No Mere Mortal Can Resist the Evil of the Thriller: Thriller (1983)

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And though you fight to stay alive, your body starts to shiver. For no mere mortal can resist the evil of the thriller.

So I know you are probably thinking, a music video? That’s not a horror film.

Majorly

This music video is almost 14 mins and a recommended length for a short film, by the New York Film Academy, is 10-15 mins. That makes this “music video” a short film, and perfect for our countdown.

It was directed by John Landis, most known for his film An American Werewolf in London, and he made the film because he wanted to bring back the theatrical short, you know the short film before the movie. Like Pixar and Disney used to do.

“I saw it as a chance to resurrect a genre that had once been a Hollywood staple. Music videos were new in 1983, and MTV was just two years old.”

They even tried to get an Academy Award nomination for Best Short Live Action, but the Academy didn’t have the same love for it as the rest of the world did. However in 2009 it was selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being the first music video in history to receive that honor.

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It takes place in the 1950s and starts off with Michael and his date (Ola Ray) are driving and the car runs out of gas. They get out to walk through the creepy forest:

Stay out of the forest!

Stay out of the forest!

Michael wears a red letterman that looks a lot like a certain jacket from a certain horror film:

He asks his date to be his girlfriend, and she agrees him giving her a ring to symbolize it.

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How sweet.

But then he warns her:

Michael: There’s something I’ve got to tell you.

Michael’s Girl: Yes, Michael?

Michael: I’m not like other guys.

Michael’s Girl: Of course you’re not. That’s why I love you.

Michael: No, I mean I’m different.

Michael’s Girl: What are you talking about?

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Nothing good is going to come of this.

And then the moon comes out:

attack Wolf Boy Meets World moon full moon night

And he changes into a Werecat!

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And the makeup is pretty creepy. You can thank Rick Baker for that. Even though CGI is probably cheaper, I love seeing what people were able to make with such limited supplies and technology. It is unbelievable.

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Back to the video. So Michael the werecat os chasing his date through the forest. Run girl, run!

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Just as the werecat is about to grab her, we cut to a movie theater. Yes this is a film that Michael and his girlfriend are watching.

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Michael loves the film but his date (Ola Ray) is not into horror films. Such a pity.

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She walks out and Michael, being a good date, follows. As they are outside the music starts up and we get those perfect lyrics that are impossible to hate.

It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking
In the dark
Under the moonlight you see a sight that almost stops
Your heart
You try to scream, but terror takes the sound before
You make it
You start to freeze as horror looks you right between
The eyes
You’re paralyzed

Now at first this is Michael just joking around with his girlfriend, teasing her. But it will soon change.

You hear the door slam and realize there’s nowhere left to run
You feel the cold hand and wonder if you’ll ever see the sun
You close your eyes and hope that this is just imagination
But all the while you hear the creature creepin’up behind
You’re out of time

I like how in his dance Michael Jackson throws in a Frankenstein monster move and hints at famous “thrillers”.

Frankenstein

Night creatures call
And the dead start to walk in their masquerade
There’s no escapin’ the jaws of the alien this time (they’re open wide)
This is the end of your life

They’re out to get you, there’s demons closing in on every side
They will possess you unless you change the number on your dial
Now is the time for you and I to cuddle close together
All thru the night I’ll save you from the terrors on the screen,
I’ll make you see

Now in this scene it is very apparent that they are taking there time walking home in not the best conditions. There are no streetlights and a ton of fog. You know what’s coming, something bad.

I'm getting shivers

I’m getting shivers

And then we have the best thing in the world. Just as Michael and his girlfriend go by the cemetery, we hear Vincent Price’s voice. Bringing us:

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And then things begin to rise in the graveyard.

Night of the living dead zombie

Darkness falls across the land
The midnite hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize y’awl’s neighbourhood
And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpse’s shell

It’s funny to think that this music video never would have had such an amazing voice in it, I mean aside from Michael Jackson, if it wasn’t for writer Rod Temperton’s wife, Peggy Lipton. Temperton had wanted talking at one part and needed a classic horror actor to give the music the edge he desired. Lipton was a good friend of Price, asked him and he agreed.

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So the rest of the dead are waking up; out of every grave, tomb, and casket.

night of the living dead

The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller
Can you dig it?!

And of course, they head after Michael.

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They are surrounded! Oh no! Michael’s girlfriend looks to Michael for help, but it is too late:

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AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And then we have one of the most engaging dances ever to be created/performed.

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They actually had to think long and hard how to create the scene where they dance that wasn’t childish or silly, but kept to the mood of the previous scenes; and I have to say they accomplished it. In fact, before Landis agreed to direct, he made it mandatory that all extras spend two weeks in rehearsals with the choreographer; something that had never been done before. This dance has been such a big part of our culture from Thrill Around the World to being referenced in numerous films and TV shows.

‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night
And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to strike
You know it’s thriller, thriller night
You’re fighting for your life inside a killer, thriller tonight

That it’s a thriller, thriller night
‘Cause I can thrill you more than any ghost would dare to try
Girl, this is thriller, thriller night
So let me hold you tight and share a killer, diller, chiller
Thriller here tonight

Michael’s date is horrified and runs into a creepy old house, with the zombies surrounding her on every side. Very Night of the Living Dead.

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Too bad she doesn’t have a Ben to save her as they start destroying the house to get her.

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Michael grabs her and bam. It turns out they are just in a home, Michael isn’t a zombie….Or is he? We close on Vincent Price’s amazing laugh with  frozen still of Michael’s yellow werecat eyes.

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That was Michael Jackson’s Thriller and it is amazing. From the song, to Jackson, to Price, to Ray, to the dancing, the makeup- I could go on and on but it is just perfect. I mean it gives you everything you want

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Plus a fun dance to do. Check it out for yourself!

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to Every Three Thousand Years, the Stars Align. Unleashing an Army of Monsters: TMNT (2007)

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For more on Michael Jackson, go to Haunted Harmonies of Halloween: Top 5 Songs to Play on Halloween

For more Vincent Price, go to A Man Without a Face: The Bat (1959)

For more zombies, go to Those Aren’t Men They Are the Living Dead: White Zombie (1932)

For more music reviews, go to Shook Me All Night Long

For more ’80s music, go to Back in Black

For more ’80s films, go to I’ll Be Back: The Terminator (1984)

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Folio Fatigue

Have you ever read a book and became so invested in the story?

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So much that afterwards you find yourself in a fog and not quite ready for reality.

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It’s like you’ve just been rudely awakened, and instead of doing things you have to, all you want is a comfortable chair and your book back.

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So the other day I was at one of my jobs. I run the front desk and if no one comes, then I get to spend my whole time reading a book.

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Sweet right?! Well the other day we had hardly anyone come in as there were a tone of Christmas parades, Christmas parties, Christmas craft fair, Christmas stroll, etc.

At Christmas

So I just spent the whole time reading.

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But then afterwards I had to run some errands before I headed out to the cookie exchange that I baked all those cookies for.

I went to the post office to mail some things, but it was like a fog had descended on my brain.

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I was still back in the book I had just finished and unable to answer questions immediately. I even put my pin number in wrong. All my mind could do was think back to the book I had just finished.

Oh well, I rather have my brain getting messed up on books than any other thing.

BookAddict

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For more book-filled posts, go to I Hate Those Kinds of People

For more on my everyday life, go to A Baker’s Four Dozen

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to You’ve Got to Accentuate the Positive

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Wolf Science

Today’s Christmas Carol is Christmas Don’t Be Late by Alvin & the Chipmunks.

As a kid I grew up watching their TV show and films, so they were always a staple, and this song was definitely sung around the holidays. It was written and sung in 1958 by Ross Bagdasarian Sr., otherwise known as Dave Seville.

It is a funny silly song that every kid can relate to as they can’t wait for Christmas to arrive.

