Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In short: Carnosaur 2 (1995)

Communications to a military uranium mine somewhere in the middle of one of the US deserts has broken down. For reasons, time is pressing, so Major Tom McQuade (Cliff DeYoung) can’t wait for appropriate military operatives and decides to go in with what will be our main protagonists. The film is keeping things pretty vague there, but our heroes seem to be some sort of repair crew for hire, wearing black dusters with a little lightning symbol on them. Though nobody in the costume department could decide if the lightning’s supposed to be horizontal or vertical. So yes, this is the first film I’ve seen concerning the adventures of mercenary electricians.

Once our heroes arrive at the mine, scenes from Aliens happen to them, just with dinosaurs replacing the aliens.

As regular readers know (hi, Mum!), I’m rather fond of low budget specialist Louis Morneau’s films. However, this doesn’t mean his Corman production belatedly answering the masses screaming for a sequel to the painful Carnosaur finds my approval, seeing as I’m not quite stupid enough to be part of its core audience. Morneau’s direction isn’t really the problem: he tries his best to make the usual sets look exciting, merrily films around the problems of the special effects until they look downright solid, and does tend to film okay monster attacks, making the whole affair mysteriously look like an actual movie. The true problem is Michael Palmer’s script. It doesn’t so much crib a bit from Cameron’s Aliens but just reproduces complete scenes. Which probably must have sounded like a genius idea given that Aliens is rather good; unfortunately, Carmosaur 2 rips stuff off without any rhyme or reason, without even the tiniest thought given to questions like if a scene makes any sense in the somewhat different context it takes place in. The stuff Palmer comes up with himself neither fits the parts he has ripped off, nor does it make much sense. Just look at the nature of our heroes, the bizarre contortions the film goes through to explain why there’s nobody competent around, and so on, and so forth.

It doesn’t help the film’s case that John Savage just might be the worst Ripley ever, and that its version of Aliens clearly has no use for female characters at all. Even the Italian rip-off industry knew better than this! This – of course – doesn’t mean a boy can’t have a bit of fun with the film but it’s not the good and clean kind of fun to be sure.

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