Teaching Old Monsters New Tricks

Film-still from King Kong, directed by Peter Jackson, 2005.

Another way to be novel is to use familiar monsters in unfamiliar ways. Consider the first dinosaur scene in the Peter Jackson remake of King Kong (2005). He started with an old school image: a herd of grazing sauropods that reminded me of a mural from the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. I often stared at reproductions of this in books when I was a boy. But then the scene changes. The sauropods stampede, and as the human characters run to get out of the way they discover the cause of this panic.

Film-still from King Kong, directed by Peter Jackson, 2005. 

A herd of carnivorous theropods is running in an out among them. What was truly different about this scene was the chaotic way in which the stampeding dinosaurs tripped and tumbled over one another before slipping over a cliff en masse. Throughout the scene, dinosaur bodies were portrayed at angles and in positions which I have never seen in any other motion picture.

Film-still from King Kong, directed by Peter Jackson, 2005.

 In my next post, I will discuss something without which everything mentioned so far will have been wasted...