horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

Flashback Review: June 19th, 2014 Movie – Carnivore (2000)


Yet another movie that I picked up during my horror movie binge days. Man, that time period was kind of a messed up bit of movie buying for me because there are several movies that I am just like, “What the hell was I thinking?” Well, I actually know what I was thinking with this movie; I was thinking it was a different movie and I basically goofed. Yes, even when the internet was readily available for me to double check and make sure I was getting the right movie, I chose to just buy it at random and poof, wrong movie has entered my collection. Of well, might as well rewatch Carnivore (2000) and get it over with.

The plot: In Dekalb County, Illinois, a secret DOD lab is established to research the “Carnivore” Project, an experimental project to create a hybrid species to use for warfare. On September 15th, 1989, Doctor Westmont, the lone scientist working on the project, is attempting to give the Carnivore an injection but it lashes out and Westmont ends up having the syringe plunged into his heart, killing him. The next day, DIA Director John Burroughs holds a meeting about the various projects and General Stalwart voices his concerns over Carnivore project but Burroughs dismisses him and has Dana Anderson take charge of the project. Later that day, Dana learns that Westmont is dead and she contacts Burroughs to let him know that the creature is loose in the house. Burroughs orders the security videos of Westmont’s death classified and has Dana lead a security team to recapture the creature. Meanwhile, 4 teenagers (Scott, Marc, Dee, and Bobbi) are heading to the house to party, unaware of what is in there. At the house, the creature manages to escape the lab and an automated alert contacts the local police. Scott and the others arrive and park their car down the hill, then walk up to the house, carrying some sleeping bags and a cooler. The creature reaches the door of the house and starts to open it but a stray beam from the kids’ flashlights startles it and it quickly slams the door, scaring the kids. Writing it off as just the wind, the kids continue into the house and start to explore it some before sitting down to drink and hang out. Elsewhere, two cops at a speed trap are called in about the alert and argue over heading over there before finally heading out. Back at the house, Marc suggests they look around the whole house but as they leave the room, the creature sneaks out of it’s hiding place and grabs one of their beers. Meanwhile, Dana, along with Agents North and Liddy, are driving to the house but are forced to stop due to a flat tire. Dana heads into the bushes to relieve herself while the agents change the tire but as the stand outside the car, the police pass by and offer assistance but the agents turn them down. The police drive off and when Dana returns, the agents admit they don’t know how to change the tire so Dana is forced to show them how. Back at the house, Marc and Dee split off from Scott and Bobbi so that they can have sex leaving Scott and Bobbi to uncomfortably find something to do. Scott goes to offer Bobbi a beer but finds they are all gone and the one bottle on the ground is covered in a strange, slimy substance. Meanwhile, the creature attacks Marc, ripping him to shreds and Dee screams and rushes from the room. Scott and Bobbi hear the scream and find Dee cowering in the hallway, saying they have to get out of there. Scott thinks Marc is playing a joke and sends the girls downstairs while he looks for Marc but when he sees Marc’s body, he yells out for them to get out of there, just as he is confronted by the creature. Dee and Bobbi hear Scott cry out as the creature attempts to attack him and they run for the door, only to encounter the police. Hearing the commotion coming upstairs, one officer goes upstairs to investigate while the other stays with the girls. Scott is wounded by the creature but he manages to hit it in the head with a nail covered board, wounding it and allowing him to escape. He runs into the cop, he stops him to try and figure out what is going on and Scott tries to explain before he is attacked by the creature. Outside, the other officer is placing Dee and Bobbi in the patrol car when he hears shots being fired and he heads inside, just as Dana and the agents arrive. The cop encounters Scott as he is trying to leave and tries to stop him but Scott gets away only yo be stopped by Agent Liddy. Dana walks up and tells the officer that the area is under their jurisdiction and when he argues about getting more cops, Dana has Agent North keep an eye on him and the kids while she heads into the house with Liddy. Dana and Liddy make their way down into the lab and as Dana goes over the computer records, Liddy checks out the room and examines the body. They head back upstairs, where they locate the body of the police officer, and continue looking for the creature so they can recapture it. The two split up and Dana encounters the creature but manages to get it to let her go. Dana backs away some, then tries to keep the creature calm but Liddy, having heard Dana’s scream, enters the room and shoots it with his uzi. Dana chastises Liddy for killing the creature telling him that she had the situation under control, and sends him and North back in to collect a sample from the creature, while she calls in to tell Burroughs that there is a problem, as she feels the creature will not stay dead.

Honestly, this movie could have been so much better but instead, it comes off as looking incredibly cheap and boring. The acting was stilted and boring, with nobody really seeming to put any actual emotion into their performances. The cops especially felt like they were just reading their lines from cue cards that were behind the camera. The story actually sounded interesting; with a hybrid creature designed as a biological weapon being the sort of thing that makes for a good sci-fi/horror movie. Unfortunately, the pacing of this movie killed off any real scary atmosphere that the had built up, making it almost like a painfully bad parody of a horror movie. The special effects were honestly on the cheap side, and somewhat cliched, using a sort of infrared mode to serve as the creature’s view point while the creature design itself honestly looked like one of the Crites from Critters, just with longer arms and legs. This is one of those movies that used to come on late at night back in the day and you absolutely hated yourself for staying up to watch.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5


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