You’d think, by this point, we’d know just about all there is to know about the Indiana Jones movies, but last week (in honor of the second film’s 30th anniversary), Yahoo! Movies tracked down Nizwar Karanj, the actor on the receiving end of Temple of Doom’s notorious improvised heart removal. And he had a bit of inside information: that scene was supposed to be even gorier than it was. Yet somehow, the original version of the scene hasn’t made its way onto the Indy DVDs or Blu-rays, which makes it one more lost bit of film that somehow hasn’t reached viewers in this age of ubiquitous “Deleted Scene” bonus features.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
According to Mr. Karani, now 58 years old and retired to Mumbai, his first order of business after being cast as “Sacrifice Victim” in Steven Spielberg’s 1984 Raiders sequel was getting a full-body cast. “I asked them specifically, ‘Why is this happening?,” he told Yahoo! “And they said, ‘Because there’s going to be a scene where your body goes into molten lava, and we’ll be using this cast.’ Actually, they made a lifelike face of mine for the film, including glass eyes. That was because, once the cage was lowered into this pit of molten lava, my body would disintegrate and you would see my face floating. But that scene was too gory for the censors, so they cut that! If you ever get a chance to see the uncensored version, that will be there.” The sequence that remained in the PG-rated movie was plenty gory enough — its intensity prompted an outcry from parents, which in turn prompted the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating.