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Episode 1 - Raiders of the Lost Ark

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It’s Steven Spielberg month on Cracked Movie Club! Back in the 1980s, everything George Lucas touched turned to gold (and action figures). As the newly crowned Prince of Hollywood, he had the power to make any movie he wanted. And the movie he wanted to make was… Indiana Smith, a treasure-hunting adventurer created as an homage to early Hollywood film serials like Zorro and Flash Gordon. Rather than direct the movie himself, Lucas went to his friend and fellow filmmaker Steven Spielberg and talked him into making it, leaving Lucas free to kick back and share creative input from safely behind his beard while Spielberg put it all together to form something that could sell tickets (and action figures). 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark introduced the world to the strategically renamed hero Indiana Jones, kicking off a franchise that managed to last 27 years before completely embarrassing itself, which is almost certainly some kind of record.



On this inaugural episode of Cracked Movie Club, hosts Tom Reimann and Abe Epperson are joined by comedian Daniel Van Kirk as they discuss how poisonous snakes, punishing desert sands, an outbreak of what can only be considered a modern plague, and a grown man pooping his pants all came together to create Raiders of the Lost Ark. Along the way, they question whether Jones was ultimately a better name than Smith, the logistics of maintaining a puzzle tomb in the middle of a jungle, and whether a certain Disney prince made a depressing cameo appearance.

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Hey Crackers (...Crackheads?),


I love the show, and also love the idea of the Booby Trap Reset Squad (please make this!) howeveeeeeeeeer I feel like you're missing the point on the whole "how do these gosh-darned booby traps work" brouhaha.


The way I see it, if the Chachapoyas trulywanted their prized treasures completely off-limits, they would've just buried it, thrown it in the oceans, sold it off for slave children or just melted it down for rap-grills or whatever looked cool at the time. Instead they've put it in the most obscure place possible, where for thousands of years the only people who could possibly be capable of retrieving it are either people who already know exactly how to get there, or who are deemed worthy enough to have the instructions given to them.


But then the issue arises that adventurers, theives (or both), or just plain dumb luck could possibly lead to its discovery without instruction, so instead they devise a set of booby traps that are placed so as to trick anyone attempting to steal the treasure into being very dead, or at least critically injured leading to death, but also that are able to be circumvented if you've also been given the instructions on how to bypass them.


The password to the treasure most certainly included instructions to:

  • Attempt on a clear day, with no cloud overhead
  • Clear the area of foliage, obstructive scaffolding or other elevated structures
  • Avoid drastic changes in light
  • The correct amount of sand to replace the idol with
  • Run like fuck when you hear a noise

... and other assorted tips-and-tricks.


It's the same method that props up in every action movie (as I'm sure you're well aware) when the gruff hero has to just cut the arbitrarily-coloured wire in order to disarm the generic plot device just in the Nolte of time. The bombers surely would have considered that maybe they shouldn't leave a completely circuit-breaking wire just hanging loosely under the conveniently large and accurate countdown timer, but it helps them to be able to disarm their own bomb at their leisure, should the situation require.


Indy was pretty quick to work out most of the traps on his own, but it seems in this case he misjudged the amount of sand to place on the weight sensor (maybe it was a reverse-trap? Like actually the trick is to just take it and the sand is all a clever fake-out!) and set it all of at the last minute (RIP Doctor Ock).


What we're seeing isn't something that needs to, or ever could be reset for the next adventurer. The film depicts the first and only time that anyone had made it all the way to the idol, and failed the final test. This is a one-time job, with years of setup and planning being triggered once and sealing off the temple forever. The Aztecs knew that either the person making the attempt dies in the process and that is that, or they succeed in their mission and are worthy of the prize.


So yeah.


Coooooooooooooooooool show guys!


Love Dan.

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