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For more Alvin & the Chipmunks, go to Werewolves Roam Among Us: Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman (2000)

For more on Christmas Don’t Be Late, go to On the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st Days ‘Till Christmas: The Music of Christmas

For more Christmas Carols, go to The 12 Days of Christmas

There’s Nothing Out There. Nothing in the Mist: The Mist (2007)

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David, there’s nothing out there. Nothing in the mist.

So The Mist was an okay movie. I thought it was doing really good and totally creepy until the end. The end was totally screwed up as the director had to go and change the story. What a loser!

Book Slappers

So this is based on a story by Stephen King. And I know y’all know that a Horrorfest would not be complete without one. It is also not a complete rip-off of The Fog (the new or old film), as everyone thinks it is. There are quite a lot similarities, but they are extremely different in the motive and what the “monster” that is attacking is. In the different versions of The Fog, the creatures are it is supernatural, while in The Mist…well, you’ll see.

So the film starts the day after a huge thunderstorm has hit a little town (of course) in Maine (the usual). A thick, unnatural mist starts to descend on the town, and at first they don’t realize that something far more sinister is lurking within it.

supernatural supernatural

So, that day David Drayton (Thomas Jane), a graphic artist, decides to go to the local grocery store to buy supplies, bringing his eight-year-old son, Billy (Nathan Gamble), and his neighbor, Brent Norton (Andre Braugher) along. You know, just a normal average day.

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So while they are at the store, another storm comes and hits the the town. This time it severely engulfs the area in a thick mist. (Whenever I bike to work early in the morning I always think about this movie and The Fog.)

They do notice something very strange. It seems as if there is a plethora of military roaming about the area.

That's strange

That’s strange

When they get to the supermarket, they find it packed with people stocking up. A military policeman, goes after the soldiers in the supermarket, telling them to pack it up as their leave is over and they need to head out. Everything is normal until a local townsperson runs into the store covered in blood.

OMG

He begins screaming that there is something out there in the mist, killing and attacking people. People go to look out the windows to see what is out there, but the mist is so thick that they are unable to spot anything.

TheMist Supermarket wall window

Several people rush, out and everyone hears their screams…then nothing.

What!

Gilmore girls creep

The decide to seal the doors in order to keep “everything” out. One woman is worried about her children and decides to risk trying to go home. She asks for someone to accompany her, but no one volunteers.

How rude

She leaves and we never see her again.

Sadface Batman

So as you can guess, just like Night of the Living Dead, this film becomes more of a survivor story/deconstruction of humanity than an actual monster movie. You have a group of people trying to survive in a confinied area and while some rise to the challenge, others do not. This film has all the usual Stephen King clichés, like an deeply religious psychotic person who wants to kill/punish all who tries to control every one.

Of course

Of course

It couldn’t be a Stephen King film without it.

At one point the group tries to go check on their clogged generator. A couple men go to open the loading dock door to see what the issue is when large tentacles come reaching out and kill them.

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This is just the beginning in monster attacks, as they face giant insect, pterodactyl -like creatures, and many more.

In a raid for medicine vis-à-vis The Day After Tomorrow, they run into the military supervisor from earlier hanging from a gigantic spider web. He tells them to question the men in the store for the true backstory of the mist.

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In the end it turns out that military are to blame as they opened a portal to another world.

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Yes. In an ending as disappointing as Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull aliens just leaving. (Although the worse is yet to come.)

Eventually the section of the group that is run by the psychotic women, has increased that it outnumbers the other group lead by David. As she tries to get Billy to be a sacrificed, David’s team decides to leave, risking the unknown.

They are able to score a car and the group drive as far as the SUV will take them. They take stock of their options and decide it is better to end their lives, rather than be torn apart by whatever the things are. David shoots everybody in the car, including his son. Right before he turns the gun on himself, a military tank comes charging through proclaiming that they have defeated the monsters.

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Yes. Yes. He has just killed his child and everyone when he didn’t need to.

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Now I could forgive everything else. The stupid plotholes, the crazy clichés, the other dimension monsters, ANYTHING; but that ending? Really? Really? It’s just dumb.

Duh!

Duh!

