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Raptor

By: 
Big McLargehuge
Directed by: 
Jim Andrews
Cast: 
Corbin Bernsen
Eric Roberts

 Oh man, oh man did this one suck. Okay, here is the short-short review. All the special effect sequences,(sometimes even more than the special effect sequences) from Carnosaur and Carnosaur 2 interlaced with some new footage of Eric Roberts, Melissa Brasselle, and Corbin Bernsen.
 
I kid you not.
 
How on Earth did Eric Roberts’ career plummet to the depths where he would even consider making this film? Just how many collection agencies does one need to dodge to even contemplate making a film that from my estimate has the production budget of a KFC Value Meal?
 
Corbin Bernsen I can understand. He has never, ever been in anything worth crossing with a working set of peepers, but Eric Roberts? I mean, he has made some really dumb script choices in the past, The Best of the Best (Tae Kwon Do movie with James Earl Jones embarrassing himself equally), and The Ambulance (also with J. E. J.), but Raptor? Just what in the hell does Roger Corman have on Eric Roberts to force him into this? Suitably to the material Eric seems completely bewildered by the entire movie. If I didn’t know better I would think making Raptor was probably something like “Chubby Rain” the central film in Bowfinger.
 
The longer review begins at the beginning of Carnosaur... I know, this gets complicated so try and take notes or something... Three teens are hot-dogging through the desert in a Jeep Wrangler. They skid to a halt beside a cliff. One of the kids gets out to pee.
 
He is eaten by a velociraptor Muppet.
 
The other two, a boy and girl, stay inside to play tongue/tonsil-foosball, they too are eaten by the same velociraptor Muppet.
 
Keep in mind this is the first 20 seconds of the movie.
 
Cut to Sheriff Jim Tanner (Eric Roberts) driving Chuck Norris’ Blazer from “Lone Wolf McQuade” when he gets word that someone has found the dead kids in the dead Jeep. He drives to the crime scene. The deputy remarks that “it looks like a shark did it.”
 
Considering the entire cast is IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT, they decide that a shark is highly unlikely and call in the town animal control officer.
 
The Jeep full of corpses is now in the center of a wide sandy plain without a cliff in site. If I was a cynical man I might suggest that this WAS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT JEEP! Barbara (Melissa Brasselle) the town animal control officer is called as several strange tracks appear in the sand surrounding the newly relocated crime-scene. She is here to identify just what sort of animal did in the victims. She suggests that whatever killed the kids was, “not a cougar.”
 
Well, isn’t that helpful! Since we have effectively eliminated one of a million-billion possible predators. Though, she didn’t suggest it wasn’t a shark... Something roars in the distance as Barbara is recording her inane theories as to the author of the footprints.
 
Anyway, back at the station Sherriff Tanner introduces his daughter Lola. She is the front desk person for the sheriff's department. Everyone agrees to wait and see what happens next. It is not every day that a “not a cougar” eats three kids in town. She has a hot date tonight and isn’t going to let three mutilated kids stop her from parking somewhere dangerous with her short-lived boyfriend.
 
We get a worthless plot point here as Sheriff Tanner argues with a power company customer service rep to keep his electricity on just one more week. See, he is behind in his payments. Does it matter to anyone watching the film? No. Does it make the Sheriff more human? No. I am convinced that this scene was not actually acted. I am convinced that Eric Roberts was about to get his home electricity shut off and they happened to catch it one camera. Later they cut in some scenes of a customer service rep answering his questions.
 
Why else would he be in this goddamn movie!
 
Meanwhile at the Eugenie corporation, (actually the control room of a sewage treatment plant!) Dr. Hyde (Corbin Bernsen) who is dressed in a Steven Seagal mu-mu and matching cap explains that one of the baby dinosaurs has escaped. He dresses down all three of his employees then does a Bond Villian explanation of why he is genetically engineering dinosaurs.
 
He is doing it for the good of humanity. Imagine velociraptors on the battlefield, or mining! His employees seem unphased by the whole deaths of civilians thing. We also learn through exposition that his government funding was cut.
 
His employees are not named that I can remember. One is a girl with a striped shirt, another is a security captain dressed in a leather coat, and one is in suspenders and slacks. I mention this because none of them change their clothes for the entire film. To make matters worse... How could it be worse? They have no reason to be in the film other than to get eaten. Distinguishing them now by their clothes will help you distinguish them as dinosaur fodder later on. See, the actors who appear with Corbin Bernsen are not the same actors who are eaten. Those actors were eaten in the first two Carnosaur movies (made over ten years ago I might add) so being able to match the clothes to the entree is very important.
 
