A Thorough Look at Rambo the Animated Series’ S.A.V.A.G.E. Island

**One Monster’s continuing mission to explore strange new (old) cartoons. Shows he has never seen! Watched in small segments and reviewed immediately. No research! No rewinds! No shame! Join me as I embarrass myself for your reading pleasure. This is Full Moon Reviews!**

This week’s review…Rambo The Animated Series: S.A.V.A.G.E. Island.

Friends this week I’m taking on a subject that, if anything, I am even more clueless about than normal. Rambo The Animated Series! I watched The Rambo Movie…the first one…once. I remember almost nothing about it. Sylvester Stallone was oiled up, had long hair and a banana. I think he might have shot a bazooka or maybe a flaming arrow. I think he was in the desert and a vaguely remember him cauterizing a wound with red-hot metal (an arrowhead?) and that’s about it. I am aware that the other films, however many there are, exist but I never had any desire to see them. I know that not being into Rambo makes me a little less manly than I could be but if you’re just catching on to my lack of manliness, then you have never read any of my blogs.

Part 1:

Wow…off to an interesting start. We’re on a ship at sea, we get a little bit of military boredom banter and then right away the ship gets attacked by another ship. The animation is sketchy at best. Like a terrible cross between GI Joe and Captain Planet…I have noticed that we get some nice GI Joe laser bullet action though. So these pirate type guys are led by an evil looking dude with a German accent and an eye patch. Original!

And it looks as though they are trying to steal a giant rocket….which they do. They then sink the entire ship and the camera pans out to show that each and every member of the crew got out safely onto life boats.

After the sea adventure we get our very first shot of our hero, Rambo! He’s driving down a dusty road in a super manly jeep. He’s having a phone conversation with someone who looks exactly like GI Joe’s Flint and sounds exactly like Rambo. In fact the voice is so identical that if you weren’t actually looking at the TV you would think he was talking to himself. He gets his orders (the rocket was a stolen, warhead going to be used to nuclear blackmail!!!!) Rambo goes to the army base and proves that he’s a rebel…a loose cannon…by not waiting an hour for clearance before crashing through a checkpoint. I bet he wouldn’t even wait 30 minutes after eating, to go swimming.

So in a scene of pure action, he drives down the run way, stands up and grabs onto a flying jet leaving his weapon-filled jeep to continue driving and probably crash into an orphanage or something. Rambo gets into the jet, sits down and buckles up flying next to his friend, totally shirtless, like you do! They fly surveillance over a scary looking jungle island but are hit by a security system and the jet is forced to crash land.

Part 2:

His buddy (apparently “Turbo”) gets crushed by an entire flying tree trunk and Rambo who is superhumanly strong now lifts it off of him and throws it. On his way to the evil military base Rambo swings on a vine and karate kicks a giant crocodile in the mouth. He then climbs inside a hollow tree trunk and rolls down a rocky cliff. After landing he flexes (he seriously flexes) to make the log explode so he can get back out.

Now my hero Rambo beats up a puma (pronounced Pyuumah). Strangles it and ties its mouth shut. This dude is unstoppable! Some random woman shows up to help Turbo out and she gets attacked by a snake. His massive internal wounds now totally healed, Turbo picks up the snake, wads it into a ball and throws it away. Then together they begin to fix the jet. (I don’t trust this chick I’m gonna bet she’s secretly a bad guy.)
The Germans, (the patch eye guy apparently also has a mechanical claw hand) have captured Rambo and are carrying him with his arms and legs tied to a stick (like you’ve seen a million times).

Rambo gets tied up in the interrogation hut…I’ve been to that club, it’s a little bondage-y but nice! About 10 seconds into being threatened with a whip, Rambo kicks the assistant evil German across the room and then flexes, breaking the giant steel chains. He then does some interrogating himself, asking what Gripper’s plans are….yeah. The dude with the eye patch and the giant claw is named Gripper!

