Monday, October 13, 2008

JFC Review #1: Raptor's Last Stand

Episode Title: Raptor's Last Stand (You know, like General Custer's Last Stand, but with a raptor)


Stakes: Life & death; survival in the prehistoric world.

Quotes regarding GASTONIA:

"Its tail worked like a chainsaw."
"A giant porcupine-like monster previously unknown to science."
"Built like a Sherman tank."
"This was a walking armoured pincushion."
PERSONAL FAVOURITE: "I tend to liken the tail of Gastonia to a chainsaw." (tail = chainsaw, pt 2).
"This animal was built like a Sherman tank." (build = Sherman tank, pt 2).
"Now, remember, Gastonia's tail is like a chainsaw." (tail = chainsaw, pt. 3).

Quotes regarding UTAHRAPTOR:

"What kind of monster would be able to be smart enough and fast enough to attack the Gastonia where it counted?" (Utahraptor; implied)
"This was a giant super-sized raptor."
"They named this beast 'Utahraptor', meaning 'thief of Utah'".
"Utahraptor was the velicoraptor on steroids. This is the punked-up raptor."
PERSONAL FAVOURITE: "If I was going to build the perfect raptor, I would build a Utahraptor."
"That's why it was given the nickname 'Superslasher'".
"We also call it 'Killer Claw'".
"Don't mess with a raptor, you're going to lose."

Key Pre-Fight Moments:

The paleontologists, clearly being egged on by the producers of the show, conceded that Gastonia may have had pterosaurs settle on its back, the way birds settle on modern day rhinos. It was totally made up, but every image of the Gastonia afterwards depicted it with these weird birds riding on top of it, and it was heavily implied that this was as much for companionship as it was for help sensing predators (they were frequently referred to as the Gastonia's "entourage"). Also, the pterosaurs looked like birds. Like, real birds. They had feathers and stuff. Just hanging around in the Triassic, having feathers and like beaks and shit. There is clearly some sort of secret ornithological agenda to the show, with birds trying to make it seem as if their origins can be traced much farther back than the Mesozoic. Beware!

2. You know that speech Dr. Grant makes to that kid in Jurassic Park, about how the raptor could slash his belly open and blah, blah, blah, he hates kids but learns to love them by the end? They went absolutely out of their way to have their raptor descriptions resemble that speech, but they never directly said, "Like in Jurassic Park, you know?". It was pretty disingenuous: you gotta admit that Jurassic Park practically invented the raptor, probably even more than the raptor invented the raptor, and definitely more than Jurassic Fight Club invented the raptor.

3. Weird head-on graphic image of the raptor's skull, in which it looked exactly like Jack Skellington. It was like they had just cut and pasted The Nightmare Before Christmas DVD cover up on there, minus the weird spiral-y Tim Burton hillock.

4. The comparison of a wolf fighting a porcupine. Just seems like a pretty different situation, and also something that would never actually occur, which actually makes it a very similar situation.

5. The use of the phrase, "using as much evidence and scientific fact as possible", which translates to "we did not use evidence or scientific fact".

6. The phrase, used in every episode in one way or another: "Unlike modern day crime scenes, the difference here is that the dinosaur remains have been stripped of their organic material". The first rule of Jurassic Fight Club is that we will refer to fossil beds as "crime scenes" ALWAYS.


The Utahraptor is starving to death. Under normal circumstances, he (all dinosaurs are generally male in the show) would not attack this Sherman tank with its chainsaw tale. But things have become desperate...

Meanwhile the Gastonia is using his weird sixth senses to try to find water. His "entourage" is at full alert. They sense the Utahraptor's approach and warn the Gastonia.

The Utahraptor and the Gastonia confront each other. There is a great deal of gnashing and tail-swishing, which is quite suspenseful.

The Utahraptor uses his superior "intellect" (it is referred to as an intellect; the raptor is an intellectual) to strategize an attack.

The Gastonia is inexplicably being referred to as "the little Gastonia" by the paleontologist describing the fight. Perplexing, but kind of makes you root for the Gastonia just a bit.

The Utahraptor decides the best strategy would be to jump over the little Gastonia. Just jump right over it. I guess he thinks this will confuse the little Gastonia? A clear answer is never quite given re: the strategy. But I will admit one thing: it did look really awesome when he did it. The music was all "dun-dun, dun-dun" and you (if you were me) were all "whoa, don't even think of jumping over that giant spiny Sherman tank with its chainsaw tail!" and then it was all sort of slow-motion and you (if you were me) were like, "I can't believe you're jumping over that giant spiny Sherman tank with its chainsaw tail!".

The little Gastonia, duly confused, is caught unawares as the Utahraptor bites into his front leg. He swishes his chainsaw tail but to no avail.

Ok, time out: quickly, let's address the chainsaw tail. It is in no way like a chainsaw. It is not motorized nor does it have several small sharp teeth. It's just a spiny tail. Ok, time in.

The little Gastonia is now in dire straights. According to the narrator, his front leg is currently in unbearable pain. But the fight isn't over.

Ok, time out: generally, you can tell what dinosaur will win by who wins the first battle. If they win the first battle, it's all over for that dinosaur. So at this point, we can assume that the Utahraptor is fucked. Ok, time in.

The Utahraptor has a bold new plan of attack. He wants to go for a back leg, but, as the narrator informs us, that is exactly where the little Gastonia wants him.

The chainsaw tail is now referred to as both "the most anti-raptor weapon ever made" and as "anti-raptor scissors". As if these spines the Gastonia has were specifically developed for rogue hungry raptors, and would not harm other predators. Anyway, the raptor, whose last strategic attack was to jump over the spiny thing, has now decided to go near these obviously anti-raptor weapons. Well, he pays a price, let me tell you. The little Gastonia is all "fuck you!" and catches the raptor's leg in the spines. The "shearing action" of the spines "is like a hedge-clipper", we are told, which seems like quite a step down from a chainsaw. Is this tail a cute, socially awkward Edward Scissorhands, or are we talking about mothafuckin' Evil Dead-style Ash? Some unholy hybrid, I guess, and the raptor is helpless in this specifically anti-raptor device. His leg is seriously cut up. As predicted, it's over for that raptor. That raptor lost the battle. That raptor's got a bloody leg and he's still starving. The little Gastonia and his entourage of anachronistic birds wander into the desert.

Weirdly though, the narrator goes on to tell us that both dinosaurs eventually die from starvation due to drought, which means that the summary of JFC: Raptor's Last Stand is:


PS. If at parts I sound as if I am condescending to this show, I publicly state that I am not. I believe fully that I am the target demographic for Jurassic Fight Club, and that every choice on the show is justified and perfect.

Except I really wish the Utahraptor had won, because they are way more awesome.

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