The Carnosaur film series is a series of five B-movies produced by Roger Corman that feature genetically engineered dinosaurs running amok in various scenarios. The series started with the first Carnosaur film, released in 1993, that was loosely based on a novel by John Brosnan but was more similar to the Jurassic Park film which was based on the novel by Michael Crichton. The first sequel, Carnosaur 2, followed in 1995, while the third, Carnosaur 3: Primal Species, and fourth film, Raptor, were released direct-to-video in 1996 and 2001, respectively. The first three films were released to Region 1 DVD on February 6, 2001 as the "Carnosaur Collector's Set". The series up to Raptor have since gone out of print and are hard to obtain, though copies of DVD and VHS can be found online.
The first film in the series, Carnosaur was released to theaters on May 14, 1993. Loosely based on the John Brosnan's 1984 novel, Carnosaur. Jane Triptree (Diane Ladd), a mad scientist specializing in agricultural genetic engineering, uses chickens from the plant she works at to breed dinosaurs, eventually attempting to create a virus containing dinosaur DNA that will impregnate women with dinosaurs and kill them after birth, so they can wreak havoc and exterminate all of humanity, which she believes needs to be destroyed, so that the dinosaurs may essentially rule the planet once again. Now it is up to the alcoholic security guard and an environmental activist to attempt to stop her and the rampaging reptiles before the military kills everyone in town to quarantine the virus, or before these Mesozoic monsters can achieve their goal in world conquest. It was a modest box-office success, reportedly grossing $1,753,979, despite a limited theatrical release.
Directed by Louis Morneau and written by Michael Palmer, Carnosaur 2 was released to theaters on February 23, 1995. Starring John Savage and Cliff De Young, the film features a group of technicians called in to investigate the power shortage at a top-secret mining facility, only to discover it is actually a remote nuclear dump site where the government transported the dinosaurs from the first film. The dinosaurs got out of their holding area and ate the scientists, and now the technicians must try to survive while avoiding a radiation leak and trying to keep the dinosaurs from escaping the facility. The film was released to DVD on April 18, 2000. The Deinonychus was replaced by the Velociraptor in this film and later on.
Released direct-to-video on December 17, 1996, Carnosaur 3: Primal Species was directed by Jonathan Winfrey, and starred Scott Valentine and Janet Gunn. The film involves a group of terrorists who attempt to steal a large shipment of Uranium from a cargo ship, but they instead are all chased and killed by cloned dinosaurs that were being contained there. Then a military team is sent to investigate the disturbance, when they encounter the vicious beasts themselves. The film is the last in the series, but was followed by an unofficial sequel, called Raptor, about dinosaurs attacking a small town. Raptor was released direct to video as well, and used a heavy amount of footage from the original trilogy.
Released direct-to-video on November 6, 2001, Raptor was directed by Jim Wynorski. Using recycled footage from the previous three films as well as some new footage filmed in Agua Dulce, California's Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, the film focuses on a small town sheriff (Eric Roberts) and an animal control officer (Melissa Brasselle) investigating a series of deaths by genetically engineered dinosaurs that escape from a nearby laboratory (mainly Velociraptors), while also dealing with their creator Dr. Hyde (Corbin Bernsen). The film has since gone out of print and is largely considered to be the hardest film in the series to obtain.
Released direct-to-video on September 1, 2006. The film was directed by John Carl Buechler who did the special effects in the other Carnosaur films. The Eden Formula used recycled footage from the first three films, but also uses its own footage as well. Starring Jeff Fahey, Tony Todd and Dee Wallace. The plot revolves around a group of spies who accidentally release a cloned Tyrannosaurus onto the streets of Los Angeles.