Wednesday, March 21, 2012


This week's reader-submitted RAMBO comes courtesy of Justin Whittinghill. Seriously, this RAMBO sequel is so monumentally amazing it defies logic. If, after reading, you find you are bleeding from your ears, do not panic. This is a normal reaction.

RAMBO XXXI: Bride of Midnight

The film opens with RAMBO seated at a grand piano, center-stage in an empty concert hall.  He wears a sleeveless tuxedo and alternates between playing phrases of a concerto and scribbling notes on a sheet of staff paper.  The camera reveals that RAMBO is playing with only his index fingers, yet the music heard is richly polyphonic and oddly includes a full woodwind section. 

THE GENERAL walks out onto the stage, but RAMBO remains engrossed in his work.

“Rambo, our worst nightmare has come true.”

Without looking up, RAMBO replies, “Since I gave up the life, my only nightmare is that the world may never hear my masterpiece.”

“But Rambo, without your help, there may not be a world left.”

RAMBO looks up. “You mean…”

“Yes,” answers THE GENERAL. “The Mad Scientist has cloned you, and he just unleashed his creation in Tokyo!”

“But how…” RAMBO begins to question.

“How did your DNA fall into his hands? Well, you know the pile of rubble that used to be Mount Rushmore? The Mad Scientist recovered a single hair from a red bandana found amongst the rocks.” It should be noted that the destruction of Mount Rushmore and RAMBO’s involvement are never explained.

At this point, RAMBO notices the red dot of a sniper’s laser sight on THE GENERAL’s temple. Realising the gunman must be targeting them from above, RAMBO hurls the grand piano into the second balcony and it explodes.  A common store mannequin with a rifle taped to it can be seen falling from the second storey enveloped in flames.

As the concert hall burns, RAMBO and THE GENERAL remain on the stage. “I think this clone is about to meet his match,” RAMBO says confusingly.  RAMBO then points one fist toward the heavens and launches up through the flaming ceiling and out into the night sky. A 5-minute sequence follows of RAMBO flying over wildly varied landscapes set to Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker.”

RAMBO eventually lands in dense Southeast Asian jungle.  A caption at the bottom of the screen reads “Tokyo, present day” and strangely remains on screen for the rest of the film despite several location changes. 

The camera angle switches to a crudely digitized first-person thermal view that we can only assume belongs to RAMBO, though his artificially enhanced vision is never mentioned.  Hundreds of enemies glow red within the jungle. 

The camera angle cuts back to a shot of RAMBO walking confidently into the thick of the jungle, when suddenly a boom mic bobs into view at the top of the screen.  We hear an off-camera voice shout, “Cut!  Come on, Phil, how many times have we had this conversation…” RAMBO disregards all of this, and instead grabs the boom mic, twists it into a pair of rudimentary nunchakus, and beats dozens and dozens of militiamen with them. 

For one continuous 75-minute shot, RAMBO beats, shoots, and explodes his way through wave after wave of militiamen, eventually making his way to a clearing, where he encounters his doppelganger. 

“So you’re the man in the mirror,” says RAMBO. “Tell me your name so I’ll know what to put on your unmarked grave.” (?)

“I won’t be the one needing the grave, Rambo. But just so you know who finally killed you, they call me Admiral Fabulous.” ADMIRAL FABULOUS winks at the camera and the scene freeze-frames, the name “Admiral Fabulous” sweeping across the screen to Curtis Mayfield’s funktastic “Future Shock.”

RAMBO and ADMIRAL FABULOUS leap at one another from either side of the clearing and lock hands in a grapple, hovering 40 feet above the ground.  They writhe this way for 15 full minutes, neither man gaining the upper hand.  “Future Shock” ends up playing 5 times back-to-back. Eventually the men realize their absolute equality, and their facial expressions turn from grimaces of effort to mutual admiration.  Without even the slightest sexual undertone, they kiss one another full on the mouth out of respect.

Having now teamed up, ADMIRAL FABULOUS informs RAMBO that THE MAD SCIENTIST is hiding out in a lair several miles beneath the Saharan Desert, and the two men decide he must be stopped.

The scene cuts to a close-up of RAMBO’s profile with a desert landscape whipping by behind him.  The camera pulls back to reveal that RAMBO is sitting astride a magnificent white stallion.  The camera pulls back further to reveal that the stallion is riding ADMIRAL FABULOUS, who is fully saddled and bridled. 

The bizarre troika finally arrives at a nondescript spot in the middle of what we assume is the Saharan Desert, though in the background a line of several modest suburban homes can be seen.  The lair is marked with a cardboard sign that contains an alternating series of the struck-through words “layer” and “lair” and eventually a cramped “mad science lab” at the bottom.

With no discernible transition, RAMBO and ADMIRAL FABULOUS are seen tied in the center of an elaborate and dangerous-looking Rube Goldberg device.  Cackling, THE MAD SCIENTIST pulls levers, and various pipes produce steam.

“Glad you could be the first to test the Death-O-Matic, Rambo,” begins THE MAD SCIENTIST. “I’d hoped you would…ACKK!” The point of a knife suddenly protrudes from THE MAD SCIENTIST’s chest, the camera pans, and we see RAMBO twisting the handle behind him, the Death-O-Matic in flaming ruins off to the side. 

ADMIRAL FABULOUS, slapping RAMBO on the back, says, “Looks like we pulled it off, Ram.  Any chance now you’ll make that concerto a duet?  I think the two of us… ACKK!” The point of a knife suddenly protrudes from ADMIRAL FABULOUS’s chest, RAMBO again the culprit. 

“Look, like I told THE GENERAL, I only work a-clone.” RAMBO mouths the quip to himself a few times with a skeptical look on his face, but ultimately shrugs it off.

RAMBO then gives a gratuitous thumbs up to the camera, and the Tina Turner and Rod Stewart version of “It Takes Two” begins to play.  The credits role at hyper speed, a directorial decision made to save TBS the extra step.

Total running time: 5 hours, 25 minutes