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Rambo IV borrows from Seven Samurai?

To promote his upcoming Rocky VI, Sylvester Stallone has been answering questions at Ain’t It Cool News that have been sent by fans from around the world. He tackles a set of ten questions each day, with the aim being to answer altogether 200 queries before the new Rocky film comes out later this month.

And what does this have to do with Akira Kurosawa, I hear you ask? Well, in the December 2 patch of questions someone asks about the nature and motivation of the villains in Rambo IV, which is another of Stallone’s franchises that is to be resurrected. Stallone’s answer reads:

Presently, the bad guys in RAMBO IV are the sadistic leaders of a far-Eastern country. The soldiers are sadistic and they slaughter helpless villagers. Believe it or not, it’s a modern day sampling of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. Their motivations are political, and sexually perverse, as documented for a fact. They’ve been known to resort to skinning alive, crucifixions, beheadings (with the head remaining on a pole for months)…. Wow, I don’t want to go on because it’s too sick to believe…. I’m actually thinking of making RAMBO IV a musical, and for the big finale every evening he blows up the entire audience.

Obviously he is not clear about how much influence The Magnificent Seven have had on Rambo IV, but if there is any, the credit I suppose should ultimately go to Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. Whether, of course, we Kurosawa fans want that credit, is a different question!

PS. To be honest, Stallone’s answers are for most part fascinating reading. While I have never been a fan of his work, this session alone may just have got me interested in watching the next Rocky movie.

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