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Old 01-12-2009, 10:45 AM   #1
Texas
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Jungle Cutter

Although the jungle cutter only made a minor appearance in KotCS, I think it was a pretty cool vehicle that had a lot of potential in being used for a spectacular action scene involving Indy and the Soviets.

I've got two questions: was a real life jungle cutter used by either the Soviet or U.S. military during the 1950s?

Secondly, why didn't Spielberg use more of the jungle cutter in this movie? I feel like it had a ton of potential in terms of action and gruesome death scenes. Earlier today I was reading the jungle cutter section of the Indiana Jones wiki page, and it claims that an alternate scene for the jungle chase was considered but never filmed which would've featured the jungle cutter as the central action piece of the chase. Is it true that the following excerpt was considered by Spielberg at one time, but for some reason scrapped later on in the film making process?

Unused Scene- source Jungle Cutter Indiana Jones Wiki page
There is a cut of this scene which is never filmed or used. Where Indy tries to hijack the vehicle without destroying it with a soviet RPG, he instead follows it from truck to truck fighting the Soviet soldiers. Colonel Antonin Dovchenko pursues Indy through the Convoy as Mutt and Marion stay behind with the truck that Indy cleared. Irina Spalko ignores the daring archaeologist and prefers to protect the Crystal Skull. When he is near the Jungle Cutter, he accidentally falls near the sawing chain; the driver ignores him and focuses on the path to Akator. Dovchenko commands his soldiers to kill Dr. Jones; they jumped and climbed to the vehicle while many others stayed in their trucks.

Some eventually begin to fire their AK-47 at Indy when he is trying stay on the dangerous cutter. Indy kicks and punches the Soviet soldiers in front the driver's view. Some fall to their death or being cut into threads from the Jungle Cutter's saws. The colonel fights Indy with a close to close brawl. This fight is very hard to manage, because branches, leaves, and dust will fly around the cutter. Indy gives the colonel a full swing, before he falls down again, this time near the saws. Dovchenko smiles, he slams his foot onto Indy's hands, as he hangs on for dear life. Dirt and wet grass grinds Indy's shoes. Unknowing the dangers of the trees, Dovchenko was knocked out from a long branch when it was cut off. He blinks and wakes up in dizziness. Indy struggles again and makes it by pulling up. Dovchenko shouts out a curse in Russian and he jabs Indy in the face. More Russian soldiers begin to climb up the Jungle Cutter as ordered from Irina.

Marion Ravenwood tries to help Indy, he ordered her son, Mutt to find a RPG and to destroy one of the Soviet's troop transport trucks. Mutt aimed carefully and fired on one of the trucks, the explosion stopped some of the convoy and killed many soldiers. Mutt cheers and Marion is relieved. Russian soldiers open fired on Dr. Jones on the Jungle Cutter. Dovchenko tells the soldiers to stop firing, because he too might be shot. Indy uses his whip and cracks it to one of the soldiers, he cracks it again and it grabs a soldier's neck, Indy pulls his whip to him and punches the Soviet soldier in the face, causing the soldier fall over the cutter. Other Russian Soldiers dodge the foliage, some even fell off. Indy wipes his forehand; Dovchenko laughs, he then does a headbutt on Indy's face. He is stunned, but shakes it off. Indy kicks the colonel in the shins, he cries in pain.

Dovchenko becomes outraged, he quickly grabs Indy by the neck and drops his body down to the cold hard surface of the vehicle. Indy's face is bleeding from his nose and mouth, he gags when the large colonel choked Indy. When the colonel brings Indy closer to the spinning razor chains, Indy outsmarts the Russian by putting his leg on the man's stomach, he swings his leg bringing the colonel to fall over him. Indy looks away, the razor chain cuts Dovchenko several times, ripping his uniform and skin, before sliding down to the two spinning saws cutting his body into pieces, some of his body parts fly out and blood splatters on the vehicle.

Indy sighs and lays low on the Jungle Cutter. Irina is shocked to see her second-in-command killed by Indiana Jones. Marion Ravenwood and Mutt Williams steers away from the Russian Convey, Indy sees their truck, Indy decides to wait for a opening in the Jungle. Within a quick minute, Indy uses his Bullwhip to swing across the dense trees. He lands on top of the truck, his clothes are covered with blood, sweat, dirt, and green stains. Irina follows Indy's stolen Soviet truck, as they make a run for Akator without Mac.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:47 AM   #2
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Now, why the bloody hell didn't they film that?!

Quote:
Indy kicks the colonel in the shins, he cries in pain.

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Old 01-12-2009, 10:50 AM   #3
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That sounds like entirely the work of fan fiction. But yes, it remains pretty shocking to me that Spielberg didn't do anything with the vehicle other than blow it up. I guess in the days of Raiders when Spielberg was thankful to have a giant plane, he was keen to get all the mileage (or propeller-related fatalities) he could out of it. But now that he has whatever budget he wants and can afford giant jungle cutters or a giant temple complete with a hundred extras meticulously painted as fictional indians, he doesn't consider what he could be doing with them.
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
That sounds like entirely the work of fan fiction.

