In the opening sequence, an army convoy is attacked by terrorists who soon discover they have stolen a truck of living frozen biological material instead of uranium. Once at a dockside warehouse, two frozen Velociraptors and a huge T-Rex escape and kill many of the terrorists before the police arrive, who expect to find drug smugglers. After finding the sole survivor, the police are killed inside the warehouse by the Velociraptors. An anti-terrorist special force led by Colonel Rance Higgins is called in by General Mercer where they find pieces of bodies and a refrigeration truck rather than uranium. They maneuver through warehouse boxes until two get slashed to death. The survivors learn from Dr. Hodges that these are the last three "carnosaurs" in existence: two male Velociraptors and one female T-Rex (the same dinosaurs in the convoy) left from the genetic reconstructions of the previous Carnosaur installments. It is made clear that the dinosaurs need to be caught alive, relating to the potential for curing major diseases. A massive meat shipment resides at the dock, so the three soldiers hunt in that area, meeting up with a unit of Marines who have come as backup. Soldier Polchek is given drugs to shoot into the carnosaurs as the group set up a lure and net trap with meat. One of the Velociraptors attacks and almost succeeds in dragging off Polchek, but is shot down. They soon take the raptor back to the base for further examination.
Hodges soon theorizes that the T-Rex is breeding since Polchek was being dragged off, perhaps to hatchlings. The next plan is to destroy the ship they're on in the Pacific and freeze the dinosaurs somehow. However, the Velociraptor awakens and begins to attack. The T-Rex also appears and bites off a soldier's head before escaping with the Velociraptor. When time comes to explore the lower decks of the ship, the carnosaurs knock out the lights and kill a couple more soldiers. The rest get to an elevator, but a Velociraptor chews the cable through and they crash on the bottom level, discovering the nest of eggs which they begin to shoot, angering the T-Rex, who soon bites off Polchek's arm and then eats him. Rance and Proudfoot rejoin Dr. Hodges and Marine Rossi, split up again and rig dynamite. The T-Rex bursts through the ceiling and drags Rossi through it before eating him. The two Velociraptors attack, one rips off Proudfoot's head and the other is shot to death before the other raptor is also shot. Hodges senses the T-Rex is close. She and Rance hide behind lockers which the T-Rex head-butts. Rance throws an explosive in the mouth of the dinosaur, killing it. The two race against time to jump in the ocean before the ship explodes. Back in the police car at the port, the sole surviving terrorist is still gagged in the back seat when a third Velociraptor soon appears outside the vehicle and eats him, foreshadowing that the prehistoric terror is not over yet.Scott Valentine as Col. Rance Higgins
Janet Gunn as Dr. Hodges
Rick Dean as Polchek
Anthony Peck as Gen. Pete Mercer
Rodger Halston as Sanders
Terri J. Vaughn as B.T. Coolidge
Billy Burnette as Furguson
Morgan Englund as Rossi
Stephen Lee as Sergeant
Justina Vail as Proudfoot
Cyril O'Reilly as Dolan
Abraham Gordon as Billings
Michael McDonald as Officer Wilson
David Roberson as Johnson
Jonathan Winfrey as Bob
Alan Reliford Soldier
The film stars Scott Valentine as Col. Rance Higgins, Janet Gunn as Dr. Hodges. It was directed by Jonathan Winfrey and produced by Roger Corman. Others featured in the film includes Rick Dean as Polchek, Anthony Peck as Gen. Pete Mercer (his last film), Rodger Halston as Sanders and Terri J. Vaughn as B.T. Coolidge.
Rick Dean, who plays Polchek, had played 'Monk' Brody in Carnosaur 2 whilst Michael McDonald, who played the Police Officer Wilson, played the small role of the Evac. Team Pilot in Carnosaur 2.
The film premiered in Germany during November 1996 but did not premiere in America until January 1997, although the DVD had already been released.
According to the film's DVD sleeve, the film was winner of a Golden Scroll Award from The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror.
To date, the film remains available on DVD in both America and the UK. The film remains available as a stand-alone DVD, as well as part of the out-of-print The Carnosaur Collection box-set, released in 2001, that features all three films. In the UK, the film was the first of the series to be released in the country, with both preceding films still remaining on DVD outside of the UK.
In America, the film's alternative title is Primal Species.
Sandra Brennan of Allmovie gave a rating of one and a half stars out of five, writing "The third in a series of gory films about voracious genetically engineered dinosaurs who escape and run amok, the action starts when international terrorists hijack what they think is valuable freight. Instead, the cargo turns out to be the deadly lizards, and boy are they hungry."
Popcorn Pictures gave the film half a star out of five stars, and wrote "Some of these bad films are so bad that they are amusing. Others, such as Primal Species are just downright bad. To quote Mark J. Tannacore's review, "Carnosaur started at the bottom and the series went downhill from there." It didn't just go downhill, it nosedived."
Scott Weinburg of eFilmCritic gave a one out of five star rating and described the film as "Bargain basement dinosaur droppings."
Pete Vonder Haar of Film Threat gave a one out of five star rating and summed the film up "Because 2 Carnosaurs simply weren't enough..."
The Triangle Publications TV Guide gave the film two stars out of five. The book DVD & Video Guide 2005 gave the film two and a half stars out of five, whilst the book VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever gave a rating of two out of five stars. The guide Creature Features: The Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Movie Guide gave the film two out of five stars.