HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
Clementine
Hurt by Paradise
Saint Maud
Johnny Frenchman
Glitch in the Matrix, A
   
 
Newest Articles
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
   
 
  Rampage There Ain't No Sanity Clause
Year: 1987
Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Michael Biehn, Alex McArthur, Nicholas Campbell, Deborah Van Valkenburgh, John Harkins, Art LaFleur, Billy Green Bush, Royce D. Applegate, Grace Zabriskie, Carlos Palomino, Roy London, Donald Hotton, Andy Romano, Patrick Cronin, Roger Nolan
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: On Christmas Day a man rang the doorbell of a house in the suburbs, pushed his way in, and started shooting the occupants with the pistol he was carrying. Come Boxing Day, the District Attorney Anthony Fraser (Michael Biehn) is investigating as the killer is still on the loose, and as he surveys the bloody scene in the house he knows he must seek the death penalty, even though from the facts he is gathering about the case it is clear the murderer is insane. You don't mutilate corpses and drink their blood if you're a well-balanced individual, but Fraser must find a way of ensuring the criminal never strikes again...

Director William Friedkin did not have the best decade in the nineteen-eighties, and Rampage was one of those casualties which joined the ranks of his luckless movies that had started this era with Cruising. This one arrived after his only hit of this ten year stretch, To Live and Die in L.A., and was barely released before legal complications saw to it that American audiences were not to see it till the nineties - it had been largely ignored in Europe five years before. It wasn't because of the quality of the work which scuppered it, though once it became a little more widely distributed it might as well have been, for here was what would happen if your maverick cop goes gunning for wily psycho flick would look like without the maverick cop.

What was more offputting was that Friedkin, who wrote the script, evidently intended this to be taken very seriously indeed, when it was actually one step away from pulp or trash, as only his sober, some would say tedious, approach was the main indication that we were being presented with the argument that the insanity defence in murder trials should be abolished. Rendering this even less appetising, if that were possible, was that it was based on a real case, one of those lurid murder sprees which are thankfully rare, but inspiration for the least pleasing side of the thriller business. Certainly this gained fresh respectability once the crime novel trade really took off, but its origins were not exactly respectable.

Much as Rampage was delivered as a level headed examination which could not resist tipping over into cheap thrills, which allowed its legal concerns to flounder. The psycho was played by Alex McArthur, then best known as Madonna's boyfriend in her Papa Don't Preach video of the year before, and he was undoubtedly committed to portraying the world's least wanted Christmas dinner guest, yet remained too much of a cartoon to be wholly convincing. To add to that unbelievability, his defence team are so set on proving him incapable that they persuade the psychiatric assistance to alter the evidence to show that he was more out of it than he actually was, making any reasonable argument against the death penalty appear crazy and conniving in itself.

Friedkin had obviously seen Michael Mann's Manhunter, for every so often there were arty interludes where, for example, the killer was seen bathing in blood as a tiger prowled in the background, which was ridiculous when essentially this turned out to be a courtroom drama with a social agenda. And that agenda was movies like this didn't need do-gooder D.A.s changing their minds and pursuing executions, but someone like Charles Bronson to produce a great big weapon and start blowing the nasty men away: its sincerity was on crumbling foundations as it invented scenarios where bloodthirsty slaughterers of decent families would be up for release in a matter of four years after they had been convicted, no matter how ghastly their crimes. This was scaremongering pure and simple, no help to a valid discussion, and loading the dice in favour of bringing out the worst in everybody. Gimmicks like a minute of silence in court to contemplate the deaths were no help either. Music by Ennio Morricone.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1930 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

William Friedkin  (1935 - )

American writer/director who has struggled throughout his career to escape the legacy of two of his earliest films. Debuted in 1967 with the Sonny & Cher flick Good Times, but it was the gripping French Connection (1971) and phenomenonally popular The Exorcist (1973) that made Friedkin's name and influenced a whole decade of police and horror films. Since then, some of Friedkin's films have been pretty good (Sorcerer, the controversial Cruising, To Live and Die in L.A., Blue Chips, Bug, Killer Joe), but many more (The Guardian, Jade, Rules of Engagement) have shown little of the director's undoubtable talent.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

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

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: