Dino Dicember #9: Carnosaur 3: Primal Species (1996)

Remember when Carnousaur 2 script couldn’t definitely decide if to consider the first movie or not, so it just gave an explanation for the dinosaurs that could kinda link the two movies together?

Well, the third one doesn’t even try to follow one of the movies or both, so it’s no wonder it was released in the UK simply as “Primal Species”, might as well use the subtitle as the alternate title, since this one wasn’t even conceived as part of the Carnosaur series, originally.

Oh wait, it kinda does try to imply the dinosaurs involved are the surviving ones from the previous installments, as they talk about “the results of a previous experiment” “the eggs being stored in a research facility”, but the continuity doesn’t match at all, not that it matters for “Carnosaur 3”.

This time the plot sees a terrorist group attacking a truck, believing it carried uranium, but just to find three frozen dinosaurs, which thaw, kill the terrorist, and start breeding in a nearby abandoned warehouse. A squad of marines and special forces are sent in to take care of “bidness” and retrieve the “clonosauruses” specimen alive.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because it pretty much sounds as the plot for Carnousaur 2. Heck, even on the back of the UK DVD it says “Jurassic Park meets Aliens”. AGAIN. The only real difference is that the dinos here have Wolverine’s regenerative abilities, and the soldiers later try to freeze the dinosaurs in the Pacific… and then they blow the same ship used to move the entire warehouse-dino nest. When in doubt, explode.

And here i have to put my foot down a bit, because Carnousaur 2 was crap, yes, but the obvious nature of it being “Aliens but dinosaurs” was enjoyable, i didn’t expected that but i have to admit i was quite entertained, despite the movie being crap as it sounded and looked like. It was fun crap, and memorable in its own way.

I can’t really say the same for this, as they didn’t even bother to make a different movie or up the ante in any way, they just try to mask the lazy, ultra-derivative, hodge-potche nature of the movie and make it look more like an 80’s action exploitation flick about the military but with dinosaurs instead of vietcongs or russians, where Carnousaur 2 did even feature sci-fi underground lab with sliding doors, it wasn’t ashamed to make it clear they liked Aliens and committed to that.

More than the plot being a fairly lazy reharsh of Carnousaur 2 (which is quite a phrase), the pieces connecting this to the previous movie and the series as a whole are to be found elsewhere, like it being once again produced by Roger Corman, the special effects once again being curated by John Carl Buechler (alonsgide veterans like Dirk Von Besser and J. P. Pettinato), Rick Dean and Michael MacDonald pretty much reprising the same roles they had in Carnosaur 2. Also, as unholy ( or “cursed”, as they say now) as it may sound, this was indeed Anthony Peck’s last film.

At the end of the day, it does manage to be fast-moving and deliver some entertaiment, the characters are stupid but enjoyably stupid, it’s watchable and it’s a fairly quick sit, just barely above the 70 minutes runtime, closer to 80 just to the credits, containing some joke like “no dinosaurs were harmed…” The dinosaur effects are on par with the second Carnousaur movie, just a bit worse and with some obvious goofs, you can say they cut some more corners, despite no hurry to release this before Jurassic Park 3.

Then again, this a movie that opens with a dude pissing from a jeep and then reacts to an explosion that hasn’t happened yet… It’s quite bad, yes, it’s bargain bin dino crap. I’ve seen worse, but still…

While this is the last movie in the series, there were a couple of unofficial spin-offs, Raptor and The Eden Formula, which continued the tradition of using stock footage from the Carnosaur movies.

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