A few months ago the Alamo Drafthouse and Mondo, AKA the theater's botique art division, created a new programming series: The Mondo Mystery Movie. Basically, Mondo was planning a series of screenings of unknown films - could be vintage, could be new - and comissioning a poster that would then only be available to those lucky enough to attend a one-time screening. The first Mondo Mystery Movie sold out within a minute, despite the fact that no one had any idea what it was (it ended up being the highly influential anime Akira, and that poster still pops up on eBay for hundreds of dollars).
Well now the Drafthouse and Mondo are back with Mystery Movie #2, and as with the first film, tickets for this unknown film and poster sold out within a minute. And while while we wish we could teleport everyone to this very special screening, we can do the next best thing: tell you what it is and show you the poster.
Movies.com is thrilled to present to you the first in Mondo's new series of licensed Jurassic Park posters. That's right, Jurassic Park is joining the likes of Star Wars and Star Trek as one of the shop's most cherished art series and this striking poster by Aaron Horkey is the first in this new line. See it in full at the bottom of this post.
The second poster in the series, which will be created by a yet-announced artist, will be available for online sale timed to Universal's release of the Jurassic Park trilogy on Blu-ray on October 25th. And while you can rest assured that we will be back to talk more about Mondo's collaboration with one of our most beloved films when that HD set hits (including an interview with one of the film's visual effects masterminds, Phil Tippett, who will be at tonight's 35mm screening), we wanted to kick off the Jurassic Park love fest early by teaming up with the creative minds at Mondo and sharing some of our memories of seeing the film for the first time.
Peter Hall, Movies.com
You may not realize it when you pass them, but we all have cinematic landmarks in our history; titles that guide our journey to film geekdom like sign posts pointing in an unseen direction. It's only when we gain distance and look down at the map that is our movie-loving tastes that these landmarks emerge and we can connect the dots from one milestone to the next. And for me, every dot can be traced back to Jurassic Park. No film or TV show had a bigger impact on where I am today than watching dinosaurs come to life.
Jurassic Park is what made me fall in love with filmmaking. It lit a fire in me to learn more about the art form, about the magic of bringing the impossible to life on the big screen, that has never burned out. It was my gateway drug, forever transforming watching movies from something that was done to pass the time to something that I actively participated in. That's just the professional side of things, though. On a personal level, Jurassic Park represents something deeper to me.
I was seven years old when my parents took us to see Jurassic Park on opening night. I can vividly remember holding my mother's hand during the scary parts and staring awestruck at, well, everything else. I instantly became obsessed with the movie and she eagerly encouraged it. She bought me The Making of Jurassic Park: An Adventure 65 Million Years in the Making, which I clung to for years. She even let me and my brother and a few of the neighborhood boys walk to a nearby theater to watch it again all on our own. The film print actually caught on fire right as the brontosaurus began rearing on its hind legs, causing it to look like the entire theater was burning down. That was the last time I saw Jurassic Park on the big screen.
When I was nine years old, my mother died. And while I have no doubt that we watched many movies in theaters between 1993 and 1995, I can't remember a single one of them. Truth is, I can't remember much at all between the years right before and after her death. One of the last memories I have of my mother that doesn't involve a hospital is sitting next to her in a dark movie theater, watching dinosaurs come to life.
I hate to lead this charge of remembering our first time watching Jurassic Park with such a sappy story, and I really hate to make it even sappier, but to me that just embodies the absolute power of Jurassic Park and the movie magic it wields. Seeing that ancient world come to life in such vivid detail for the first time was an experience powerful enough to overcome the kind of mental trauma sudden death can cause on a kid. That's no easy feat, but, then again, neither is making dinosaurs breathe again.
John Gholson, Movies.com
Jurassic Park may be a simple meat-and-potatoes film, but it's made from the finest ingredients -- an enthusiastic, surefooted director, a memorable cast, a hummable score, and an impeccable special effects crew. Like a proper nerd, I read the novel Jurassic Park a few weeks before the film's release. It's a testament to the film that I don't remember a single detail of the book, but I can remember things from the movie as incidental as the brand of shaving cream that Dennis Neddry uses to smuggle "Dino DNA" out of the park ("Beard Buster" Barbasol).
