I would like everyone to be absolutely certain of one thing: watching this one wasn’t my idea.
Somehow an old friend got it into his head that he had to see all the Carnosaur movies. While I’d heard a few good things about the first one – enough that I probably would have caught it eventually – the thought of seeing the whole series would never ever have occurred to me. Even I have my limits.
I was surprised to find that the first one was bat s#!+ crazy, with some of the absolutely nuttiest ideas ever put into a killer dinosaur movie and scenes deliberately – and quite blatantly – stolen from other, better films with post-modern glee.
The second also came as a surprise as it was basically a solid monsters-in-tunnels action flick. True, it was pretty much Aliens with dinosaurs, but not as obviously stolen as anything in the first film – and actually, quite a good steal, thank you very much. And you’ve got to give any film bonus points when the team of battle-hardened experts sent in to deal with the mess are extreme electricians. Hey, someone has to fix the lights at all those secret jungle bases.
However, the third one (now sporting a cool sub title) is just…there.
We start with a gang of hijackers capturing a van carrying a top secret weapon. Unfortunately, it isn’t the nuke they were after but the last remaining Carnosaurs. Which, naturally eat them for an appetizer, saving room for the police who try to arrest them. And most of the team of commandos led (of course) by the Only Man For The Job.
But not to worry, we’ve got some spare marines around, so we won’t run out of dino chow, not before we get the Carnosaurs trapped aboard a ship.
With a lot of dark, narrow passages. Of course.
There have been a lot worse exploitation flicks. This one at least gives us a lecture on the nature and genetic makeup of Carnosaurs (with far more emphasis put on the human DNA in the mix than in any of the films so far) and a few vague attempts to tie it in with the earlier films (although, like 2, it ignores the original somewhat demented dino plague idea from the first film). For once we are given a reason why spraying dinosaurs with fully automatic weapons seems to do so little damage. And, while they didn’t end it with a fight between the T-Rex and construction equipment as in the first two films, they did at least find a spectacular (and messy) end for the beast.
Hah! Let’s see your super healing factor fix that!
But the best part of this one is that there wasn’t a Carnosaur 4! Well, not exactly, at least…
I remember a comment Roger Corman made once, that he’d learned that they could get a bigger audience for, say, “Dino-Croc” than for Carnosaur 6 (or something to that effect) and this is more or less what happened. Five years later, he released Raptor (it is actually known as Carnosaur 4 in some markets) which borrows about forty percent of its running time from the first three Carnosaurs, with some sort of excuse for a plot to tie it all together and a ten minute sex scene. You can get a fairly accurate assessment of just how bad it is when you note that schlock director Jim Wynorski – whose career peaked with Chopping Mall before sliding down into busty woman films and SyFy monster flicks – actually directed the connecting bits under another name!
But hopefully I won’t have to watch that one. At least the official series of Carnosaurs went out with an apologetic shrug and a half-way decent time-waster – and not a descent into busty babes, CGI monsters and SyFy.