Dino Dicember #10: Raptor (2001)

With a title that cuts to the chase and it being released 5 years after Carnosaur 3: Primal Species, first question is how and why you would consider it related to the Carnosaur series, at all?

I guess because is produced by Corman yet again under his company New Concorde… and due to the fact it uses stock footage from all the Carnosaur movies. Heck, even the DVD cover it’s also 40 % stock footage of the ones used in the american releases!

THAT, and the plot re-uses the same basic premise of cloned dinosaurs escaping from wherever they were kept. This time is due to Dr. Hyde (fucks sake), a former military researcher working on a dinosaur cloning project (called Jurassic Storm), who didn’t stop when they cut the fundings, as he obtained further backing by “foreign interests”, and continued his work in a small U.S. Town.

The dinosaurs start to get out of hand, killing people, so it’s up to the local sheriff (played by Eric Roberts) and her animal control colleague Barbara to stop the mad scientist. Dramatic text pause…That’s it.

I praised Roger Corman for his incredible ability in getting the most out of very small budgets and limited time, and with reason, but this is him recycling his old stuff to a ludicrous degree, just to churn out another B-movie, shooting very little new material and then using tons of stock footage. Yeah, this is a direct-to-video movie, i’m aware, but so were Carnosaur 2 and 3, and even Carnosaur 2 recycling of stock footage from Carnosaur was minimal and seamless.

And this movie starts right away with stock footage, jesus, not even Gamera Super Monster dit that, and that abomination not only ripped scenes from previous Gamera movies, but also from animated version of Battleship Yamato!

Joking aside, it’s not THAT bad, if anything the new footage doesn’t look that different from the old one, being all produced by Corman, but even so, you can still tell some of the footage they cut to and fro sometimes seems.. off. At best. At worst, it’s obvious the footage is from something else or fairly old, and don’t always match the tone, sound design or lighting of the new footage. At least they try to make it match in regards to vehicles, so for the new scenes they use the same type of jeep driven by the drunk teen in the Carnosaur footage, for example.

If you approach this movie putting that aside, it’s a very typical Corman B-movie, without anything to make it stand out or make it rise from the ranks of “generic crappy dinosaur movie N° 5678”. There is nothing to the plot besides the bare mininum, the acting is wooden (at best), the characters are the usual stereotypes of sheriffs, desk generals and scientists, the locations are dry as the script.

And really, while it’s not as bad as Gamera Super Monster (at least the old props used for the new footage don’t look worse than the stock footage), the reuse of stock footage is excessive, downright shameless how much it’s reused. I don’t blame the editor, or Jim Wynorski tasked with directing it (under his favourite pseudonym, Jay Andrews), i blame Corman. Heck, at least The Terror was an interesting mess, and they didn’t just cobble it together with public domain silent horror films clips.

The most notable feature is Eric Roberts slumming it as the main character, a sheriff, because it is an american B-movie, we gotta have the southern cops with the hats and stuff. And random porno sex scenes 8 minutes long to pad this thing up to 90 minutes, making it longer than any Carnosaur movie, just for the hell of it.

In a movie that’s 70% repurposed stock footage!

And dares to end in a cliffhanger of sorts (which in itself seems to be a “leit-motif” for Wynorski’s movie, as it would pop up later in Komodo Vs Cobra), it’s not exactly an ending, more the movie just stopping at a weird moment.

Even Godfrey Ho would feel a bit of shame (maybe). Absolute garbage.

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