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Microbudget viral hit The VelociPastor is — finally — gearing up for a second bite, and it’s heading to Europe.
It’s been over three years since the comedy-horror — written and directed by Brendan Steere — became an online phenomenon, largely due to its pun-tastic title (the result of a phone autocorrect mistake), but with significant help from an insane plot that involved ninjas, prostitutes and a crime-fighting clergyman who transforms into a dinosaur when angry (with some comically cheap aesthetics).
A sequel has been in discussion for some time (The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news back in 2020), but now the wheels appear to be moving, with pre-production underway for the past year and the team behind it now revealing the plot and launching a Kickstarter campaign, aimed at raising $275,000. The campaign will run Oct. 13-Nov. 11.
VelociPastor 2 will pick up the story of the first film and follow Doug (Gregory James Cohan), a Catholic priest who transforms into a dinosaur at night after being infected by an ancient Chinese artifact, and Carol (Alyssa Kempinski), a prostitute Doug saves and who convinces him to use his powers to fight crime, but this time shifting the insanity to Italy. As per the description: “Doug and Carol travel to the port city of Milan, where they have to solve a series of murders committed by a masked slasher at an Italian Fertility Festival. And Soviet Spies. Interpol’s there, too.”
Following a successful international festival run that began in late 2017, the original The VelociPastor was released on home video and streaming services in August 2019 by Wild Eye Releasing. From a modest budget of $35,000 — and without a single star name — it soon became an overnight cult sensation, cultivating a voracious worldwide fanbase. Alongside press coverage, it was championed by YouTubers and TikTokers, getting a new lease of life in the first lockdown as it was discovered by people scouring for content online. Some fans literally got tattoos of the movie.
While the original was made in the style of a 1970s horror/martial arts/exploitation film, the ’80s-set The VelociPastor 2 takes inspiration from such Giallo genre films like Suspiria, folk horrors such as Midsommar, and Cold War spy thrillers like Rocky IV. The newly-announced sequel is also markedly different from the “spiritual sequel” that Steere first discussed in 2020, which was to be called Outback Dracula and set in Australia, where a psychic, lesbian schoolteacher teams up with the world’s greatest adventurer to find her missing girlfriend and to defeat Dracula and his Golden Army of the Undead. THR understands that funding for this film came unstuck during the pandemic.
The VeliciPastor 2 also shifts the filmmaking team around. Jesse Gouldsbury, who produced the original, will direct from a script he co-wrote with Steere, with both producing alongside Kempinksi and Cohan.
For those who still haven’t experienced the sight of a man in a (very) lo-fi rubber dinosaur costume battling a load of ninjas, The VeliciPastor is still available to stream on platforms including Amazon Prime Video, Peacock and Tubi.
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