This is an article detailing the real life episodes that gave inspiration to the Rambo movies.
Although most commonly see the Rambo films as stereotypical action movies, that is not true. Each film was produced to draw attention to a crisis in the world. The first film was to draw attention to the poor treatment troubled Vietnam veterans were receiving when they got home. The second film drew attention to the American P.O.Ws who were still in Vietnam. The third film was made to draw attention to Soviet atrocities against the Afghan people. The fourth film was made to draw attention to the genocide in Burma. So history is already critical in these films, but there is also more smaller historical influences.
History behind "Rambo"Edit
The following reading was written and is here by the courtesy of the 'Rambo: 'Year One' ghost writer.
- Some U.S. special forces were trained to build viet-cong traps. Primary tools used for the purpose were ropes, wood and a knife, just as Rambo does during First Blood. The traps used in the movie are also really existing ones.
- MacVsog special forces were trained to be 'invisible' in 'enemy territory', thus avoiding firefights against outnmbering enemies. MacVsog teams were usually made by eight men, but if spotted in the jungle, could easly be attacked by 100 enemies or more. So, moving without being spotted was a main concern and the subject of a lot of training. When Rambo avoid contact with a lot of policemen in the mountains, he is just doing what he was trained for.
- MacVsog special forces really used bow and arrows during some very special missions during the Vietnam war. In the jungle, the line of sights are really short, so you have to get so near your target that a suppressed weapon can be too loud. In this case, macVsog special forces used the bow, even if properly using a bow required a lot of training.
- Sylvester Stallone was an enthusiast of this sport, and if you carefully watch Rambo II, you can see he is really aiming before his throws. Stallone's bow in Rambo III had a ninety pound pull.
- In his book 'SOG A PHOTO HISTORY' author John Plaster tell us the story of six macVsog team members spotted by one hundred viet-congs. During the following firefight and chase, the six soldiers ran until they had to stop on a very high cliff. Instead of trying to firefight - that would have ended in a certain death or capture - the six soldiers jumped over the triple canopy jungle, using it to less the damages of the fall. Once down to earth, they were under the cover of the jungle, and the vietcongs could only blindly shoot to them. They all injured themselves during the fall, but no one of them had been shot, and they all survived with light injuries.
- In the 2008 film Rambo, John strangles an enemy ripping his throat out using his nails. Many people that viewed the movie, think this is absurd, but it's not. It was a killing tecnique used by the C.I.A. during the cold war. The principle under that tecnique, was that if you didn't killed your enemy strangling him, he would have died anyway because of blood loss.
- The Knife that Rambo uses in the movie, is and almost copycat version of the famous Randall 18 knife. The Randall 18 has a sawback blade and a hollow handle that contains a compass and survival gear. It was one of the knives specially developed by Randall himself, for the macVsog needs. Nowdays, it is still in production and really expensive. The Randall 18 has also been used by NASA astronauts and soldiers to this day for survival needs.
- The Randall 18 kinfe hollow handle could be used to mount the knife on the top of a stick, thus using it as a spear. Rambo use his knife in this way to go hunting during the first movie. In the movie, Rambo's knife is attached to the stick in another manner, using a cord.
- The famous sweatband Rambo wears around his head, was really used in Southeast Asia. When special forces go to a far away contry, they usually 'adapt' to local customs.