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Rampage [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Biehn, Alex McArthur, Nicholas Campbell, Deborah Van Valkenburgh, John Harkins
  • Directors: William Friedkin
  • Writers: William Friedkin, William P. Wood
  • Producers: William Friedkin, David Salven
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Paramount
  • VHS Release Date: January 1, 1998
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302763185
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,616 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Liberal district attorney decides to seek the death penalty for a man who slaughtered a family at Christmastime, then drank their blood. He escapes, though, and starts killing again.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Ellis on January 29, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
William Friedkin's little seen "Rampage" is a disturbing film that doesn't quite work but still deserves some credit for being one of the few films to actually try to seriously examine the actual real life issues of evil, murder, and justice in this country. Alex McArthur plays a blank-faced serial killer that Friedkin apparently based on Richard Ramirez, the infamous night stalker. The always underappreciated Michael Beihn plays the district attorney who prosecutes McArthur and seeks the death penalty despite his own personal opposition. During the trial, Beihn is himself haunted by memories of the death of his own daughter who we learn was being kept alive by machines until Beihn ordered her to be taken off life support. If all of this sounds a bit heavy handed, well, it is. After years of making films that, at times, seemed to define "style over substance," Friedkin attempted to make a film that was all substance but stacks the deck so in favor of the death penalty that the film's attempts to provide a serious debate of the issue ends up falling somewhat flat. (I should note that I support the death penalty so I didn't have any trouble with the politics of the film. My objections, instead, rest with the heavy handed way those politics were presented.) However, that said, it should also be said that this is still a powerful, if flawed, film. Friedkin's direction is grimly realistic and, admirably, he tones down the hyper kinetic, "look-at-me-ma-I'm-an-auteur" flashiness that had marred most of his films since 1980's unfortunate Cruising. Uniquely and admirably amongst films of the serial killer genre, Alex McArthur's killer isn't turned into some sort of wanna-be Hannibal Lecter, dispatching nameless victims with a quirky one liner.Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Bolts on July 8, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Rampage is about Michael Biehn (The Terminator, The Rock), a prosecutor who is tracking down a killer who has done several heinous crimes. Soon, they find the killer, a one Charles Reese, played by Alex McArthur (Route 666, Kiss The Girls) and they find out that Reese killed each of his victims and drank their blood but they find out that there's nothing wrong with his brain so that means he killed all of his victims with a sane mind. Interesting story is very rough and wont hold close to some people and is anchored by the performances of Biehn and a really all too believably creepy McArthur. Also starring Deborah van Valkenburgh (Mean Guns, The Warriors), Art LaFleur and Grace Zabriskie (R.S.V.P.). Really creepy scenes are the scenes in which McArthur is splashing blood onto himself with a Tiger in the background. Directed by William Friedkin (The Hunted, The Exorcist, Rules Of Engagement). Biehn can now play this kind of character in his sleep.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Léviathan on April 3, 2011
Format: VHS Tape
Can we expect a dvd release of this masterpiece someday ?
Maybe with the two versions ?
I can dream, can't I ?

a fan from France;
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tigger on December 13, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This film was panned by the reviewers when it was came out because it was released many years after the key subject matter had changed in the publics mind. The era in which this film was intended was a time when the options for sentencing a convicted murderer were limited to a life sentence, which would allow some killers to be back on the streets in as few as twelve years or the death penalty.
In that time period William Friedkin started researching material for a film that was supposed to show how the death penalty was too extreme for some cases. As he studied the case in which the filmscript was based he became convinced that the death penalty was needed and that some killers really deserved to die for their crimes. The tone of both the script and the film that would follow then started to change dramatically.
I suspect one of the reasons the film remained in the can (completed but not released) as long as it did in no small way had to do with Hollywood's political leaning away from the death penalty. It was also a time when Chief Justice Rose Bird of the California Supreme Court granted every death penalty appeal that went before her court.
Freidken's depiction of the killer in this film leaves the viewer with no doubt the world would be a better and safer place if the death penalty was applied. His story also gives the viewer some insight into how the outcome of the trial could be changed by some small details.
Now that the courts recognise the concept of a life sentence without posibility of parole some of the passions in opposition to the death penalty have cooled off because the juries now have the ability to keep a killer out of circulation forever. Just remember the characters in this film did not have that option. And it was not going to happen for at least another ten years.
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Rampage on DVD
It's only on DVD in Poland I believe as of this date
Feb 15, 2011 by Quadro Sinead Summer |  See all 3 posts
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