Film / Rampage

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Rampage is a 2009 film directed by Uwe Boll. Despite its name and the fact that it's made by a director most famous for video game adaptations, it is unconnected to Midway's series. The plot concerns a young man named Bill Williamson (no, not that Bill Williamson) posting vlog rants about how the world is overpopulated and society's going down the drain, while building a suit of body armor and stocking up on weapons, leading up to a bloodthirsty rampage through his town. Amazingly, given the poor reputation of its director, it's actually a pretty good movie.

A sequel, Rampage: Capital Punishment, was released in 2014. The third and final film, Rampage: President Down was later released in 2016, which will serve as Boll's last film as a director. It was to be funded on Kickstarter, but failed to make its goal. Because of this Uwe Boll decided to quit Hollywood in general and once he gained funding, he decided this installment would be one to go out on.

Not to be confused with the 1987 William Friedkin film of the same name, or with the series of kaiju arcade games.

Tropes:

  • An Aesop: Almost anybody can become a killer.
  • Author Tract: These films are a particularly weird breed of an Author Tract. Its Evil Genius Villain Protagonist Bill Williamson is a deranged psychopath slash domestic terrorist who, while Going Postal, murders innocent people by the dozens for nothing but his own self-serving reasons. However, at least once per film he'll go on a minutes-long rant explaining that his violent actions are supposed to wake up humanity, giving a very thought-out analysis about political and economic corruption. Considering it's coming from the mouth of a mass murderer, the message is pretty much shooting itself in the foot.
  • Ax-Crazy: Bill is outright gleeful when he starts slaughtering people.
  • Bank Robbery: Bill pulls one off not for the money, but to make a point; he burns the money outside in a garbage can to show that it's meaningless to him. This is actually a ruse, if you watch earlier in the film, Bill is printing counterfeit money, and that is what he burns in front of the bank. The entire movie just turned out to be an elaborate bank robbery, as Bill leaves some of the money at Evan's dead body in order to frame him for the killing spree, and keeps the rest for himself.
  • Booby Trap: In the second and third movies Bill Williamson starts to use booby traps against the authorities pursuing him, primarily bombs and mines.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Though not completely bloodless, the injuries Bill inflicts result in much less blood than is realistic.
  • Bottomless Magazines
  • Bullet Proof Vest: Bill's suit of steel-plate armor makes him effectively invincible.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: In the second film Bill is confronted by a young woman who says he killed her twin sister. He remarks that she will have to be bit more specific, as he's killed too many to remember their faces. Turns out it was the waitress at the fast food restaurant from the previous film, whom Bill killed for merely spilling some food on him.
  • Creator Cameo: Director Uwe Boll has a small role in Capital Punishment as the head of the news company.
  • Covers Always Lie: The poster for the sequel decipts Bill detonating Capitol Hill, despite no such thing happening in the movie.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Chicken Den waitress who spilled food on Bill and Evan, and the Gelato server who wouldn't complete Bill's order are both killed during Bill's rampage. They are each the only ones in their respective restaurants to die, and the Gelato server is even given a chance to try to make Bill's order again but fails to do so.
  • Double Meaning: When Bill is going to kill Evan and has to convince him to stay (ostensibly for a paintball match), Evan asks for a good reason to stay. He's given one.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Bill is a politically motivated mass murderer, but when Chip presses him on what his mother would have thought of his actions, Bill says that his rampage doesn't negate his affection for her. The third movie also shows Bill with a German-American girlfriend and a baby.
  • Facial Recognition Software: In the third movie brand new facial recognition software is used to scan all the cameras in Washington D.C. to track down the shooter of the U.S. President.
  • Frame-Up: Bill pulls one on Evan and his dad, implicating them for his crimes. It works.
  • Going Postal
  • Guns Akimbo:
    • Done with a pair of submachine guns.
    • Taken up a level with a pair of M-16s in the second film.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Bill declares there is no God and views religions as just one among many scams, with death being the end.
  • Invisible President: In the third movie Bill Williamson assassinates the U.S. President and several other high-ranking politicians with a sniper rifle from a mile distance. Neither the assassination nor the President him(?)self are depicted, only the aftermath of the authorities tracking down the shooter.
  • Karma Houdini: Bill kills his friend Evan and frames him for his killing spree, and winds up getting Evan's dad sent to jail. All the while, he returns to his normal life as though nothing had happened and prepares to go on another rampage as soon as he had the money.
  • Leave No Witnesses: The reason why Bill kills everyone in the beauty salon — he took his mask off to have some water, then realized that they had seen his face, ruining his plan to get away with his crimes.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Bill.
  • More Dakka: This film could be renamed 'More Dakka: The Movie' and you wouldn't have to change anything.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The scene where Bill is in the bingo hall full of old people, all of them too engrossed in their game to notice a guy in full body armor and tactical getup walking around. The tension of the scene comes from the anticipation that Bill is just going to lay into the defenseless crowd with his machine guns. And it never happens.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • Justified. Bill's first act is to take out the police station so that there's nobody to stop his rampage.
    • Played completely straight in the sequel.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: There was a big thread on the film's IMDb message board saying how this movie was entirely unrealistic and could just never happen in real life. Cue the Utoya summer camp massacre, which played out almost exactly like Bill's killing spree (a bombing to distract the cops, followed by a run-and-gun massacre). To quote one of the posters:
    Look at your thread. Look at the news about Norway. Look back at your thread. Slap yourself, because you have been owned.
  • Soap Box Sadie: Bill is a villainous male example, particularly in the second movie which features several long monologues about government corruption and fixing the world. Evan counts, too.
  • The Social Darwinist: Bill blames overpopulation for the world's ills, claiming that he must "cleanse" people.
  • The Sociopath: Bill. Despite whether he is truly trying to help the world or just doing everything for kicks, he takes a very chilling satisfaction from his crimes, goes out of his way to be as sadistic as possible to his victims in his killing spree and feels no remorse for any of it. In the sequel, Bill's calls for action against the nation's wealthiest can be considered another ruse after he spent two films killing almost exclusively lower-class citizens. Trying to incite more people into killing is likely just him wreaking havoc by proxy.
  • Straw Nihilist: Bill often rants about how there is no god, people are all slaves to their leaders, modern life in general is meaningless without violence, and humanity is doomed to extinction.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Bill to the gelato server. Bill gives him five seconds to run, and gets rather... enthusiastic about the countdown.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The bingo hall scene.
  • Villain Has a Point: Bill makes points many people would agree with. Of course, it's detracted from by his being a sociopathic mass murderer not unlike those he rants about in the sequel.
  • Villain Protagonist: Bill is the main character and a domestic terrorist.

Alternative Title(s): Rampage Capital Punishment, Rampage President Down

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/Rampage