(Not) A Guilty Pleasure: Raptor

You don't really care who made this, and to be honest, neither do I. So instead here's a snarky rebuttal to the above poster about stock footage never being extinct either.

No "Guilty Pleasure Quality" this time. I really hate this movie. Only in the category for consistency's sake.

I’m really not sure how to introduce Raptors, the 2001 spin-off film following the Carnosaur Trilogy. Other than that it’s low production values and mindless casting were even too much for me, as I’m knocking this film out of The Guilty Pleasures. That’s right. It was so bad I couldn’t even enjoy it as cheap and silly entertainment. The way it was shot, the way the actors walked, and the clues to major cop-outs later on down the film just turned me off from the very beginning. I would say that Roger Corman should have stay Executive Producer rather than moving to Producer for the film, but that would suggest the other Carnosaur films were any good. Raptors was just as bad but simply far less enjoyable.

I shouldn’t be criticized for not knowing how to introduce such a film, as even the filmmakers didn’t even seem to know how to introduce the movie. So rather than trying, they simply re-used footage from the first Carnosaur film to show a bunch of teens in a Jeep getting slaughtered by the dinosaur. In fact, much of the story is recycling a lot of elements from the first film simply so the filmmakers could reuse old footage when needed to cut down on production costs. The plot revolves around a mad scientist trying to clone dinosaurs back to life. Sound familiar? (I’m not even referring to Jurassic Park.)

Hey! I’ve seen that mad scientist actor before! That’s Corbin Bernsen, the lawyer character from the low-budget Christian film made by the untalented Cloud Ten studios, Judgment. He and other B actors were in made-by-Christians-for-Christians, presenting-those-already-saved-through-Christ-with-the-gospel-of-Christ* Cloud Ten pictures before producers Peter and Paul Lalonde discovered that born-again sit-com actor Kirk Cameron was still under the impression he could act. Nice to know that Corbin Bernsen didn’t go anywhere great with his career either.

(*I should review a Cloud Ten film in the future just to elaborate more on my hatred for the self-serving and stagnant position of the Christian film industry.)

By reusing footage from Carnosaur, it’s established that one of the dinosaurs hatches from an egg inside a chicken truck shipping the eggs from outside of the same company that was in the first film and grows at a rapid rate to frighten the people of a small near-by town with even more reused footage from the first film.

Wait, if the dinosaur just now got out in the chicken truck, then how did the dinosaur kill this three kids in the Jeep before the chicken truck was even shipped? Was there another dinosaur? I can’t tell, and in fact the mad scientist only ever complains about one dinosaur getting loose. So I guess this is a major plot hole.

There are two local sheriffs in town to investigate the killings, one of which is played by the same black guy from the first film. Guess why he was recast in Raptors. C’mon, I dare you to guess.

The other sheriff is played by Eric Roberts. I forget his character’s name, so I’m just going to call him Eric. It was probably something just as generic sounding anyway, so let’s just roll with it.

Eric has a daughter who looks and sounds like a porn star. Guess why she does. C’mon, I dare you to guess. In fact, she’s played by Lorissa McComas, who starred in such films as The Lusty Busty Babe-a-que. Eric’s Girlfriend is played by another porn star named Melissa Brasselle, who starred in such semi-erotic horror movies as Cheerleader Massacre.

Corbin over-acts characters contemplating Jesus and mad scientists lying to porn stars, all in the same year of his career!

An actor from a Christain film and two erotic/porn stars in the same movie? I’m going to have all sorts of moral conflicts throughout this movie, especially seeing as how I’m a Christian* who abstains from Hustler films and the like.

(*And yet I still passionately hate Christian films. It’s not only the fact that they’re poorly made, but I just really truly hate everything about most Christian films. I should really review a Cloud Ten picture someday just to explain it all.)

I must be the only dude who finds Melissa Brasselle’s enormous chest funny. That’s probably why unlike Lorissa, Melissa doesn’t have a topless shot. Seriously, you can tell those are implants. I mean, it looks unnatural even with her shirt on. Each breast looks like it’s the size of her head. I find it distracting, and not in a sexual way. It’s just funny to watch. I’ve even burst out laughing every time she runs down the hall. It’s almost like when comedies film fat actors and actresses running in slow-motion just for a cheap and demeaning laugh, except I don’t think that’s what the filmmakers were attempting to do here.

If you can keep your eyes on the plot by this point, Melissa is actually part of local animal control who’s also investigating the animal killings. She deduces that it was bipedal animal who did this, but won’t say what it was that did kill the people. Because even though the audience has already seen the dinosaur several times in this movie, the plot still wants you to think it’s a surprise. (I could go into the four levels of story perspective as explored by Alfred Hitchcock, but this movie really isn’t worth it. Just trust me when I say the movie at this point seems to feel very “Oh, what ever could it be?” despite the earlier reused dinosaur footage feeling the exact opposite.)

I’m not gonna give everything away for you in this review because if you’ve seen the other three Carnosaur films the film has already given away. You already know that the actors they’ve re-cast for the film (there’s more than just the black actor) are going to die at the hands of reused footage, looking as much as 8 years younger and several pounds lighter in the span of a car ride. In fact, all of the dinosaur footage is reused from the past three films, with some of the marriage between new and old footage throwing all sense of continuity to the wind in ways more distracting than the first Carnosaur film. Sometimes outfits go from dark green to bright orange and even whole genders are changed from female to male and back again in a series of only three or four shots.

Now I can’t make heads or tails of how the lack of continuity can be explained by methods other than cheap production values, but I do have a theory as to the purpose of the reused footage of the rest of the film. It’s obvious that the filmmakers are trying to say that this movie may have taken place thousands, maybe even billions of years after the original series and that the universe had some how rebooted itself all over again, going through the same events, but with slight variations and new characters. I feel almost certain of this even though the idea was never even hinted at in the movie at all. There’s no other explanation for the exact same cast members getting eaten by he exact same dinosaurs in he exact same sets as the first series. There’s just no other explanation at all! But even this extremely exaggerated and very sarcastic fan-wank isn’t enough to make me consider this film to be a part of the actual Carnosaur trilogy. Raptors is a rip-off of a series of rip-offs based loosely on a book written by Harry Adam Knight filmed for the sole purpose of ripping-off of Jurassic Park, which in turn was a movie based on a novel written by Micheal Crichton. It’s about as far away from making an actual movie as one can get while still filmming actors with a camera, and it’s not worth watching either. If you see this movie sitting on a video-rental shelf or glowing on your Netflix screen, don’t waste your time. Carnosaur 2 is still the best of the Carnosaur series, and you probably have more fun watching that or even the first Carnosaur film if you want some cheap, campy sci-fi dinosaur entertainment than you would with this movie.

Am I the only one who thinks Melissa Braselle's implants are funny?

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About Stefan D. Byerley
Stefan D. Byerley is an independent filmmaker and freelance visual artist currently residing in North Carolina. He likes detailed storytelling, intriguing imagery, massive bloody violence, crying at the movies, and long walks in the park during the Autumn season.

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