HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  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 clich├ęs, 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 4397 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: