Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was released on May 23, 1984. The second film in the Indiana Jones trilogy, but technically a prequel, the film follows Indy to India, where a small village asks him to retrieve their sacred stones, as well as their children that have been kidnapped by the vicious Thugee cult.
At the time, critics noted how much more violent Temple was compared to Raiders of the Lost Ark. Between a man getting his heart torn out, children being beaten by Thuggee guards, men being eaten alive by crocodiles, and even Indy hitting his child sidekick, Short Round, while under the influence of a mind-altering drug, the film does seem more vicious. To that end, the MPAA decided to create a new rating, PG-13, that would indicate a film was more violent or had more adult themes than the rather broad definition of the standard PG rating. The first film to carry this new rating was 1984’s Red Dawn.
Despite mixed reviews, the $28 million dollar Temple of Doom went on to make $333 million at the box office.
Pictured here is The Story of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, released in 1989 by Buena Vista Records. I’m assuming this was released to coincide with the marketing for the final film in the trilogy, The Last Crusade. By 1989, VHS had pretty well saturated the American market. In fact, Temple of Doom had been widely available on VHS since 1986.
With more people being able to watch their favorite movies anytime they liked, story albums like this were dying out. To that end, less and less time was put into the production to minimize the investment in case the album flopped. This meant that instead of hiring a full voice cast and composing new music, the dialog and music were lifted directly from the original film, with some narration added to fill out the visuals. This makes for a pretty enjoyable listen, but it does lack that underdog charm of the earlier original productions.
I have plenty more Temple of Doom stuff, so check back later!