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'South Park' vs. Lucas and Spielberg: Too far?


Never mind "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report," the most welcome Comedy Central program this election season just might be "South Park."

The series has been on a roll for the past four/five seasons, and whether turning an alien invasion into an examination of immigration, or leprechauns into targets of terrorism, "South Park" has been presenting relatively reasoned examinations of cultural issues.

Until, perhaps, last night. "South Park" has missed out on skewering this summer's pop-culture events, and last night, the episode was on the attack. As dark and twisted as "The Dark Knight" was, "South Park" was just as aggressively over the top.

Returning with new episodes as part of its 12th season, "South Park" didn't level its aim at presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain (fingers are crossed for such an episode to be forthcoming). Instead, the series had Hollywood heavyweights George Lucas and Steven Spielberg directly in sights.

Oh, there was also a paranoid Cartman convinced that China's Olympic opening ceremony telegraphed an attack on the United States, but Cartman's mockery of Chinese stereotypes was almost an afterthought after Matt Stone and Trey Parker completely dismantled the worldwide hit "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

"We all saw it happen," says the handicapped Jimmy, discussing "The Crystal Skull" as if it's a personal tragedy. "Do you remember that scene with Indiana in the refrigerator? It didn't make any sense, Stan."

From there, an excited Stan sits down to watch the latest film in a dream sequence/nightmare, but soon has to warn Indiana Jones that Spielberg and Lucas are nearby. And then in a series of film parodies, Indy's pants come off.


The boys of "South Park" spend much of the episode struggling to come to grips with the raping of Indiana Jones. In its rave review of the episode, IGN wrote that "South Park" went "beyond offensive and into some sort of hyper-offensive stratosphere," all of it hilarious.

Indeed, each scene builds upon the other, with Spielberg and Lucas eventually becoming two rednecks in the woods who demand Indy "squeal like a pig" as the pair humiliates and degrades a cinematic icon. A Stormtrooper gets it even worse, prompting the "South Park" police to lock up the directors to prevent such travesties from happening again.

Not that anyone didn't see this coming. Parker and Stone tried to warn Spielberg and Lucas from even making a fourth "Indiana Jones" flick. Back in 2002, the series took the two to task for re-editing their films for the worse, hoping to prevent a ruining of "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

But was continually -- and graphically -- having Spielberg and Lucas violently rape Indiana Jones too far? "He's gonna do it right there!" shouts a cartoon Spielberg in one scene, holding back Indy's hands over a pinball machine. Or was seeing a Stormtrooper completely defiled still easier to swallow than having to watch Shia LaBeouf swing like a monkey, or worse, inserting aliens into the film?

Show Tracker put a call in to Lucasfilm to try to get their thoughts (ha!), but in the meantime, do you side with "South Park," or those behind the "Crystal Skull" on this one? Coming a few days after The Times' Hero Complex wrote that "Indy 5" is still a possibility, it might be time to make your voice known. 

-- Todd Martens

Photos: http://www.southparkstudios.com/

Comments () | Archives (302)

Oh for Pete's sake--South Park is South Park. Sure, this episode was a fanboy-gone-insane exercise, but whining about them going too far will only encourage them. Wait till next week when (we hope) we will see stinging, "spot on" (cannot WAIT till they do Palin) commentary on our political campaigns.

also, each rape scene was a homage to other cinematic rapes, like Jodie Foster in the Accused or Ned Beatty in Deliverance.

It simply WAS NOT FUNNY, regardless of the content. They can't all be winners, can they?

I LOVE south park (especially the last few years), but I was actually thinking about changing channels during the episode. It was literally disturbing to watch. I watched the whole thing through, but I won't watch that episode again.

Lucas and Spielberg had it coming - plus Harrison Ford - all three of them ok'd the stupid script ideas that Lucas brought to the table. Any intelligent person with some rudimentary understanding of story would know the Indy 4 script was worthless. They knew, except for Lucas, maybe, since he's not in touch with reality anymore, and they did it anyway, probably for money. Rapist bast ards!

There was nothing wrong with the rape metaphor in itself as an idea; the problem was with the delivery. I appreciate South Park--it's near genius-- but find on occasion the sexual humor to be unnecessarily graphic. The rape element was also used beyond its value and I would have preferred either a third plot perspective or more focus on the Chinese invasion element. In regard to my opinion of the disturbing rape scenes I would repeat the words of Aristoteles who said that 'spectacle is the least important in drama since a drama can be read.'

I’m a fan of South Park, and I’m absolutely in love with Trey Parker. The writers are very smart and I wish more t.v. was as thoughtful as South Park. That being said, I do feel that they made light of rape and it obviously blurred their point quite a bit. I think they could have communicated their message a lot better. Maybe it all just went over my head, but that’s what I think.

