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Review by
Kelly Parks

CARNIVORE 2000
Film Artists Network

New rule. It'll be called the "too" rule. Anyone who uses any phrase along the lines of "It was quiet…too quiet" or "Our plan was successful…perhaps too successful" will be subject to a $10,000 fine and 100 hours of community service for unlawful use of ellipsis with intent to cliché. And let's make it federal so a second offense sends you to the really bad prison.

CARNIVORE was written and directed by Joseph Kurtz and Kenneth Mader. It opens with narration that is unnecessary, cliché-ridden and just plain bad. Everything we are told could just as easily be shown, which is what movies are supposed to do.

We see a house in suburban DeKalb County, Illinois. The locals think it's unoccupied; perhaps haunted. In fact a small, very secret government lab is located inside. A single scientist staffs this lab: Dr. Arthur Westman. (note: I won't be listing the names of the actors here because this is their only credit and I don't want to encourage them). Westman's only companion is the experiment he's supervising, a creature called Carnivore 3 (Oh, please God, let there never be a Carnivore 2, much less a Carnivore 3). This creature lives in a box and was created by an evil:

a) greedy corporation
b) secret government agency
c) military

In movie world they're all the same.

Dr. Westman accidentally kills himself and the creature is loose. This terrible beast has huge fangs and claws and is tremendously strong, designed to be a killing machine. However it seems to be unable to escape from the house. Someone should sue the contractor.

So if the monster can't come to you, you have to come to the monster. Conveniently a group of horny teens pick that night to party in what they think is a haunted house. The monster couldn't break out but these determined adolescents have no trouble getting in.

Meanwhile. Back in Washington, D.C., a security team detects the lab disaster and springs into action. They go to the airport, take the next flight, rent a car and generally take their time getting there.

!!!SCIENCE MOMENT!!!:
The science here is just about the only thing I can't criticize. One thing that advance genetic engineering will allow us to do is create genuine monsters. We'll be able to make custom made life forms, should the mood strike us. But when we do I have great confidence that we won't do it in a house in Illinois and leave just one guy in charge. Morons!

CARNIVORE is almost a perfect teaching tool for what makes a bad sci-fi/Horror movie. The acting, the story, the lame monster that's supposed to be scary but looks like a pissed off hamster are all bad, bad, worse! And before you ask: No, not in the so-bad-it's-good way. CARNIVORE is much more in the so-bad-you-lose-hope-for-the-future-of-mankind way, which is why I give it one negative shriek girl.


This review copyright 2002 E.C.McMullen Jr.

Return to Horror Movies


Once again we see the influence of H.R. Giger in even the cheapest of movies.

If you want to have a scary monster to attract customers, give it the Alien look: Mouth loaded with sharp teeth, smooth skin, suggestion of a swept back head, and no discernable eyes.

The fact that the monster in the movie looks nothing like the monster on the box is beside the point.

You look at that box cover and the first varmint that crosses your mind is, ALIEN!

 

 

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