Rambo escapes and continues to do his jungle parkour around the camp, causing trouble and wrecking stuff. He overhears that the nuclear launch is imminent and finally starts taking this crap seriously. Then we get that famous Rambo, prepare for action montage where he ties a string around his pants, puts his knife in his knife sheath (I don’t know where it was prior…did he find a knife?) and puts on his red bandana…which he was already wearing a second ago so he apparently took it off to tie it back on more dramatically. He creates an explosive diversion and then, while they are launching the rocket he grabs on and holds onto it with a bear hug while it starts to launch.

Turbo and random woman get the jet fixed (maybe she’s not evil after all), and they fly up to shot the nuclear missile down before it can hurt anybody but they can’t fire! Because there is of course a shirtless imbecile hanging on the stupid thing.

They tell Rambo how to turn the nuclear warhead off (there’s an off button) and then how to guide it back toward the bad guys camp…yes, there is actually a dial on it to manually steer a missile, as if people ride on them cowboy-style all the time. He jumps from missile to jet in midair and then the warhead hits its target, blowing camp evil to smithereens! (no fatalities)

They fly over the islands that were the first target of the missile and Rambo gives an awe inspiring speech about freedom. “Freedom is one gift ya can’t keep…unless your willing to share it with everybody” Um…good speech Rambo! (pssst, I think he hit his head jumping into the jet. Let’s get him to a hospital)

Recap:

That was interesting to say the least. The animation was bad and the writing was even worse. However, it was so bad that it becomes unintentionally hilarious. I would enjoy watching this cartoon with a group of people and riffing on it. I guess it does hold some fun nostalgic elements. Probably more so if I had actually been a Rambo fan as a kid. After all, nostalgia isn’t um…free unless you shared the memories with those …who mean the most?
Yeah. I totally coulda written Rambo.

ClaymationWerewolf

Dedicated fan of puppets, horror and classic animation. Fueled by nostalgia and driven to spread my own brand of "truth" to the fandom. Remember playing as a kid and trying to tell a coherent story with totally mismatched, unrelated toys? It's like that....of the mind!

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13 thoughts on “A Thorough Look at Rambo the Animated Series’ S.A.V.A.G.E. Island

  1. 80s TV show… black guy nicknamed “Turbo”. It never fails.

    Glad we’ve made progress, otherwise the State of the Union would be given by President “Turbo” Obama.

    Great review, brought back a ton of vague memories.

  2. @retroist! I couldn’t agree more! I know you travel as much as me and I’m sure you’d agree that it’s tough to imagine sitting in a seat on an airplane without taking your shirt off first!

  3. @retroist exactly! Once you have it aimed just right? It’s pure heaven!
    @d13 thank you sir, and I still don’t!
    @Classick thank you man! How about Turbobama! Sounds “80s edgier” maybe he got the Turbo nickname for his lightning fast regenerative ability. On deaths door to snake wrastlin’ in five minutes!
    @Prof Oblivion thanks man! Mohawk punk ninjas are still a problem to this day and facing them in a shirt just invites disaster!

  4. Yet another fantastic review, Claymation Howl. I just wish I lived closer to you so we could hang out and watch these things together. :)

    By the way, “On his way to the evil military base Rambo swings on a vine and karate kicks a giant crocodile in the mouth.” is the greatest sentence ever typed. Ever. This makes me wish they would pull off a Saxton Hale Animated series!

  5. Thank you very much Vic, and yes that would be an absolute blast. Im having a ton of fun watching these shows but all of the weirdos that live near me seem to think that cartoons are for kids! Wish I lived near a better class of folks like yourself.

    A Saxton Hale cartoon would be incredibly. To this day I’ve never gotten over the pride of being compared to the Medic!

  6. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Never saw the animated incarnation, but from your fun review, it sounds like the missing-link script between the fourth Rambo movie and the decades-later big-screen return of the ‘Nam hero.

    Surprised (or maybe not) it was never filmed.

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