action, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

Flashback Review: June 23rd, 2014 Movie – Raptor

raptor

This right here is probably my favorite movie in the Carnosaur series, but not for the reasons you may think. You see, several years ago, I was watching Sci-fi channel one weekend when I caught the tail end of this movie. I was absolutely floored, not because of how good it was, but because I recognized some of the scenes and knew that they were from different movies. Well, this obviously piqued my interest so I had to look up this movie and then immediately pick up a copy (this was also when I bought the other Carnosaur movies). So let me re-watch Raptor, then explain why I like it so much.

The plot: Three kids are joyriding in the desert and after stopping near a cliff, they are attacked and killed by a Velociraptor. Later that day, Sheriff Jim Tanner heads out to the site of the deaths and meets up with his deputy, Ben Glover. As the look over the bodies and the scene, they are joined by Barbara Phillips, the local animal control officer that Jim has dated. Barbara, who was called there by Jim’s daughter Lola, examines the scene and says that it looks like an animal attack but can’t determine what caused it. Suddenly, they all hear a roaring sound but none of them can identify it. Meanwhile, at the UNIS Corporation, Dr. Hyde is chastising his head of security Josh McCoy, his chief technician Lyle Schell, and his assistant Karen over the premature hatchling that escaped and killed the kids. Karen tells him that the hatchling will die in 3-5 days and when McCoy asks about the other embryos, Karen tells him that they can ship them to their Utah facility. The embryo-chickens are shipped out as part of a poultry shipment and sent to Utah but shortly after leaving the facility, something bursts out of one of the chickens, destroying the cage it is in and when the driver pulls over to investigate, he is killed by the raptor that had just hatched. Later that night, a deputy discovers the truck and calls it in to Jim, who tells him to wait there and he will join him, but as the deputy calls in to run the truck’s plate, he is killed by the raptor as well. Back at the police station, Ben hands Jim a notice that Carl Joseph had broken out of prison and he suspects he is coming back there for revenge. Jim tells Lola to leave when her shift is over and not to go out with her boyfriend Tommy, saying he is too old for her, and Lola teases him that she had told Barbara the same thing about him. Later that night, Lola meets up with Tommy and they have sex in the back of his truck but as they are leaving, Tommy is killed by the freshly hatched raptor and Lola drives off. The raptor manages to get onto the hood of the truck and tries breaking in but Lola jumps free while the truck crashes off a bridge, exploding and killing the raptor. Jim arrives at the truck and calls Barbara to have her take a look while he tries to figure out where his deputy has gone. They check the log and discover where the truck picked up the chickens when Jim is contacted about his daughter and he rushes off to the hospital. When he gets there, the doctor tells him that Lola is suffering from severe shock, rendering her practically catatonic, and Jim discusses what they should do when Ben tells him about finding Tommy’s truck and a severed hand close by it. The next day at Unis, Lyle is talking with Hyde and Karen about the deaths, saying he doesn’t want to go to jail for them, and Hyde tells him that he is free to transfer but before he leaves, he asks that Lyle check out the laser barrier around the T-rex. When Lyle heads down the corridor, Hyde speaks with him and assures him he is safe but Lyle panics and tries to run back, just as Hyde drops the barrier and allows the T-rex to kill him. Outside the facility, Jim and Barbara have shown up to question the person in charge but are told by McCoy that Hyde isn’t there. Suddenly, they hear the T-rex’s roar and McCoy tries to pass it off as steam venting but as they leave, both Jim and Barbara recognize the sound as being similar to what they heard in the desert. Barbara has an idea and they head back to the hospital, where Barbara plays back the roar she had recorded on her tape recorder to Lola, snapping her out of her catatonic state. Lola screams out and tells her father that a giant lizard had killed Tommy and Jim leaves her with the doctor to look after her while he continues investigating. Jim drops Barbara off at her house, where she kisses him and invites him in for a nightcap but Jim tells her he can’t, as he plans on staking out UNIS over night. Meanwhile, Ben has received calls about someone smashing windows downtown and he goes off to investigate, believing it to be Carl Joseph. When he gets there, he yells out for whoever is out there to show themselves and is attacked by the raptor, which he shoots with his shotgun, but as he moves in to finish it off, the raptor impales him with it’s sickle claw. The