Rambo 5 film location: Rambo: Last Blood (2019) – Filming & Production
Last Blood Filmed? 2019 Movie Filming Locations
Based on the novel ‘First Blood’ by David Morrell, ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ is an action movie directed by Adrian Grünberg. A sequel to ‘Rambo,’ it follows John Rambo’s (Sylvester Stallone) peaceful life as he raises horses on a ranch. Soon, his peace is interrupted when his friend’s granddaughter, Gabriela Beltran (Yvette Monreal), gets kidnapped by a dangerous Mexican cartel. He decides to go on a rescue mission and free her from the clutches of the cartel.
The nostalgic action sequences involving Stallone as Rambo and a gripping narrative hold the audience’s attention from the beginning to the end. But what adds to the charm of this film is its setting. To get that right, production teams make tremendous efforts to choose the right filming locations. So, in case you wish to learn about the places used to shoot this action drama, we have gathered all the information!
Rambo: Last Blood Filming Locations
‘Rambo: Last Blood’ was primarily filmed in the Canary Islands and Bulgaria, specifically in the cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Sofia, and Varna. Even though the majority of the narrative is set in Mexico, the filmmakers do a commendable job of using other beautiful locations to stand in for the North American country. Principal photography for the Sylvester Stallone-starrer reportedly commenced in early October 2018 and wrapped up in early December 2018. However, some additional filming took place in May 2019. Now, let’s look at all the places that feature in the action-packed film!
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Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands
The production team set up camp in several locations across the Canary Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. They traveled to the largest island of the Canaries — Tenerife. Some pivotal sequences set in Mexico were recorded on the diverse island, specifically in its capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The scene where Rambo gets surrounded by a group of bad guys and beaten up was shot in Carretera Cueva Roja.
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In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in September 2019, the director of the film Adrian Grünberg was asked about the reasons why he chose to film the Mexico-based movie in Spain. He said, “It was strictly a budgetary decision. Both Sly and myself wanted to do Mexico for Mexico. We did budget in Mexico, and unfortunately, I have to say that economics is what rules our industry. It was just cheaper to do it in Spain.”
Grünberg was also asked if he thought filming in Spain had its own silver lining or not, to which he responded, “Absolutely. I agree because I know that [Albuquerque] was in the cards at some point. At least if anything, it gave us a pretty unique location. I have to say I was surprised; I wasn’t sure if we were going to find anything close to what was in my mind, but I have to say it’s not bad.” Moreover, he shared that they were able to sprinkle some Mexican culture in the film and referenced Santa Muerte.
For filming purposes, the production team traveled all the way to Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria. The cast and crew mainly used the Nu Boyana Film Studios located at 84 Kumata Street, Cinema Center Boyana. The production studio consists of 10 sound stages and several standing sets, including Middle Eastern street, New York, and London. The filming facility has been used to shoot several movies and TV shows, such as ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard,’ ‘Leatherface,’ ‘Absentia,’ and ‘Into the Night.’
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A significant portion of the Sylvester Stallone-starrer was also lensed in Pancharevo. The resort village and district is situated on the outskirts of Sofia. Along with Nu Boyana Film Studios, it is another place that stands in for Mexico in this movie.
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As per reports, the cast and crew of ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ even traveled east of Sofia to the port city of Varna. It seems that several pivotal sequences were filmed against the backdrop of the famous Pobiti Kamani AKA The Stone Desert. Moreover, the port city of Varna may have also been used to depict the Gulf of California.
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Read More: All Rambo Movies, Ranked From Worst to Best
Nothing is over: 40 years after First Blood, Rambo lives on in Hope, B.
Fans of the 1982 Sylvester Stallone film First Blood are expected to flock to Hope, B.C., this weekend to honour its 40th anniversary.
The bulk of First Blood was filmed in Hope, B.C., something that has become a point of pride for residents
Jon Azpiri · CBC News ·
A wooden statue of John Rambo stands in Hope, B.C., where the 1982 film First Blood was filmed. This year marks the film’s 40th anniversary. (Liam Britten/CBC)
In a famous scene from the 1982 film First Blood, protagonist John Rambo, played by Sylvester Stallone, finds himself surrounded by police and soldiers in the fictional small town of Hope, Wash.
