Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna
Aired Monday, August 31, 2015
The guys strap on their bullet vests and tie their bandannas tight for this week's episode on First Blood, the very first film in the iconic Rambo series starring Sylvester Stallone. Though the roots of what we have come to know about action films can easily be traced right through the center of John Rambo's heart, the Bit Players are struck by how subtle and suspenseful First Blood actually is. The film blurs the lines between hero and villain, puts post-traumatic stress disorder and its effect on soldiers coming home from the Vietnam War and the lack of psychological assistance they receive in reacclimatizing into the everyday world of American life — with that theme in particular ringing true even today, sadly — and offers a pretty stark view of post-war politics in 1970s America (along with some pretty sweet booby traps and car jumps, of course). Speaking of booby traps, the guys recount their all-time favorites in film (which turn out to all be from the first two Home Alones and what other film deserves a long string of identity-changing absurd action sequels.