Jurassic Park started it… you know, the whole commercial development of prehistoric throwbacks scenario. Thanks to a lower budget, lowered ambition and B-film legend Roger Corman as executive producer, Carnosaur (1993) got in first and for all that it could never be considered a challenge to Spielberg’s amusement park dinosaurs, it did have primeval beasties with attitude and an inclination toward the gory side of life.
Currently in post-production is a new dino pic, Raptor Ranch, this one set on a ranch in Texas:
They’re not just raising cattle in Texas.
They’re raising 70 million years of prehistoric terror.
So far there’s been little given away regarding the plot, but the least we can say is that a bunch of folk, led by the attractive singer/actress Jana as a “west Texan native” who has spirit, toughness and a hi-tech bow, fight to survive an onslaught of prehistoric raptors on a cattle ranch. Where the dinosaurs came from, and whether they represent the accidental by-product of some entrepreneur’s greedy ambitions, is yet to be revealed.
Chances are Raptor Ranch won’t offer much of a challenge to Jurassic Park‘s exulted position as leader in the dinosaurs-loose-in-the-modern-world genre, but the indications are looking good that its combination of animatronics by Larry Billings and CGI by Michael Napodano (see below) — driven by the creative impetus of Dan Bishop (experienced production designer, most impressively — to me — of assorted episodes of brilliant HBO series Carnivàle, and art director of Twister) — may provide a decent level of excitement and prehistoric thrills. I’m guessing that it’s leaning more toward Carnosaur than Jurassic Park in terms of general ambiance.
Storyboard art by Howard Kelley
One of the animatronic beasties
CGI work underway
The film’ publicity needs a little work — with crucial information missing from the official website and the film’s IMDb entry (for example, it’s unclear who the actual director is, Bishop being referred to as producer/creator and Clint Childers as “technical director and DP”, plus there is a lack of coordination between website info and IMDb listings). But on the website you’ll find more pictures of the Texan locations where the film was shot, the animatronic raptors, the cast and crew and the like, so mosey on over for a gander.
According to DreadCentral, the film is destined for the SciFi Channel, so those of us outside the States will have to wait for the DVD release to really get to know these colourful chaps.
Finally, I have no idea if this tubby non-raptor below is in the movie, but he’s a rather impressive piece of work and I wouldn’t mind having him decorating my loungeroom:
- Source: Official website via Kaiju Search-Robot Avery