Rambo’s former commander, Col. Sam Trautman, tries to convince the troubled Vietnam War veteran to surrender before it’s too late.
“It’s over, Johnny. It’s over,” Trautman, played by Richard Crenna, tells Rambo.
“Nothing is over!” Rambo shouts. “Nothing!”
Decades later, the love affair between First Blood and the B.C. town where it was filmed is definitely not over.
WATCH | Residents, visitors celebrate Rambo in Hope, B.C.
B.C. town celebrates connection to Rambo
4 months ago
The town of Hope, B.C. served as the fictional setting for the first Rambo film. First Blood was released 40 years ago this month, and the town is going all-out to mark the occasion. The CBC’s Liam Britten was there.
Fans of the film are expected to flock to Hope, B.C., about 150 kilometres east of Vancouver, this weekend to honour the 40th anniversary of the film’s release.
Activities include a skateboard competition, a showing of Rambo-related art, and a three-hour walking tour of locations where the film was shot. A tank is expected to roll over a number of cars on the town’s main street on Sunday.
Rambo merchandise is big business in Hope, B.C., underlying just how much the town cherishes its connection to the Stallone character. (Liam Britten/CBC)
While First Blood features standard action movies tropes — gunfights, exploding gas stations — it also touches on more serious issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and the United States’ role in the Vietnam War.
The film, which became an international smash and spawned several sequels, has Canadian roots. It was directed by Canadian Ted Kotcheff and adapted from a novel written by Canadian author David Morrell, who blasted the most recent Rambo sequel — 2019’s Rambo: Last Blood — calling it “a mess” and saying he was “embarrassed to have my name associated with it.”
The event in Hope, B.C. on Oct. 7 saw screenings of First Blood on its 40th anniversary. (Liam Britten/CBC)
The bulk of First Blood was filmed in Hope, something that has become a point of pride for residents.
A large wooden statue of Rambo stands in the middle of town. Ryan Villiers, who carved the statue, is back for the anniversary to create another carving.
“Hope is the culture of Rambo,” he said. “It’s pretty insane to see … the legacy lives on.”
Tracy Paynter with the Hope Visitor Centre and co-organizer of the First Blood event estimates around 15,000 people come to Hope each year because of First Blood.
“It’s important not just to the people of Hope but to the fans all over the world,” she said. “They’re the ones who keep this movie alive and they keep coming back to this town because they love the movie, they love this town.”
On The Coast4:27Hope B.C. celebrates 40th anniversary since “Rambo: First Blood” filmed on location
It’s been 40 years since the world was introduced to the battle-scarred Vietnam vet John Rambo, when the film First Blood was released. It was filmed in the District of Hope, and no one from Hope will let you forget it. They’ve got a whole weekend of events lined up, and CBC reporter Liam Britten is taking it all in.
Film crews spent around $1 million locally to make the film, which was great for Hope’s economy at the time, and also for B.C.’s.film industry. Decades later, film productions generated $4.8 billion in direct spending for the province’s economy last year, according to the Vancouver Economic Commission.
“This was kind of the birthplace of Hollywood North,” Paynter said. “After First Blood, the rest just followed.”
Day 66:3937 years after John Rambo’s debut, First Blood is still big business in Hope, B.C.
Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo: Last Blood opened in theatres on Friday. Meanwhile, Hope, B.C., the town where the series’ first film was shot, is still dining out on First Blood.
With files from Liam Britten
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About Rambo 5 scenario: kiri2ll — LiveJournal
This year I reviewed one of the alternative scenarios for the fourth part of John Rambo’s adventures. Although that work remained on the shelf, its general concept about how a veteran of the Vietnam War, beloved by many viewers, goes to Mexico to rescue a girl kidnapped by local drug cartels, still found its application. Only not in the fourth, but in the fifth part of the franchise. Filming began in Bulgaria this autumn “ Rambo 5 ” subtitled “ Last Blood “. I decided to get acquainted with the script of the picture in order to understand what to expect from, perhaps, the last part of the series. The work read has 100 pages and is dated May 7, 2018. The author of the manuscript is Matthew Sirulnik .
