Driven to extinction. Back for revenge.
Year of Release: 1993
Genre: Horror/Science Fiction
Running Time: 83 minutes (1:23)
Director: Adam Simon, Darren Maloney
Diane Ladd ... Dr. Jane Tiptree
Raphael Sbarge ... 'Doc' Smith
Jennifer Runyon ... Ann 'Thrush'
Harrison Page ... Sheriff Fowler
Ned Bellamy ... Fallon
Clint Howard ... 'Slim' Friar
Frank Novak ... Jesse Paloma
Ed Williams ... Dr. Sterling Raven
Rodman Flender ... Senator's Assistant
Chris Gore ... Loader (uncredited)
From chicken eggs, a deranged geneticist brings dinosaurs back to life. A brilliant discovery till she turns the carnivores loose on a quiet town. They breed like rats. They prey like the plague. It's man against the most vicious beasts of all time - and neither will survive while the other is alive.
Carnosaur... see this is why Republicans get all bent outta shape when scientists start playin' God, this kinda thing NEVER works. The Colonel hates this one. We're talkin' an irreparable PR nightmare here. Corman's done a lot of besmirching in his time, but the besmirching of the chicken by Carnosaur really came outta nowhere. KFC sales have never been able to recover since Carnosaur hit the theaters, which is really pretty understandable. I mean, who wants to bite into the drumstick of something that's infused with dinosaur DNA an that lays eggs the size of grapefruits? The gaping wound that egg leaves is a gangrene haven for fuck's sake. An ever since, the poor Colonel's been reduced to moppin' up chicken chunks just to save money an keep the doors open. It's a sad, unpleasant end for an American icon. I'm kinda depressed now, lets move on to something else. The upside is that, if nothing else, we've still been blessed with more cosmic wisdom from the great Roger Corman, even if this particular movie ain't worth diddly squat. First, you'd think that when people're donatin' millions upon millions of dollars as part of a grant to a scientist that they might be interested in how that research is goin'. But that's really not the case, cause if it was, somebody would've started askin' questions about all the mutant test subjects an why this research scientist makes the only chicken in the world that don't taste like chicken. Second, dinosaurs don't like bein' referred to as "green brother", on account of how racially insensitive it is. Using this terminology is likely to result in gettin' your face eaten. I mean, unless of course you're a dinosaur too, then it's okay to use that term.
An third, women don't really need to go to the hospital when they go into labor, cause they can just use their fingernails as a home C-section kit. But what I think really stood out, an you women should pay close attention to this next part cause it's mostly directed at you, is that goin' to your ultrasound appointments isn't just fun an games, it's deathly serious. Ultrasounds are the only way you can detect whether your baby will be born normal, or whether it'll come out as a plastic reptilian wind up happy meal toy covered in glopola. Early detection is key, cause if it is a reptilian wind up happy meal toy, the gestation period is very short, and depending upon your state, abortion clinics can be few and far between, an time is of the essence. An that's not even the worst of it. If you're too late an the feds won't let you abort, then you're stuck with the little bugger for 18 years. That's 18 years of sleepin' propped up in the corner of your bedroom with a shotgun an a padlock on the door to make sure you don't get blindsided in the event the little monster goes feral. Not to mention the lifetime of "hotdog down a hallway" sex you've now got to look forward too, cause those little buggers're really claustrophobic an they tear up a serious cross section on the way out. So let that be a reminder to ya, test early and test often. Count the fingers, watch for tails, and always remember, these aborted babies don't need a gun, they're already armed to the teeth.
The movie begins with standard black and white slaughterhouse propaganda footage that farmers use to scare their chickens into producing. Once that's over, we move on to a board meeting at Illuminati headquarters where a big wig an a bald guy that simply needs a wig are discussing their brilliant research scientist, Dr. Tiptree. She's really dull. They should have hired Dr. Roundtree so he could go all Shaft on these dino-crackas. Unfortunately, that's probably not in the cards. So anyway, Tiptree's watchin' the all chicken network on about 50 TV monitors, one of which shows a couple chicken delivery boys that're marvelin' at this gigantic black ostrich egg an wincin' at the chicken viscera that was once its host. The two guys are about to start swappin' stories about how that sorta thing happened to them this one time when they ate a 72oz steak over at the Logan's Roadhouse an got constipated for about 3 days, but then they check their watches an remember that Tyson Foods waits for no man an that they'd better get movin'. Only they don't get too far down the road before their chickens start makin' all kinda weird squishy noises so they have to pull over an take a look, only once they peek inside the back of the truck they get mauled by the world's angriest 8-piece bucket of original recipe. Elsewhere, some trailer dwelling yahoo is startled awake from his drunk by a group of eco-sexuals, only by the time he can find his scattergun an get his shoes on the correct feet they're way outta range. The yahoo (Doc) is bein' paid to keep an eye on some heavy equipment, an the eco-sexuals are all up in arms about some dirt mounds bein' moved from one location to another, so Doc has to keep an eye out for any potential equipment sabotage or sexual assaults on the local flora. Anyway, Doc is way too sloshed to chase after the punks, but he's not nearly too drunk to pilot his Bobcat. But once he revs it up he scares the bejezus outta some blonde ditz that had to hunker down when the others ran off cause she couldn't remember how to run an breathe at the same time, an Doc takes her captive until the cops can come haul her off to the crossbar hotel. Doc's gonna have to sit on her for awhile though, cause the sheriff's a little busy scoopin' the chicken drivers up into Hefty bags. Meanwhile, Tiptree's deploying the hapless, unbriefed expendables to recover the fierce set of hotwings that mangled the chicken delivery boys earlier an refuses to give the expendables any details about what they're lookin' for.
The next morning, the sheriff finally gets around to Doc's place, only the blonde bimbo snuck out on him after he passed out in a pool of his own liquor filled vomit, so he takes Doc out to the environmentalist camp to try to pick her outta the lineup. You really feel for Doc, cause these are not the kind of people you wanna live down wind from. When they arrive, Doc pretends not to see her cause she's real cute an he figures that maybe if he cuts her some slack, she'll slacken up her jaw an take an oral exam for him later on. Which almost works until the blonde (Thrush) remembers she's an eco-sexual an that she hates Doc cause he's releasing carbon into the atmosphere every time he talks to her. Then these three dweebs in a Jeep drive out to a deserted spot so the third wheel can get out an go pee pee while the other two try to make the sign of the spasmatic conger eel on the front seat before the third wheel can get back, only the bucket of extra crispy shows up an takes its pecker to the third wheel's pecker an then shreds its way into the Jeep an leaves the world's nastiest chicken scratches all over the fornicators. It's at this point that we finally see a silhouette of the The Colonel's finest an it don't look nothin' like a chicken. Meanwhile, the two expendables are out lookin' for that which cannot be named, only it finds them first an starts jumpin' up on 'em an lickin' their faces. They try to remember what Fred Flintstone used to do in this situation but nothin' seems to work an pretty quick Dino gets a taste for meat an scarfs down a couple orders of ribs. While this is happening, Dr. Tiptree has flipped over from the all chicken network to the blubbering regretful parents channel an she tells some guy not to worry cause his daughter (one of the three dweebs) is gonna be just fine an that he should come into her gingerbread house so he can see her. Actually what she sends him into looks more like one of those rooms that kids play laser tag in, an by the time the poor sucker gets to the end of the line he's met with Carnosaurus Rex, who gnaws on his head like that gristly piece of cartilage at the end of a drumstick. Later that evening, Doc eventually wakes up from his latest stupor to find all the eco-sexuals chained to his Bobcat, an try as he may, he can't get 'em off cause they're so whacked out on the ganj that they figure even if he kills 'em they'll be suckling mother earth with the nutrients in their corpses.
Every time Doc sobers up this kinda thing happens, who needs it? So he gives up an heads over to the local diner so he can listen to Clint Howard tell stories about the killer bobcat that's eatin' people an how eatin' the food there makes pregnant women have devil babies. This movie doesn't have enough bobcats, Corman should have cast Goldthwait in Clint Howard's role. Meanwhile, the eco-sexuals have hugged their last tree, cause almost immediately following Doc's departure, Dino shows up an fills up on hippie pot pie, leavin' Thrush as the sole survivor of the protest rally. An that only happened cause she's so dumb that she thought she'd locked herself inside the Bobcat. Fortunately, Doc gets back just in the nick of time an runs Dino off before takin' Thrush inside where, hopefully, the self inflicted danger to herself can be contained. Inexplicably, Doc knows precisely where to go and who to talk to about Dino runnin' around without a leash, an sneaks into Dr. Tiptree's facility. And by sneaks I mean he puts on a security guard's uniform an walks right in, unchecked. But before they start discussin' Dino, Tiptree notices that Doc's sufferin' from night sweats an informs him that he's got the bird flu that she's been lacin' all these chickens with an pretty quick his brain's gonna start sizzlin' like sausage links in a skillet. Seems she's released a plague to wipe out mankind so the Earth can again belong to the dinosaurs. Apparently she missed a few days in biology class. That or she's getting her information about why the dinosaurs went extinct from movies like One Million Years B.C. But anyway, the plague also causes women to be with raptor, which generally results in their nether regions spewin' out blood like a lawn sprinkler once they go into labor. Elsewhere, the sheriff finally gets off work, only to find his wife's got a temperature of about 130 degrees centigrade an she's about to make his eggs runny instead of hard. So he sends her off to bed just before she's able to ruin his breakfast, but when he cracks open the eggs he can't help but notice they're full of motor oil, antifreeze, an little tiny salamanders with teeth like an alligator gar. So while Dino's hangin' out over at the diner eatin' Clint Howard's egg shaped head, the sheriff an the town doctor take a look at the sheriff's salamander gar while the whole town lays around his office sweatin' like Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky hearings.
