Horizons. 83 minutes. "Driven to extinction. Back for
Dr. Jane Tiptree: Diane Ladd
Doc: Raphael Sbarge
Thrush: Jennifer Runyon
Sheriff: Harrison Page
Friar: Clint Howard
Executive Producer: Roger Corman
Produced: Mike Elliott
Written and Directed: Adam Simon
Based on a Novel by: Harry Adam Knight
Special Effects: John Buechler and Magical Media Industries, Inc.
Music: Nigel Holton.
During the credits we see footage of factory "farming":
assembly line chicken slaughter, right to the drain. We read
miniscule data printout: "Sample Species: Ostrich. Target
Species: Chicken." Other sample species include iguana,
vulture, albatross, pelican, crocodile, turkey. This is all baffling.
A Washington agency wants to find out what
geneticist Dr. Jane Tiptree, the "fairy godmother of military
biotech," is up to lately. She is sequestered doing research
for Eunice Industries, working on chickens. There, a newly hatched
"chick" slashes the face of a worker and escapes. A
poultry plant truck is allowed to leave the compound and when
the driver stops along the road, he is mauled and killed. The
local sheriff is called to the scene and suspects a bobcat. "I
think they're extinct." "Well, maybe they're making
We meet a drunk with a gun who chases some
people away from his machinery at night. This is Doc, who we're
supposed to cheer later. He captures at gunpoint a young woman
dressed in black around the bulldozer. We find out later she
has conked him on the head a run back to her commune. The sheriff
drives Doc there, past the sign reading "Major corporations
are killing our earth," but Doc refuses to identify the woman.
She later thanks him, revealing her name as Thrush. She speaks
of the area being a "dinosaur highway" 60 million years
ago. He is sneeringly anti-environmental, but he insists he just
maintains the machines.
In Washington, the Agency is feeding blueberry
pie to officials, then revealing the secret is the goat embryonic
fluid coating. They're also trying to push through an allowance
for silent marketing of cows with turnip DNA. Meanwhile, three
young idiots go drinking and driving in the Nevada desert and
get killed by the "carnosaur." The girl's father is
distraught and Dr. Tiptree promises him he can see his daughter:
"Our children are all that matters. What are we anyway except
a set of instructions for the reproduction of the species?"
But she lied; she feeds him to another dinosaur instead.
Doc finds "Earthfirst" "hippies"
chained to the dozers. He doesn't shoot them but sneers, "Can
I get anyone a uh tofu burger vegetarian sprout wheatgrass sandwich
with some herbal tea?" At night a T-Rex comes, is met with
a friendly "Greetings, green brother." It eats the
chained people--lots of gore. Thrush is unharmed inside the dozer.
Cut to the diner where people are eating chicken
and chicken salad, into which we later will learn Tiptree introduced
a virus which makes women feverish. After various shootings at
dinosaurs, Doc pretends to be a worker at Eunice and brings a
supposedly drugged dinosaur to Tiptree. She admits him through
security but he has brought a human corpse and a gun. She explains
that she designed the fever, that the body is a "revolutionary
battlefield" where the "genetic text is being rewritten."
Her assistant Susan has the fever and gives birth to a weird
lizardine thing. Tiptree insists the earth was made and scaled
for the dinosaurs and that she intends to give it back. Doc sneers,
"That's really fascinating. Make a great theme park."
Tiptree harbors guilt for her government and industry developments
which have made the world a mess. "The earth isn't ours
to destroy," says this completely insane madwoman. "Which
came first--the chicken or the egg. . . . The cosmic egg. I
don't want to destroy the earth. Just one unruly species. . .
. The human species is a disaster. . . . Well, as my mentor
Dr. Moreau said, 'In the study of nature, one must become as remorseless
The sheriff shoots a dinosaur but dies himself
with the Pet Village sign in the background. With women dying
(often giving birth to dino-things), Eunice tells Washington agency
reps that they've been developing an artificial womb and could
eventually breed female replacement humans--all very Dr. Strangelove.
From then on, men in protective suits appear, kill people, and
flametorch all evidence.
Doc threatens Tiptree's eggs and shoots one
to get the antidote. He escapes a dino while running to Thrush,
and Tiptree goes into labor. The baby dinosaur rips through her
abdomen. Doc reaches Thrush, who has gone into fever. They get
into bulldozers and attack a dinosaur, which they succeed in killing
with Doc's final remark, "I hate wildlife." He then
contacts the authorities, "the Cavalry," who arrive,
shoot him, and burn the two in their shack. The antidote bottle
bursts in the flames.
According to catalogue descriptions, this is "Roger Corman's
tongue-in-cheek answer to that other dinosaur movie" Jurassic
Park. But really, Carnosaur is the most depressing
and darkest dinosaur film currently in existence. Too many evils
pervade the film for us to side with anyone or anything, especially
our "hero," and so after disgust cannot be worn thinner,
we can only despair. Brilliance = apocalyptic insanity; everyone
is poisoned with a nauseating fever; even "real" food
is disgusting; and anyone expressing concern over these matters
is portrayed as idiotic.