Let sourpuss science geeks gripe “Cloning doesn’t work that way” and “It’s not strictly accurate.” Who cares? Jurassic Park is riveting stuff. And even if you were never one of those kids who practically lived at the Museum of Natural History, visions of dinosaurs walking, chomping, and chasing mesmerize in the Steven Spielberg sci-fi classic, which headlines AMC’s Can’t Get Enough Jurassic Park, starting this Monday, at 8PM | 7C. Just think about it: totally alien creatures once walked the same Earth as you do. And that’s just the beginning. Here are ten other reasons to love the best dinosaur-movie franchise in Hollywood history.
10. Prehistoric Saliva
A little Dilophosaurus is almost twee when put next to big lizards. Who could imagine the reptile ripping flesh with razor-tipped claws? Yet this is no cuddly creature — unless you consider spitting in people’s faces cute. For the record, it’s not. It’s gross. Eons later, llamas remain on the short list of animals even PETA members want to smack. Watch in Jurassic Park as one klutz learns the hard way that Dilo spit is corrosive. You’ll never forget it.
9. Hell’s Kitchen – The Late-Cretaceous Edition
If there’s anything more funnily destructive than a bull in a china shop, that would be a bunch of hungry velociraptors chasing two kids through an industrial kitchen. If Gordon Ramsay’s televised antics had preceded this movie, we’d swear this scene was a satirical gibe at the famed chef, who’s hounded many amid the clatter of cutlery. And the killer lizards locking the youngsters in a walk-in freezer? That’s cold!
8. T. Rex Speeding After a Jeep
All the four-wheel drive in the world is no match for the thirteen-foot-long legs of a tyrannosaur when it comes to clearing pesky plants underfoot in Jurassic Park. Thank goodness Spielberg didn’t adhere to paleontological theories suggesting that the T. rex probably fell down a lot because its weight was badly distributed for high-speed locomotion.
7. Monsters Rock
Starting with that puddle of vibrating water that signals that something massive this way comes right on through the gobbling up of a craven lawyer who’s just abandoned a couple of kids, Jurassic Park follows in the footsteps of Frankenstein and King Kong in having a truly scary monster that you like to see win.
6. The Emergence of CGI
Though he initially enlisted stop-motion animators as well as a CGI crew to create the dinosaurs for the Jurassic Park movies, Spielberg ended up going with the latter, a method that has become so prevalent that practitioners of the other technique can be labeled an endangered species.
5. Sexed-Up Scientists
In most movies, women scientists are just plain nerds. In the Jurassic Park, they’re babes. Whether you like your paleontologists with blonde hair (Laura Dern) or red (Julianne Moore), this series has you covered.
4. Dr. Ian Malcolm’s One-Liners
For a big-brain type, Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Malcolm talks like a lippy 12-year-old boy. One particularly memorable quip: “Taking dinosaurs off this island is the worst idea in the long, sad history of bad ideas.” Feel free to adapt to your own needs.
3. Dinosaur DNA
Coma. Westworld. The Andromeda Strain. Novelist Michael Crichton was a genius when it came to concocting technophobic futures. Jurassic Park was his best idea of all: a scientific team clones dinosaurs from DNA extracted from blood found in the stomachs of prehistoric mosquitoes preserved in amber. Oh, the attention to detail!
2. The Ringing Satellite Phone
Jurassic Park III‘s 12-year-old Erik Kirby gets stranded on Isla Sorna after a parasailing accident with his mom’s fiancé. Eric’s divorced parents pool their resources to search for their son, but when Eric’s dad’s phone chimes from inside a Spinosaurus things look bad for a family reunion. (Don’t worry: this is a Spielberg pic; everything will turn out okay.)
1. The Spielberg Hat Trick
Jurassic Park didn’t just become the highest-grossing film to date. It was also the third that Spielberg created that did so, the other two being E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and Jaws. Whether he’ll ever attains such heights again remains to be seen, but what a track record.