Anyway, it’s nighttime now.
 
Cut to a chicken delivery truck sequence lifted directly from Carnosaur where the driver pulls over because something is agitating the chickens. He is then eaten by a velociraptor Muppet.
 
One of many interesting continuity notes, the truck stops beside a stony cliff before the chicken driver is eaten. It is discovered by a sheriff’s deputy beside a clutch of pine trees that weren’t there when the truck stopped. IT MAY NOT EVEN BE THE SAME TRUCK!
 
Anyway, the deputy is also eaten by a velociraptor Muppet.
 
Cut to Lola (topless and VERY silicone enhanced) getting it on with her nameless boyfriend whom I will bestow the name “Crunchy”. They hear something. Something like a roar! Lola, being the smarter of the two (must be all the processing power of her silicone breasts) insists that she and “Crunchy” leave immediately. They hop into the cab of his pickup truck but “Crunchy” realizes he left his wallet in the bed of the truck and simply HAS to go and get it.
 
Being an idiot considerably lessens ones chances of survival. “Crunchy” is eaten by the velociraptor Muppet. Lola starts the truck and tries to flee. However the velociraptor Muppet has other ideas and leaps through the windsheild...
 
Cut to some stock footage from Carnosaur as the truck speeds along towards a bridge. Lola bails out before the stock footage goes over the rail, plummets to the ground a hundred feel below, and explodes.
 
Where she jumped out is never made clear. Though careful viewers will notice that she is clearly on the bridge when it happens thus would have led the truck to its doom. However, the penchant for things to happen in one place and magically reappear in another saves Lola from pancakeification.
 
Lucky Lola.
 
The Sheriff gets word that one of his deputies has not reported in after locating the bloody chicken truck. This Sheriff Tanner goes off in search, locates the truck, and with Barbara in tow, begins examining the truck for clues to the deputy’s whereabouts. More tracks are found. It sinks in that he is dead.
 
Eric Roberts... I mean, Sheriff Tanner... Doesn’t seem all that phased. See, here is another example of the Bowfingerisms in this film. Poor Eric Roberts looks like he has never seen any of the people around him before in his life, and that for all he knows, he really is a Sheriff somewhere...
 
It’s baffling that this film was even made. Have I said that enough?
 
Okay. He gets word that his daughter was found unconscious beside the old bridge and was taken to the hospital. “What happened?” he asks. The deputy has no idea.
 
Cut to a dining room festooned with a hospital bed and a “machine that goes ‘bing’.” Lola is lying unconscious on the hospital bed. The doctor (unnamed) explains that Lola has gone catatonic because her experience was so horrific she can’t deal with it.
 
He then tells everyone to get some rest.
 
Er... Okay.
 
Cut back to Corbin Bernsen! Guy in suspenders has decided he can’t live with the thought that his work caused the death of several innocent actors in a movie made over ten years ago thus quits. Corbin Bernsen accepts his resignation but asks for a small favor first. He wants guy in suspenders to check on the T-Rex in the holding tank to see how it reacts to an unfamiliar person.
 
Cut to some footage from the original Carnosaur where a completely different actor dressed in identical suspenders wanders down into the bowels of the sewage treatment plant and is eaten by a T-Rex Muppet.
 
We get to watch Corben Bernsen give instructions to a grainy playback of suspender guy for a while too, which in itself is funny because those in the know realize he is talking to a videotape of Carnosaur.
 
No wonder his career never went ANYWHERE!!!
 
Cut to the sheriff’s office. The other deputy, the black one who has no name, gets a report that someone is walking down the street smashing the windows of local businesses. He goes out to investigate.
 
We get some footage of the black sheriff in Carnosaur stalking a velociraptor. This scene makes absolutely no sense in this film. Not only have dinosaurs not been established as the monster du jour, but the deputy (now played by a completely different actor) is extremely hostile to the potential monsters in town. He shoots the monster then proceeds to stand over it and admire his handiwork. the velociraptor guts him with his toenail.
 
We don’t care because we have never seen this actor before now.
 
I still can’t believe this movie was made.
 
Okay, cut back to Sheriff Tanner and Barbara in front of Barbara’s house. They kiss and Eric Roberts looks absolutely befuddled. He is unable to accept Barbara’s initiation to play with her enormous breasts because he is worried about his daughter so she goes upstairs alone.
 
Apparently the animal control officers in town make some serious money because the house is huge and appears to have several hundred rooms. Barbara gets ready to take a shower. She takes off her robe and we are teased with the single largest bra I have ever seen. This thing could easily carry two watermelons! She never takes it off. But we get a spring loaded dog sequence that is a complete and utter waste of time instead.
 
Sheriff Tanner arrives the next morning to pick up Barbara on his way to the morgue (another room in the sewage treatment plant I might add) to identify the dead black deputy. When asked why he is going to identify the body, he responds, “better me than his family.”
 
Er... NO!
 
Barbara puts on gloves as the medical examiner (who has no lines) leaves and removes a raptor claw from the deputy’s “thorax.”
 
Um... insects have a thorax. Lobsters have a thorax. Crabs have a thorax. People don’t have a thorax! My guess is that Barbara couldn’t pronounce “abdomen” and we should be lucky she didn’t suggest that the claw was lodged in the deputy’s wing, or gill slits, or his prehensile tail.
 
Thorax... I guess the deputy was part ant.
 
They race to the sheriff’s office where Tanner calls someone at some stock footage of The Pentagon to explain the whole velociraptor killing thing. The agent, Agent Noname, pretends to have no idea what Tanner is talking about. Immediately after he brushes Tanner off, he contacts a Major who begins looking constipated.
 
See, Dr. Hyde used to work for the government. Remember? The Major then calls Dr. Hyde to check up on just what sort of research he is doing at the sewage treatment... er... Eugenie Corporation labs.
 
Dr. Hyde says, “I am working with the human genome.” This is good enough for the major.
 
Meanwhile Sheriff Tanner and Barbara pull up to the gates of the Eugenie Corporation labs and asks to speak with Dr. Hyde. Guy in leather jacket runs all the way down from the building to tell him that Dr. Hyde is away at a symposium or something.
 
Tanner buys it and they drive back to the sheriff’s office. Now things get really silly. Tanner wants a search warrant and asks his last remaining deputy to get one out of the drawer for him.
 
Now, last time I checked any search warrant required “proof of just cause” and a judge’s signature before issuance.
 
But what do I know?
 
Tanner calls the power company and connects (magically) with the same customer service rep. He explains that she has to shut the power down at the Eugenie Corporation in one hour and that this is official police business.
 
She is an idiot so she agrees.
 
I guess the supervisors were off that day.
 
Barbara remembers that the doctor said something related to the horrific event might bring Lola around. She also remembers that a recording of the monster growl is on her tape deck from the first set of dead bodies.
 
Cut to the dining... er... hospital room. She plays the tape and before you can scream, “THEM! THEM! THEM!” Lola snaps back to lucidity. She describes the creature as a lizard. When Tanner thinks she is crazy she screams that she never lies and knows what she saw.
 
We never see her again.
 
Now, with illegally issued search warrant in tow Sheriff Tanner and Barbara head back to the Eugenie Corporation. Now Corbin Bernsen is there and offers them a tour of the place.
 
Since Eric Roberts is completely confused by his surroundings and is no doubt wondering if Corbin Bernsen was really in “Major League,” Tanner and Barbara are captured.
 
Cut back to some stock footage of The Pentagon where the Major and another Army guy unleash their massive might against the Eugenie corporation. They send two helicopters and about ten men to the corporate headquarters to kill all the monsters. However, only the guys in charge know anything about the operation and purposely tell the men and women under their command that “you’ll know them when you see them.”
 
Um... Okay.
 
It also appears that one strike team consists of Marines while the other consists of Army Rangers. The Rangers wear black, the Marines wear snow camouflage.
 
Why?
 
Simple. Because now we will get some stock footage of Carnosaur 2 where two teams of soldiers were eaten by velociraptors.
 
Only one of the soldiers is mentioned in the credits. Captain Connelly (Tim Abell) leads the Ranger team. I mention this only because he has a tremendous amount of dialogue, and he mangles every single sentence.
 
Don’t get me wrong, I am sure the guy could probably speak on command, but his lines sound like... “Okay soldier I want you to garble-marble-farble the snick-bagingablabla on the double!” and “Fan out and take the grubbleymubbley over to the humpharumpha-bing-whizbang soldiers.”
 
Every single goddamn line... I almost put the subtitles on.
 
