John Doe Universally wrangling Killer sharks, dinosaurs and robots
The John Doe travelogues: Part 3
“Say goodbye to Hollywood, say goodbye my baby” - It’s the last day in LA for John Doe and his entourage (Gingersnap, “B” and Nina - the wife to be) and instead of slowing down its time to fulfil another life long goal. The exciting anticipation is reaching a crescendo level that JD is finding hard to hold back, for today he is attacked by Jaws, quantum leaps back in time to Jurassic Park and witnesses the missing 3-D chapter of in the Terminator saga.
We are off to Universal Studios, the theme park studio that encourages the public to pay them a visit for a price. Where black and white lenses filmed the classic monster movies, later wide angle technology captured some exterior shots in Spartacus and the far less eerie Bates Motel still has Psycho Norman peaking through blinds at the passing trolley.
Making a spectacle of ourselves at the arched front gates then the first stop was that famous guided trolley tour that parts the red sea and shows you the outside of a lot of live sets hidden inside matching warehouse buildings.
It’s a hot, clear skied California day and when Bruce pays us innocent doe eyed tourists a visit and splashes the vehicle with his tail fin, it refreshes and delights just like Johnny always hoped it would. (The shark looked a little worse for wear though)
Fortunately the cruisey journey comes with batteries included in the form of fire, exploding blanks and even a low level flood amongst other behind the scenes sneak peaks into the world of special FX.
Disembarking, we proceed to scoff down a burger at a Mel’s Diner, soon John D and B are hastily on collision course with the Mummy Ride. As we hop in the carriage not expecting much we begin to roll through three chambers of dull treasure and mirth. Suddenly without warning we are jolted up to a high speed and in pitch black careen violently left and right up, up, up and down, down, down screeching to a stop just inches from what looks like a brick walls. As cockroaches crawl down the structure a wind machine around our ankles blows a piece of fishing line to simulate the creepy crawlies. Somebody screams, then you do the whole thing in reverse, short and sweet but nothing special.
The Jurassic Park river ride again provided relief from the scorching solar rays, attested by half the people getting on in raincoats. As you knock and bump you way down a precisely calibrated tidal system that transports you through the downtown jungle of T-Rexville.
Through the shrubs trees and numerous shades of man made green a Velociraptor leaps out of hiding to spit all over us then a giant herbivore munches away round the next corner. Ofcourse it all goes south shortly after and soon jeeps are plummeting from the sky and the mammoth teeth of the tyrannosaurus rex attempt to amputate limbs. Escape comes as we hurtle down a waterfall and physic guarantees one more genuine soaking to quench the dryness.
Traipsing over to the other side of the park it was time for JD and co to reunite for a screening of T2 3D: Battle across Time. Written and Directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold, Linda, Eddy and Mulders replacement. Within a warehouse we are greeted by a bubbly representative from the innovative cyberdine corporation. Privvy to a promotional video for the company designed to brainwash and sell there product, thankfully the signal is interrupted by Sarah and John Connor who warn us of imminent doom.
Rushed into the Miles Bennett Dyson Auditorium, armed with 3D glasses we sit down in our gadget laden seats. Mixing live on stage performances with integrated CG FX that have the viewer ducking and weaving, the smell of gunpowder and burnt rubber linger in the air as the Harley peels out and the Terminator fires shotgun blanks. This was the highlight of the day for this pack of sci fi nerds who were sweating so much they mirrored the liquid metal T-1000.
Here is the footage from the T2 3D experience, losing alot in translation and out of context.
Sure the park has been around forever and some of the attractions date back to the 70’s but for John Doe the images drawn in his mind as a child glossed over the experience for maximum satisfaction.
Magnum P.I's Ferrari and the back to the Future Delorean...shame the ride closed a week before arrival.
Soon JD is aboard a Vegas bound midnight plane the adventure takes a turn towards self destruction…