As you know, Wednesday is traditionally Reading RAMBO day. But alas, we have not received any submissions this week! Could it be that you've all been beaten into timid submission by the sheer literary force of our previous Reading RAMBO entries? Nevertheless, we have faith in you. Somewhere out there there's a RAMBO sequel gestating that will shake the very foundations of existence when it's finally born. Could it be yours? Email us here.
In the meantime, howzabout some sweet, sweet RAMBO fast facts?
1. The novel First Blood, upon which the first RAMBO movie is based, concludes with RAMBO being killed by Colonel Trautman (Captain Trautman in the book), who blows RAMBO's face off with a shotgun.
Above: Not a promising start to a franchise.
The book's author, David Morrell, also wrote the novelizations of Rambo: First Blood, Part II and Rambo III. In a move that prophesied the aesthetic of Rambo of the Week, Morrell didn't bother explaining in either of the subsequent novels how RAMBO had survived a shotgun blast to the head; in fact, no mention was made of the first novel's ending scene.
2. Sylvester Stallone personally forged the machete he used in Rambo (otherwise known as John Rambo, Rambo IV, or if you really want to be correct, Rambo III: First Blood, Part IV) from a steel truck spring during a 15-hour marathon forging session, using a 6-pound steel hammer and anvil and going through over a dozen pairs of heavy leather gloves as they successively burned away. He ended up forging the new knife because he threw away the Rambo II knife in a scene that ended up on the cutting room floor.
"Like it? I made it myself!"
3. Watching a DVD of Rambo is punishable in Myanmar by up to 10 years in prison. Selling a copy is punishable by life in prison. That's in theory. In actual practice, according to one Burmese Karen activist, being caught with a Rambo DVD can get you shot. And Stallone is, of course, barred from entering the country.
4. The reported Rambo V plot about RAMBO going to Mexico was originally going to be the plot of Rambo, with RAMBO, having returned to America at sometime after Rambo III, crossing the border to locate a missing girl. But Stallone decided RAMBO should still be a man without a country, so he moved the action to Burma.
5. More than one soldier told members of the Rambo production staff that the movie's depiction of what happens to people shot with a .50-caliber machine gun is the most realistic they'd ever seen.
TAKE THAT, HOLLYWOOD SANITIZING OF VIOLENCE!
Stallone was originally going to hold the .50-cal like a rifle while firing it, but although he could lift the 120-pound gun, it was too cumbersome to maneuver. In the movie, it ended up mounted to a jeep.