Anchor Bay // 2004 // 88 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 1st, 2006
(Would "Craptor Island" be too infantile and lazy a dig at this movie? Yes? Well, screw it. I don't want to waste brainpower trying to create anything cleverer.)
Terrific. A Sci-Fi Channel original. And guess what. It sucks.
Lorenzo Lamas (Renegade) stars as Hacket, a grizzled bad-ass commando, sent on a high-risk seafaring mission to bring in nefarious terrorist big-shot Azir (Stephen Bauer). One thing leads to another and there's an explosion on Azir's boat, forcing him and his terrorist cronies to haul ass to a nearby island. On their trail are Hacket and his squad of elite soldiers, plus a mysterious woman named Jamie (Hayley Dumond).
What at first looks like a simple terrorist hunt and retrieve mission becomes something far deadlier when the castaways discover their island home is infested with mutant dinosaurs, specifically of the raptor variety.
As victims finds themselves ambushed and devoured, Hacket, Jamie and a couple of "red shirts" must find a way off of the island, while also dodging gunfire from jumpy terrorists and a volcano that's about ready to explode and belch forth a plume of cheap-ass CGI magma.
This movie blows. Real hard. Even for a Sci-Fi original. Short review: don't waste your time. Slightly longer review: replicate the viewing experience and put a nail gun to your testicles and pull the trigger.
The affair begins laughably, as the camera pans over one of the most blatantly fake model airplanes I've seen in a while. Probably since Godzilla's Revenge. What this totally unbelievable prop is carrying is a batch of radioactive goo, probably not unlike the stuff that turned Splinter into a talking rat. The plane crashes, the crap leaks out and, presumably, the dinosaurs that are still living on the island slurp it up and become ultra-aggressive and more resilient.
They look like Amiga-era crap. That's the biggest and most glaring flaw in this mess: the creatures look awful. It continues to elude me why moves like these are consistently produced. Top-notch CGI is often criticized by perceptive movie-goers, so why bankroll a creature feature when your visual effects budget limits you to cellar-dwelling rendering work? There is zero chance of any disbelief being suspended when the raptors appear in all their TurboGrafx 16 glory. Small budget may work with romantic comedy ensembles or character-driven period pieces, but for movies about dinosaurs and volcanoes, one needs some financial firepower to generate believable monsters. Thus, the only point of these movies, to me, is the willful generation of schlock.
What else can it be? Giving Lorenzo Lamas the starring vehicle his fans have been clamoring for all this time? There is not a moment in this movie where the visual effects don't distract because of their horribleness. From that plane to the CGI battleships, to the ocean (yes, the f***ing ocean), to the helicopter, to the dinosaurs and, finally, to the exploding volcano. And wait until you see the many, many sequences of man-on-dino gunplay; when the bullets hits the raptors it looks like someone intercut in-game footage from Hogan's Alley.
Okay, so I dwelled too long on the special effects. But that's the whole point of this sorry movie: showing guys with guns shooting dinosaurs. If that sucks, what's the point? The answer: There is no point.
Run away from this one as if you were being pursued by a real raptor, not that you'd have the slightest idea of what they looked like from this pantload of a monster movie.
Keep this island far off your radar.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated