Director Talks On-Screen Violence in ‘Rampage’; “A Couple Guys Get Ripped in Half”
It’s a fact of Hollywood life that most big expensive blockbuster movies have to be PG-13 to appeal to families. Even a giant monster movie like Rampage. When a giant wolf, crocodile, and gorilla go on a rampage, they leave a trail of bloody victims in their path… but don’t expect too much in the gore department from this one.
“I’m not really into gore,” director Brad Peyton told Bloody Disgusting.
“That’s not really my thing. I like squirminess, like in an Indiana Jones movie. I don’t necessarily love gore. What I like doing is kind of undercutting it. When a certain person dies and blood splatters over the glass, it’s kind of for comedic purposes. It just wasn’t a factor for me. I think that I make adventure films. The gore thing never really crossed my mind.”
Spielberg is a good reference, since the gore in his movies actually led to the creation of PG-13. There are no melting Nazis or ripping people’s beating hearts out in Rampage, but there are in spirit.
“[Rampage goes] much more towards Nazi face melt off than pure Hostel gore,” Peyton said.
“I definitely try to scare the hell out of you every now and then. If you look closely, a couple guys get ripped in half in Wyoming. I try to do it in a way that you have that moment where you’re like, ‘Oh, damn’ but it’s not so gruesome you’re scaring the hell out of your kids or your girlfriend’s turning away. It’s meant to startle you but not gross you out.”
Peyton had no issues getting all of these kills through the MPAA.
“We went in front of the ratings board once and I didn’t get any notes,” Peyton said. “I’m assuming they weren’t offended by it.”
Perhaps it helps that The Rock is there to save the day. No one is too afraid when they smell what The Rock is cooking. Dwayne Johnson is back in badass mode, but even he wanted to show that these giant monsters were a bit much even for him to handle.
“It’s fun and cool to be a badass and it’s awesome, but I find it more interesting and funnier and more entertaining when something kind of undercuts the badassness,” Johnson said in a press conference. “A scene that I love is when George comes back and I’m like, ‘All right, buddy. Let’s go kick some ass.’ He pounds his chest and he poses and screams, the alligator screams back at us and I’m like holy shit, and I start running away. I love little moments like that where we’re undercutting the badassery, if you will.”
For the first time, Johnson is not the biggest character in the movie.
“I think there’s something inherently interesting to me when you can play a badass but also the foe you’re looking at, the antagonist, you’re looking up at them,” Johnson said. “You’re running from them. I love that so any time I can put myself in a position like that is great. Especially for a movie like this where you have the latitude to just have so much fun.”
Rampage opens April 13.