So, 10 years have passed since the events of the fourth part. An aged John Rambo lives on his father’s ranch (according to the story, we are told that he died somewhere between the films). Returning home did not heal the spiritual wounds of the hero. Rambo often has nightmares and tries to drown them out with alcohol, which periodically leads him into conflict with the locals. nine0002 The only people with whom our hero communicates are the housekeeper Maria and her 18-year-old granddaughter Gabriella, who grew up in front of Rambo. One day, Gabriella heads to a party in Mexico and disappears. The corrupt police are not going to investigate the case and then desperate Maria asks Rambo for help. He agrees and crosses the border to get involved in what could be his last war …
As I said in the previous review, “Rambo” is not at all the kind of franchise from which you have to expect special artistic delights. Yes, the first part was a film adaptation of a very topical novel about the difficulties of adapting to the peaceful life of veterans. But in the sequel, Rambo made an ideological 180-degree turn, becoming an icon of the genre about heroes who easily mow down hundreds of enemies with a machine gun with the addition of strong revisionist notes. The third part was conceptually similar to the sequel. But the fourth lost a significant part of the militaristic pathos, becoming just a harsh action game, which I liked. nine0002 Judging by the scenario, the fifth part should continue the traditions of the previous one. Obviously, the author of the manuscript was inspired by paintings like “ Unforgiven ” and “Logan’s “, where the old protagonist, unable to cope with the hardships of ordinary life, due to circumstances, again takes up arms. It is worth adding to this that the text of the script is saturated with a solid portion of hopelessness. If in the same fourth part there were still certain bright moments, then here they are not even close. If something bad can happen to a good character, be sure it will happen, and we will see all the details. nine0009 And the Rambo 5 script is rich in all sorts of hard scenes – from gang rapes to an episode where we are shown a close-up of how the main character cuts out the still-beating heart of a drug dealer and nails it to the wall with a knife. I don’t know what will end up on the big screen, but on paper, all this noticeably stands out among similar genre films a la “Hostage 24” (yes, by the way, almost the only conditional joke of the script is related to the mention of this film). Of course, Rambo is still a killing machine. But due to age, it is already starting to fail. In one of the key scenes, our hero makes a mistake by overestimating his strength, which leads to very disastrous consequences. Moreover, the idea runs through the script that Rambo’s intervention not only did not fix the situation, but only made everything worse. Because of the consequences of our hero’s actions, many more innocent people end up dying than would have died if he had simply stood aside. I don’t know if this was the conscious intention of the authors, or just someone didn’t see something in the script. If the latter is true, then the final film will most likely add a standard dose of heroism. If the former, then this is a rather bold decision for this franchise. nine0002 Of course, the script has some weaknesses. I frankly did not like the third act and the final showdown. On paper, it looks somehow too standardized, as if the author has quickly collected a bunch of typical scenes from action films in one place. And the very concept that the main character lures the villains into his house prepared for the decisive battle is somehow not new either. Recently we have seen several pictures with a similar third act.
Secondary characters, for the most part, do not shine with any kind of elaboration. The main villain, despite a lot of disgusting deeds, is also somehow not too impressive. In principle, the franchise almost never had particularly memorable antagonists, but still for the part with the word “Last” in the title, I think one could try. I also cannot help but note the use of some boring clichés, such as “the villains cruelly mock the hero, but for some reason do not finish him off, considering him harmless.” nine0002 Probably, many people have a question about how “last” this part will actually become. The subtitle, as well as an interview with Stallone, frankly hint that this is the end of Rambo’s adventures. But judging by the text, the authors still decided to leave a loophole for possible sequels. Without going into spoilers, I note that on paper, Rambo 5 has a somewhat vague (but symbolic) ending, which can be interpreted in different ways. Perhaps the deciding factor will be the box office.
In general, if someone asks me if something worthwhile can come out of Rambo 5, then I will say that yes, it is possible in principle. Despite all the unevenness of the script and some clichés, the fifth part can turn out to be a pretty good film. At least by the standards of the franchise – I repeat once again that “Rambo” is still not the series of films from which you expect any special dramatic depths.
