Indiana Jones and the Desensitized State We Are In Since it's Release!

Gruesome Movie Is Latest Box Office Smash Hit

By Gene H. Hogberg, News Bureau

Pastor General’s Report June 29, 1984

  The Memorial Day weekend (May 26-28) witnessed the preview of a new blockbuster movie, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, Excited audiences, many of them teens and pre-teens, had anxiously awaited this sequel to RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. If violent action and gore is your cup of tea, INDIANA JONES is your type of movie. Here is what the National Coalition on Television Violence, in a May 28 news release, had to say about this latest effort by the venerated team of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas: The National Coalition On Television Violence (NCTV) is pro- testing the very high level of violence in the new movie, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM and its PG rating. NCTV reports that the two-hour movie contains 215 acts of violence, or 108 acts of violence per hour. NCTV monitoring noted 39 attempted murders, 33 of which were by the evil villains. However Indiana Jones manages to kill 14 villains. A boy hero and a group of children kill 5 more villains …. NCTV is protesting what it calls “extreme and gruesome violence produced to excite and bring laughter to young audiences.” NCTV calls the PG rating totally inappropriate and says that an X rating or at least an R rating with warnings would be more appropriate.. . . [Paramount Pictures, distributor of the film, in fact, warns in its newspaper ads: “This film may be too intense for younger children.”] NCTV says the film contains extreme sadism including explicit Satanic human sacrifice, gruesome evil including the display of bloody human internal organs, the eating of live snakes, beetles, eye ball soup and monkey brains for dessert, extreme gore with the heart ripped out of a man’s chest followed by his incineration in molten lava before he can die, the drinking of human blood, voodoo murder attempts, a man crushed by a rock smasher transforming him into only a smear of blood and grit, and crocodiles eating people alive. NCTV Chairman, Dr. Thomas Radecki, M.D., psychiatrist at the University of Illinois School of Medicine, told reporters, “INDIANA JONES is the romanticization of intense and gruesome violence. Non-stop combat and murder is made thrilling and fun for children and adults. Killing is shown as exciting and as something that works very well for the good guy. There is no doubt that this movie is another step in desensitizing a whole nation and world – to murder – and violence, There is no doubt in my mind that this movie is highly successful at increasing the likelihood that one will use violence when confronted with a difficult situation. The role model of 10-year-old children in the film murdering villains, obviously placed in the movie to appeal to a young audience, is very objectionable ….” Radecki explained that, in the movie, Indiana Jones falls from the sky into a village in India beset by famine, where the chil- dren and the sacred rock of the god Shiva, have been stolen by worshipers of the evil god, Kali. Although Jones was fleeing a Shanghai gangster and had jumped from the plane to save his life, the Indians explained to him that he was actually sent by Shiva to save them from evil. Jones then goes to the evil palace, witnesses the Satanic human sacrifice, fights and murders many evil henchmen. In the finale, Jones calls out to the great god Shiva, as he struggles with the evil high priest, throwing the high priest to his death. Jones then returns to the village with the hundreds of children he has saved from enslavement, restoring the sacred rock of Shiva to its proper place. Columnist George Will, who saw the movie, said this about it in his syndicated column of May 31: A football game is approximately nine minutes of action and a couple of hours of standing around and sorting things out. This movie is about nine minutes of relative calm and 109 minutes of violent action punctuated by intervals of mere repulsiveness …. The flogging, roasting and heart-plucking are not suitable for children…. The truth is that this movie, as fare for children, is unsuitable, and as a cultural symptom is depressing. It is… an example of the upward ratchet effect of shockinq extremism in popular entertainmgnt. This march toward the shocking is producing a qeneration that would yawn throuqh the parting of the Red Sea. The two persons who are responsible for INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, are commercial geniuses …. But the sensory blitzkrieg that they have produced to coin money is apt to stunt the imaginations of children. Just another proof that we are indeed living in the “last days” when “peri- lous times will come,” when people would be “lovers of money … unloving … brutal” (I1 Tim. 3:l-3 RAV). There have been so many parental group protests over such violence-filled movies such as INDIANA JONES that the movie industry has been forced to split the “PG” (Parental Guidance) rating into two divisions, PG and “PG- 13.” The really gory stuff will now be classified in the latter category. The new rating will not require theater operators to bar youngsters under the age of 13 from attending such films. But under the new code parents will be “strongly cautioned to give special guidance for children under 13.” Sure. There’s no doubt who is inspiring such so-called entertainment, either. Guess what the latest sequel to the book (and movie) THE EXORCIST is called? LEGION.]]>