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|Index||37 reviews in total|
Version reviewed: 'Key DVD' distributed by 20th Century Fox, 2002, 80
My recommendation rating OF THE FILM ONLY: 8 out of 10.
Recommendation rating for this version: 2 out of 10
Let's get the bad news out of the way first, then I'll explain my high rating of the film. The DVD box art says that Carnivore is a widescreen presentation that is 'digitally mastered'. The film is NOT in widescreen, and 'digital mastering' can only mean that either the master exists on some kind of digital medium, or worse, that the film was 'mastered to digital' in the sense that DVDs were made from the master (obviously, since the product is a DVD).
The transfer is one of the poorer ones that I've seen (unfortunately it isn't the worst). It is extremely grainy (it looks like it was recorded from a VHS tape that had been rented about 300 times in the mid-80s, and then stored in a mildew-filled basement for 10 years), The sound has a lot of hiss and was equalized with far too much bass--you have to crank up the treble, crank up the volume, and you still can't hear dialogue in some scenes. I don't know what aspect ratio directors F. Joseph Kurtz and Kenneth Mader filmed in, but the framing suggests that it _wasn't_ filmed in 'full-screen' (1.33 : 1), which is the aspect ratio on this disc.
Additional bad news is that the box art also promises a director commentary, a featurette called 'Carnivore Kills!', a trailer, and optional Spanish subtitles. None of these are on the disc. Instead, the disc has two menu options. One for 'Play Movie' and one for 'Scene Selection'--which gives you access to only eight chapter markings. This is either a serious case of false advertising or an equally serious screw-up on the manufacturing end. And in both cases, it would probably be best for everyone to send their copies of the DVD back to 20th Century Fox and demand a refund plus a free copy of the DVD when the corrections are made. Even if some of the problems (such as the sound) are rooted in the source material, these can be fairly easily rectified in a moderately-equipped recording/engineering studio, especially with a distributor like 20th Century Fox.
And why might you want a copy of the DVD in anamorphic widescreen with remastered sound, a director's commentary, and other special features? Because this is a very fun and entertaining little horror film. At least if you have a taste for camp, and you're not one of those philosophically-challenged folks who conflates 'horror' and 'scary'. Carnivore is more likely to be enjoyed by someone who thinks that Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a masterpiece. Someone who thinks that two of the most underrated films of the 70s are Daddy's Deadly Darling and Carnival of Blood. Someone who has actually memorized a number of lines from Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. and is proud of it. Someone who thinks that one of the biggest tragedies in filmdom is that Frank Henenlotter has only directed five films since 1982 (and none since 1992). If you have no idea what I'm talking about, and you're looking for scares only, do yourself a favor and pass this one up for now.
Carnivore is one of those 'genetic experiments gone wild' films, with touches of the X-Files and an 80's slasher flick mixed into the stew. Yes, it has narration by a woman with a heavy Midwestern accent who is obviously reading. It has (sometimes intentionally) ridiculous performances. The monster is obviously a guy in a suit. For long periods of time, everything in the film is blue. However, as difficult as this may be for some people to understand, all of these elements are assets in a film like this, especially because it's obvious that Mader and Kurtz harbor no delusions that they're making something in the vein of Gone With The Wind. Instead, Carnivore plays like an impeccable, hilarious spoof of its influences, sometimes approaching a spoof of a spoof, and at the same time seems like a lost horror gem from 1985 (its authenticity in that respect is incredible). It pokes fun at the clichés and conventions, and yet embraces them at the same time--a feat only serious fans of the relevant eras of horror could achieve. There are serious aspects. There is plenty of tension. Some of the blue shots (and some others) are beautiful. The gore effects are well-done and well-shot. The sets are excellent, and even more impressive when you realize they were built in the basement of the director's rented house. It is clear that Carnivore is a low-budget affair, but the artistry and dedication apparent enables it to transcend any budgetary limitations.
But please, give us a release on DVD that does the film justice! This would have been a perfect candidate for Troma, Lucky 13/Program Power, Something Weird, or anyone comparable. But the Key Video/20th Century Fox edition is horrible.
A Top Secret Government project decides to set up its laboratory in the basement of an abandoned old house.They're using genetics to create an intelligent,regenerating mutant critter for the purposes of warfare.Even more inevitably,four teenagers decide to pick that night to camp out in the spooky old house."Carnivore" is absolutely bad and painful to watch.Whoever give it a 10 needs to have his/her head examined.I can't believe that it took almost twelve years to make this piece of cow dung.The acting is horrendous,the creature looks lame and there is absolutely no suspense.A couple of gore scenes can't save this this boring trash from fading into total obscurity.Watch this one only under the influence of alcohol.3 out of 10 and that's being kind.
What's there to say... Other than this is the absolute worst "horror" flick I've ever seen. Don't waste your time. The acting is terrible and the monster looks about as scary as a soggy puffball. At 80 minutes, I found myself fast forwarding to find something worth watching. I never found it.
Even thinking about this film enough to write this review is causing a
burning sensation in my brain, similar to the night I forced myself to
sit through it. I feel compelled to add this much-deserved one-star
rating to help offset some other reviewers, (most likely the
unfortunate victims of head injuries),who have given this film two or
more stars. Watching this film should be considered as a torture
replacement to the now frowned-upon 'water boarding'.
I thought I had found the bottom of the movie-quality well with "Alien 3000", but "Carnivore" made me realize that the penny had much further down to fall. How do you portray an effective cat-and-mouse plot in a single family house!?!? There's only one hallway upstairs, yet the characters moved around each other like they were in some inter-dimensional Tardis. And those Federal "agents" who were supposed to be funny made me want to lay my face into a deli meat slicer and turn it on. I DO invite you to watch it, since misery loves company.....
It's very cheesy and very dumb for sure, with a couple of takes to the
camera, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. There's some creative gore
and nice nudity that didn't just amount to a stabbing and a flash.
You've got total dismemberment and skin pulling off the face leaving
the skeleton and along with nudity some rubbing and sucking. That's not
standard horror fair.
I found Carnivore to be a time capsule to the end of the 80's and above my expectations. This is a bottom of the barrel indie flix, but they put together a monster suit that's not just store bought, designed a lab and built a haunted house from scratch. This is some inventive indie film making.
I'd ultimately rank this a step below mediocre, it's much more entertaining then a lot of other garbage out there like Hobgoblins or anything by the Polonia Brothers. If you give this flix a score of 1 I don't think you were being very realistic with your expectations. All it really needs is a few more kills to make it really decent.
This movie was easily one of the worst movies I've ever seen. The
monster looked terrible (it looked like a guy wearing nylons, a hacked
up feather boa, and a very stupid mask), the direction was awful, the
sound was beyond atrocious, and the only word that comes to mind when
thinking of the acting is ham. Rancid ham. Added to all this, the story
made little to no sense and was hard to follow. There is no way anyone
should watch this movie.
The only saving grace of this movie is the box it comes in. The cover is eye-catching and looks promising and the synopsis on the back makes the movie sound well-constructed, thought out, and interesting. Unfortunately, taking the movie out of its box is tantamount to entertainment suicide.
where does one start? the horrible acting? the lame story? the rotten direction, lighting, editing? how about the incredibly awful sound? and it has that "made in the 80's" feel to it. Uggh! I read that this film was shot and edited over a ten year period........dear god, this is all they could come up with in 10 years? I can't remember another horror film as bad as this except maybe The Item. All I can say is that all the reviews that thought this had ANYTHING good to it must have been made by people who watched it while imbibing huge quantities of alcohol or had some really good weed for the experience. NOTHING redeeming about this movie. Even if you bought/rent it for free you're still robbed of the hour and a half of your life it took to sit through this waste. Sorry Mr. Kurtz, this is no reflection of you as a person, but if you're reading this my strong suggestion to you is to find another line of work. I want my ten bucks back!
This movie was lame. I rented it because the picture on the cover looked cool. Don't fall for it. I have a feeling that they spent more money on the cover art than on the actual film. My tv was turned up as loud as it would go and I still couldn't understand most of what the actors said. Somehow, I don't think I missed much. They should have sent their film straight to MSTK3.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm a big fan of bad movies, but this one isn't enjoyable at all.
There's a secret government research lab (the basement of an abandoned
house), and some scientist is making a monster. Of course it kills him,
and some people are sent from Washington to investigate. Much of the
movie is spent with these three idiots prattling about how bad they
need to go to the bathroom, how they can't change a flat tire, etc.
Some teenagers also wander into the abandoned house, and eventually the
monster kills one of them. There are also some stupid cops who spend a
lot of time sitting in their car and talking like idiots. That's
basically two-thirds of the movie - government idiots arguing in a car,
idiot cops being buffoons in a car, and teenagers yakking about teenage
stuff in a dark house.
In the end, the government people finally arrive and there's the incredibly crappy conclusion. Everything about this is bad, mostly the dialog, but the acting and camera-work take a close second. The whole film looks blue for some reason, it's so dark you can't see what's going on. Not that you really care.
Overall, this movie has absolutely none of the fun or amusement that low budget movies can sometimes provide. Avoid it at all costs, it's almost impossible to sit through.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Four teens venture into an abandon house & come face to face with a
vicious monster that wants to tear them limb from limb. What attracted
me to this film was it's box art, displaying a monster on the front
cover with those big giant teeth & all that drool pouring off them, I
mean I coulden't say no to that. When I watched the film, I found out
that it was yet another shot on video, no budget movie disguised to
look like a decent budgeted monster flick with it's awesome box art &
while it has some moments to remember (There's a particularly nasty
face ripping towards the end) it over all fails to provide a decent
helping of scares. The direction was even, but the acting wasn't great
& the main monster of the film (Who's mouth is not as big as what was
on the box) looks kind of silly, they also carry on far to long with a
woman's narration in some parts of the film, but at least they tried
with this one, another major disappointment is the fact that four teens
enter the house, yet 3 leave the massacre alive, huh? this was a
science fiction/horror movie wasn't it? worth a look, but only for die
hard slasher fans, the ending also left a set up for a sequel.
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