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

April 25th, 2018 Movie – Vipers

vipers

Another snake movie starting with the letter V? It seems to be some sort of trend going on here. Man, I am a little sad about today’s movie as it means I am almost done with the Maneater series of films. These were always fun to watch when they would show up on Syfy and I am glad I picked them up on DVD, especially the triple feature packs. I had actually bought today’s movie as a single movie but bought the triple pack that had it so I could get the other two movies. So is this movie that good that it was worth buying twice? Let’s find out as I watch today’s movie, Vipers.

The plot: At a Universal Bio Tech research facility, John Staffen enters the specimen lab and is shown the genetically modified horned vipers that they have been using for their experiments. The vipers were slated to be destroyed after an incident where they attacked and killed their handlers and some guards but Staffen and his security detail shoot the doctor and the security guards. As the security detail move to switch the lethal gas with knockout gas so they can transport the vipers to a new facility, one of the security guards, who was just wounded, shoots the glass cage the snakes are in. The escaping vipers begin attacking everyone and Staffen manages to escape and close the door, watching the snakes feed on the victims before he leaves. At Universal Bio Tech’s main facility, Dr. Collins is giving a lecture on how horned viper venom has been used to treat breast cancer. After her lecture, she is approached by Universal Bio Tech’s owner, Mr. Burton, who tells her that there was an incident in their lab and the genetically modified vipers escaped. Collins is upset about Burton’s messing with the snakes, calling it unethical and how everything assigned to the project reflects on her but Burton says that he needs her help to before the snakes reach a populated area. Meanwhile, the vipers are shown to have eaten all of the bodies in the lab and escape out the ventilation system, heading out into the water. On the nearby island of Eden Cove, a honeymooning couple is fooling around in their tent by the lake when they are attacked by the vipers. The next day, former Marine medic CalĀ  Taylor arrives in town and is met at the dock by Hank Brownie, who gives him a ride into town. As they are driving, they spot the wrecked campsite and investigate it but find no sign of the owner so Hank uses his CB to contact Sheriff Hendricks. Hendricks heads to the rental agency, catching Georgie, the owner, fooling around with Jack Martin and as Georgie goes to get the couple’s information, Jack tells him that he and his wife Ellie are separated so there is no need to go blabbing about what he is doing to her. When Cal and Hank arrive, Hank hands Hendricks the ring they found and Jack, who owns the local inn, takes Cal there to check in. They get there just as Jack’s daughter Maggie goes storming off, yelling at her parents for their separation and Ellie tells Jack they need to talk. Cal goes to see Dr. Silverton, revealing that he was there at Silverton’s request due to his being friends with his sone Joey, who died in the service. Cal hands Silverton Joey’s personal effects just as they are called away to Nicky Swift’s flower shop, where Maggie had broken in and smoked some of the marijuana Nicky grows. Cal joins Silverton and they find Jack and Ellie there with Maggie and Nicky and as they wonder who Cal is and why he is there, Silverton explains that he is planning on turning over his practice to Cal. Nicky realizes that Cal knew Joey and when Ellie comments that Nicky is the reason Joey enlisted and was kileld, Nicky punches her. Suddenly, they hear screaming coming from outside and Cal rushes out to find a young boy was bitten by a snake. Cal grabs the boy and Nicky drives him over to Silverton’s office, where they give him some anti-venom to stabilize him. Silverton decides to fly into the city with the boy, asking Cal to take care of things for him till he gets back. Meanwhile, Burton tells Collins that they got a report of the snake bite and asks what contingencies she has to offer and Collins tells him she has a gas that can stun the snakes but isn’t sure if she has enough to handle a large quantity of snakes and any other poisons that would be useful on the snakes would also be lethal to humans. On the island, Hendricks has Nicky arrested for assault then goes to the sheriff’s office, where Cal is tending to Ellie’s jaw, and tries to get her to drop the charges. When Ellie says he always defends Nicky ever since they were kids, Hendricks tells her that he wants to be with her, not Nicky. Silverton calls and tells Cal that the boy took a turn for the worse and he is staying overnight to ensure he is ok. After he gets off the phone, he is approached by Collins and Staffen. Back on the island, Georgie meets up with Jack and says she can step back if need be but Jack insists that he wants to be with her. The two head to the inn and have sex and afterwards, Jack goes to take a shower when the vipers enter the room and kill Georgie. As Hendricks takes Cal to tend to Nicky’s hand, they are met by Hank, who wants Hendricks to check out something on the dock. Cal checks Nicky’s hand and as he examines it, they talk about Joey and Cal explains that he and Joey talked about her a lot. Cal says it isn’t broken, then leaves to get some ice and Nicky uses his scalpel to pick the lock of the cell, only to