Did you guys have to that? It is so horrible! First of all as he murdered his child when he didn’t need to. And secondly, it is extremely anti-climatic! I mean come on, it would have been so much better if they just had them driving off, no one knowing what will happen to them or whether they will survive. You know, like how it ended in the book?!

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Yep you guys really messed up there.

See Hook agrees with me.

See Hook agrees with me.

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For the previous post, go to The Past of a Man

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For more on Stephen King, go to He Who Walks Behind the Rows

For more films based on books, go to You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

For more quotes, go to Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die

No Force on Earth or Heaven Could Get Me on That Island: Jurassic Park III (2001)

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Are you saying you wouldn’t want to get on Isla Sorna and study them if you had the chance? No force on earth or heaven could get me on that island.

So Jurassic Park III is not nearly as good as Jurassic Park, but much better than The Lost World because of one thing.

Love this guy!

Love this guy!

Yep, Jurassic Park III sees the return of Dr. Grant, Sam Neil. 😀 It was supposed to have Jeff Goldblum too, but he injured himself and dropped out.

A lot of people don’t really like this film either.

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However, I really like it. I like all the Jurassic Park films. 😀

This version isn’t based on any books of Michael Crichton, but was a newly created plot with a few pieces from the orginal scripts. They took the aviary scene in her from the orginal Jurassic Park novel.  But more about that later.

So the film starts off with two people parasailing around Site B of Jurassic Park, where The Lost World took place. They go into a fog, and the next scene are gone!

dun-dun-duuuun

Dr. Grant has become famous for his discoveries, but more people want to know about the Jurassic Park incidents than what he has found.

Dr. Grant: [Dr. Grant is giving a lecture] Now, are there any questions?

[everyone in the audience raises their hand] Dr. Grant: Questions not related to Jurassic Park

[many people lower their hand] Dr. Grant: Or the incident in San Diego, which I did not witness.

[everyone else lowers their hand]

Dr. Grant goes to visit Ellie who is married with a baby. (Now this is something I hate, in the book Ellie & Dr. Grant weren’t dating she was already engaged, so I hated in the films how they were dating in the first film but then weren’t together in the last one.) Dr. Grant and his assistant Billy are working together to create a larynx of a Velociraptor.  The two are appraoached by a couple, the Kirbys, who like to go on wild adventure trips and want to have an air tour of Jurrassic Park. They got a special permit and will only be up in the air. Dr. Grant is adamant, no way, but then the Kirby’s place an extremely large check in his face that changes his mind.

While on the plane, Dr. Grant discovers that the two are lying. They have actually been planning the whole time to stop on the island. Dr. Grant tries to get them to stop, when he gets knocked out.

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So Dr. Grant is on the island. Although its not the same one, as he was on Site A originally. They try and  leave, but are stopped by a Spinosaurus, something that was’t on InGen’s list.  As they try to escape, a T-Rex appears and they manage to escape right before the Spinosaurus snaps the T–Rexs neck.

As they are moving through the island, and being followed by the Kirbys & Co., they discover parasail remains.

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This when the whole story comes out. It turns out that the Kirbys are divorced. The wife is remarried and her husband and the Kirby’s son went parasailing and disappeared. The father, played by William H. Macy, went to the traveling agency and hires a guy. The guy who is a “mercenary” and “knows guys” doesn’t really know or do anything he said he could.  And the check is completely fake too. They are looking for their son Eric and needed a guide, so they tricked Dr. Grant. Unfortunately, Dr. Grant was never on Site B, so he’s like I don’t know what is out here.

The group is trying to make its way through the island without dying, and they end up in the actual area where the dinos were constructed.  The one they showed them in Jurassic Park was all for show, but isn’t the real area. When they are there they get attacked by Raptors.

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What’s interesting about this portrayl of the raptors is that the designers wanted to incorporate the archeological findings. Scientists have discovered that Raptors were covered in feathers made out of keratin. They couldn’t go completely over the top, so they just put the feathers on the head.

The group gets seperated and Dr. Grant finds himself all alone. He is saved by a young boy, Eric Kirby. Eric Kirby, against all odds, has managed to survive 8 weeks on the island. He’s been living off candy, uses dino pee to scare things off, etc. Eric used to be a big fan of Dr. Grant too.

Erik: Be careful with that. T-Rex. It scares some of the smaller ones away but attracts one really big one with the fin.

Dr. Grant: This is T-Rex pee?

[Eric nods yes]

Dr. Grant: How’d you get it?

Erik: You don’t wanna know.

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Erik: I read both of your books. I liked the first one more. Before you were on the island. You liked dinosaurs back then.

Dr. Grant: Back then they hadn’t tried to eat me yet.

Dr. Grant: Did you read Malcolm’s book?

[Erik nods]

Dr. Grant: So?

Erik: I don’t know. It was kinda preachy. And too much Chaos. Everything Chaos. It just seemed like the guy was high on himself.

Dr. Grant: That’s two things we have in common.

The two go out looking for the rest of the group when Eric hears his father’s satellite phone.

I love the Spinosaurus there, he reminds me of my dog Katy, when she gets all riled up and you have her chew toy, she makes that face, posed to attack.

The group manages to escape and head to the compound, hoping to find some radio equipment to call for help. After they catch their breath, Billy asks for his bag back, and Dr. Grant tells him he is fine carrying it. Billy keeps insisting and insisting that Grant hand over the bag. This makes Dr. Grant very suspicious and he looks inside, discovering that there are raptor eggs in there. Along the way, Billy found some and took them, hoping that when they got off the island he could sell them. That’s why they have been chased by raptors.

Dr. Grant is furiuous with Billy. And who can blame him. I mean that it has to be tempting to steal those eggs, but come on Billy these aren’t chickens.

Billy Brennan: You have to believe me, this was a stupid decision but I did it with the best intentions. Dr. Grant: With the best intentions? Some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions. You know what, Billy? As far as I'm concerned, you're no better than the people that built this place.

Billy Brennan: You have to believe me, this was a stupid decision but I did it with the best intentions.
Dr. Grant: With the best intentions? Some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions. You know what, Billy? As far as I’m concerned, you’re no better than the people that built this place.

They then make their way into a large outdoor cage that hold pteradactyls and other pteranodons. This one of the freakiest scenes in the whole movie. It is super creepy with the fog and the birds. When my sis, niece, and I went to the San Diego Safari Park they have the birdhouse/plant area, it looked JUST like the aviary in Jurassic Park III. I kept saying that if I go in, there are going to be  pteradactyls in there that are going to try to kill me. It freaked my niece out soooooooooooooooo bad!!! She started crying and said she wasn’t going to go in. We had to say so many things to convonce her that she would be okay.

Anyways so they get in the aviary they think is abandoned, but it turns out there is something hiding in there.

The group is reeling from Billy’s death, and make their way down the river on a boat. They float by the Spinosaurus’ poop and find the satillette phone. The Spinoisaurus comes upon them and they begin to fight to  get away.

Dr. Grant manages to get out “Site B River” on the satillete phone to Ellie before he loses it to the river. They manage to get away again. The Kirbys are now all reunited and happy and want to be together.

They are almost free when they are come upon by the raptors. They sense that the Mrs. Kirby, Amanda, is a female and go straight for her. Dr. Grant saves the day when he uses Billy’s larynx creation. He blows in it just right so that it sounds like other Raptors are calling for help.

After they manage to get out of there they take off to the coast where the Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy are waiting for them. They even manage to find Billy.

Billy Brennan: I rescued your hat. Dr. Grant: Well... that's the important thing.

Billy Brennan: I rescued your hat.
Dr. Grant: Well… that’s the important thing.

They all  make it home okay.

So a couple of years ago they were talking about making a Jurassic Park 4 film, which my friend Margarita and I were super excited about it. But then they canceled when Michael Crichton unexpectedly died.

However, now that it is back on and supposed to be out in theaters in 2015, I am so jazzed! In a few years I can include it in the Horrorfests. 😀

Well that concludes our Jurassic Park Week. 😀

Here’s a cover page/poster I made for my Halloween countdown on Facebook.

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