First Blood

A Vietnam Veteran uses his combat skills against the lawman of a small town when he arrests and abuses him.

  • Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna and Brian Dennehy
  • Director(s): Ted Kotcheff
  • Producer(s): Anabasis N.V.
  • Screenwriter(s): Michael Kozoll
  • Distributor: Orion Pictures Corporation
  • Animal Coordinator: Cindy James, dogs; Diane Minshall, rats; Hugh Oaks, boar
  • Release Date: Thursday, April 01, 1982
  • Rating: Unacceptable

Featured Animal Action

The following AHA film review was compiled from archival information and documentation and may not reflect AHA's current criteria for animal action review and rating procedures.

According to an animal care representative who was on the Vancouver set, rats were squeezed and hurled against a wall, killed, and burned by an actor during filming and again between takes while the director and crew looked and laughed. The representative was unable to take action because she claimed that the rats belonged to the production company and she did not want to be asked to leave the set. Nonetheless, she wrote to the Canadian Council on Animal Care suggesting that something be done. Their response was to wait until the picture was released and point out the abuse to the Canadian Film Board.

The ongoing expansion of the AHA Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media has raised the standard of care for animal actors worldwide. In addition, technological advancements have created safe alternatives to risky action, enabling filmmakers to maintain their creative vision without compromising the welfare of animal actors. AHA continues to be a vigilant watchdog for animals in film and television and acknowledges the groundbreaking history of this program while expanding and refining procedures to reflect increased knowledge and new challenges.