According to the United States Energy Information Administration, “we call crude oil and petroleum fossil fuels because they are mixtures of hydrocarbons that formed from the remains of animals and plants (diatoms) that lived millions of years ago in a marine environment before the existence of dinosaurs. Over millions of years, the remains of these animals and plants were covered by layers of sand, silt, and rock. Heat and pressure from these layers turned the remains into what we now call crude oil or petroleum.” Well, that’s a little too much to tell children, so Uncle Bobbo (Vincent Stalba) breaks it down for his young viewers in director Joe Badon’s The Blood of the Dinosaurs.
Uncle Bobbo is about the strangest f*****g person you’ve ever met. His unique mannerisms, unkind tone, and overall aesthetic make him one of the worst candidates to host a children’s show in history. Honestly, though, I’m not sure a better person could have been chosen to lead this short film, of the film, written by Badon and Jason Kruppa. While one of its purposes may be to educate, its primary function is to entertain through comedy… weird, twisted comedy. The humor lands incredibly well. In fact, the entire production exudes something massively strange, but it is all equally well done.
The Blood of the Dinosaurs is a show within a film within an interview, with a series of online videos thrown into the mix throughout. There are so many layers that it might be easy to get confused, but making the film this convoluted adds to the depth Badon’s attempting to convey. The whole process of creating fossil fuels is intricate, and the director making his film something akin to that process is intelligent and effective.
“…Uncle Bobbo breaks it down for his young viewers…”
Having so many layers creates a difficult task for cinematographer Daniel Waghorne. He has to capture each level of the short in a way so that viewers understand where they stand within the narrative. He does so brilliantly. As the film drives forward, viewers are able to easily decipher where they are, and that comes as a result of the differentiation of filming techniques. Unique lighting and art design separate the series of events, and without this I believe that The Blood of the Dinosaurs may have been a complete mess.
The brief synopsis provided online almost leads viewers to believe that the film may be geared toward children and younger audiences. However, the reality is that, with how twisted and unique it is, it will certainly appeal more to adults as it’s most definitely developed with an older audience in mind. It is strangely fun, and that odd nature will appeal to viewers.
There’s no doubt that The Blood of the Dinosaurs was a difficult production, but it’s clear that Badon, Waghorne, and the other cast and crew members tasked with bringing the film to life possess a particular expertise that lends itself to success. Through the many levels of the narrative, viewers experience something both fun and educational in the craziest of ways. Badon is wonderfully talented, and his film is a hit as a result.
"…viewers experience something both fun and educational..."