Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Raptor (2001)

Directed by:
"Jay Andrews" (Jim Wynorski)

A gut-ripping baby T-Rex - not a raptor - is on the loose in a small Western town, prompting sheriff Eric Roberts and animal control agent Melissa Brasselle to get to the bottom of things. They discover that a mad scientist (Corbin Bernsen) is, unbeknownst to the govern-ment sponsorship, continuing on with a long-abandoned US research project called Operation Jurassic Storm (ha!) by creating an army of dinosaurs in a secluded underground lab facility. Before long, our heroes become trapped inside, the marines are called in, the power goes out and the dinos are set free to make a quick lunch of everyone. Despite an often infuriatingly inept script full of plot holes, character inconsistencies, continuity errors and loose ends (explained in the second paragraph), this direct-to-video copy of both the big-budget JURASSIC PARK and low-budget CARNOSAUR series' is fairly digestible bad movie trash, thanks to decent production values, passable (mostly recycled) special effects, the occasional laugh and plenty of brainless action. The cast is littered with second string 'B'movie regulars including Tim Abell, Harrison Page, Grant Cramer, Richard Gabai, Lenny Juliano and skin flick queen Lorissa McComas providing a little nudity. Wynorski himself has an uncredited cameo.

As many reviews have already pointed out, the opening scene was directly lifted from 1993's CARNOSAUR and scenes from CARNOSAUR 2 (1995), CARNOSAUR 3: PRIMAL SPECIES (1996) and the HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP remake (1996) are also spliced in throughout. Anyone used to watching Roger Corman productions knows he allows directors to liberally reuse clips from his early films to save both time and money, but Wynorski may have taken it just a little too far here. Nearly all of the special effects and most of the death scenes were stolen. I almost said "At least it wasn't space footage from BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS again!" until I realized that this movie stole the James Horner score from that film!


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