In case you missed it, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is here, ready to try to take a bite out of the box office and HBO subscribers’ fragile little minds alike. Whether it succeeds or not, it is sure to be powered on the one thing that everyone will commend about these movies: the dinos themselves and the meatbags they devour. Oh sure, Michael Crichton’s cautionary source material for all this rampaging mayhem (and box office results) is an incredibly pessimistic yarn about the inevitability of scientific collapse in the unregulated private sector where these “dinosaurs” are the false advertising of twisted gene-manipulation madness…
But on the big screen, it is all about the “Spielberg awe” and then the, “ahh, I’m being eaten alive!” The maestro of summer blockbusters wanted to make his modern day King Kong with believable dinosaurs, and that includes the money shots where the hapless adventurers get crushed, bitten, or otherwise disemboweled by so many giant teeth. And Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has continued that tradition in a tasty way.
So let’s cut through the pretense, fat, and all other vital organs to find the 14 Best Dino Deaths in the Jurassic Park franchise!
***Disclaimer: Despite saying “Jurassic Park franchise,” this list includes no entries from Jurassic Park III, because like everything else in that movie, even the deaths were boring.
14. Vic Hoskins Faces Sharp Insubordination (Jurassic World)
Where better to start this list than with one of Jurassic World’s very best exits? Vic Hoskins is the most questionable element in Trevorrow’s soft-reboot of the Spielberg classic. Played by a game Vincent D’Onofrio as a bigger than life military man, his dream of dinosaur soldiers seemed as doomed as the poor, dumb bastard himself.
Chewing scenery in a dinosaur movie? Hoskins should have known only one type of creature is allowed to do that, and he finds that out first hand when a Velociraptor takes it from him, as well as the wrist, and maybe just a bit of the forearm too. Don’t worry, Hoskins was reunited with the appendage when the Raptor chowed down, proving that the only chain of command between this man and his beasts was of the food variety.
13. Mr. Eversol Loses the Final Bid (Fallen Kingdom)
Honestly, a whole lot of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is dumb. And not dumb in an endearing way, like Dennis Nedry throwing a stick at a dinosaur with sharp teeth like it’s a dog, but dumb in a “only an idiot would find themselves in this situation.” Such is the case with how Ted Levine’s Ken Wheatley loses the Darwin Award by opening a cage to a genetically manufactured dinosaur for no reason other than he wants to take the creature’s tooth.
His death is righteously grim, but it’s also lame plot machniations. But hey, at least the aftermath is delicious. After chowing down on dim Ken, the Indoraptor (the picture’s now boogeyman) is spotted by auctioner Mr. Eversol’s companions. Eversol is himself a piece of work, played like a crusty caricature of capitalism by a preening Toby Jones who had little to work with. But he, and presuambly the more sympathetic redhead who makes the mistake to scream, are still part of a system that is abusing animals. So seeing them get their just desserts by being the Indo’s meaty creme brulee is a real treat. As is a dinosaur learning to open a door (or elevator) and there actually being consequences.
12. Gatekeeper Leaves Himself Too Open (Jurassic Park)
In one of the most memorable openings to a Spielberg movie (which is saying quite a bit) this sad sack of fleshy sirloin was ordered up on a platter when forced to open the gate for the “big one.” Apparently, the nastiest Raptor that Game Warden Robert Muldoon ever laid eyes on, this girl stared right back as he desperately cried “Shoot Her!” We couldn’t see her mouth, but we like to imagine it was smiling—presumably with a juicy chunk of gatekeeper intestine dripping out.
11. If You Have Food for One of Them… (The Lost World)
Poor, sweet Cathy Bowman seemed to have everything going for her in life. Loving if oblivious parents, the good luck to be born into a family that can sail its own yacht, and even a delicious sample of her roast beef sandwich!
Sadly, she didn’t bring enough to share with all the Compsognathus dinos (Compys) that swarmed her empty beach. They started with the sampler, but then wanted the main course. Poor Camilla Belle (yep, look it up) got her big break by being the second kid Spielberg killed in a movie after Jaws. Oh sure, John Hammond insists to Ian Malcolm later in The Lost World: Jurassic Park that she’s fine. But when it comes to dinosaur accidents, I’m sure “fine” is what Hammond said to a lot of concerned journalists about his increasing list of missing employees…
10. Ray Arnold Proves Very Handy (Jurassic Park)
When are Samuel L. Jackson characters going to learn? If scientists and rich entrepreneurs ask you to spend weekends in exotic locations with genetically modified creatures, you say no! Whether it’s Jurassic Park or Deep Blue Sea, Jackson’s characters have a habit of getting consumed in their work.
In Park’s case, this meant the off-screen death of getting slaughtered by at least one Velociraptor. After successfully rebooting the park’s mainframes and heroically going to save all the white characters by strolling alone near some Raptor fences, his reward is an unseen death. At least when Ellie Sattler gets to the same compound, she’s armed.
9. Should’ve Taken Your Chances with the Snake (The Lost World)
Honestly, I don’t know what I would do if a snake crawled down my shoulder and under my shirt. And when it’s a red-and-white snake marked like the Red Cross of death, I might be doubly scared. But when this poor Jack Horner stand-in named Burke reacted by running out of the cave and into the snarling jaws of a Tyrannosaurus Rex…well, let’s just say I doubt anyone intends to ever get this hands-on in their field of study.
8. Are You Really Going to Just Sit There? (Jurassic World)
Enjoying a little too much comedic shorthand, Trevorrow’s portrait of this security guard, who found time for snacking even after failing at his job to watch a genetically altered apex predator, had the word “Yummy” practically stamped onto his forehead.
