The Jurassic Park movies are no strangers to scenes that feel weird or out of place. Beyond the original 1993 film – which is a brilliant movie (even though it has some major bloopers, but which revolutionary masterpiece doesn’t?!) – there are plenty of moments that leave fans rolling their eyes or cringing from second-hand embarrassment.
Jurassic Park III (2001) is full of things that make no sense, including a dream sequence in which a raptor talks to Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill). And the Indoraptor in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) actually smiles (although this is part of a huge twist)! But if you think those are the weirdest things in the Jurassic Park franchise, oh how wrong you are…
At first glance, you might think of The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) as one of the best sequels, and one that takes itself as seriously as the original, but it’s far from perfect, with the San Diego scene being one of many in the series that fans hate. But that whole incident is goofier than you might think, and here are six details that don’t do it any favors!
5. Godzilla Reference
In a movie that features a t-rex being brought back to the mainland, there’s no surprise that there’s a Godzilla reference thrown in as a treat for fans who love monster movies – and that’s exactly what The Lost World: Jurassic Park becomes the minute the rex hits San Diego. In fact, the entire sequence is one big Godzilla Easter egg.
So why is this weird? Well, the sequence itself isn’t weird (although it still doesn’t work as well as it should have) – what’s weird is the scene in which the rex is chasing a group of Asian businessmen down the street, who are all looking back at their pursuer in horror and screaming things that aren’t translated on the screen.
Screenwriter David Koepp confirmed in a 1997 interview that these men, or at least one of them, is saying, “I left Tokyo to get away from this!” They’re referring to Godzilla, whose original movies take place in the Japan capital. While this is of course just a silly Easter egg that doesn’t ask to be taken seriously, it still sounds like they’re referring to an actual monster and not the movies! Does this mean InGen also genetically engineered Godzilla?!
4. A Dribble or a Scratch?!
The Lost World: Jurassic Park references many other dinosaur movies. We know that it pays homage to Godzilla, but it also has some pretty big King Kong (1933) Easter eggs too, which is no surprise considering the two films are, by design, very similar (a dinosaur-infested jungle, a beast rampaging through a city, a human antagonist and so on).
King Kong sees a giant ape being taken from Skull Island to New York City, aboard a ship called the Venture. In The Lost World: Jurassic Park, the vessel that transports the t-rex from Isla Sorna to the mainland is called the SS Venture. Pretty neat little Easter egg, right? Yep, nothing weird about it whatsoever.
The second Easter egg, however, is weird. When the rex stomps into the suburbs, it performs a ‘dribbling’ motion with its left arm! Many fans believe this is actually a reference to King Kong, in which the t-rex in that film scratches its head with its tiny forearm, but what really lends to the first theory is that the rex does this as it passes a basketball hoop! But whether it’s dribbling or having a scratch, a t-rex would be terrible at both.
3. Mockbuster Video
It seems that most of the weird details in The Lost World: Jurassic Park pop up during the San Diego sequence – which doesn’t help matters, as the whole thing is played mostly for jokes, instead of being the suspense-fuelled series of events it should have been. Nevertheless, here are a whole bunch of weird little in-jokes thrown in all at once.
After being chased by the t-rex, a bus driver loses control and crashes through the doors of a video store (you know, those prehistoric things we used to rent movies from). But this is no ordinary video store, as it’s filled with ‘made up’ movies that have been put there for no real good reason, other than a poor attempt at fourth-wall humor.
There’s Tsunami Sunrise starring Tom Hanks, Jack and the Behnstacks with Robin Williams, and King Lear with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the titular role, with the latter being a nod to The Last Action Hero, which came out the same year as Jurassic Park. But while each ‘movie’ has its own joke, this entire scene is so fourth-wall that it practically ejects you from the one movie you’re trying to take seriously.
2. Unlucky Cameo
Filmmakers are often known for appearing in their own movies and provided it doesn’t stand out too much, it usually isn’t a problem. So when screenwriter David Koepp decided he wanted to do just that and have a cameo in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, it didn’t really matter, because, unlike director Steven Spielberg, he’s not exactly recognizable.
The scene he appears in, however, is unforgettable. When the t-rex is chasing screaming pedestrians down the street, one unlucky individual decides to try and lose the dinosaur by running into a store – but unfortunately, the doors are locked! What follows next is the most blood-curdling (and strangely hilarious) scream in the entire franchise.
David Koepp goes from screenwriter to scream-writer, and while we don’t ever want to find out what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a t-rex’s jaws, his screams are perhaps a little over the top, which makes this scene stand out for all the wrong reasons. And the name given to this very short-lived character in the credits just keeps this ‘joke’ going even further (you’ll have to check it out for yourself, though, as it’s a bad word!).
1. The Director’s Chair
Okay, so do you remember what we were just saying about directors appearing in their own movies? Well, it’s not something we cinemagoers often have a problem with. Sure, it can feel a little tacky, and can quite often take you out of the movie momentarily. Sometimes it works, though, but it all really hinges on the director’s acting ability.
When it comes to Steven Spielberg, fortunately, his acting skills aren’t called upon when he appears in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. But it would have been better if he’d have had a small role of some kind, as opposed to what we get. While it isn’t part of the San Diego sequence, the only positive thing about this cameo is that it’s definitely blink-and-you’ll-miss-it.
But the fact that he put himself in the scene in which Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) and Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) are asleep on the couch while Kelly (Vanessa Lee Chester) is watching the family of rexes being shipped back to Isla Sorna on the news, is just plain weird. Yes, that’s right – you can see Steven Spielberg sitting next to Ian and Sarah in the reflection of the TV (he’s in his blue-and-white jacket around the center of the ship during the overhead shot)!
Did you notice any of these weird Easter eggs in The Lost World: Jurassic Park?