Carnosaur (1993): C+
If, back in 1993, you came out of the theater after seeing Jurassic Park going “meh, that was alright, but I wish there was more dinosaur-carnage,” or “’clever girl’ and then an implied off-screen kill? Weak,” then Carnosaur is for you.
It was released months after Jurassic Park, but that’s totally a coincidence. To even suggest that Carnosaur is a blatant rip-off of the most popular dinosaur film ever is just plain wrong.
See, in Carnosaur, the dinosaurs are bred using viral transmission and chicken DNA, which is radically different from splicing them with frog DNA like in Jurassic Park. Duh. Also, there aren’t velociraptors in Carnosaur, you idiot! The dinos are mostly deinonychus, which are the exact same thing as raptors, only a couple of feet taller. As if this wasn’t evidence enough of Carnosaur’s integrity, consider that in Jurassic Park, the dinosaurs all get loose and start fucking up the humans. In Carnosaur, the dinosaurs all get loose and start fucking up the humans.
Gotta love the premise for this: Some asshole scientist hates people and loves dinosaurs so she plans to use her resources as a geneticist at a poultry plant (not a typo; poultry plant) to resurrect some dinosaurs so that they can take over the planet and eat all the people. What she plans to do with herself, being a human, during the genocide isn’t addressed but Carnosaur isn’t what you’d call a “logical” film.
It’s like a bad, Kevin Bacon-less version of Tremors for people who like dinosaurs.
One thing I have to give this movie credit for is the limited CGI effects. There’s no glitchy polygon-looking dinos feasting on CGI gore like in Raptor Island. They instead have fucking HAND-PUPPET dinosaurs chomping up people. That takes balls! To make a feature-length dino-horror film and have most of the kills be carried out by hand-puppets, and expect your audience to watch, is gutsy and I would actually rather watch Carnosaur any day over the endless clones of CGI-based dinosaur horror films. Sure some of the kill scenes look like an elaborate oven-mitt flapping around on a tarp full of pig guts, but it still looks better than a LOT of B-movie horror gore I’ve seen.
Think about how many other movies could have been improved with the utilization of hand-puppets. Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park 2, Jurassic Park 3, and Schindler’s List, just to name a few.
Stay with this gem if you pop it in because you get to see someone die giving live birth to a dinosaur and an epic T-Rex vs. bulldozer duel complete with prolonged side-profile camera shots like you are watching a game of Street Fighter II and some seizure inducing strobe effects. Spielberg didn’t give you that, now did he?