine (Whoppi Goldberg). Coltraine is not happy with the assignment. Summers jokingly accuses her of being a Specist.
Although he is an aide to Commissioner Lynch, Summers is in alliance with the evil Elizar Kane. Kane is a billionaire and a DNA research pioneer who was responsible for creating the dinosaurs. One of his creations was Teddy Rex. Kane is poised to launch an evil plot on the world. He plans on launching his ‘New Eden’ missile into space. The missile is designed to interfere with the Earth’s weather and bring on another ice age. The ice age will make mankind extinct. Once mankind is gone from the Earth Kane plans on reanimating the pairs of the Earth’s animals he keeps frozen in an ark. His vision of the future is to create this New Eden.
Two workers escape from the New Eden compound and are racing to tell the police about Kane’s Master Plan. One is a soft skin and the other a dinosaur. Both are killed and now Teddy and Coltraine have only one day to solve the murders. The fate of the Earth lies in the balance.
“Theodore Rex” was released in 1996 and was directed by Jonathan Betuel. The movie was released direct to video. It was the first and only (as of 2012) direct-to-video film to be nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award.
Whoopi Goldberg made a verbal agreement to star in the film in 1992 or 1993. When she tried to back out, producer Richard Gilbert Abramson sued her for $20 million. The suit was settled very quickly, when Goldberg agreed to star for $7 million, $2 million more than the original agreement.
Originally the film was to have a theatrical release to coincide with Whoopi’s hosting the Academy Awards that year but the preview test screenings done convinced the filmmakers that a direct to video geared towards children was the only way to possibly make any money off the film.
Is the movie bad? Of course it is, but it is hysterically bad. A lot of detail was put into the movie that creates subtle humor. Although the movie was released on video for the children’s market there is a lot of humor that is more adult oriented. The humor can easily be missed due to the puppet action and other dumb stuff going on. Even though there are some funny parts, It’s still not something that you’d find yourself watching more than once or twice.
In reality the movie’s only claim to fame is that it was the most expensive movie to go directly to video and how Whoopi wanted so desperately to get out of it. In a subsequent interview Whoopi named it the only movie she ever regretted doing.