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Rampage (1987)

Liberal district attorney decides to seek the death penalty for a man who slaughtered a family at Christmastime, then drank their blood. He escapes, though, and starts killing again.


William Friedkin


William P. Wood (novel), William Friedkin (screenplay)
2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Biehn ... Anthony Fraser
Alex McArthur ... Charlie Reece
Nicholas Campbell ... Albert Morse
Deborah Van Valkenburgh ... Kate Fraser
John Harkins ... Dr. Keddie
Art LaFleur ... Mel Sanderson
Billy Green Bush ... Judge McKinsey (as Billy Greenbush)
Royce D. Applegate ... Gene Tippetts
Grace Zabriskie ... Naomi Reece
Carlos Palomino Carlos Palomino ... Nestode
Roy London Roy London ... Dr. Paul Rudin
Donald Hotton ... Dr. Leon Gables
Andy Romano ... Spencer Whalen
Patrick Cronin ... Harry Bellenger
Roger Nolan Roger Nolan ... Dr. Roy Blair


Liberal district attorney decides to seek the death penalty for a man who slaughtered a family at Christmastime, then drank their blood. He escapes, though, and starts killing again. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They know his madness. They know he kills. Their crime would be to let him live. See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of strong violence | See all certifications »






Release Date:

30 October 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rampage See more »


Box Office


$7,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$322,500, 1 November 1992

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In filming the scene where Alex McArthur's character jumps through the church window, McArthur insisted on doing his own stunt. Unfortunately, when he landed on the floor he fractured his ankle. He was taken to a local hospital where a cast was put on the lower portion of his leg. Later in the same scene, when he is knocking over items on a table, a black stocking can clearly be seen covering the cast. See more »


During the amusement/fair scene, when the little boy is being held and throwing ping-pong balls into the cups, my wife and I walk by staring straight into the camera! (filmed in my then hometown) See more »


Charlie Reece: [before killing one of his victims] I'm sorry!
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film has no opening credits or title. Only the Miramax logo appears at the beginning. See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally shot in 1987; after premiering in some European countries, the film was shelved when production studio DEG went bankrupt and sat unreleased for five years. In 1992 director William Friedkin re-edited the movie and slightly altered the ending (supposedly because in the meantime his feelings about the death penalty had changed) before its USA release. The European video versions usually feature the original ending. See more »


Referenced in Empire of the Censors (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

How do you find the accused?
20 May 2007 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

After five people have been viciously murdered in suburban California, the police arrest Charles Edmund Reece for the crimes for which he slaughtered two families and drank their blood for cleansing. Liberal district attorney Anthony Fraser is put onto the case, where he has to convince the jury that the killer wasn't insane during those acts, so he can be found guilty of the charges to receive the actual death penalty. However the religious Anthony doesn't believe in that justice, but after seeing the aftermaths, and the victims of the ordeal, he goes out to nail him.

Talk about an admirably confronting and dreary cold-blooded thriller with no easy way out, but one that raises many ethical questions on the insanity plea to escape the death penalty. William Friedkin's "Rampage" has a routine set-up to its premise (taken of William P. Wood's novel), but there's enough emotional engagement and fascination that demands your interest. Friedkin who also wrote the sedate screenplay tries to delve a little deeper into the circumstances with some background and motivation. The way they look into the mind of the killer and try to explain his way of thinking is unnerving and unpredictable. While the stirring script wants to be thought provoking, it still could have used a touch up as some unconvincing details enter. This one plays out more like a bitter courtroom drama with the damaging effects of the incidents engulfing those who happen to be involved one-way or another, as the psycho-thriller part of the story coming off as seconds. However these moments are highly potent with unsparingly disturbing, intense and callous images and feelings finding their way in. What makes these scenes effective and stay in your mind is that they aren't cheap jolts. Ennio Morricone's simmering low-key score lends to the chilling and glum nature that blankets the air, and the sweeping doco-style camera-work gives it a bit of leering authenticity. However like some others have mentioned, it does feel like a TV-movie. Alex McArthur's casual performance is disquieting and really creepy, especially how he goes about killing his victims and seeking forgiveness for his actions. Michael Biehn is in exceptionally fine form as the public attorney. Friedkin's dependably gallant and dark direction covers most bases and steers to a psychological graduation of perfect timing. One solid aspect is that Friedkin truly makes you feel as if you're apart of the jury, as if your mind-set has an important say in deciding the fate of this man.

Provocative, but not entirely perfect.

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