- "Skipper S.S. Venture, This is InGen harbor master. Do you copy? over."
- —The Harbor Master trying to connect to S.S. Venture(src)
The S.S. Venture was an InGen cargo vessel. In the film The Lost World: Jurassic Park the ship is used to bring a Tyrannosaurus rex to the mainland from the island Isla Sorna. After a breakout, the ship is used to bring the adult and baby T. rex back to island.
Following the capture of the male Tyrannosaurus rex on Isla Sorna, Peter Ludlow had the tranquilized animal loaded into a framed harness and transferred by helicopter to the deck of the Venture. The ship left the island bound for San Diego.
At some point during the voyage, the Tyrannosaur began going into arrest due to the tranquilizers he'd been given. The crew, fearing he would die, administered an amphetamine to save him. Unfortunately, they didn't know the correct dosage and gave him too much. What happened after this is uncertain, but evidence suggests the Tyrannosaurus broke free of his harness and attacked and killed most of the crew before being locked in the hold by one of the final men, who was fatally wounded. After sealing the dinosaur below decks, the crewman died of his injuries still clutching the controls for the cargo hold doors.
Since the crew was all dead, no one was piloting the ship, the Venture barrelled headlong towards the InGen Waterfront Complex. All efforts by the harbor master to make contact with Thompson failed and the vessel crashed violently into the dock. Peter Ludlow went aboard along with Ian Malcolm, Sarah Harding and several security guards to investigate. They found the empty harness on deck, the hold doors stuck in a neverending cycle of partially opening and then slamming shut again, due to the dead crewman's hand still on the controls with fingers still clamped down on the button to shut the cargo hold doors.
Thinking there might be survivors in the hold, Ludlow ordered guard Jerry Randall to open it. Malcolm, realizing that the T. rex must be in the hold, yelled for everyone to run and made a futile attempt to stop Jerry, but he was too late. The guard opened the hold doors, unleashing the Tyrannosaur. Still fueled by the amphetamine overdose, the dinosaur promptly made his way off of the ship and headed towards San Diego.
Ludlow was shocked to find the entire crew ripped to shreds and was even more shocked to see the T. rex escape the cargo hold and rampage through the streets of San Diego, which later became known as the San Diego incident.
Malcolm and Sarah brought the baby Tyrannosaurus to the boat hoping his father would follow. He did. Ludlow was killed in an attempt to stop them. As police arrived under orders to kill the adult, Sarah used a tranquilizer rifle to shoot him in the neck, and as he began to fall asleep from the effects of the dart, Malcolm resealed him in the hold. Because the Venture was still seaworthy, it was used to take the two dinosaurs back to Isla Sorna under heavy escort by Navy warships.
LEGO Jurassic World
Behind the scenes
The Venture is a likely reference to King Kong, as both films have a ship called Venture that take a large, prehistoric animal from an island filled with dinosaurs to a major city.
There is a popular theory that Velociraptors may have killed the crew. Nothing in the actual film suggests this, but in The Making of The Lost World: Jurassic Park there is a piece of concept art that exists of a Velociraptor inside a metal corridor standing in water with a person far away shining a flashlight on the dinosaur. It is possible that this is the S.S. Venture and what inspired the theory, although according to the Making Of book (and further evidence below), it is far more likely this piece of art is depicting a portion of the Velociraptor chase in the Worker Village that was part of the original ending prior to Spielberg deciding two months before shooting that he wanted to go with the San Diego sequence. David Koepp's revised third act that added the San Diego sequence was only mentioned to include the male Tyrannosaurus onboard the ship, and no Velociraptors.
However, recently auctioned storyboards by Phil Tippett reveal that there was to be a sequence aboard the Venture during its voyage where the Tyrannosaur awakens in his harness on deck. It also showed in more detail how the crew kept him restrained. In addition to the reinforced harness, he is muzzled and his head and tail are being held in place by two bulldozers fitted with crane arms. A catastrophic series of errors ends with the rex getting free of his muzzle and injured by the tines of a forklift attempting to help wrangle him and finally biting the front wheel of the bulldozer holding his head. When the panicked driver reverses, he accidentally pulls the dinosaur partially out of the harness, giving him the leverage he needs to use his powerful leg muscles to get himself free the rest of the way. The movie would've then presumably cut to the sequence at the waterfront complex.
An eighth-scale dock and boat were built by Lorne Peterson, aided by Rob Edwards, Mike Lynch, and Giovanni Donovan. The dock measured twenty by thirty feet, and the boat measured twenty-six feet (making it 208 feet when fully scaled).
- This is according to InGen guard Hampton, who explains what happened to Malcolm and Sarah.
- We see both the empty harness and the dead man's hand holding the controls.
- The Lost World: Jurassic Park (video game), Human Hunter level, intro video.
- Cinefex issue 70, pg. 107