Dino Dicember #8: Carnosaur 2 (1995)

2 years later, following the rise of a new dino-human hybrid race… Wait, this is that type of sequel, just slap another number on the name of the previous movie, and do whatever the fuck you want with it, as long its about the same general theme and/or subject. Continuity, thy name is Corman.

This time we have a group of scientist that go a nuclear mining facility in Yucca Mountains (just missing an atomic Tor Johnson followed by gray, dull narration) to investigate a potential meltdown, but instead find dino eggs in one of the caves. Not, not radioactive dinosaurs, that would have been kinda fun, just the boring old cloned type of mutant dinosaurs. You can guess the rest.

Most surprising thing of all is this could actually pass for a sequel, as in the refer – vaguely – to the events of the first one, and using the abrupt ending they manage to write around and imply some of the “infected dino eggs” were kept and secretly stored in facilities, just in case… despite every goverment person at the end of Carnosaur agreeing that, yeah, what the hell, Diane Ladd’s character was right with her plan to create a superior race of lizalfos. They never give out names or go into any detail (nor mention the whole “dinoman race” plan), so it’s easier to tie-in or cut out any narrative connections to and from eventual sequels.

Why not, as they re-use stock footage of the forklift scenes from the first Carnosaur, and reuse some of the animatronisc? And of course, just lift the dinosaurs roars from Jurassic Park, whatevs.

Like the first one, this is a B-movie through and through, heck, the group of discount mercenaries (or whatever they’re supposed to be, it isn’t that clear what they are, but the “govnment” hires them) has the boss of them sporting an eyepatch on a bald head.

Why wouldn’t he? XD

And like the first one, we got some really famous and good actors “roped” in here in lead roles, like John Savage, Cliff DeYoung and Don Stroud, who offers decent performances, not the best movie they’ve been in, but they do their job, evein if the script has stuff like one of the mercs, Monk, deliberately playing Ride Of The Valkyries on a stereo while in a helicopter, not even gonna try and masquerade them doing that Apocalypse Now reference, as subtle as the other references. At least they don’t point out that they’re making a reference to something right after doing the reference to that something.

On this subject, once they enter the facility, it’s clear director Louis Morneau liked Aliens a lot, because with the shuffling sci-fi doors and corridors (which are not casually similar to those seen in Galaxy Terror, also produced by Corman), the look of the mercenary crew and the set design, and of course the frigging direction, this is more a Aliens rip-off than a Jurassic Park one….

Guess we found another oblique inspiration for Dino Crisis….3.

They just shy away from bringing a knock-off power-loader exosuit, so instead the climax sees T-Rex (standing for the Alien Queen) VS Forklift, one of the deadlier vehicles known to sci-fi, especially for future fugitive aliens named Ken. Or Rocky. Special effects are again curated by John Carl Buechler, and while campy, they’re actually better than the ones in the first Carnosaur, as in they clearly had more time so they could properly finish the T-Rex animatronic and make new body suit and puppets for the raptors. And the bit of stock footage for the climax with the forklift is actually seemless, you wouldn’t know, since the effects are similar and edited enough to mask it.

Yeah, i went into this one not expecting to get the drive-in version of Aliens with dinosaurs and taking place on Earth, but it’s enjoyable in its own right, characters are more likeable than the ones in the original Carnosaur, oddly enough, and not having to rush it to cinemas before The Lost World – Jurassic Park (who would release two years later) helps a lot with the effects. And the ending.

Another cult exploitation movie from the Carnosaur series, deservedly so!

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