Jurassic Park IV – Dinosaurs for Hire?

Dinosaurs for Hire comic bookOver at Cinematical, Eric Davis reacts with understandable dismay to this item at Bloody-Disgusting.Com, which claims that the next JURASSIC PARK sequel will feature government-trained dinosaurs carrying weapons into battle:

Holy crap is this premise absurd. Let me guess: At first, the dinosaurs are kicking some terrorist ass … until — oh no! — they turned on everyone, and pointed their weapons at us! Damn it, I knew we shouldn’t have given that Dilophosaurus a grenade launcher.

 Strangely enough, the premise brings to mind Dinosaurs for Hire, a tongue-in-cheek comic book that featured gun-toting dinosaurs working as mercenaries in the 20th century. The short-lived title, created by Tom Mason, featured a quartet of trigger-fingered saurians: a T-Rex named Apache, a Stegosaurus named Reese, a Triceratops named Lorenzo, and a Pteranodon named Cyrano. They were led by a beautiful woman, called the Professor, who was the brains of the operation and also mixed in with the mayhem from time to time.

Perhaps the premise was too reminiscent of four other famous talking reptile warriors, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or maybe the idea of Dinosaurs for Hire was funnier than the execution. In any case, the comic did not last long, but it did spawn a videogame, which generated a little more interest among fans, judging from the number of hits you get doing a Google search on the title.

For the present purposes, the essential point to remember is that Dinosaurs for Hire- in either incarnation – was intended as a joke. Apparently, JURASSIC PARK IV intends to be taken seriously – which may, ironically, make it that much funnier. The idea may be riduclous, but all I can say is rocket launchers and reptiles are an unbeatable combination – put a weapon in the hands (er, claws) of the world’s most fearsome predators, and I’m there.

I only wish the filmmakers would have the nerve to up the ante even further, taking inspiration from another comic source, Calvin and Hobbes:

The end of the Mesozoic Era… A herd of Chasmosaurs is unusually jittery! They now know they have more to fear than Tyrannosaurs. Now they face an even greater danger…

Now that would really rock, even if it’s so silly that I’d end up choking to death on my popcorn with laughter. 

In any case, Laura Dern has signed on to reprise her role from the 1993 original film. Sam Neil, who appeared in parts 1 and 3, has (perhaps wisely) declined a return engagement. Universal hopes to have the film in theatres for the summer of 2008 or 2009.

About the Author

Steve Biodrowski

Cinefantastique's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1987 to 1993 and West Coast Editor from 1993 to 1999. Currently the webmaster of Cinefantastique Online, I also run a website called Hollywood Gothique that covers Halloween Horror and Sci-Fi Cinema Events in the Los Angeles area.

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