by Alex Tabarrok
on January 22, 2008 at 7:28 am
in The Arts
Number of people killed per minute in the Rambo series.
Hat tip to Peter Gordon.
It’s the learning curve.
Interestingly teh rate of increase of the
metric has slowed down. Marginal beneift<
Given that the first movie’s original title was just “First Blood”, and the second’s was “Rambo: First Blood Part II”, the third movie should have been called “Rambo II: First Blood Part III”.
I have to take issue with the first stat – one of the points of the first Rambo movie is that you don’t need to make an action movie with any death. Hence, not a single person dies on screen. How did they get that number?
John, the author says the first killing is at 29:31 if you want to check it out!
I was wondering about that, seeing the commercials for the new movie. I never saw “First Blood” all the way through, but I figure it’s one of those late-70’s, early-80’s cult movies like “Halloween” and “Assault on Precinct 13” that are, seen now, more impressive for their economy and suspense than for sheer mayhem. Nothing – except probably Cecil B. DeMille pix, which I also haven’t seen – comes close to the mid- to late-80’s for excessive excess.
From what I remember, the first movie has something of a point about how Vietnam vets were disrespected upon their return from the war. The film has a fair amount of action, but only one death, and I believe that it’s somewhat accidental. Rambo is forced to defend himself and in the scuffle the other guy falls off a cliff or out of a helicopter or something.
What’s shocking is how that fairly modest, somewhat preachy film spawned two (and now three) sequels of almost sheer mayhem. The few minutes they take in each film to talk about peace and respect or whatever the films are supposed to be about are drowned out by scenes of Rambo shooting down aircraft with a bow and exploding arrows, or shooting guys from the hip with what is supposed to a vehicle-mounted weapon.
A parody movie “Hot Shots: Part Deux” starring Charlie Sheen offers a scene in which Sheen bedecked a la Rambo is shooting a machine gun with the spent brass piling up around him waste deep and a counter rolling at the bottom of the screen showing the number of “kills” in the six-digit category. It sounds like Stallone is trying to turn his productions into farce in imitation.
It’s a long road
When you’re on your own
And it hurts when
They tear your dreams apart
And every new town
Just seems to bring you down
Trying to find peace of mind
Can break your heart
It’s a real war
Right outside your front door I tell ya
Out where they’ll kill ya
You could use a friend
Where the road is
That’s the place for me
Where I’m me in my own space
Where I’m free that’s the place
I wanna be
‘Cause the road is long yeah
Each step is only the beginning
No breaks just heartaches
Oh man is anybody winning
It’s a long road
And it’s hard as hell
Tell me what do you do
When they draw first blood
That’s just the start of it
Day and night you gotta fight
To keep alive
It’s a long road …
if marginal benefit < marginal cost, then there would be no increase at all.
“There was a Rambo III? How could I not know there was a Rambo III? What else could I have been doing when I was 12?”
That would be “Rambo in Afghanistan”
I had forgotten about it, but I remember discussions of it from early in the decade
This doesn’t pass the BS test. IMDB says the 2008 film’s running time is 93 minutes. For 2.59 people per minute to die, that means 240.87 people died during the entire movie. The fact that this doesn’t produce a whole number makes the figure suspect, as does the notion that any viewer could make a specific count of 247 people dying on screen in 93 minutes. If the reviewer is counting off-screen deaths, well, then Schindler’s List is the most violent movie ever made.
I believe the count is at 237 deaths. And that’s on screen, not off screen.
Are these figures in-line with official inflation figures?
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