At the same time, this can turn out to be a completely passable film. “Rambo 5” is one of those scripts that makes you realize how the same scene can either be stretched out or screwed up with mediocre direction. Nominally, the director of the picture is Adrian Grünberg . But I strongly doubt that he will seriously decide something on the set. The last word will surely remain with Sly. So, in the end, everything will depend on how competent decisions he will make.
If the movie is made in the style of some “ Expendables “, with the appropriate smell of B-movies made for the sake of economy in Bulgaria, CGI gore, broken cuts, etc., that’s one thing. But if Stallone can withstand the hardcore style of his own “Rambo 4”, then this is a completely different story. As usual, it seems that we will have to wait for the first trailers and promotional materials to understand in what direction the creators eventually moved. In the meantime, probably, the movie can even be put on a preliminary waiting list. nine0002 For those who want to support
How the film “Rambo: First Blood” was filmed
A sheriff from a small town arrests a young tramp when he refuses to leave town. At the station, the police are trying to forcefully shave and wash the guy, but he breaks out and runs into the forest. The pursuit of results does not bring – on the contrary, the cops themselves almost die at the hands of the guy. When this becomes known, an elderly military man flies into the town and explains that the “tramp” is a commando from an elite unit that waged a guerrilla war in Vietnam. The cops ask him to help with the detention of a former subordinate, and he contacts the guy on the walkie-talkie to convince him to surrender and not harm “friendly civilians” anymore. The commando, however, replies that he is being hunted not by “friendly civilians”, but by presumptuous cops. “They drew first blood, not me,” he emphasizes, insisting that he only kicks back. nine0009
In the history of the 20th century, one can count on one hand literary characters who have become international household names. Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, James Bond… And John Rambo is an unstoppable super-soldier who alone is worth an entire army. He was born in the novel by David Morrell and became world famous thanks to the film, which in 1982 conquered the cinemas of all capitalist countries. Like the novel, this picture – both a tense action movie and a touching drama – was called “First Blood” (in Russia – “Rambo: First Blood”). nine0009
Like many Hollywood stories, First Blood began many years before director Ted Kotcheff first yelled “Move!” The novel on which it was based was published in 1972, but this was not the beginning, but only a milestone in the fate of Rambo. According to David Morrell, he first thought about “First Blood” in 1968, at the height of student unrest in Western countries.
A Canadian by birth, Morrell had just completed his bachelor’s degree in English at the time and moved to the US to continue his studies and become a master and doctor of science. Being a foreigner, he did not participate in the unrest, but watched them closely, watched TV reports from Vietnam at the same time and wanted to somehow support the anti-war rebels. Therefore, he decided to write a novel about a soldier who returns from an overseas war and brings her with him, “flying off the coils” and arranging a massacre in a provincial town. Morrell intended to show that war is not a fun adventure and not a virtuous fight against evil, but an absolute hell that destroys the souls of the belligerents. He also intended to demonstrate to readers how terrible war is when it does not go across the ocean, but in their home, in the backyard. Morrell wanted Americans to feel like Vietnamese at least for a little while. nine0009
This was Morrell’s first novel, and progress was slow. While Morrell pored over the book, he became a teacher, and among his students there were many Vietnam veterans. By observing their behavior and listening to their stories about their experiences in Asia and the United States, Morrell gradually “tuned” the main character, initially based on Audie Murphy, an American-famous World War II veteran. Murphy fought valiantly, returned with a heap of awards, became a star of westerns and until the end of his relatively short life (he died in a plane crash at 19aged 71 at age 45) suffered from PTSD. Which was expressed in paranoia, addiction to legal drugs, bouts of uncontrollable rage. And Murphy did not suffer in silence. He spoke frankly about what was happening to him, and fought for the improvement of the rehabilitation system for veterans.
