Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Bomb Rating: 

Just look at the opening scene. Kate Capshaw, singing "Anything Goes," dances out of a toothsome red opening. This is the vagina dentata.

The origins of Indiana Jones's (Harrison Ford) confused sexuality areexplored in this prequel to "Raiders of the Lost Ark," which takes place one year prior to the events in "Raiders." We learn in this film that fear of emasculation is the source of Indy's problems. Just look at the opening scene. Kate Capshaw, singing "Anything Goes," dances out of a toothsome red opening. This is the vagina dentata -- the vagina with teeth -- and it's every man's worst nightmare.

Several things occur early in the movie to establish this conflict. First, the name of Kate Capshaw's character is Willie. That she and Indy never consummate their relationship is a product of his confusion: How meaningful a relationship can a man establish with his own Willie? When Willie is first introduced to the famous archaeologist, she comments, "I thought archaeologists were always funny little men searching for their mommies." Later, after being thrown in a puddle by an elephant (whose trunk is clearly a phallic symbol), Willie says to Indy, "I hate the water and I hate being wet and I hate you!"

His sexual prowess thus rebuffed, we later learn that in Madagascar, the Soldan threatened to cut off Indiana's penis if he ever returned to the country. Obviously, it's made clear that wherever Indy goes, a threat to his unit is not far behind. This revelation is made while Indy, Willie and Short Round (Ke Huy Quan) snack on monkey brains in an Indian palace prior to discovering the Temple of Doom. If things weren't already confused enough, the worshippers of the temples diety, Kali, are known as the Fagi. Via some magical blood, Indy is made one of the Fagi, a problem that evidently lingers into "Raiders."

The climax of "Temple of Doom" is the key. The offerings made to the female God include a human sacrifice lowered down a canal into a pit of red hot lava. When Kate Capshaw is tied to the contraption and lowered, Indy's Willie is threatened. His Willie's entrance into the canal equals death, and Indy will have none of that. Naturally, he prevents it, the film ends, and Indy forges on to his next adventure without his Willie.

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