find Cal waiting outside for her and he chooses to accompany her as she runs some errands, mainly delivering pot to some residents that are suffering from cancer. Suddenly the hear Jack screaming out and find him coming out of the room with blood on his hands. As Jack checks on him, Nicky looks inside and sees the vipers swarming over Georgie and Cal kills one that approaches her, then quickly shuts the door. At the docks, Maggie runs off after another argument with Ellie just as Hendricks and Hank show up when all of a sudden, vipers start attacking people on the docks. Hendricks tells everyone to head up to the hotel and has Hank get Ellie into his truck and leave, and Ellie cries out as Maggie is unable to reach the truck and runs off with some snakes chasing her. Everyone makes it to the hotel and they start barricading it to keep the snakes out but Ellie and Jack rush out to try and find Maggie. Ellie finds Maggie as she tries to cross a bridge to reach the hotel but when the vipers cut her off, Hendricks grabs her and takes her to the sheriff’s office, locking her in the cell but the vipers kill him. Ellie and Jack enter the station but are unable to reach Maggie and Jack drags Ellie out of there, where they are met by Cal and Nicky, using a fire extinguisher to ward off the snakes, and they take shelter in a nearby food truck. Nicky hotwires the truck and they pull up close to the door, then Cal heads into the station to get Maggie and takes her to the truck. When the truck won’t start, they decide to make a run for the diner but Ellie is killed before she can escape the truck. As night falls, Silverton, Collins, Staffen, and two security agents arrive on the island, using gas grenades to stun the snakes. One of the agents is killed by the snakes but the others manage to reach the hotel, as well as Cal and the others. Once inside, Collins tries to keep everyone calm but Jack and several of the residents want to use the cover of the gas to escape to the boats. Jack is shot by the security agent but several of the islanders leave and Collins wants to use the last of the gas to give them a chance but Staffen refuses to let the agent use it, dooming the islanders to being killed. Inside, Cal and Silverton try to save Jack’s life but are unable to and as Silverton consoles Maggie, Cal gets upset at being unable to save Jack’s life. When he sees Collins crying, he accuses her of what happened and Collins said she had nothing to do with what happened, as Burton was the one to create the snakes. When the security agent reveals that a rescue isn’t happening and the island will be bombarded with C-12 gas, Cal comes up with a plan to lure the snakes away from the docks so that Silverton and the other islanders can get to safety, as Silverton is the only person able to call off the air strike. Rigging up some heaters to Jack’s truck and making some homemade flamethrowers, Cal, Nicky, Collins, Hank, Staffen, and the security agent head out and start luring the vipers away from the hotel and boat, and Silverton leads the surviving islanders out of the hotel but as they reach the boat, Maggie runs off to help Cal. Cal and the others reach the greenhouse and are joined by Maggie but the security agent is killed by the vipers. Inside, Nicky starts up her generator to start producing heat while Cal and the other’s work on gathering the ingredients necessary to make an IED. When the snakes start breaking in, Staffen is killed by the snakes and they discover that he had a satellite phone and another way off the island. When Burton tries contacting Staffen, Cal grabs the phone and pushes a few buttons before handing it to Collins, where she responds and argues with Burton over his actions. As more snakes appear, Hank shoots at one but ends up hitting the greenhouse roof, weakening it to the point that it breaks and he is killed by the falling shards of glass. As snakes start pouring in from the ceiling, Cal has everyone head out as he lights a flare and runs, blowing up the greenhouse and killing all of the vipers. As they recover from the explosion, they see the planes for the air strike approaching but then they veer off and they realize that Silverton got through to the authorities. Some time later, Burton is speaking at a shareholders’ meeting when his recorded conversation he had with Collins is played over the loud speakers, just as Collins arrives with the police to arrest him. On Eden Cove, Silverton and Maggie listen to the news of the arrest on the radio then head off, leaving Cal and Nicky to get better acquainted, as they had grown close during the night. Back on the mainland, Burton gets in his limo after leaving the police station but as he is on the phone, he discovers a viper in the back with him which attacks and kills him.

This is an ok movie but I was a little disappointed in it. The acting was ok, with Tara Reid doing a surprisingly decent job as Nicky, while Jonathan Scarfe (Cal) Corbin Bernsen (Burton) and Don S. Davis (Silverton) doing good jobs as well. The story was interesting, although did feel a bit similar to Venomous in some regards, mainly the whole destroying the town to cover up the secret experiment aspect. The special effects with the snakes were honestly a little disappointing, looking a lot more fake than some other movies that came out in the series. It’s a good way to kill some time but I wish it could have been better.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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