While working on the novel, Morrell was rereading the poems of Arthur Rimbaud and reflecting on the short but colorful life of this 19th-century poet, who participated in the uprising of the Paris Commune and served as a mercenary in Indonesia (then a Dutch colony). The writer’s wife that day bought apples of the rambo variety popular in the eastern United States (the name of this variety goes back to the Swedish word Ramberget, which translates as “Raven Mountain”), and Morrell considered this a coincidence – a sign from above. So the main character of his book got the name Rambo and the military call sign “Raven”. The name John, in turn, was not only the most popular in English-speaking countries, but also a natural name for a lone soldier. Indeed, in the United States, the letters of girls who did not wait for the guys from the army and announced a breakup are called Dear John … (“Dear John …”). However, the hero received this name only in the script – in the book he was just Rambo. nine0009
When First Blood was completed and sent to print, it was a hard and brutal work. Exploding like a bomb from the bullying of the police, the tramp Rambo killed both the guilty and the innocent. He literally filled the town with corpses and died in the final clash with Sheriff Teasle (continuing the plant theme, Morrell named this hero after a thorny plant, which is known in Russia as a pileus). Veteran of Korea Teasle, however, also went to the morgue in the final. Of the three main characters, only Captain Sam Trautman survived – the head of the special forces school in which Rambo was trained (unlike in the film, these characters were barely familiar in the book). The writer’s hint was clear: veterans come and go, but “Uncle Sam”, that is, the American military establishment, survives and continues to send young guys to the front. Whether it’s Korea, Vietnam or some other “hot spot”. nine0009
Why was it important to Morrell to make Teasle a veteran? First, he did not want to cast a shadow on all the veterans and claim that each of them is a grenade without checks. Therefore, it was important to show different veterans, with different histories and different behaviors. Secondly, Morrell noted in the book that Teasle partly understands and sympathizes with Rambo – this would not be possible if the sheriff himself had not been to the front. Thirdly, Teasle was also jealous of the Rambo generation, which attracted everyone’s attention, while Korean War veterans were 19The 70s are almost forgotten. That is why he did not give the guy concessions when he found out that he served.
Gripping storyline, aggressive action and anti-war fervor – Hollywood was a combination that attracted more than tax breaks, and “First Blood” was quickly bought for film adaptation. However, the nut turned out to be hard. Who just didn’t try their hand at writing a script, who just didn’t apply for the director’s chair, who just wasn’t invited to the main role! The project changed five studios, passed through the hands of two dozen screenwriters, all the stars thought about playing the role of Rambo 1970s, from Robert De Niro to John Travolta. But every time there was an insurmountable obstacle.
As a rule, would-be filmmakers of “First Blood” stumbled over the excessive cruelty of the book. When the action was transferred from the novel to the film, Rambo appeared as a terrorist who deserves neither sympathy nor empathy. Those who were not embarrassed by this stumbled upon the fact that after the end of the Vietnam War, anti-war propaganda was no longer relevant, and the audience did not want Hollywood to reopen the wounds that had begun to heal. nine0009
Finally, at the very beginning of the 1980s, “First Blood” passed into the hands of the Lebanese Mario Kassar and the Hungarian Andrew Vajna, owners of the independent studio Carolco, created several years earlier. They bought the project on the advice of Canadian director Ted Kotcheff, who worked on Blood when Warner was in production. By that time, references to the Vietnam War were no longer met with hostility, and the treatment of veterans was better than in the late 1960s, when anti-war protesters called them “murderers” and greeted them as criminals. So the partners decided that the time for First Blood had finally come – no longer as an anti-war film, but as a movie about a forgotten veteran. nine0009
The previous picture of Mario and Vaina was the military-sports drama “Victory” (the plot analogue of our “Match”, only about Western prisoners of war playing football with German jailers), and they immediately thought about inviting Sylvester Stallone to “First Blood”, who in “Victory” portrayed an American goalkeeper (by the way, one of the members of his “team” was the great Pele himself).
