Ted Kotcheff Praises Sly at Recent “First Blood” Screening

 Ted Kotcheff and David Frison

Recently SZoner, David (Soop) Frison was able to attend a screening of FIRST BLOOD which was the last of three Ted Kotcheff movies presented between June 23rd and 25th at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, CA.

The opportunity to participate in a Q&A with the director was offered after the screening.

Among other anecdotes, Mr. Kotcheff had this nice thing to say about his main actor:

“As a filmmaker, Sylvester (as he likes to call him) has this thing on me that I don’t have; he really knows what the audience likes and dislikes. And so, the two major times Sylvester contributed to the success of this film, was when he said that Rambo should not kill any of the Reserve Army Men at the stand off by the cave (…) and, after all Rambo has been through during that horrible day (…), he should not die at the sheriff’s station.”


Famous artist Bill Pruitt also showed up and made Ted Kotcheff the gift of one of his paintings.



David (Soop) Frison
Actor and twice Sylvester Stallone’s movie poster body double.


Thanks to Soop for the update! – Craig

Two Stallone Characters That Were Supposed to Die But Didn’t

Recently Mental_Floss  posted 14 Movie Characters Who Were Supposed to Die But Didn’t by Rudie Obias.

Guess who had two characters in the top 14?  That’s right, Sly and here’s what was said:

4. Rambo // First Blood

In the novel First Blood, Rambo commits suicide at the end of a long battle with Sheriff Teasle. Rambo’s death scene was filmed, but Sylvester Stallone saw the potential for a new franchise, so Rambo lived to fight another day in the final version.


5. Rocky Balboa // Rocky V

Rocky V was supposed to be the last movie in the franchise, and Stallone ended its screenplay accordingly, with Rocky Balboa dying at the hands of rival Tommy Gunn during a street fight. But during production, director John Avildsen got a call from executives telling him, “‘Oh by the way, Rocky’s not going to die,'” he recalled in 2014. “‘Batman doesn’t die, Superman, James Bond, these people don’t die.” Stallone wrote a new ending featuring Rocky and his son Robert Balboa jogging to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and looking over the city’s skyline.

Special Editions of David Morrell’s First Blood Trilogy Coming!

David Morrell, Rambo and Sylvester Stallone fans get ready to be excited!  

Gauntlet Press in collaboration with Borderlands Press have special editions of David Morrell’s Rambo trilogy set for publication starting in 2015.

Leading the way will be Morrell’s First Blood special edition which will feature…

…essays by David Morrell and by New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry as well as the never-before-published outline for the novel and the original first chapter.

As excited as I am for the special edition of First Blood, I am equally excited about the hardcover special edition treatment that David Morrell’s Rambo II and Rambo III novels will get.  Anyone who has ever read them will understand.

For more information check out Gauntlet Press’ First Blood by David Morrell page.

How “Cliffhanger” and “First Blood” Were Affected by Test Screenings

On October 10, 2014, Den of Geek posted 51 Movies and How They Were Affected by Test Screenings.  Two of Sly’s movies, Cliffhanger  and First Blood  made the list.



Interesting one, this. In the trailer for Renny Harlin’s 1993 hit Cliffhanger, Sylvester Stallone is seen jumping from one cliff to another. It’s a 40 foot leap, and when test audiences were presentated with this, they guffawed. The reason? They just didn’t buy it could be possible. As such, the jump was re-edited – ironically needing the help of some CG work – to make the jump appear shorter. Nobody guffawed. It made it to the film.


Another ending story this one, and in this case, Sylvester Stallone probably owes the test audiences of his first Rambo film a cut. In the original story, John Rambo perished at the hands of Trautman. This is also what happens in the novel upon which Rambo is based.

Yet the test audiences were not happy with this, and demanded that Rambo lived. Sylvester Stallone duly obliged, along came a new ending, and when Rambo went on to be a huge hit, the sequel – First Blood: Part II – followed shortly.

Now, Stallone is getting to work on Rambo 5. Every time he does a balance enquiry at his local brand of NatWest, he must do a silent grin to himself…

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