INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. 1984. STORY BY GEORGE LUCAS. EXECUTIVE PRODUCER- GEORGE LUCAS. DIRECTED BY STEVEN SPIELBERG. MUSIC BY JOHN WILLIAMS. STARRING HARRISON FORD AND KATE CAPSHAW. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
Oh boy. They just don’t make ’em like this anymore. This 1984 American adventure flick is the second in the INDIANA JONES franchise, which also features INDIANA JONES AND THE RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, starring the legendary Sean ‘James Bond’ Connery as Indie’s Pops. Oh, and there’s a more modern one called INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL, but that one’s maybe not quite so good as the three earlier ones.
When I was a kid, these films (barring THE CRYSTAL SKULL, which hadn’t been made yet) were on television every Christmas. I remembered them for different reasons. THE LAST CRUSADE had Sean Connery, as I’ve already mentioned. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK had evil Nazis in it and an Irish (?) actress by the name of Alison Doody.
THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, however, arguably the best of the three films, was the one in which a madman ripped a guy’s heart out of his body and showed it to him while he was still alive, before killing him properly by dunking him in molten lava. That’s the kind of thing you don’t forget. I certainly never forgot it myself. In terms of action and adventure movies, it just doesn’t get any better than this. Well, not much, anyway.
This film is made by George STAR WARS Lucas’s film company, LUCASFILM LTD. There’s a nice little tip of the hat to STAR WARS in it in the form of a quick sighting of the outside of a place called CLUB OBI WAN. Did you spot it? It’s a kind of a blink-and-you-miss-it sort of thing.
In THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, famous archaeologist Indiana Jones, played by the handsomely rugged Harrison Ford, gets himself into a whole heap of trouble in the India of 1935. He teams up with an attractive, feisty-as-hell nightclub singer Willie Scott (she’s female, by the way, despite the odd choice of stage name) and a wise-cracking cute little Chinese boy called Short Round to help out the desperate people of an impoverished village in North India called Mayapore.
Indy and his gang-of-two have to travel to the nearby Pankot Palace to recover the village’s sacred stone, and also all of the village’s children, who were stolen away by an evil Thuggee cult. The children have been set to work in the mines in the hope that they will find the final two out of five sacred stones that are said to bring ‘fortune and glory’ to those who possess them. You can understand, therefore, why the cult are so eager to get their grubby little mitts on them.
The cult practice black magic and ritual human sacrifice as well as the whole child slavery thing, so Indy really has his work cut out for him trying to save the stones and the poor ill-treated kiddies.
The stunts and action sequences are unbelievably good. In fact, they’re spectacular. Check out the leap (of faith?) out of the crashing plane with nothing more than a bit of inflatable rubber to hold on to, the world’s scariest rollercoaster ride, the mad dash across Crocodile Bridge and the little mini-maharajah’s Indiana Jones voodoo doll. These scenes all have to be seen to be believed.
The two human-sacrifice-to-the-goddess-Kali scenes are like nothing you’ve ever seen in your life before, I can promise you that. They’re chock-a-block with vibrant colour, pulsating music, tension, suspense and more peril than you can shake a stick at. They’re truly the stuff that the best action-and-adventure movies are made of. Also, the high priest Mola Ram is utterly terrifying. He’s a smiling demon. His is probably the meatiest role in the film after Indy’s.
The film is full of humour too and witty, snappy dialogue. Check out the dinner party scene with the disgustingly inedible grub and also the scene where Indy and Willie are trying to decide whether or not to- ahem- do it. You know, it. It’s hilarious.
Indy is confident and also endearingly frank and even cheeky as a would-be lover, and when you see him using his trademark bullwhip to pull Willie towards him at the end you’ll probably come to the conclusion that he’s an alpha male from an era when men were men and women were glad of it. Sigh. As I said earlier, they just don’t make ’em like that anymore. Either the films or the men. Thank God for these Indy films, that’s all I can say.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:
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2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY
3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA
4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
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6) CATCH OF THE DAY
7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.
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