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Doom Town was a fake town built on a nuclear test site in Nevada.


In 1957, Indiana Jones entered the town after escaping Soviet agents at Hangar 51. The town populated by mannequins, used to test the effects of nuclear weapons on people. The town was destroyed when a nuclear bomb was detonated nearby. Jones barely escaped by hiding in a lead-lined King Cool refrigerator in one of Doom Town's houses. The nuclear explosion destroyed a fleeing car of Soviet Special Forces that didn't get away in time, killing the occupants.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

"The idea of actually testing atom bombs is so absurd, we now find it almost humorous that we were, as a country, so naive. But setting Indy right off the bat in a test area with an atomic explosion seemed like exactly the kind of thing an audience would want."
Kathleen Kennedy on Doom Town's inclusion[src]

The idea of a fake town located at a nuclear test site in Nevada is similar to that of earlier drafts of Robert Zemeckis' film Back to the Future which was produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment company. In the film's first draft, the protagonist Marty McFly, was to use a fridge time machine at a Nevada nuclear test site. However, after speaking with Spielberg, Zemeckis was dissuaded from using a fridge as a means of time travel over concerns that it could inspire children to recreate the scene with their home appliances.[2]

Doom Town-02.jpg

The idea of having Indiana Jones surviving an atom bomb blast inside a refrigerator was conceived by George Lucas and Jeffrey Boam, a set-piece which survived through various iterations of the screenplay that became Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.[3] Frank Darabont included it in his his draft, but unlike the finished film, the Soviets dump an unconscious Indy there deliberately.[4]

For the Doom Town scenes, sets were built near the hangars of Deming Municipal Airport, New Mexico while a large model was constructed for wide shots at Kerner Optical (formerly part of Industrial Light & Magic) in San Rafael, California. The shot of Indy overlooking Doom Town from a cliff was filmed from a high point on Corralitos Road.[5] To create Doom Town's destruction, a miniature set of the town was built and then destroyed, augmented with CGI.[6]


Notes and references[]