Ahhh, the Indiana Jones Trilogy: Three unforgettable adventure films that shaped our childhood, still hold up incredibly well today, and that contain a couple specific parts that are memorably, lovingly, COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS. In the ripoff spirit of our ruminations on Home Alone, let's waste a couple minutes in the year A.D. 2013 discussing the 10 Parts In The Indiana Jones Trilogy That Still Bother Me.
For the record, we'll only focus on Raiders, Temple Of Doom, and Last Crusade; as far as bother-moments go, we'll count "96% Of Crystal Skull" as a given. Now, onto the nitpicking of Thing We Love!
Credit the heroic, whimsical John Williams score in the Indy movies for helping us to not notice the morbid circumstances of this archaeology professor, his scientific colleague, and his scholarly father all CONSTANTLY SLAUGHTERING PEOPLE with airplane propellers, rock-crushing conveyor belts, and good ol' gunshots to the brain. Granted, they're mostly killing evil Nazis out of self defense, but even the most battle-hardened U.S. soldiers come back from war a little shaken by what they saw, whereas Dr. Jones just heads right back into the classroom, doling out extremely broad lectures and possibly banging female undergrads like he never hung a dude from a ceiling fan.
For the record, my Grandfather fought in World War II and never spoke a single word about his experiences to his family; meanwhile, anytime I successfully go to the gym, I Tweet about how horrible it is 47 times then Instagram a photo of me high-fiving those Tweets and Tweet that too. My point is, I guess we all handle tragic experiences differently.
In Raiders, when Indy and Sallah finally uncover the chamber where the Ark is hidden, it's guarded by thousands upon thousands of crawly, phobia-triggering asps. This begs the obvious question: How did these thousand snakes stay alive in a sealed chamber for 2+ millenia? Was the Ark somehow keeping them alive by magically creating little water dishes and boxes of frozen suffocated rodents? Answer: Yes, actually, because this movie is awesome. Moving on.
Throughout Raiders, Dr. Jones displays a healthy skepticism towards the Ark's professed magical powers, but at the very end when the Nazis finally open the Ark, Indy urgently tells Marion not to look at the Ark when it's opened, and is immediately proven right when a bunch of slow-motion ghosts grossly melt the soldiers' faces and explode them for good measure.
How did Indy suddenly know that the Ark would magically kill everyone? Was he actually wary of the Ark's magical properties the whole movie but pretended to be rational and unafraid, or was he just hedging his "Maybe there's explodey ghosts in there" bets? And how did shutting their eyes protect them from the Ghosts? Does the Ark have the same "eye contact = aggression" rules as gorillas? Or did it spare Indy because he's pure of heart, and the eye-closing didn't matter (other than costing him a chance to see some cool-ass Commandment ghosts)?
Short answer, we were all too happy when the creepy torture Nazi melted to care about the details surrounding said meltage. This strikes me as entirely fair and rational.
Our next stop on the bother-train is Temple of Doom, a film rife with gratuitously disgusting scenes (bug crunching, heart ripping, you name it!), but no part is as simultaneously inexplicable and disgusting as the dinner scene at the Indian Palace where Indy and Co. are fed a prix fixe of "Snake Suprise," giant intact beetles, soup with eyeballs floating in it, and a dessert of Chilled Monkey Brains (served "Normal Style" inside cleft monkey heads).
Has Steven Spielberg ever had Indian food? It is delicious and rarely if ever contains a bunch of little live snakes that slither out of a giant dead snake. More importantly, WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THIS SCENE OTHER THAN TO SCAR CHILDREN??? I remember being permanently terrified of this dining scene (as well as the 'bug-floor' scene) when I was little, then re-watched the movie many years later thinking I'd have a good laugh at my stupid childhood scares, only to realize that I was COMPLETELY CORRECT to have been disturbed by this movie.
Between the "Chilled Monkey Brains" and the close-ups of the Mogwai eating fried chicken in Gremlins, it's safe to say that 80s Spielberg harbored an odd obsession with unnecessarily gross eating scenes. Perhaps an homage to his idol, Orson Welles? (Welles' real-life eating habits, I mean.)
Everyone remembers the famous and still impressively-disturbing heart-ripping scene in Temple Of Doom, but immediately after the ceremony, the worshipers and the Priest casually empty out of the chamber, leaving Indy to swing in and examine the unguarded Shankara Stones.
Where does everyone go?? Is there a post-service lunch spread in the back, with all the worshipers standing around eating cold cuts and celery sticks and telling the Priest "Hey Rev, beautiful heart-rip this week! The heart catching on fire while the dude's body burns has really helped my marriage through some tough times lately."
BOTHER SIDENOTE: Even though the Temple of Doom cult is portrayed as ruthless and single-minded, I would also worship a God capable of making CONSTANT TERRIFYING MAGICAL SHIT happen. If you witnessed a God keep a dude alive without a heart, completely brainwash humans with curse-blood, and cause literal Voodoo to happen, you'd be crazy NOT to respect that God, right?
Anyway, fellow Kali Ma converts, moving along...