Top 10 Rambo Kills!

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

It’s T-minus three months and one week until John Rambo embarks on his final mission via LAST BLOOD. As you can see, we can’t f*cking wait!

To get us however prematurely prepared, we thought it’d a goddamn blast (in more ways than one) to revisit the incendiary Sly Stallone franchise and chop up some of the title character’s most impressive military decorations. And by that, we mean bountiful bloodshed! Granted, we’re less interested in Rambo’s collective machine gun massacres than we are in the following series of largely on-one-one, mano y mano death blows. Check out our Top 10 Favorite Rambo kills below!


While the 21st century update of the titular vigilante was charged as being a bit too focused on grounded realism, there’s no doubt that old Rambo flexed just as much macho muscle as he did in early missions. We begin with a ferocious fatality Rambo exacts with nothing but his bare hands. In Burma to rescue a group of Christian aid workers, Rambo comes across a not so welcoming Burmese soldier who happens to be torturing allied westerners. Rambo creeps up from behind and literally pulls a Jason Voorhees as he grabs the dude’s throat tightly, squeezes, claws and rips until a he physically shreds the dude’s thorax from his throat in one gouging fell swoop. The torturer leaks a faucet of gore before dropping like a ragdoll.


Not for nothing, but as you’ll notice on this here list, we’re all about highlighting the best Rambo deaths that differ from his mowing-down, machine-gunning M.O. As such, one can’t get much more unique than killing one of your adversaries by coolly and calmly controlling your military tank to crash head on with an opposing Russian chopper. Shite’s insane! And yet, that’s precisely what ol’ Johnny boy does in the intense climax of RAMBO III, when he coaxes Russian baddie Colonel Zaysen to lower his helicopter to ground level and play a high-stakes game of chicken. Of course, Rambo penetrates the chopper with the tank protruding armaments causing a massive explosion that deadens Zaysen and merely wounds Rambo.


It might be easy to miss this particular gem, since it happens so fast and comes amid a brutal-ass-Rambo-blitzkrieg-death-march, but that shouldn’t mask how gnarly it truly is. When Johnny finds himself imprisoned in an Afghan/Soviet holding cell, my man makes easy work of a pair of heavily armed guards. He finds his old pal, the Bowie knife, and rifles that sucker across the room like a ninja star, where it sticks and impales the guard’s larynx so sharply that he yelps out a ridiculous kung-fu movie scream. It’s all about the way this one is shot, as the camera does a dizzying whip-pan as the knife is hurled across the prison and stops abruptly with the blade puncturing the dude’s throat.


Rambo is such a bona fide badass that he downs not one, but two enemy choppers in FRIST BLOOD PART II. We detailed the one that concludes the film above, but minutes before that you’ll recall, Rambo explodes an attack helicopter in midair. This occurs right after Rambo rescues Trautman and makes an escape into the Pakistani cave. Rambo climbs to a highpoint, loads his trusty rocket launcher, and as the chopper approaches the cave, he lets a round off that strikes on target and immediately causes a giant midair detonation, killing the pilot, the gunner and one of Rambo’s chief opponents, Colonel Podovsky.


Because I saw the superior PREDATOR long before FIRST BLOOD PART II, I always thought the camouflaged-mud fatality in the latter stole from the former. Years later I realized PREDATOR came out two years after RAMBO 2. So perhaps the reverse is true…PREDATOR bit RAMBO. In any event, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone exclude this startlingly gritty hand-to-hand death blow from Rambo’s finest. And it isn’t so much about the what, but the how it’s directed and choreographed that really excites us so much. Smeared head-to-toe with mud, we only notice Rambo’s presence by the out of focus background shot that comes into clear view, revealing Rambo’s open eye as he looms behind his enemy. One quick move later and the poor bastard feels his hot entrails leaking from his naval via hunting knife!


Yo, you ever notice the dude who plays Kourov in RAMBO III (Randy Raney) is the same legend who played Mad Dog Madison in the woefully risible Stallone flick OVER THE TOP just one year prior. Oh but it is! Therefore, the epic arm-wrestling battle between the two in 1987 can be seen as round one in a larger war, with the second coming in one of Rambo’s gnarliest fisticuff showdowns of all time. I love the way this bout starts out as hand-to-hand combat, only to evolve into a fiery show of survival. Seemingly outmatched and overpowered, Rambo nearly succumbs to mega-bear-hug by this towering f*cker. At the last second, Rambo pulls a pin from a grenade on Kourov’s uniform, drills the bastard’s dome with a spinning heel kick that sends dude into a deep hole to explode to death.


I know we said we’d refrain from much of the multi-death massacres Rambo loves to wage, but come on, this shite’s so badass that you’d be a fool not to include it among Rambo’s best and most memorable fatalities. In the opening salvo of FIRST BLOOD PART II, Rambo is betrayed by his pirate river taxi and finds himself outnumbered while being held captive on a boat. Johnny boy hijacks a shotgun, proceeds to blast his way out of danger as he plugs a half-dozen goons with body-launching buckshot. And believe it or not, that isn’t even what earns a top spot. No, it’s when a counterattack puts Rambo under heavy far that causes him to hit the deck, find a hidden rocket launcher, rise up and blow to pieces the impending enemy sloop.


What, you thought an Arrow in the Head would somehow fall below the bronze spot? Sheeet. Truth be told, this might be my all time favorite Rambo overkill. Man, this poor Burmese bastard never saw it coming, did he? During the epic archery massacre in RAMBO, which alone deserves mention, Big John Stud goes absolutely ham on a village of nemeses. First, he tags one dude with two arrows plum through the dome (pictured). But what really hits home is when the dude’s comrade comes in to save the day. He runs across a rice patty dock and unassumingly catches an arrow straight through the face, which sends his body flying off the deck, where he falls on a landmine and instantly erupts into a smoldering ash heap!


If y’all want to consider this one a gold-medal co-winner, I’m not one to argue. No joke, this shite’s as brutal as it gets, RAMBO franchise or not. I mean, the setup alone would suffice, but the concomitant onslaught is so unthinkably violent that we had to award it a silver medal at the very least. First, Rambo viciously decapitates an enemy soldier with one ultra-bloody joust of a machete blade, Vorhees style. As soon as that sucker drops to the dirt, Rambo manhandles a Browning .50 cal machine gun and proceeds to gorily waylay his surrounding opponents with a cavalcade of unsuppressed firepower. It’s a tour-de-force of Rambo ass-whooping mayhem!


Speaking of Rambo’s cinematic quintessence, no single death-strike signifies what Rambo is all about like the way in which Vietnamese General Tay is gloriously dispatched of. Using his trusty trademark explosive arrow-tips, Rambo at a key point in the film sizes up his opponent from long range. With an idyllic waterfall just behind him, Rambo seems lost in casual thought as a severe threat looms. In a Zen-like state, Rambo comes to, sets his sights on Tay, peels his bow back and launches an arrow-missile right into Tay’s heart. On contact, Tay is nuked and pulverized to dusty smithereens as his bodily molecules flutter into the waterfall. Shite’s gorgeous!

Tags: Hollywood

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