next day, Jim picks up Barbara and they head to the morgue to examine Ben’s body and when Barbara finds a large tooth in Ben’s thorax, Jim realizes that they will need more than just the local cops to deal with this. Jim contacts the FBI and speaks with Agent Wiley, who tells him that he has no information on the UNIS corporation but asks to be kept in the loop. After he hangs up the phone, Jim prepares to go back to UNIS with Barbara and asks her to get a search warrant from his deputy while he calls the power company and arranges for them to turn off the power to UNIS if they don’t hear back from him by 3. Meanwhile, Agent Wiley contacts Colonel Vandamar and asks him about UNIS but Vandamar tells him they sold it to the private sector years ago. Vandamar then calls Hyde and asks him to confirm that they had cancelled his research project 12 years ago and Hyde tells him that they did, causing Vandamar to question as to whether he has received funding from other sources. Hyde assures him that he hasn’t and Vandamar hangs up, just as Jim and Barbara show up at UNIS. Hyde goes to meet them and shows them around, with McCoy and some of his men following at a distance, and as Barbara and Jim ask him about his past experiments and research, Hyde pulls a gun on them, as does McCoy and his men, and they proceed to lock up Jim and Barbara. After Jim hasn’t been heard from in over an hour, his deputy contacts Agent Wiley, who then contacts Vandamar. Vandamar orders a special forces team to investigate and deal with the problem. The two marine special forces teams arrive and split up once they reach UNIS. Meanwhile, the power company representative remembers about Jim and has the power shut off, allowing Jim and Barbara to escape from the room they are locked in. As Hyde tries to figure out what happened, Karen is concerned about the animals being able to escape from their enclosures but Hyde is not concerned about the soldiers’ lives. The soldiers encounter the raptors, and though the soldiers manage to kill some of the raptors, some soldiers are killed as other raptors escape. After getting the back up generators on, the marines decide to simply blow up the building, killing all of the dinosaurs inside. Meanwhile, Jim and Barbara make their way to the elevator so they can leave but the T-rex has escaped from it’s pen and smashes the side of the elevator shaft, causing the elevator to crash to the bottom. Meanwhile, Karen accuses Hyde of purposefully allowing the dinosaurs to kill the men and decides to quit but as she gets on the elevator to leave, a raptor lunges down from the ceiling and drags her on top of the elevator, where it kills her. As the soldiers plant charges, they warn the helicopter pilots to keep any civilians from leaving but as the helicopter takes off, the pilot is attacked by a raptor that had snuck on board, causing her to crash on top of a fleeing McCoy. As more soldiers are killed by the raptors, Jim and Barbara run into a group of soldiers and are escorted out of there, just as an evac team shows up to help evacuate everyone. Hyde disguises himself as one of the evac workers to try and escape but the T-rex breaks through the side of the building and attacks and kills him. As the soldiers fire at the T-rex, Jim races out to a forklift and gets inside. Telling Barbara to open some nearby bay doors, Jim pilots the forklift to attack the T-rex and force it to bay doors, where he knocks it down the shaft that lay beyond them. Jim and Barbara stare at the body briefly before racing to safety just before the buildig explodes, killing all of the dinosaurs inside.

This movie is fantastic because of the simple premise it employs; reusing stock footage to make another movie. The acting was pretty decent, with Eric Roberts (Jim), Melissa Brasselle (Barbara), and Corbin Bernsen (Hyde) doing good jobs in their roles. The story was weak but that was due to the fact that they were trying to write a movie, with half of it’s scenes used in other movies. I’m serious, I think that out of the 80+ minutes in this movie, only half, (or maybe 50 minutes at most) was original footage. This made for some very funny issues, such as one of the marine teams wearing a grey and white checkerboard style uniforms, except for one member who was dressed in black. This was to match up with the footage of the soldiers from Carnosaur 3. However, my favorite was when Jim was fighting the T-rex in a forklift, and the footage kept switching from the forklift used in Carnosaur 2, and the bulldozers used in Carnosaur. The back and forth between the two vehicles during the same fight was incredibly funny to watch. The special effects were the same as the original movies, so rather low budget and somewhat cheap looking at times but still entertaining. A lot of fun, both for the silliness of the movie and the efforts in trying to work around the reused footage.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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