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Issue 1 - King of the Hill

Over the years, a few questions have arisen about certain scenes in the Jurassic Park films that seemingly contradict reality or continuity. These are called "flubs," scenes in which something occurs that is without warrant or reason, or is contradictory to common knowledge. A lot of debate exists about certain scenes and exactly how much of a "flub" they are. Because of this debate, JPL has put together a new way of approaching these scenes called "Fact or Flub?"

The first scene tackled in the "Fact or Flub?" section is the infamous T-rex main road attack from JP, or as the JPL team calls it, the "King of the Hill" sequence.

Earlier in the film, we are presented with the shot of the Tyrannosaur viewing area. We see the tunnel entrance from which the cars came, a large fence leading from the ground near the tunnel's exit, going across the screen and for an unknown length into the forest. A goat is then raised from an underground feeding center and placed within the paddock. Now, skipping ahead to the actual attack, we now are presented with the exact same stretch of road/fence: the goat is present, the fence is present, and the tunnel exit would be further down the road but is not visible due to a downed tree.

As the attack commences, the T-rex attacks the fence between the two vehicles. At the same time, the fence near the first tour-car begins to buckle under the force of the rex pulling on the cables. The t-rex then makes a triumphant entrance, ripping the fence and stepping out into the viewing area. The fun begins once the rex attacks the first car, flipping it over and crushing it. Grant and Ian-and Gennaro to an extent-manage to distract the rex long enough for Grant to get Lex out of the car before the rex decides to knock the car into its paddock.

This is where the confusion begins. Many people who have viewed this scene have called it a flub-a huge mistake-saying that the cliff seemingly appears from nowhere and makes no sense.

Now, let's look at our film evidence:
First we have the initial arrival. We can see here that the fence is quite long. If you look, the fence actually doesn't stretch all the way to the tunnel, instead, it all seems to converge into a small point next the tunnel. This would seemingly be an error-a gratuitous error-if the rex's range stretched all the way to the tunnel and further. This is our first hint that the paddock has a boundary further in.

It is hard to tell exactly what the ground level of the area is and exactly what is where but what we can be certain of is that the area where the goat is raised is level with the track.

The next photo shows that the goat is nearly right between the two tour cars, with a bushy area to the left of it, and a small clearing to the right and behind it. There is also a "High Voltage" sign right in front of it. Looking back on picture, one, and you can therefore place the stopping of the cars as around the 2nd "High Voltage" sign (based on the foliage, the movement of the cars past the first sign, and the placement of the 2nd sign).

Next, we have the shot of the rex leaving the fence. Notice the distance between the tour cars. This is slightly misleading. It looks like the cars are closer together and that the rex is right on top of the first car, but this is because of camera angle, the camera lens, and how the cars themselves are positioned on the horizon: it is only an illusion. Look really closely, and you can tell that the cars are quite a distance from each-other (look at the first car and how close it is to the camera, and then look at how far the second car is. Also notice the size difference because of the distance).

In this next shot, we see the rex walking from the second car to the first car. Notice the placement of the high voltage sign. We know that the goat was positioned right at that sign, so that gives us a pretty clear idea of the relationship between the day and night time shots.

Now, we see the Rex chasing Ian, but looking past that, you can see, again, the relationship distance wise between the two cars. Also notice the large amount of plant material in what should be a clear area-compared to the daytime shot. We must remember that this is during a tropical storm and like in any storm, if the ground is overly saturated, large trees will become uprooted and fall into: this is no different.

Here, we can see exactly where the first car is situated. Notice the "high voltage" sign still within view.

In the next shot we see where exactly the car is going to go over. Notice the pole that had become structurally weakened earlier standing to the right of where the car will go over. The cables here seem to have snapped, probably because of the stress of being on and being rooted to the pole just out of the shot to the right.

This is a good shot of the aftermath of the attack. The 2nd car is just off camera to the right of the jeep. You can see along the right edge of the shot the hole where the rex exited the paddock. If you look further down, you see where there is a dark mark in the cement wall: that is where the 1st car went over the edge. Also notice where the high voltage sign is: right next to the windshield.

In this shot, you can see one of the most curious things about the whole endeavor is the illusion of depth. The trees Ellie is shining her flashlight on are far back, but not too far back that there is a lot of room for forest and such. This ravine or moat would seem not to be very wide.

After examining all this, there are some important details to be remembered. In the daytime shot, the actual placement of the foliage is hard to tell. There is definitely a difference in the proximity of foliage in the feeding area as compared to the rest of the length of the fence, but there are no real good shots showing exactly what is along this section of road. The plants are further back, but exactly by how much is hard to say.

Based on the first shot of the vehicles entering the Rex viewing area, we can clearly see that the fence continues only up to the tunnel exit, but not all the way to it. Looking at the scene, we can also see that the plants clearly do not reach all the way to the fence as they do in the feeding area. Then comparing everything we can, we find that the rex exited the paddock right of the feeding area, where the viewing area still came in contact with the fence.

The car was then pushed over the cement wall into the paddock in an area to the left of the feeding area, just past where the ground was level, and fell into a small ravine where there are several trees, one of which the car falls into. The ravine also must be at least 100 feet deep, to account for the drop and the tree height. It is also possible that the ground within the paddock sloped down slightly.

Now as far as presentation, the mere fact that this has caused confusion is enough to say something is wrong. Looking at the initial presentation of the scene, we can see that the plants that should be far away from the fence don't appear that far away. They also appear to be different plants than those Ellie is shining her flashlight on. This alone is enough to cause minor confusion. On top of that, the camera angles used are extremely restricted, showing off very little of the paddock, perhaps in an attempt to restrain the audience within the tour vehicles as well.

The director tried to show off the cliff when Alan and Lex climb over the cement curb and must maintain their balance as not to fall into the ravine. All in all, the "King of the Hill" scene is not a flub, but a simple miscommunication between the film and the audience.


Thomas Holtz?s Dinosaur Encyclopedia (S/F)
Papo Stegosaurus (S/F)
Jurassic World (Movie)
Mosasaurus Feeding Show (S/F)
Barry (II) (S/F)

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