Yet it is still a credit to the filmmaker that this abrupt and CGI-generated end nevertheless remains one of the most gruesome and memorable of the four films; once the Indominus Rex has him cornered and exposed from his seated hiding place, this doomed fellow doesn’t even attempt to run. He just glances at Chris Pratt (and us), fully aware that he is about to bite it. Or rather, it is about to bite him. And after that paused surrender, it gets really brutal.
7. Do Unto Others… (The Lost World)
Peter Stormare’s Dieter was a real piece of work in The Lost World. Traveling all the way to an island filled with majestic creatures that haven’t been seen in at least 65 million years, his first instinct is to shoot the ones they want to imprison, and to torture all the others that they don’t.
Still, nobody deserves to be ripped apart so slowly over several, grueling attacks by these little Compys. His final screams as the nearby stream gushes red are still unsettling.
6. Eddie Carr Catches a Break (The Lost World)
The Lost World: Jurassic Park had a lot of problems didn’t it? Jeff Goldblum was strangely neutered for most of the picture, and all the other heroes were rather unlikable with their holier than thou “I’m going to get us killed” self-righteousness. But not Eddie Carr. The one supporting character amongst the “good guys” who just seemed wowed by the Stegosauruses he saw, Eddie was a nice fellow that saved everyone’s lives from a falling trailer.
So obviously, he deserves the nastiest death in the movie. Thanks, Spielberg.
When Richard Schiff’s Eddie saves Goldblum, Julianne Moore, and Vince Vaughn from their own stupidity, he is rewarded by having two T. Rexes come up to him and play halfsies with his torso. Eddie’s that nice guy that ends up making everyone else happy, no matter the cost.
5. Dennis Nedry Loses at Fetch
Oh, the prototypical “he had it coming” bad guy in a dinosaur park, Wayne Knight’s Nedry is the stuff of legend. Essentially a greedier version of “Newman,” Nedry turns off all the fences (except for the Raptor Paddock), so he can complete some corporate espionage.
For his reward, he gets to meet a Dilophosaurus. These little guys look pretty harmless at first, and Nedry mistakes it for a scaly dog when he attempts to appease it with a game of fetch. But what Dennis has retrieved is a pipin’ hot face full of venom! Don’t worry, for his next trick the Dilophosaurus will play tug of war, beginning with your cheekbone!
4. Poor, Poor Brontosaurus (Jurassic World)
Let’s face it, dinosaurs are the stars for most of these movies, and save for the original ’93 film, they’re probably our favorite characters. So there is nothing sadder in Jurassic World than watching this Bronto (or Apatosaurus for purists) pass on to that big green valley in the sky. All he did was mind his business when the Indominus Rex came and slaughtered him for sport.
If they had actually shown an onscreen death of one of those cute baby Triceratops, it would have been too much!
3. “When You Gotta’ Go, You Gotta’ Go” (Jurassic Park)
I don’t care for lawyers, do you? I have my doubts that Steven Spielberg does since he famously named his robotic shark in Jaws after his own advocate (Bruce) and then gave an adult Peter Pan in Hook the most deplorable evocation imaginable: corporate litigation.
Yet the coup d’etat in his filmography is when the bloodsucking lawyer, who also abandoned little Lex and Tim for good measure, faced aggressive opposition and had his case closed. Oh, who’s a little cute T. Rex shaking that lawyer’s shattering bones like a squeak toy? Yes, you are, yes you are!’
2. Zara Has the Worst Case of Digestion Ever (Jurassic World)
Alas poor Zara, we hardly knew thee. This pleasant if beleaguered personal assistant to Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World just wanted to plan her wedding to some bloke named Alec when she was saddled with babysitting her boss’ kids. She didn’t ask for this job, nor did she have to continue it after they ran away from her and the island became overrun by Pteranodons. Yet she stayed true to her task and wouldn’t leave the park’s main street until she knew that Claire’s nephews were safe. And what’s her reward for such dedication?
She is not just picked up by one Pteranodon, or two, but fought over by three of them. Together, they drop her multiple times from the air and likely do massive damage to her skull with every peck. But the good news is that she was still conscious when they finally let her go, dunking her in an artificial lagoon. But the bad news is that it’s also a lagoon belonging to the park’s Mosasaurus.
This 70-foot leviathan is so preoccupied with biting himself off a piece of Pteranadon, he doesn’t even notice poor little Zara as he swallows her whole in one gulp. That’s right, she got Sarlacc Pit’d.
The excessive brutality of this death coupled with the fact that it was levied on a character who did nothing more than plan her wedding is why it is so bloody memorable. Hey, at least she can say that she is the first person to see the inside of a Mosasaurus. You know, for however long the digestion takes…
1. Clever Girl (Jurassic Park)
Could there be a better movie death than when Robert Muldoon, noble English game warden for Jurassic Park, accepts his fate with dignity and grace?
The only character to live in Crichton’s novel but die in the 1993 film, Muldoon was one of the few genuinely sympathetic and purely likable personas to end up as dino chow in the entire franchise, which is probably why Spielberg saved him for last. Unlike Ray Arnold, Muldoon figured out that he and Ellie Sattler were being stalked by Velociraptors from the bushes straight ahead. Instead of running or panicking like everyone else, he faces the challenge head on, hunting the biggest game of his life.
Sadly, Muldoon never heard Dr. Alan Grant’s child-scaring lecture about how Raptors are pack hunters that attack from the side (or that you’re alive when they start to eat you). So as the hunter corners one Raptor, he soon becomes the prey for another: the “clever girl.”
There is almost something elegant about his tip of the hat. Of course, mere seconds later the Raptor is also tipping his face back to taste all the gooey bits beneath. Still, that’s how you get ripped apart with class.