Meanwhile, Dr. Tiptree's secretary wants to go home cause she's got a fever so high the burnt hair fumes are makin' her dizzy, so Tiptree says that's okay, but to come down to her lab first so she can witness the birth of a new life. She tries to explain to her secretary that birth is a natural process an that everything's gonna be okay right up until she pops out an ostrich egg an expires with the realization that no amount of kegels are ever gonna fix this. By now, the Illuminati guys have realized it may have been a mistake to let this cracked egg of a scientist spend that long working on The Chicken of Tomorrow for them without lookin' in on her to see if she was stayin' the course, an they start settin' up a quarantine headquarters. But just so they can see for themselves if all the dino-pregnancy talk is legit, they allow a woman that reached their quarantine area inside to see what happens. First thing that's obvious, Lamaze sure didn't help much, an second, there's a monitor lizard an placenta goo all up in this bitch. Err... well, it was all up in this bitch. Now it's all over this bitch... the floor, the nursemaid, I think that's some on the ceiling too. But anyway, the Illuminati is convinced, an they move to Def Con 17. So while Dr. Tiptree makes it clear she's got a hard-on for the future world that's devoid of all human life, the sheriff is walkin' tall around town lookin' for the guy that mauled his Clint, an he's about to go all Dirty Harry on Dino. So after the sheriff makes enough disparaging remarks about Dino's mama bein' a chicken an his daddy bein' a komodo dragon, Dino shows his scaly face an goes for the sheriff's tenderloin. But just before he can sink his teeth into the cop-stache, the sheriff unloads his double-aught buckshot right into Dino's chest an smears raptor juice all over the pavement. Unfortunately, the sheriff gets cocky, an with his last dying breath, Dino puts his raptor tail right through the sheriff's gut bucket, an they both expire, as worthy adversaries. Back at the lab, Doc has had it with this over the top enviro-nonsense an he starts threatenin' to make omelets outta Tiptree's egg collection til she gives him the serum that'll cure the night sweats, an after belting out his best rendition of Peggy Lee's "You Give me Fever", he takes off. Then Doc takes a wrong turn at Albequerque an has to dodge the Carnosaurus Rex in the laser tag room before he can get out while Tiptree starts havin' a hot flash an tryin' to decide what to name her chest burster. Doc is able to escape the Carnosaurus Rex after it gets this sad look when it realizes its arms are too short for ladder climbin', an then snatches up Thrush from the hospital an looks for a nice shady spot to wait for the end of the world. There's more, but even if I was inclined to spoil it, you wouldn't wanna know.
