The film “Rambo” is a classic tale of how a anti-war book written about the post Vietnam era in America is hijacked by Hollywood to glorify violence and war, the exact psyche of the American system, that the author David Morrell examined in his 1972 novel “First Blood”.
If, like me you were a child of the Eighties, then you grew up on a diet of “big gun americana” movies, I’m talking about Stallone & Schwarzenegger and everything that promoted the american way.
It didn’t matter how crap the quality of your pirated VHS version was, Rambo was on heavy rotation where ever I went.
Years later I found out it was based on a book, and decided to have a read of it.
What I found out as a child barely into my double digits was that the film was far removed from the book.
Rambo first learns about the death of one of his former soldier buddies, the film doesn’t mention what the book did, and that was he died from cancer – the after effects of the american army spraying millions of litres of Agent Orange into the jungles of Vietnam.
Why would the American army – do a such a thing?
Yeah the Vietnamese were the bad guys, but why would the americans also kill their own soldiers (thought a 8 year old Akh).
Another example was that if you’ve actually watched the film, ask yourself how many people actually die?
The answer is one
The sheriffs deputy that gets hit with a rock and falls out of the helicopter (that’s what happened, I’m not making it up)
The book was far more brutal, Rambo killed literally every single figure of authority, or that represented the police or the army that he came into contact with, even the dogs weren’t spared.
Eventually the Colonel that Rambo served under in Vietnam is called up to reach out to his creation and after that speech he persuades Rambo to give up and escorts him out…and that’s where the film ends.
True to form, reading the book I was absolutely shocked as to what the ending was….and I only found out this week that the ending was actually filmed, but it didn’t make the final cut as it didn’t go down well with the test audiences.
Why would it?
After all Uncle Sam’s boys would never kill themselves.
I cross posted words from John Pilger last year when he spoke about Hollywood approving american imperialism, whilst portraying itself as the aggrieved party.
Years later to satisfy Hollywood’s bloodlust, Rambo III was made, this time Rambo was siding with the Afghan Mujahideen against the USSR.
Of course this served as great propaganda at the time with the americans happy to slowly bleed the russians, with the Afghan Mujahideen being in the firing line.
I was over the moon to see Rambo fighting alongside the Mujahideen and kicking some russian ass, after all, isn’t that exactly what the power of a lobby should be? to use the mass media to win hearts and minds?
There was no book for Rambo III, but I sat glued to the end credits, and found that the film wasn’t made on location in Afghanistan, but filmed in israel, and what was even worse, nearly all the Afghan Mujahideen were played by israeli’s too.
I found out at a very young age that you shouldn’t believe what you see in the media. Perhaps Rambo left an indelible mark on my psyche too…who really runs Hollywood?