‘A History of Carnosaur’: The Ultimate Record of Dino-Horror [New Blood Drops]


If you like dino horror, then you’re going to be really excited about the news I have to share today. Thanks to fellow Carnosaur enthusiast Joey Palinkas, we’re getting a book all about the film, one that I was lucky enough to contribute to! It’s a genuine passion project, because spending time putting together such a comprehensive record on a franchise that hasn’t had a proper release in a score plus four years shows a love for cinema few can hold a candle to. There’s a chance several of you might’ve not been aware of Carnosaur’s existence, though if you’ve been following my escapades, I doubt that’s the case. Still, I’m a good host, so allow me to commit exposition against you.

In the 1984 Carnosaur novel, a rich guy genetically engineers dinosaurs through chickens, making his private zoo even more exotic. Cue chaos.

In the 1993 Carnosaur film, a mad scientist genetically engineers a virus through chickens, which causes women to give birth to dinosaurs, all in a bid to wipe out humanity and give Earth back to her saurian children. Cue more chaos.

In Carnosaur 2, “Put ALIENS and JURASSIC PARK in a blender, and C2 is what you get!” Cue blatantly familiar chaos.

Then, in Carnosaur 3: Primal Species, something something SOLDIERS, yadda yadda BOAT, blah blah DINOSAURS. Cue… less than anticipated chaos.

That’s the port where I abandon ship, because I’m not sailing towards either of the two “spinoffs” over yonder. I’ll let Palinkas take the helm on that, the brave soul. What makes him qualified to captain this vessel into choppy, gore-choked waters? I appreciate your concerns, allow me to alleviate them! When asked what got him into this side of cinema in the first place, Palinkas said:

“I became a lover of films at a young age. Godzilla films on TV and VHS were my go-to. I fondly remember Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster… the first Godzilla film I recall seeing.”

Ah, a Goji fan! He’s overqualified, truth be told. However, we’re not talking about Godzilla—we want Carnosaur

“I was allowed by my father to rent the [Carnosaur] VHS at Family Video in Ionia, Michigan. I will never forget that night,” said Palinkas. He went on to share his full Scarred For Life story:

“The dreadful fun fear of the box art… I had no idea what to expect… I remember watching it in agony. The gore was realistic… the lighting and atmosphere were unlike any other horror sequences I experienced at that point in my life (I was thirteen). I was already watching a good number of classic horror, Freddy, Jason, Halloween, and other random shit from the 70s and 80s. I remember being nervous about standing near the back screen door… all I could imagine was that Deinonychus and its out-worldly but familiar screech popping into my vision. The hippie scene is unforgettable.

An experience not too dissimilar from my own. I feel the kinship growing stronger by the second! A mutual love for the franchise shared, though inspiration convinced Palinkas to travel several leagues further. Surprisingly, it was the novel that inspired him when he read it in 2012.

“I was inspired since 2012. After I read Brosnan’s novel, I had two issues… it was pitch black out, kind of a warm night, I did not stop reading until midnight… I could also imagine around every corner… a Carnosaur could come out and slam my head in,” he said. “The other issue was… why the hell is this novel is obscure?… It’s a great story and horrifying. Perfection. I wanted more… I wanted to know EVERYTHING about the series.”

That was in 2012. Flash forward to 2020, and Palinkas dipped his toes into writing. “A good friend and colleague, John Lemay opened my path to writing. He let me include a ten page article on the Carnosaur series in his The Lost Films #3 Fanzine Fall Issue. From there, I realized my passion was reignited and I began working right away on the book concept and back to researching,” he said.

From what I’m told, researching a franchise that crew members mostly did for a paycheck wasn’t a walk in the park. I suppose expecting people to remember details of a shoot they did over a weekend is wishful thinking.

“It was very difficult. Nobody talked about these films. I reached out on social media, and emails, found press kits online, and hunted down all articles related to the subject matter,” he said. “And it’s not enough, if you can believe it.”

Then he struck gold when he reached out to Dino Diego. “He located information on a foreign dub of Carnosaur. It was a weird coincidence because he happened to be producing his own Carnosaur history, but as a retrospective series,” said Palinkas. “We exchanged notes… I handed over a bunch of stuff and he shared documents and articles I did not have and learned a lot more about these films.”

You’ll hear A LOT more on Dino Diego soon. Trust me!

While on the subject, I asked if there was any new info he didn’t previously know about. If he wasn’t aware, there’s a good chance I wasn’t, either! He said,

“Dino Diego again provided new information, like how a would-be scene was scrapped due to time constraints and budget reasons, I assume. The other information I learned was great stories from… the effects crew that worked on Carnosaur 1 and 2. Then even more from a few actors from Carnosaur 2 and 3. This is new information, the past six months new. Their interviews are in full in the book!”

Of course, I couldn’t end the interrogation… I mean, “interview”… without asking Palinkas the most important question: What’s his favorite film in the Carnosaur franchise?

“This is difficult. Each film is different,” he said. “If I had to pick one to watch forever? Carnosaur. I love the first film because of the impact it had on me and I believe Simon’s vision worked.”

He then went on to drop a hot take. “I prefer Carnosaur 2 to Aliens,” Palinkas said. “I believe Aliens is a super boring film with some good, tense sequences, but leaves me wanting to watch the original. Carnosaur 3 is just a fun, little spin to end the run of the direct-to-video episode that New Horizons destined the series to be. I believe all three films are highly competent and good when you consider the circumstances and the liberties they take.”

I feel compelled to defend James Cameron’s honor, but after some self-reflection, I’ve come to realize that I’ve actually watched Carnosaur 2 more than Aliens myself.

Palinkas is shooting for a May 2024 release date, and failing that, a Fall 2024 release. Along with more information than ever put to page about the franchise, there will also be essays from notable Carnosaur critics such as Dino Diego, Brandon Tenold, and yours truly!

At the behest of Palinkas, be sure to check out the work of John Lemay, Norman England, Sean Barry, Andres Perez, Titangoji, Ace Marrok, and Steve Ryfle when you get the chance! Palinkas is also working on his first novel, which you’ll learn more about once I do! Keep up with the History of Carnosaur by following Palinkas’s Facebook and Twitter.

Giallo Julian’s Twitter – Facebook – Letterboxd



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