Newest Reviews
Legend of the Mountain
Man: The Polluter
Wolf Warrior II
Journey to the Seventh Planet
Ghost Story, A
Lady in the Lake
Devil at Your Heels, The
Paddington 2
Two Jakes, The
Re: Born
Dracula Sucks
Perfect Weapon, The
Hollywood Babylon
True Legend
Die Laughing
Thor Ragnarok
Killing of a Sacred Deer, The
This Beautiful Fantastic
Monocle, The
Substitute, The
Hallucination Strip
Birth of the Dragon
Revenge of the Pink Panther
Taking of Beverly Hills, The
Newest Articles
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
  Rampage Swinging SafariBuy this film here.
Year: 1963
Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jack Hawkins, Elsa Martinelli, Sabu Dastagir, Cely Carillo, Emile Genest, Stefan Schnabel, David Cadiente, John Keaka
Genre: Drama, Adventure
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Big game trapper Harry Stanton (Robert Mitchum) is commissioned by a West German zoo to capture a rare breed of jungle cat called The Enchantress, a combination of tiger and leopard. Accompanying Harry on safari through the Malay jungle are professional hunter Otto Abbot (Jack Hawkins) and his mistress Anna (Elsa Martinelli). Sparks fly between the rugged trapper and flirty Anna, but she resists his advances. Although Otto permits Anna an occasional dalliance with other men, his trophy girlfriend remains under his control. Aided by native guide Talib (Sabu Dastagir), the hunters net two live tigers, but Otto offends the tribal chief by carelessly firing his gun. When the team trap the Enchantress inside a cave, Otto tries to prove himself by tackling the beast and winds up badly mauled. Harry comes to his rescue, subduing the big cat with only a blazing torch. Humiliated, Otto plots his revenge.

After John Ford shot Mogambo (1953) and Howard Hawks bagged a sizeable hit with the delightful, if virtually plot-less, Hatari! (1962), safari-themed jungle romps became a minor Hollywood craze culminating in the popular TV series Daktari (1966). Lightweight and rambling, Rampage is very much a Hatari! cash-in, teaming its heroine Elsa Martinelli with an easygoing Robert Mitchum. Mitchum strolls through the picture, cool as heck, especially during his bare-knuckle brawl with the big cat. With the exception of John Wayne, how many other movie stars could so convincingly subdue a jungle predator with their bare hands? Robert Mitchum: manly man. Respect due.

Virility seems the presiding theme here. With no Wild West to tame or empires to run, the post-war generation of virile young men projected their fantasies of conquest and adventure onto the jungles of Africa and the Far East. Yet the film draws a distinction between Harry, a witty, intelligent man, respectful of native cultures and who thinks animals are most beautiful when alive, and Otto who struts around like a white god and believes death and taxidermy preserve nature in immortality. His is a tightly wound, insecure, very haute bourgeois kind of masculinity and when robbed of a gun, his mistress, and his pride he goes bonkers, precipitating the latter third which finds the Enchantress let loose in the big city. It can't top The Leopard Man (1943), but the rooftop finale wherein a gun-toting Elsa and Harry face down the beast is tense and exciting, and nicely handled by veteran Phil Karlson.

Karlson had a number of hard-hitting crime thrillers to his credit, like Kansas City Confidential (1952), The Phenix City Story (1955) and Walking Tall (1973), but Rampage is more in line with his glamorous entertainments like the Elvis Presley vehicle Kid Galahad (1962) or his Matt Helm entries: The Silencers (1966) and The Wrecking Crew (1969).

Adapting a novel by Alan Caillou, screenwriters Robert I. Holt and Marguerite Roberts (with unaccredited contributions from Twilight Zone scripter Jerome Bixby) weave in a nice line of steamy banter between Mitchum and Martinelli. Especially welcome in light of genre clichés, is how Anna is rendered a smart, capable woman, equally at home in the jungle as sashaying across the dance floor in eveningwear. She's even a better shot then the men and plays an active role in the climax. However, the plot is bookended by teeth-grinding episodes of soapy melodrama while the jungle-based mid-section ends somewhat abruptly. Karlson handles the action adeptly enough, and there is a significant role for Sabu, star of Elephant Boy (1937) and The Thief of Bagdad (1940), who sadly died from a heart attack the year this was released (his last film being: A Tiger Walks (1964)). Elmer Bernstein contributes a marvellous score that includes the sing-along safari theme song.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 3657 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Jason Cook
Paul Shrimpton
  Jony Clark
Darren Jones
  The Elix
Paul Smith


Last Updated: