Which is why I am unable to peel myself off the couch and away from the cinematic carnage that is Carnosaur 3: Primal Species. I couldn’t not turn to it after reading Dish TV’s description: “While stealing uranium, terrorists unwittingly unleash formidable man-eating dinosaurs.”1 And an hour and twenty minutes into the adventure, I must take the liberty of clarifying Amazon reviewer Joshua Koppel‘s claim that “if you like dinosaurs you will want to check out this movie”—he must have meant, “if you’ve always wondered whatever happened to Scott Valentine, a.k.a. Mallory’s dim-witted and eminently lovable biker boyfriend Nick Moore on Family Ties, you will want to check out this movie.”
Exhibit A: Scott Valentine
It turns out that in 1996, Scott Valentine was playing Colonel Rance (Rance? Yes, Rance) Higgins, head of the team of commandos called in to capture the formidable man-eating dinosaurs, who have happily devoured the international (i.e. talking in a range of poorly rendered British accents) terrorists and are now belligerently roaming around in a lab or a ship or a warehouse or something, looking uncannily like the deranged second cousins of television’s most upsetting creation of all time, Barney.
Exhibit B: Part of a wider dinosaur conspiracy?
Valentine’s Col. Rance Higgins proves himself quite the force to be reckoned with, mouthing off to authority (“Excuse me, sir, but I really don’t think any one of these soldiers have been trained in hand-to-hand combat with a dinosaur!”), convincing the blond lady scientist to lose the Andrea-from-Beverly-Hills-90210 eyeglasses and the unsexy preoccupation with “research” and start shooting her some raptors, and maintaining through it all a face so straight it hurts. The complexity of his character is subtly drawn out through stoic fragments of dialogue with his soldiers (“Sir, did you ever serve in combat with a woman?” “Yes, once, in Guatemala.”) and he displays the admirable ability to cut through the crap, even in times of crisis, and tell it like it is—particularly to blown-up dinosaurs (“You’re not dragging me around anymore. You know why? You’re dead, you shithead.”).
In conclusion, it may not be Mansquito, but Carnosaur 3 is right up there on the list of Utter and Total Wastes of Time. Well played, SciFi Channel. Well played indeed.
1I would like to note that life would be immeasurably more interesting if more sentences began, “While stealing uranium…” or ended with “…terrorists unwittingly unleash formidable man-eating dinosaurs.” Do your part, dear readers, and try working them into conversation.