WRONG! Did you even watch the episode? Rhetorical I know, but you obviously are very confused as to what happened in the show. Saying that Stan sat down and watched Indy after listening to Jimmy is not the same episode I saw. They clearly all saw it as a group prior to the beginning of the episode and all of the rape scene parodies were flashbacks by the characters of Indy being attacked by Lucas and Spielberg. That is some very, very sloppy reporting/reviewing right there.

I thought it went too far with the graphic-ness, but that's just me and is par for the course with Parker/Stone. I didn't really need to see Lucas licking Indy's nipple. But as a metaphor they were spot on and the combo of Lucas/SS should be rightfully ashamed for being called out for what they did. My chief complaint was that Parker/Stone left a glaring omission to their attack, Harrison Ford. HF clearly phoned in a "performance" as Indy in what he had to know was one of the dumbest movies ever made simply for a big paycheck in a role he has refused to portray for years while ostensibly waiting for the right script. If you consider that Ford IS Indy then you have to also believe in the fact that you can't rape the willing.

But really, please of please bring some accuracy and integrity back to reporting and at least get the parts of the story that you are referring to right!

Hi Danny,

Thanks for writing in and reading the piece. I appreciate it.

I did actually watch the episode -- three times. You are correct, in that they have seen Indy before the beginning of the episode. I was referring to the dream sequence that immediately follows the conversation with Jimmy.


South Park was funny. The rape scenes were extremely funny, however, I thought the Crystal Skull was amazing!

I thought having aliens in it was a great move. I hope they make the fifth one.

Sure Todd, no problem. I didn't mean to be as harsh as it kind of seems now. But even though you've ammended the story to include "nightmare/dream" it's still wrong. There is a big difference between "an excited Stan sits down to watch the new film..." and "Stan then has a stylized flashback about the film where the evil twins rape Indy". It's still very inaccurate. You don't excitedly sit down and have a flashback. Stan didn't do that in the episode. He had a flashback, but he didn't sit down to watch the film as a flashback. What you are reviewing didn't happen in the show. As a reviewr I would think that any examples of the show you review should actually have happened.

I also would mention that all the rape flashbacks were parodies of "famous' rape scenes from other movies, which you hinted at but didn't really develop or expand on as several of the characters had a different rape scene flashback.

Well, I'm still a complete fan of Spielberg and I did enjoy the new Indy. Last nights South Park was completely offensive, over the top and ridiculous, as it should be. Matt and Trey are so adept at skewing pop culture that its not entirely surprising that they lampooned Spielberg and Lucas as hard as they did last night.

I have to agree with Butters, that I enjoyed Indy 4, but I don't feel as if I should be so close minded as to dismiss parker and stone with contempt.

I'm also surprised that the cartman didn't hold city wok guy hostage. For christ sakes, he built the Great Wall of South park and kept those god damn Mongorians from getting in.

South Park loves to shock, but usually with a bigger message. This was not only much more explicit than most of the shocking stuff that's gone on on South Park (except, okay, for the ways Kenny used to die in every episode), but with less of a point. Yes, I too was horrified by how lame the newest Indy was, and while I hate the all-too-common use of the word "rape" for relatively insignificant situations, I found the Indy stuff funny...until the SHOWED the repeated rapes. Even the Deliverance spoof didn't save it.

I thought the obvious homages to Jodie Foster and Ned Beatty were obvious.

Do people not watch movies anymore? Never seen The Accused or Deliverance?

Big fan of South Park here. Regardless of disturbing scenes, I thought the episode was very boring and pointless. The plot was all over the place and very confusing in a way. I expect better episode.

Matt Parker and Trey Stone? Are you kidding me? Does the reviewer even know who Trey Parker and Matt Stone are? And how can you be an entertainment reporter and not realize that the rape scenes were direct homages on The Accused and Deliverance?

The show was excellent - as usual. It's the reviewer who called in his performance this time.

"Matt Parker and Trey Stone"?

Well at least you didn't write about George Spielberg and Steven Lucas, I guess.

If Paramount and Speilberg want to complains, well maybe they shouldnt have made such a crappy movie. I am a HUGE Indiana Jones fan, but the "Crystal Skull" was a disgrace. I didnt get up and leave like they did in South Park......but I should have.

So, making fun of Hollywood types is "too far", but making fun of Jesus is acceptable?

Excellent reporting. Top notch, indeed.

South Park is pretty much built on vulgarity and crudeness. There is apparently no limit to what the writers will portray, so rape scenes don't surprise me. Did they go too far? They went too far long ago. Why do rape scenes offend, but a vehicle built by a pedophile/homosexual school teacher that features anal penetration and simulated oral sex not deemed offensive enough to warrant column space?

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