We get some shots of a single model chopper cruising over scrub brush. This is so obviously a model I almost expected to see Thunderbird One and Thunderbird two in the background. We never see two choppers in the same shot. Take my word for it, there are two.
 
The chopper(s) land on the roof of the Eugenie Corporation building and the soldiers fan out. Well... It appears that only the Marines fan out yet one of their number is dressed in Ranger black.
 
It is all very confusing.
 
Cut back the Tanner and Barbara in the cage discussing very calmly that they will be eaten.
 
Cut to the customer service department of the power company. The customer service rep realizes that it is just about time to shut down the Eugenie Corporation power as requested earlier by the sheriff. She runs off and asks a guy to turn off the power.
 
Just what sort of customer service rep is she anyway?
 
The power goes out and Tanner and Barbara escape. I guess the door lock was controlled by the power grid because it opens. They run immediately to the elevator, which, magically is still operating even though the power is out. The raptor puppets chew the cable and the elevator plummets one story and opens.
 
Guess they will have to take the stairs.
 
Cut to the effluent control room where Corbin Bernsen is arguing with the girl in the striped shirt. She realizes that guy in suspenders didn’t quit but was actually eaten (genius)! She tries to flee. She takes an elevator that rumbles and groans as Raptors (or something) pound on the roof.
 
Cut to some stock footage of Carnosaur 2 where a girl in an identical striped shirt is eaten by a T-Rex in an elevator.
 
Cut to the soldiers. Now we get whole sequences of Carnosaur 2, which took place on a ship. I know this because portholes and life preserver rings are visible all over the place. Since I doubt that a laboratory in the middle of a desert would need them I am led to believe that these shots are from the above mentioned movie.
 
Like all movies of this ilk the soldiers split up so that it is easier for the raptor puppets to eat them. Some of the men are eaten. One of them calls for backup.
 
Now several formerly invisible workers at the Eugenie Corporation are fleeing the building. With them are guy in leather jacket. The chopper takes off. Why? So this movie can rip-off Aliens.
 
A raptor puppet is inside the chopper and eats the pilot. The chopper then falls down onto guy in leather jacket thus ending his career as a security guard.
 
Okay, home stretch now.
 
Another chopper lands and several men dressed in yellow rain slickers runs into the building. Why? I call them The Gorton’s Fishermen Brigade (GFB). They are unarmed.
 
A moment later, the soldiers and all the other characters including the GFB, run out including Corbin Bernsen now dressed in a matching yellow slicker. Cut to some Carnosaur stock footage of the T-Rex ramming his head against the wall. He wants out.
 
He gets out and eats a guy in a yellow rain slicker that is supposed to be Corbin Bernsen.
 
Everyone including the soldiers, runs away except for Tanner and Barbara. Tanner climbs into a “Bobcat” tractor and attacks the T-Rex. Cut to the Bobcat and T-Rex climax from Carnosaur mixed with the T-Rex and forklift climax of Carnosaur 2 intercut with short reaction shots of Eric Roberts having a shaking fit inside a fake Bobcat cockpit.
 
The Carnosaur 2 ending is used where the T-Rex is pushed over the edge of a storage tank and plummets to its death.
 
End movie.
 
Jeez Louise.... This movie is not only an insult to the average intelligence, it is an insult to the members of the vegetable kingdom! Now I know Roger Corman is a cheap-assed guy., but for the sake of anything can he produce a movie that does cannibalize all of his other films? I would not have been surprised to see whole sequences lifted from other Corman cheapies like “Battle Beyond the Stars” used in “Raptor.”
 
There has to be a point when even Roger Corman says, “come on guys, this is crap! Get the hell out of my office!” Compared to anything in the Hall of Shame thus far this is the worst. I would rather loop an MP3 of “Tivoli Nights” from Reptilicus than watch this movie again.
 
Eric Roberts... Corbin Bernsen.... How sad. How “Lou Diamond Phillips in Bats” sad.
 
Even Lugosi would have turned this down.
 
The DVD contains little of value. I didn’t even look for a widescreen print so there might be one, though I doubt it as Carnosaur was made for video. There is a director commentary with Jim Andrews (really Jim Wynorski) and Melissa Brasselle that is a complete and utter waste of time. They point out things that are blatantly obvious like “he’s going be eaten,” and “she’s going to be eaten.” At times I began to think that neither of them had anything to do with Raptor at all. That’s how bad it is.
 
Still isn’t as bad as Eric Roberts though.
 
Man, he’s awful.
 
They also have the trailer, which is dreadful.