Sunday, April 11, 2010

Forgotten Sequels: Carnosaur 2

Did you ever see a crappy film and think 'man, I wish they made more of that?!?'  Well, if so, Roger Corman is your best friend.  In conjunction with the release of Jurassic Park in 1993, Corman's New Horizons (changed from New Concorde) put out Carnosaur, a film about dinosaurs cloned from chickens...or something like that.  The next year, this film came out.  The problem was that it was not released with another Park film, which did not come until 1997.  Oops.  Along with the third film, this one did not get as much attention as the first one did.  For those who haven't seen the first film, here's a quick summary: people made dinosaurs, dinosaurs killed people and some other people killed the dinosaurs.  That's pretty much all you need to know for my review of...
The film begins with a bunch of people working on a military base of some sorts.  A pair of teens have wandered off, while another man is checking out some wiring.  Evidently, something has been messing up the wiring and they need to call in a proper repair team.  The man discovers the kids in a storeroom full of dynamite (try locking that properly next time, guys!) and chases them off.  One of them turns out to be a kid that is kept in his care, although his relation to him is not exactly made clear.  Another random guy- he's not named all that clearly- shows the kid how to work one of the moving vehicles...which is not exactly in FICA code!  Oh well, it won't come up later, I'm sure.  That night, a mysterious cameraman...I mean, monster attacks the people and kills all of them save for the teen.  Hey Roger, this is Carnosaur 2- you can go ahead and show us the dinosaurs.  This is not like Jaws where it's all about the suspense.  Considering this is the sequel and you put a T-Rex on your DVD cover, I think you can commit!  A bit later, a group of random guys (including character actors John Savage and Miguel A. Nunez Jr) are hired by a bean-counter to go fix up a base.  Gee, which one is that?!?
The trip goes pretty smoothly, but the new boss is very secretive about things.  What's in the base- nothing!  What's down there- nothing!  What's 4 + 2- go ask your Union!  They also rediscover the same stuff we were shown before- hurray for filler!  Finally, some new stuff happens as the dinosaurs show up and wreak some havoc.  They take out the tech guy (Nunez)- what will M. Bison do without you?!?- the eye-patch, wearing Lieutenant and the tough, but gritty female helicopter pilot.  The whole thing is a bit confusing as the beasts appear to attack them on the lower deck and at the center one.  The odd thing is that they hide out in this area later...for some reason.  Oh and a dinosaur opened a helicopter door, closed it and managed to hide in it in case a person came in.  I can only extend logic so far...even in the sequel to a film about dinosaurs that came from chickens.  Yeah, I like to mention that part.  Incidentally, our heroes find the kid in a closet, since the things can open doors, but not those doors.  He's also sort of a dick for not warning them about the P.O.V. dinosaurs, but I guess you can blame shock.  Douche.
Unfortunately, being surrounded by dinosaurs is the high-point of their day.  They set a bunch of dynamite in the hallways to kill the monsters, but they learn to disarm the traps.  You want to explain that movie?  No?  Alright.  Incidentally, the base is a nuclear waste/weapon dump site.  It's a bit funny to watch this now, since the USA just signed a treaty to get rid of most of our nukes- for real this time!  After this, they try to escape via the elevator, but the only other woman gets killed via the made-up hole in the top of the elevator.  With only a few of them left, they decide to set the whole place to blow and seal in the nuclear waste before everything goes bad.  Naturally, they split up and the non-essential characters die.  No, not the Asshole Guy and the Guy I'm Supposed to Hate- I wanted them to live!  During an attack, our hero falls three stories onto a pile of pipes, but lives.  The kid rushes for help and finds a rescue helicopter from the Department of Energy.  Underrated Governmental Department my ass!  The helicopter pilot is...Michael James MacDonald from MadTV?  Stop showing up in my shitty '90s horror films, guy!  The big finale involves a T-Rex showing up and battling the teen in- wait for it- the giant piece of equipment from before.  After a several minute fight, the last two minutes counts down and they escape.
Yeah, this is not a good movie. It has a simple premise, but doesn't quite know what to do with it.  The idea of people trapped in a dark building full of monsters is a well-worn premise.  You may have heard of it when it was called Alien!  Seriously though, the movie is pretty damn low-budget and silly.  The main dinosaurs are a bunch of raptors- gee, I wonder why- but they never really move in full-frame.  I don't expect this to look like Jurassic Park, but I do expect you to try!  Seriously, these puppets are more tightly-framed and carefully-shot than the area around Hugh Laurie's bald spot on House!  We finally get a real dinosaur in the very end, but he too is mostly shot at odd, close-up angles.  He eventually gets shown in full-frame, but the puppeteer and miniature work is pretty damn shoddy.  Never mind that the whole finale is built around a blatant rip-off of the finale of Aliens!  That said, fans of cheesy films can get some good stuff out of this.  Everyone you get is a pretty flat cliche and played in a really silly way.  It's not intentional comedy, but it does have a certain charm.  Stupid dinosaurs, stupid people and an even dumber government- joy.
Up next, a full week of Full Moon features come up for review.  First up, a film that *nearly* shares the title of a really bad, but older film.  Stay tuned...


  1. This feature really needs to be retitled to "Intentionally Forgotten Sequels." Garbage. But I would watch it again. Does that make me wicked?

  2. Just a note: I only did this film solo due to the others being OOP on Netflix. You'll have to wait for a full series review.