Main cast: Kin Shriner (Merrick), Russell Johnson (Jeffrey), and Beth Toussaint (Lisa)
Director: Mark Rezyka
Sleeping Dragon is a very and obviously low budget take on The Thing, only this “homage” is like a turd sandwich slathered with three bottles worth of cheese.
Basically, on a dark and stormy evening, Merrick brings in what he calls a discovery that will rewrite history: a large frisbee-shaped thing that emits a power electromagnetic field that apparently only attracts metals if you put those metals a few inches away from it. He claims that it is an ancient artifact dating back to thousands of thousands of years, so now he wants his lab buddies Jeffrey and Lisa to help crack open the thing. Turns out that inside is a sleeping dinosaur of an advanced species who apparently could come up with advanced technology that allowed it to hibernate through the Ice Age and more, and now that it is awake, it is hungry. Om nom nom nom time!
We have a Kurt Russell lookalike and a… Linda Hamilton lookalike, I guess, for the bonus Terminator mojo plus that professor from Gilligan’s Island all running around in a cheap set made to resemble a lab in a snow storm, chased by a guy in an even cheaper-looking rubber dinosaur suit. Seriously, it’s as cheesy and ridiculous as it sounds, without that campy factor that can push it out of cringe territory into “OH MY GOD THIS IS SO TERRIBLE-AWESOME!”-tier goodness. Only the late Russell Johnson looks like he’s awake through his role here, while everyone else seems to be just going through the motions with minimal effort, probably dead inside and hoping that nobody they know will see this thing.
With a bigger budget, maybe there will be shiny distractions from the awful cheapness of the whole thing and the uninspired story that seems to borrow heavily from better films? Who knows, but as it is, this entire episode seems to came to be because Herman from props noticed that they had an unused rubber suit that they can cobble a script around ASAP.