A series of five Roger Corman
horror films. The first film received a limited theatrical release, whereas the remaining four were Direct-to-Video
Several weeks after Jurassic Park
premiered, in 1993, Carnosaur hit video stores
. Loosely based on the novel
of the same title by John Brosnan (a.k.a. Harry Adam Knight), the film stars Diane Ladd as Dr. Jane Tiptree, a Mad Scientist
whose been fiddling around with the DNA of chickens, thus causing them to lay dinosaur eggs. When one of the egg hatches into a
cheap hand puppet deinonychus
, it escapes and starts tearing up the local countryside. The attacks lead local security guard Doc (Raphael Sbarge
) and hippie Thrush (Jennifer Runyon) to Jane's hideout, where they find out she is planning to wipe out humanity by unleashing a virus that will make all women in the world become fatally pregnant with dinosaurs, whereupon they will take over the earth.
Gene Siskel gave the film the thumbs up. Make of that what you will.
, released in 1995, takes place a little after the events in the first movie. A special team is sent to investigate an underground laboratory that has apparently shut down. When they arrive, they discover that the crew has been reduced to nothing but bloody limbs; obviously eaten. Then after finding a young boy who survived the carnage, they begin getting taken out one by one by the remaining Carnosaurs that were being held down there. The dinosaur effects in this one are improved since the first one, but it is nowhere near as interesting. The end Carnosaur Vs. Bulldozer scene is basically a rehash of the Carnosaur Vs. Forklift
scene from the first movie. Not the best but decent. By the way, plotwise, it's a shameless rip-off, erm, that is, somewhat inspired by
the second Alien movie
. Watch the two back-to-back and you'll understand.
Carnosaur 3: Primal Species
, released in 1996, has a team of terrorists hijack a top-secret military convoy, thinking they have captured weapons-grade plutonium. Instead, the convoy was carrying dinosaurs, and the dinosaurs attack and kill the squad of terrorists. A military recovery team learns the convoy is stopped in a warehouse on the local waterfront, and immediately goes out to retrieve it. The dinosaurs attack the squad, leaving only three soldiers. Back at their headquaters, their captain refuses to go back unless they kill the dinos, but the scientist in charge of the operation orders them to merely capture the dinos. Heading back out to the warehouse, the team gets additional help with a Marine Task Force. Together, they still can't control the dinosaurs. They finally find a way to get them under control: luring them out to a ship, sailing them out to sea and blowing the ship up.
Composed largely out of stock footage from the previous three films, Raptor
, released in 2001, features Sheriff Jim Tanner and his assistant Barbara trace a series of unexplained vicious animal attacks striking his community back to a Dr. Hyde, a former military researcher whose government funding for a dinosaur cloning project was cut. When the Pentagon discovers Hyde obtained foreign backing to continue his experiments, they send in a strike team to save Tanner and Barbara and stop Hyde.
In 2007, the series received a new installment, The Eden Formula
in Australia), also a Syfy Original Movie
. Jeff Fahey stars as Dr. Harrison Parker, a scientist who invented the titular formula, which is capable of resurrecting any corpses it comes into contact with. The Calgorin Industries tests the formula by reviving a T-rex, much to the chagrin of Parker. Then, James Radcliffe (Tony Todd
) and his henchmen raids Calgorin trying to get their hands on the formula and accidentally releases the now revived T-rex, which escapes and runs amok at the (empty) streets of Los Angeles
. Parker, joined by Calgorin's exec, Rhonda Shapton (Dee Wallace) attempts to stop the dinosaur while escaping from Radcliffe's men. The movie is perhaps notable for featuring a leaping T-rex.
Curiously, despite being meant for Syfy, the film has yet to debut on the channel, at least in the US.
These films provide examples of:
- Actionized Sequel: Carnosaur 3.
- Artistic License – Military: The American military uniforms in Carnosaur 3 are absolutely nowhere near accurate. Perhaps the most egregious example is the convoy soldiers at the beginning of the movie, with the T-shirts, M1 helmets, etc.
- Bloodless Carnage: In the ambush scene in Carnosaur 3, no one bleeds at all. A rather interesting example, since the rest of the film is soaked with blood.
- Cliff Hanger: The third movie's ending reveals that not all of the dinosaurs were on the ship; the sole surviving terrorist gets killed by a raptor.
- Danger Takes A Back Seat: In Carnosaur 2, by means of Offscreen Teleportation, no less.
- Disney Villain Death: The T. rex in 2 dies when it falls down on an elevator shaft.
- Downer Ending: The first film ends with Doc and Thrush getting shot.
- Every Helicopter Is A Huey
- Film of the Book: The first film.
- Forklift Fu: The first film.
- Gaia's Vengeance: Of the Gaia's avenger variety.
- Gendercide: Jane's plan involves having all women die so that men cannot mate and humans go extinct.
- Irony: Out of the three dinosaurs used in the film, none are carnosaurs, at least by the modern definition. The book is slightly better in this regard, in that it has one (Altispinax).
- Large Ham: Radcliffe in The Eden Formula. Tony Todd was clearly having fun with his role.
- Lighter and Softer: Every subsequent sequel after the first film, which was fairly dark.
- Hellish Copter: The crashing helicopter in Carnosaur 2.
- Misanthrope Supreme: Jane.
- Police Are Useless: The police are no match to the T-rex in Carnosaur 3 and The Eden Formula.
- Subverted in the first one. A policeman is able to kill the Deinonychus, albeit at the cost of his life. This accomplishment is made a moot point by the aforementioned downer ending
- Product Placement: The first film features inexplicable Product Placement for Coca-Cola.
- Prop Recycling: The marines' uniforms in Carnosaur 3 are the same urban camouflage BDUs from The Rock.
- Raptor Attack: The raptors in these films aren't remotely realistic.
- Recycled In Space/Whole Plot Reference: Carnosaur 2 is Aliens WITH DINOSAURS! And its blatant enough to almost cross the line into direct rip-off (researchers killed by hostile lifeforms with only one kid survivor? Check. Backup is called in to investigate and nearly get killed on their first trip into the facility? check. Their pilot is disabled by hostile lifeform just as they are about to takeoff? check. Survivors hole up in the command center and set traps to keep lifeforms out? check. Facility will blow up soon? check! Lifeforms attack the command center and Heroes escape through the air vents, where two of their own are left behind to suicide bomb the lifeforms?? One member of the group is left behind and the hero has to go back into the facility to get them? Final showdown between the hero and a giant hostile, using construction equipment? Check check check!!!!)
- The Mockbuster: The first film and the fourth coincided with the release of the first and third Jurassic Park films.
- Semper Fi: Averted terribly. The marine task force from Carnosaur 3 got killed off along with the remainder of the spec ops team save Rance.
- Shout-Out: Carnosaur 2 throws one to Apocalypse Now; when the team is on board the helicopter "Ride of the Valkyries" can be heard.
- Sliding Scale Of Adaptation Faithfulness: a clear level 1. The only way this could have less to do with the book is if it wasn't about dinosaurs at all.
- Stock Dinosaurs: The first film features a deinonychus (essentially a velociraptor) and a T-rex. All of the later films renamed the deinonychus into "velociraptors" and The Eden Formula only has a T-rex.
- Stock Footage: Used throughout the first two sequels and The Eden Formula. Raptor is almost completely made up of it, making it a borderline Clip Show.
- Western Terrorists: The terrorists in the third film, also Radcliffe and his men in The Eden Formula.
- Jane Tiptree arguable counts, although her means are a tad more batshit.