Stallone was in a difficult position at the time. He remained world famous, but none of his films, with the exception of Rocky and Rocky 2, achieved significant commercial success. He did not want to be seen as a one-man actor, and he longed to pay tribute to those who fought for America, but was not accepted as a hero by the country. So he very quickly agreed to play Rambo – on the condition that he would be allowed to rewrite the script and create a character that he was comfortable playing. The producers and Kotcheff, who undertook to stage the picture, did not mind. They remembered that the Rocky script had earned Stallone an Oscar nomination, and they wanted Rambo to be more like Rocky than a ruthless maniac. nine0009
Based on a screenplay by Michael Cozoll and William Sackheim (the most successful of the many written to that time), Stallone began to soften the image of Rambo. He insisted that the hero not actually kill anyone (throwing a stone at a helicopter and throwing a car off the road is hard to call murder) and that Rambo seemed like a kind of naive big child, growing up only when he had to survive and fight. In turn, the producers demanded that the film had more action and less talk. Experts in international sales, they wanted to make the job of future translators and voice directors easier. nine0009
Trautman and Teasle have also changed in the new scenario. The first of the dismissed chief turned into a “father to the soldiers”, who not only prepared Rambo, but also fought with him. The second, on the contrary, almost lost his veteranship, which is never mentioned in the picture. Attentive viewers, however, may notice military medals in his office and note that in the final, Teasle behaves not like a policeman, but like a sniper. These changes were needed to strengthen the “Rambo side” and weaken the “Sheriff’s side”, ensuring that viewers root not for those who drew first blood, but for those whose blood was shed. Even if he acts like a criminal. nine0009
When selecting actors for these roles, Kotcheff gave the sheriff to actor Brian Dennehy, a former Marine (he managed to serve in the short period when America was not at war, but often said that he was in Vietnam). Dennehy and Stallone have already starred together in the historical social drama The Fist, but there Dennehy had a much less significant role. The American Irishman impressed the director with his imposing appearance and ability to find shades in the role that were not in the script.
The role of Trautman was originally entrusted to the famous Kirk Douglas, the hero of “Spartacus” and many other legendary films. Douglas was ready to shoot, but he had complaints about the script, and when the filmmakers refused to rewrite the text under the dictation of the star, he fled the filming. I had to urgently look for a replacement, and television actor Richard Crenna became the new Trautman, who entered the character literally from the wheels, starting to act immediately after reading the script.
Also starring in the film is David Caruso, then an aspiring performer and future star of NYPD Blue and CSI: Miami Crime Scene Investigation. His role was not very important (he played one of the policemen), but the bright red actor immediately attracted attention, and his colleagues said among themselves that the guy would go far if he played his cards correctly. nine0009
Since Stallone, as already mentioned, was considered a profitable star only when he played Rocky, it was not easy to find money for First Blood. In the end, Mario Kassar simply took advantage of the fact that his godfather (the most ordinary, not criminal) was a “big shot” in a large European bank, and he took out a loan of $ 18 million, promising his godfather that he would easily “sell” the film to foreign distributors, as soon as he can show them a cut of the filmed scenes. It was quite presumptuous, but for the producer, this is more of an advantage than a disadvantage. nine0009
The book was set in Kentucky, but the filmmakers felt it would be cheaper to shoot in Canada, so the setting was moved to northwestern Washington state (hello, Twilight!). Filming also took place a little to the north, in the Canadian province of British Columbia, bordering Washington, not far from Vancouver (by the way, in the same area where Twilight was filmed decades later). An American town called Hope (“Hope”) portrayed a Canadian town called Hope, but there was little hope in it. Local sawmills closed one after another, and the townspeople sat without work. True, it was very convenient for Hollywood people, because the more depressed the city, the cheaper it is to shoot in it and the easier it is to negotiate with residents and authorities. In turn, the forest scenes were created in the provincial forest park of British Columbia “Golden Ears”, which got its name in honor of two mountain spurs. nine0009
Although British Columbia is located in northern North America, it is famous for its mild and warm climate. In its densely populated areas, the average annual temperature is 12 degrees Celsius, which makes it the warmest part of Canada. Therefore, the producers of “First Blood” hoped that there would be no big problems with the filming scheduled for the winter. However, the weather, unlike the Canadians, refused to cooperate with the southerners. Almost every day it rained or snowed, a chilly wind blew, and the temperature sometimes dropped to a significant minus, especially during filming in the foothills. And if the members of the film crew could dress for the weather, then Stallone had to run around in the frame in jeans and a T-shirt. One can only guess how he did not get pneumonia. nine0009
In general, the actor earned 200% of his fee. He suffered from the cold, wore a makeshift hoodie made of rotten matting (costumeers picked up this fabric at an abandoned sawmill and then cherished it like the apple of their eye, because they didn’t have another one like it), climbed slippery rocks, made their way through real underground caves and fought back from real rats. True, not forest ones, but laboratory ones – the decorators painted the white rats gray.