Yeah. So Carnosaur is like... Jurassic Fark. I think Roger should stick with direct to video features, I mean, at this point in time, where drive-ins generally just play indoor bullstuff an there's no market for these movies anymore. This one's actually got a bigger budget than most of Corman's movies and yet, somehow manages to be worse. A great deal worse. Maybe it was the ambition, I dunno. Apparently this was intended to compete with Jurassic Park, which was released that same year. Corman's movies generally didn't receive theatrical releases, with the exception of movies that were released when the drive-in was still the drive-in, and not an outdoor hardtop. But Carnosaur did get a theatrical release, and it's a real poop monster. I feel bad sayin' this stuff, but there's just little to no redeeming value here, we're talkin' one very small step above a Syfy original feature. An that step mainly consists of the fact that the special effects, while not very good, are at least not computer generated abominations. I'm hoping this is not par for the course with all of Corman's 90s features. I've honestly liked every Corman movie I've seen to date, that was made in the 80s. So hopefully this was just some sort of terrible fluke. What amazes the hell outta me is that the cover for the movie has a quote from Gene Siskel which reads "THUMBS UP... Terrific! I liked this movie." An I'm thinkin', whoa. Is this the same guy that panned so many movies that I enjoyed? He liked THIS? Well, maybe that explains the panning of the other films then. Now, I'm still inclined to say that the IMDB is being too rough on it. The fact that it's got a 3.2 rating is just silly. And yet, I'm not nearly as outraged at this as I am with say, the 3.2 rating Alligator has. Carnosaur is actually almost bad enough that I can almost see it. I'll argue the 3.2, but not very hard. Something else that's truly baffling is that it spawned two sequels. Once I was able to get the white hand of Saruman facepalm print's swelling down to an acceptable level I started thinking about all the other Corman movies, for which I'd have really liked to see a sequel. Only they don't exist. An Carnosaur gets not one, but TWO sequels? Where did they get the idea that this movie warranted sequels? More importantly, why didn't the studio explore the possibility of sequels in the past when their movies were so much fun? These are questions I'm probably never going to receive an answer for, but rest assured that I'm thoroughly appalled.
Alright, well lets get this thing off the dissection table before it's permanently contaminated with inanity. The plot is positively redonkulous. I consider myself pretty flexible in my ability to suspend my disbelief, but Corman's asking too much of me on this one. We're almost talking Jaws: The Revenge bad with this one. The doctor's created an airborne flu virus that passes from chickens to humans, an that causes 'em to birth out little salamanders with Dracula fangs. I'm sorry Mr. Corman, but this time you've gone too far and you must be stopped. Overall rating is takin' it hard in the poop chute for this plot line. The acting, contrary to what some of the reviews I've seen have said, is really not too bad. Although Diane Ladd let her southern accent slip into a couple sequences mid sentence, then withdrawing it again like nothing happened. It's not a big deal, but it'd be even less of a deal if they'd just done another take. Kinda silly, but I didn't feel like anyone did anything all that detrimental to the score with their acting ability or lack thereof. Here are the important players, and the reason for that designation: Diane Ladd (Embryo, The Devil's Daughter), Raphael Sbarge (The Hidden II), Harrison Page (Raptor), Ned Bellamy (Saw, Bats, In the Deep Woods, House IV), Frank Novak (Raptor, Watchers 3, Sleepwalkers, Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2), Ed Williams (Ratboy), Andrew Magarian (Communion), Brent Hinkley (Carnival of Souls 1998, The Silence of the Lambs, Jacob's Ladder, Brain Dead), Lisa Moncure (Brain Dead), V.J. Foster (Brain Dead), Martha Hackett (Leprechaun 2), David Sinaiko (Brain Dead), Maud Winchester (Attack of the 50' Woman 1993, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Brain Dead), Paul Di Franco (Razortooth), Rodman Flender (Director of several decent horror flicks, but who also acted in: Carnosaur 2, Carnosaur 3). Clint Howard, of course, is a pro, and requires no resume to prove it.
The special effects. How to put this... fairly. The special effects, themselves, do not look that bad. The people controlling them make it appear that they are bad. The puppeteering here is just atrocious. The guys working these little dinosaurs do a serious disservice to John Buechler's creations with this kind of half-assed manipulation. Even the animatronic versions don't come off very convincing because the movements are so jerky. Fuggin' puppets look like they're havin' seizures. The sequences shot from the side in which the puppets are running, manage to be even worse, as it's just so abundantly clear that the backside of the creature has a hand up its tookus. It really didn't have to be like this, what a waste. The shooting locations... meh. Not really anything problematic, although I've always been fond of Roger Corman's sets from the movies he made back in the 80s, and while it's not really fair to compare those movies to this one, they're a bit disappointing. No need for sets here, really. You've got a trailer, a gravel pit, a diner, hospital, Illuminati headquarters, an that's about it. Really, there's nothing wrong with the shooting locations, they're just a little plain and contribute little. The soundtrack is not particularly good. It's not that it's painful to listen to, simply put, it's a little silly. Which is okay if the movie is silly, and aware that it is silly. But from what I saw this movie is played pretty well straight, and doesn't deviate from that seriousness, causing some of the tracks to make light of otherwise serious situations. Serious, I mean, if you could take the effects seriously to begin with. Bottom line, this one's just bad. And the crew should feel bad. With the exception of John Buechler.