The dinosaurs were so real in fact, that on the long drive home from a dinky theater at Lufkin Mall, through the deepest thicket of East Texas, I could vividly imagine dinosaur heads peering out over the tops of the pines. Actually, "imagine" might be too weak a word to describe what was happening in my brain. You know those phantom game pieces that float and pivot around in your mind after a lengthy game of Tetris? Like that, but with dinosaurs. Dinosaur heads were supposed to be peeking from the treetops, because they were obviously still alive. Right?
Scott Weinberg, Movies.com
The date, as you probably know by now, was June 11, 1993, and I was seated at an opening night screening of Jurassic Park with a half-row of good friends. Many of us had (recently) read the Michael Crichton source material, most of us were bona-fide Spielberg junkies who worshipped at the altar of Jaws, Close Encounters, E.T. and Indiana Jones, and all of us -- all young adults and just cynical enough to scoff at "family films" were seriously psyched to see some big-time dinosaur action ... and boy did this movie deliver.
By '93 Mr. Spielberg was already a household name and a patron saint of millions of movie freaks the world over. But as a director, his pre-Park run was not exactly the fun-time slip 'n' slide that he delivered throughout most of the '80s. Of the five Spielberg films that preceded Jurassic Park, four were Hook, Always, Empire of the Sun, and The Color Purple. Either relative disappointments or admirably straight-faced drama pieces. (The fifth was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.) My rambling point is that by '93, the "now-grown" Spielberg fans were itching for something truly special. Again ... boy did this movie deliver.
And that, simply enough, is one of my favorite things about Jurassic Park: not just the phenomenal effects and the sweet suspense; not only the colorful cast or the overall sense of dangerous fun that isn't TOO dangerous -- just the simple proof that, after some very serious flicks and the relative disappointment of Hook, one of our best storytellers could bounce back and present the same sort of superlative popcorn entertainment that we expect from the name Spielberg. Just as my generation grew up on the delicious creepiness of Jaws, the next one took to Jurassic Park in precisely the same way. Therein lies the evidence of a filmmaker who, quite simply, knows what the hell he's doing.
Justin Ishmael, Mondo Creative Director
I remember seeing Jurassic Park for the first time at a mall with my parents and brother, which for my parents, was a GIANT mistake. It was like drugs for me. I got a taste and I wanted more. For a year I wanted dinosaur toys, but ONLY ones with "JP" branded into the side which led to going to lots of different toy stores to track down dinosaurs. The Tyrannosaurus Rex and Velociraptors were cool, but my favorite dinosaur in the movie was the Dilophosaurus. He was terrifying and looked the coolest.... and he spit poison! After I saw it, kids who had parents that were on the fence about letting them see it would invite me over to talk to their parents. Kind of a "Justin's parents let him see it and he's fine" type of thing. I was essentially the neighborhood lawyer defending Jurassic Park and I had a perfect record.
Mitch Putnam, Mondo
The thing I remember most about Jurassic Park in the theater was the booming sound. It was unlike anything I'd heard before. That film really revolutionized sound design. In fact, it seemed like every electronics store you went in back then had JP playing on a home theater system for demo. The visual effects get a lot of praise, but I'm willing to bet that movie was responsible for selling millions of surround sound systems too. It felt like a brand new theater experience. It was such an awesome time to be a kid.
Rob Jones, Mondo
I saw Jurassic Park in the summer of my sophomore year of college. I was dressing like Ian Malcolm, the chaos theorist from the film, before the movie so when I got back to college that fall my roommates and the occasional jagoff at a bar would call me "Goldblum." I entertained it at first and did a horrible impression to humor folks, but in the end it got on my nerves. So I guess the biggest impact the movie had on me was it inadvertently led to me wearing less black and I pretty much quit wearing sunglasses not long afterwards. Seriously, find a picture of me with sunglasses after 1993 or so. Oh, and the dinosaurs looked cool.
And here the badboy is in full. Give it a click to see it even bigger: