We all know and love Jurassic Park, and one of the main reasons we love it is because of Newman’s death scene. Presumably serving as a karma-esque warning, Newman’s death teaches us that our actions have consequences — and sometimes those consequences kill us. Played by Dennis Nedry, Newman conspired with one “Dodgson” to steal embryos from John Hammond-Attenborough, because Newman wanted money for more chips and soda. “Dodgson! We’ve got Dodgson here!” Newman cries, sweating and screeching in delight about shaving cream. It would prove to be the last sunny moment in Newman’s short life, and in this piece, we will look in depth about what makes his death scene so great, a death via dilophosaurus goo.
As the chief IT guy on Isla Nublar (and its chief snack consumer as well), Newman is responsible for technical operations within Jurassic Park, including the maintaining of the park’s security system. When he shuts the system down to be all secretive and shit, things go awry, no matter how tightly Samuel L. Jackson holds onto his butt. Once the security system is down, Newman sneaks around stealing dino-embryos and putting them in his cool little shaving cream bottle. Rushing then for escape during a classic JP-storm, Newman’s JP car derails, and he winds up with his car stuck in the jungle. But that’s okay, he’s Newman! He’s the guy who tells off John Fucking Hammond. He’s the guy who is racist toward Mr. Arnold. He can handle a little car trouble. Newman’s so in control, in fact, that when a little dilophosaurus appears beside him and starts making weird guttural noises, Newman’s first response is to quip at the dino, saying such things as, “No wonder you’re extinct,” when the dino refuses to play fetch.
In all of this, we have to remember that the whole time Newman was on his stormy dino-heist, he was looking forward to having a peaceful, stormy evening alone back at his JP sleeping quarters, listening to jazz and looking at porn magazines. And quite likely eating chips as well, con soda, as Newman is quite fat. More than likely, the director, Herr Stevie Spielbergee, recognized that because Newman was fat, his death would become very funny to viewers, who, at this tense moment, needed good comic relief. So when it came time to Newman to die, Spielbergee called his sound editor and said, “I need some cartoon slippy sounds. Give them to me now! You know who I am? I’m God! I kill at will!” Peeing his pants in fright, the sound editor quickly searched the full archives of Looney Tunes and Spielbergee’s Animaniacs until finding the perfect slippy sound to accompany Newman’s slipping down a waterfall, allowing the viewer to watch his beached-whale body slide down into dilosphosauric depths. The sound editor breathed a sigh of relief in knowing he, unlike Newman, would not die that day.
After slipping and realizing that (unlike Mr. Arnold’s pristine arm) he was in dilophosauric danger, Newman rushed to his Jeep. He’d become terrified of the dilophosaurus’ special move: sprouting a fan-like neck that vibrated and screeching horribly. Defenseless Newman gazed at the little bipedal bastard in horror as it spewed tar onto Newman’s left man boob. It was sticky goop, and slowly the goop’s nerve agent was penetrating the Newman neurons on Newman’s body, making mirky his decision making processes, increasing the pitch of his screams. In consequence, Newman just stood there, pulling at the goop like a doofus. This allowed dilophy-ophy-o to goop Newman’s eyes — he’d lost his glasses after slipping down the waterfall — while yielding the first of a series of high-pitched, inhuman screams. Thanks to Christ for the visionary direction of Spielbergee, the moment of Newman’s scream is cinematic to the core. The camera, the lightning, the little errand boys off screen getting Spielbergee anything he wanted. It’s a master at work. And it all coalesces as Newman, now blind, pops into his Jeepy Jeep to discover a dilophy-o — a new one? The same one? — already fanning at the neck, screeching in delight at her new food, with meat galore, sure to satiate her for several weeks. (Or, if you’re insatiable Spielbergee, about a day.)
And what about all those dino-embryos? As in any Greek tragedy, we see that greed has no redemption as the Barbasol can falls down the same waterfall Newman fell down, only to be cascaded in mud, forever lost from Dodgson’s elusive grasp.
Newman is now dead, and he is never mentioned again.
But we, the viewer, remember Newman, for we remember that even amidst Tyrannosaurus horror, when cars are stuck in trees and Dr. Grant is threatening children with raptor claws, there are still things to laugh about.