True. The multiple uses of the whip, the Indy-in-danger, the violence that wouldn't have made the PG-13 cut (let's face it, none of the other films grotesque deaths come close to this proposed one).

Still, it's kinda along the lines of what I think most of us were wishing for. And since Spielberg said that "this one's for you guys, the fans," it should have been safe to assume that we'd get something better than we did.

Personally, I love it. Would've made the movie memorable for sure.
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:25 PM   #5
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I think it's kind of reminiscent of the Tank battle for LC, with obvious differences. Perhaps they avoided it as to not get heavy comparisons?
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Man
Now, why the bloody hell didn't they film that?!




Indeed. I would've loved that entire battle to take place!
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:47 PM   #7
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Here's a link for anybody interested in the Jungle Cutter page on Indy's wiki page.

http://indianajones.wikia.com/wiki/Jungle_Cutter
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:09 PM   #8
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The ending is what really rings false to me, the whole "without Mac" bit, which constitutes the only mention of either Mac or Oxley in the entire thing. Wishful thinking on the part of some fans, sure, but one of the best things about the jungle chase sequence was that it managed to integrate all the characters into the sequence in a pretty bewildering way. (Yeah, Dovchenko did disappear for awhile, to be sure.) It's a fake.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:45 PM   #9
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I'm sorry, but that's BS and complete fan fiction.
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:17 PM   #10
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This "alternative" sidelines everyone but Indy and Dovchenko. There are other ways the jungle cutter could have been used, and when I first saw a glimpse of the vehicle I thought it would be the high point of the action... something to outdo the tank battle from Last Crusade. But then it would also be too obvious and too much of a retread because it is just another tank after all.

This alternative doesn't explain why Indy would try to hijack it in the first place when he could do what he actually did and just blow it up.

It's the equivalent of shooting the swordsman to get him out of the way of the real chase.

I sort of like the reckless way Indy just fires the RPG.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaideroftheArk
I think it's kind of reminiscent of the Tank battle for LC, with obvious differences. Perhaps they avoided it as to not get heavy comparisons?

I think that's the thing... When seeing the jungle cutter for the first time, the clear expectation is that there will be a fight on it/around it. It could have been good, it certainly could have been used more, but it seems that it's difficult not to mirror the tank scene from TLC.
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:49 AM   #12
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Yeah, that 'alternative' scene reads a lot worse than the one we actually got; the jungle chase is much more original than that; I quite like the idea of having so many characters constantly swapping vehicles and there's a lot more plot covered in the film version too.

It was, however, a bit disappointing to see the jungle cutter disposed of so quickly- it would have been nice to use it more. Perhaps if Indy instead of Mutt had been left behind during the latter stage of the chase- then instead of Mutt coming swinging out of the jungle to save the car of our heroes being pushed over the clifftop, Indy could have suddenly smashed through the treeline driving the jungle cutter- he hits Irina's jeep letting Marion escape; the jeep gets caught in the gears of the cutter and the baddies pile out to attack Indy. He defends himself as the cutter teeters on the edge and perhaps grabs a vine or whips himself out of trouble. Maybe the ant fight could have had a bit more tension if the empty cutter had still been running, its blades spinning, maybe chucking out bits of jeep occasionally (although that's perhaps a bit too similar to the Raiders aeroplane fight).
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitzsche
This alternative doesn't explain why Indy would try to hijack it in the first place when he could do what he actually did and just blow it up.
Yup, given the chance, blowing up the ugly thing would clearly have been the most "Indy" thing to do.

It short, it would completely halt the progress of the jeeps following the jungle cutter and provide Indy and the others a better chance to escape their captors when they were all forced to proceed on foot. This would also have allowed for some pretty nice sword fighting sequences for Mutt, right there on the jungle floor...

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Old 01-13-2009, 05:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emtiem
Yeah, that 'alternative' scene reads a lot worse than the one we actually got; the jungle chase is much more original than that; I quite like the idea of having so many characters constantly swapping vehicles and there's a lot more plot covered in the film version too.

It was, however, a bit disappointing to see the jungle cutter disposed of so quickly- it would have been nice to use it more. Perhaps if Indy instead of Mutt had been left behind during the latter stage of the chase- then instead of Mutt coming swinging out of the jungle to save the car of our heroes being pushed over the clifftop, Indy could have suddenly smashed through the treeline driving the jungle cutter- he hits Irina's jeep letting Marion escape; the jeep gets caught in the gears of the cutter and the baddies pile out to attack Indy. He defends himself as the cutter teeters on the edge and perhaps grabs a vine or whips himself out of trouble. Maybe the ant fight could have had a bit more tension if the empty cutter had still been running, its blades spinning, maybe chucking out bits of jeep occasionally (although that's perhaps a bit too similar to the Raiders aeroplane fight).

Like the idea
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:21 PM   #15
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I know this isn't really adding to the thread, and it's a fairly simple thing, but...someone should have bit it in the blades of the jungle cutter. That's all I have to add. Continue.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:47 PM   #16
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I actually think the jungle cutter should have been used more, although I can see the arguments against it.

