Why ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ Had to Be the Most Violent ‘Rambo’ Of All

The Rambo movies were always violent. You can’t send Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) to war without getting bloody. No one in the ‘80s, Rambo’s heyday, could have imagined the level of violence in Rambo: Last Blood. Rambo obliterates heads and torsos, breaks bones and handles the protrusions, and then of course he still has his trusty knife. 

Stallone in Rambo: Last Blood
Sylvester Stallone in Rambo: Last Blood | Yana Blajeva/Lionsgate

Sylvester Stallone discussed the level of gore in Rambo: Last Blood at a press conference in Los Angeles on Friday. Rambo: Last Blood is in theaters Friday, September 20.

Sylvester Stallone thinks Hollywood sanitizes violence

Sylvester Stallone has certainly been in his share of violent movies, Rambo or otherwise. He feels it does a disservice to real-life soldiers and police officers to whitewash the sort of violence they witness every day.

“Let’s just talk about gore,” Stallone said. “There’s Hollywood gore which is like Budweiser light. Then there’s the real thing and if you study it, when you actually see what cops go through every day, you wonder why they drink so much or take their own lives, it’s so brutal when a man is hit by a shotgun in the face.”

Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone at the Rambo: Last Blood press conference | Steve Granitz/WireImage

When Rambo shoots someone in the face, Stallone didn’t want to just see a mild blood spatter because that’s not realistic.

“What we see [in movies] is like a little nick,” Stallone said. “It’s horrifying. What you’re seeing is the real deal, what it’s like to get hit with a 50 caliber. There’s nothing left of you.”

The violence takes its toll on Rambo

This is Rambo’s fifth movie adventure, and then he still had all his violent experiences in the Vietnam War. Violence is a part of Rambo’s life, and he can’t escape it.

Stallone in Rambo: Last Blood
Sylvester Stallone in Rambo: Last Blood | Yana Blajeva/Lionsgate

“What I’m trying to show is how horrible war is and how you never get over it,” Stallone said. “When you participate in it and once you commit to it, you are now condemned by it. It’s that old thing, revenge, dig two graves. Well, you just saw it. That’s what it is.”

The viewer watching ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ isn’t nearly as uncomfortable as a real soldier

The Rambo movies are entertainment, but Sylvester Stallone feels a responsibility. The level of violence may make some viewers uncomfortable, but they can leave the theater after 90 minutes. That’s only a fraction of the discomfort real military veterans experience.

“I know it’s horrifying but I don’t want to fake it,” Stallone said. “If you go to a Stallone film, if you go to a Rambo film, expect to be uncomfortable when it gets to the killing.”

Stallone in Rambo: Last Blood
Sylvester Stallone in Rambo: Last Blood | Yana Blajeva/Lionsgate

And maybe question the overdramatic death scenes in other movies. 

“I love when these guys get with a bullet and go [clutches chest],” Stallone said. “No, it takes about nine bullets to kill somebody unless you hit ‘em [in the vitals]. It’s not easy. A man or a woman fighting for their life is a very difficult thing to kill. It’s a horrifying situation so I just try to depict war as what war really is.” 

Rambo himself is not a violent man

Rambo resorts to violence when it’s the only way to end a conflict. If violent people would just leave him alone, Rambo would never bother anyone.

“The thing is, he’s really a cheerful guy,” Stallone said. “He doesn’t bother anyone. He speaks softly. He carries a big stick but never intrudes, always in the corner, a gentleman.”

Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone at the Cannes Film Festival | Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

It’s definitely better to be Rambo’s friend than his enemy. 

“He doesn’t flaunt it,” Stallone said. “He doesn’t ever think of himself as a badass. He’s very reactionary. He doesn’t care about his physical well being. He doesn’t care if he dies which makes him incredibly dangerous and relentless. As a matter of fact, he’s almost welcoming it. So when you have an enemy like that, it’s pretty awesome to overcome.”