So, in 1993, Steven Spielberg would unleash the definitive dinosaur film (at least to this day) into the cinemas. A film that would set the standard for CG effects, a good portion of which are still effective to this day. Something everyone anticipated to be so big, Roger Corman funded a Jurassic Park knockoff that would be released before Jurassic Park. Carnosaur. And honestly, it’s an ok movie. It took itself too seriously in my opinion, and for the most part it’s not exactly something you can watch in a so-bad-it’s-good way. But it had some heart and passion in it, and a message of what the government/corporations would do in the midst of a crisis due to a disease that is killing people and threatening the reproductive process which in turn threatens the existence of mankind. It just wasn’t made well enough to handle that subject matter all that well. It needed a bigger budget and better actors. Regardless, it’s distinct for it’s nihilistic attitude and, shockingly enough, originality (ironic, considering every sequel to it would be a shameless rip-off of something else).
Bottom line, Carnosaur couldn’t have been made if not for Jurassic Park. Our one and only hope to have a decent alternative to Jurassic Park that would be excellent right?
Well, thankfully not. Another film was made in 1994 to take advantage of the dino hype. A film that has originality to it, and can’t be dismissed as just a Jurassic Park ripoff, or even a Carnosaur ripoff. And it’s better than all of them.
So our tale begins with Paul Walker (in what is probably his first film role) and Denise Richards stating they have the hots for one another; but her asshole ex-boyfriend cockblocks their relationship, which results in a WWF fight. A WWF fight already makes this better than Jurassic Park.
Later we find out that some crazy scientist has a robotic T-Rex that he intends to place a human brain into. You know, so he can prove human brains can operate robots and rule the world or something like that. So of course he chooses Paul Walker’s brain after he allegedly dies in an automotive accident, at a wildlife preserve, with panthers and lions.
But naturally, like in any 007 film, the mad evil scientist with ambitious plans didn’t think things through. So now Paul Walker goes all Fast & Furious inside the T-Rex.
But he remembers his entire purpose in life. So he realizes he needs to hook back up with Denise Richards again (who wouldn’t?).
And she takes him back with open arms.
And a whole lot of other shit happens in the movie that I won’t give away.
Well ok, one more thing. There’s also a laundry dance.
Anyway, in all honesty now, I thought this was one of the most ridiculous ludicrous nonsensical hilarious movies ever made. It takes unbelievable leaps in logic, but it’s also self-aware. This film knows how stupid it is, and has fun with itself. Normally that would be a bad thing, and many would argue that is a bad thing in this case. After all, that’s what the average shitty SyFy film does nowadays, especially ever since Sharknado (that movie sucked and everyone knows it, and so does everything else that channel has put out movie-wise). The difference is, this film was working furiously under time and budget constraints. This wasn’t something the director did on a regular basis, even though Mac and Me would indicate otherwise (but he also did The Ice Pirates and The Philadelphia Experiment).
Honestly though, this is a film that couldn’t have happened in any other point in time, primarily because it was the 90s when they could be more politically incorrect and not worry about so many lawyers and lawsuits, but also because there was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that the director couldn’t pass up:
Writer/director Stewart Rafill said in an interview that the idea for this film only happened because they had access to a full size T-Rex animatronic. A guy came to him who owned theatres in South America and he said he had the T-Rex that was going to a park in Texas. The eyes worked. The arms moved. The head moved. He told Rafill he wanted to use it to make a movie. Rafill asked what the story was and the guy said there wasn’t one yet, but they had to start filming within the month because he only had the T-Rex for two weeks. So Rafill wrote the story in a week and worked on the script as a yet filmed. He even said he was constantly asking the cast and crew if they have anything better they could add.
And there really isn’t much else to this movie. It was made for the hell of it, with no deep meanings or anything other than a more fucked up Beauty and the Beast plot, something about robots and enslavement of the mind, and whatever else if you want to read too much into it. This is a fun beer & pretzels flick that I would take over anything the SyFy channel puts out nowadays. It has more heart and soul in it. But no brains, as they had that removed for this movie. But at least nowadays you can get a hold of the gore. Because back in ’94 when I first saw this, I only saw the PG-13 cut where they pretty much removed all the violence. It’s much better with the gore put back in (it fits with the ludicrous nature of the film). That being said, the DVD/Blu-Ray version actually comes with the PG-13 version, ripped straight from a VHS tape, with lines and a couple frame skips from the source. It adds to the nostalgia feel.
And most importantly of all, this is why Jurassic Park is the greatest film of all time. Because without Jurassic Park, this masterpiece would never have been made.
PS: April Fools!