I think if you're going to introduce us to some magnificent vehicle, it should be onscreen for more than a couple seconds before it gets blown up. Especially when it's as deadly as the jungle cutter. It's like this old film rule that a film teacher taught me: if you introduce a gun, it better go off. That's kind of how I feel about the jungle cutter. If you introduce it, it better do more than just blow up in the next shot.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:33 PM   #17
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Never being one for “it-would-have-been-better-if...” conversations, I must agree - this machine was wasted!
It’s a shame we only see this cool contraption in only 3 shots!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas
was a real life jungle cutter used by either the Soviet or U.S. military during the 1950s?
I've been wondering the same thing but what about the military of other countries? Both Britain and Canada
had engineers & armoured divisions in the Korean War. Not to mention vehicles used in 1950s Belgian Congo,
the logging industries of various nations, etc.

From what I gather, the "jungle cutter" is a fantasy creation based on existing engineering vehicles and the
experimental mechanics of the '50s & '60s. Similar to the Flying Wing, it’s design is ahead of its time…
Armoured bulldozers and tractors (with assorted features) are standard engineering vehicles found in any
mechanized army but the jungle cutter seems to be modeled after WW2 mine-flails and ‘60s tree-dozers
(fashioned to resemble a modern tree-shredder and road-header/tunnel-borer). Essentially, it’s an extrapolation
of an armoured bulldozer, fixed with 2 arm-mounted, horizontal, rotary cutters, followed by a V-blade & 2 separate
drum mulchers (making it a combo tree-feller, bulldozer and wood-chipper, all in one. Too advanced for 1957.)

V-Blade – evolved c.1960
Drum Mulchers/Chippers - 193?/194?
Rotary Cutters – Experimental circular saws fixed to the front of a tractor happened as early as 1942 as well as one
fitted with a chainsaw. Both proved problematic/unsuccessful but by the mid-1940s, portable, rotating power saws
were being developed. The ‘50s were the testing days for shredders and rotary cutters which culminated with the
mighty, Hydro-Axe in the mid-60s. Roadheaders/tunnel-borers were being developed as early as 1949 in Hungary.
(Photos of the toy jungle cutter show the rotary cutters on an angle. Although not featured on-screen, this suggests
that they might be equipped with tilt-rotaters - about 20 years before being invented!)

So, similar machines did exist but I highly doubt there was anything in 1957, with those combined functions,
that could cut through tropical forests as fast & efficiently as the machine in “Skull”. If something like that
was a reality than it would have surely been an experimental model (much like the Flying Wing).

----
Matilda Mine-Flail Tank. A mine-flail has a boom-mounted, rotating spit which causes chains to whip around
in a circular motion for the purpose of contacting & detonating buried land mines:


Bushwhacker in action using blade and flails:


This real-life, jungle muncher was first built in the ‘60s. Introducing...Hydro-Axe, "The Lawnmower of Trees"!


A Hydro-Axe having breakfast:


“Die, Tree! DIE!”, said Hydro-Axe to the coniferous:
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:06 PM   #18
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wow! i don't care if it's fan-fiction ... that sounded AWESOME. if this scene had been in the movie i would have loved KOTCS a whole lot more. imagine - an indy film where he is a bad-ass in an exhilarating chase where he gets beaten, bloody and dirty ... and beats the bad guy and uses his whip. i don't care if its similar to the other films ... sounded GREAT

oh well!
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:43 PM   #19
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I dont know if a fight scene would have worked but the vehicle could have been used more. Not having the sequence of the blades flying at their car would be sin though, so im happy.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:47 PM   #20
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It had much potential I hope they can find somewhere to put something like this in in INDY V!!!
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:26 PM   #21
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I thought the jungle cutter was pretty cool and I do wish it had been utilized a bit more. I thought it was cool the way that Indy destroyed it but having a fight on top of it or something first would have been neat too.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:39 PM   #22
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I remember seeing an aerial shot of some of the vehicles during filming. I remember seeing the Duck, but I can't remember if they actually built a Jungle Cutter prop, or was it all CGI?

Perhaps some of you remember those photos, they were some of the first leaked to the internet.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:49 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Magic Rat
I'm sorry, but that's BS and complete fan fiction.


Fake or not, i'ld rather see a gruesome Jungle cutter fight then Mutt swinging with Monkeys or getting his nuts whacked.
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:54 PM   #24
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I would have love to see the Jungle cutter involved with more of the action but I think they didn't to avoid any comparisons with the tank sequence from the Last Crusade.

However to make up for it I would love to see them have a giant snow plow/slow blower for Indy 5.

Don't eat the red snow.
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Old 02-04-2009, 04:37 AM   #25
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I too am not one for "what if's"... But what I'm actually interested in knowing is why they didn't use it??? Did they try including it in the action, but it didn't work? Did they never contemplate using it in a specific action scene? And if so, why even have it there? Are there outakes/storyboards that suggest it may have factored more (the pre-viz suggests it never got to that stage)?
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