Stallone also did three-quarters of his character’s stunts. The actor at that time was not so valuable that he was kept as far away from risky filming as possible. Naturally, there were no injuries. So, when shooting the fall of Rambo on the branches of trees, Stallone broke several ribs, because he landed not on his stomach, but on his chest. Well, at least he did not have to portray pain and severe despair, and the audience saw that the star was in the frame, not the stuntman. nine0009
The other creators of the picture also sometimes had a hard time. The weather and the mountains were equally unkind to everyone, and it was so easy to get lost in the Canadian forests that the members of the group were forbidden to stray far from each other. Yet the forest was foggy, wet, and rocky—a great place for someone who wants to break a leg or bash their head in, but not for someone who wants to get back to Hollywood alive and well.
The colorful locations where First Blood was filmed allowed much of the film to be improvised on the spot. For example, the same Rambo hoodie or scenes in a cave. However, Hollywood also had home-made preparations. First of all, the famous knife of the protagonist, designed by Arkansas craftsman Jimmy Lyle. The film showed only a few of its functions, but this knife had everything that could be useful for survival, from matches to a screwdriver. Stallone liked this knife so much that he wanted to kill some large wild animal in the frame, but the Canadian huntsmen advised him not to even mess with rabbits that bite painfully. And there was no question of wild boars or cougars. As a result, the boar hunt scene was included in the film, but the actual murder was not shown. To avoid problems with both the animal and the audience. nine0009
From the very beginning of the work on the film, the main dramatic stumbling block was the final scenes. In the book, Rambo died, and many believed that he should die in the film (Hollywood prefers that villains, even tragic and sympathetic ones, get what they deserve). Stallone, however, insisted that Rambo must survive. After all, otherwise it would have turned out that the broken veteran has no way back, and this was not the most suitable “message” for people who are already depressed. In addition, the actor believed that the audience would only be happy if the hero they empathize with went to prison, and not to the cemetery. nine0009
Having failed to find a solution during filming, Kotcheff filmed two versions of the ending – the one where Rambo gives up and the one where he commits suicide. Both versions were tested on the audience during previews, and the reaction of the public clearly demonstrated the correctness of Stallone. The suicide option was shushed, and the rescue option was greeted with applause.
When the pre-cut was completed (the working version of the tape was three hours long, but the producers insisted on cutting it down to a digestible 95 minutes), the moment of truth has come. The picture was filmed on a loan that had to be repaid, as opposed to conventional, risky film investments. Will Carolco live? Will she be able to sell the film to distributors, or will she go bankrupt?
The studio did not go bankrupt. When the producers presented the film to international distributors, they were so enthusiastic that the screening room turned into a branch of the stock exchange. Everyone shook their checkbooks and vied with each other to offer ever larger sums for the right to rent in their countries. First Blood paid off before it even hit the screens, and Carolco made a great profit by selling the rights to each country separately and “selling” them all in bulk to one large company. nine0009
The distributors, however, did not fail either. Filmed for 14 million dollars, the tape (not all credit funds were spent on the film) collected 125 million dollars in the world. And this despite the fact that it was released on October 22, 1982 – at a time when Oscar contenders usually do not come out.
Unlike “Rocky”, “First Blood” did not claim awards, and critics reacted to it in different ways: some with delight, and some with disgust. However, it turned out to be a much more influential film. First Blood set a new stage for realistic action (as opposed to sci-fi or spy movies), masterfully combined action with sentiment, inspired independent studios to self-fund risky films, impressed connoisseurs with Stallone’s magnificent final monologue about the hardships of veteran life … And, of course, gave the world Rambo as a character and as a symbol of a soulful and touching, but still deadly military. nine0009
In the sequels, however, this character was more dangerous than touching, and Stallone allowed his full-fledged and complex character to turn into an action caricature. But even the plots of these paintings were built in such a way that the first blood (actually or figuratively) was shed in them by the enemies of Rambo. After all, despite its history of provocations and aggression, America prefers to see itself responding to a blow, and not striking first. And her favorite heroes should do just that – insisting that the first blood was shed by opponents.