The plot is about a young German soldier who wanted to hide the real reason for the death of his friend from Russia. In the explanatory note to his command, he advised that all had happened due to the Russian Roulette. He revealed that the Russian soldier had been telling that the military officers in Russia have used to play this dangerous game in 1917. It was practically at the end of World War One. The classical variant of the game supposes one cartridge is loaded into an empty revolver drum and the drum spins. The location of the cartridge is not known. After the players take turns, they put the revolver to the temple and press the trigger. The dead Russian sergeant had been very much into gambling. So his German friend lied trying to cover his suicide that the Russian had been trying to demonstrate the game and had become its victim. There are many inaccuracies and question about the Russian Roulette. We cannot tell why the author decided that the game rule is just one bullet and not five. The historians study many letters and papers of the author that could be found after his death but failed to find a reasonable explanation of why he had changed the game rules. Possibly an option with one bullet the entertainment time would increase and it will make the game intriguing. Though, a more obvious reason was to transform the game in a more attractive one as a crazy life risk could hardly interest even the craziest fools. Whatever the case is, the undeniable fact remains that is was the latter version of the game that was widely spread in the twentieth century and became an integral element of pop culture in many countries.
A list of the dead.
That story was in great demand among the readers. And it was published again in the Fiction Parade and Golden Book edition. A year after it, the first victim of the Russian Roulette opened an endless list of the crazy game followers. It was a young guy who released a bullet in his head on the day when he turned 21. The records mention at least 2000 more victims for the same reason. We will tell you about some well-known people who were among those who paid with their lives.
- A famous American rhythm and blues musician Johny Ace (his full name was John Marshall Alexander Jr. The tragedy happened during Christmas in 1954. He just finished a 12-month tour and was performing in Huston. Paying with a 32-caliber revolver he occasionally shot himself. Then some witnesses were telling that it was a bad combination of alcohol and gunshot mishandling. Though, the official investigation announced that the death of the musician was the result of the Russian Roulette game.
- A Finnish illusionist Aimo Leikas. His zest on the stage was the Russian Roulette performance. The trick was so easy to show but extremely dreadful. He was always playing with 5 bullets in a revolver claiming that he could stay safe and untouched with just the help of his mind power. He had been practicing that famous trick for many years. And he never failed. But the luck finally misled him in 1976 and he met his death directly on the stage.
- Another tragic story happened with the American actor John-Erik Hexum. In 1984 the cast and crew were filming one of the episodes of the popular TV film Cover Up. At idle times between the shooting, the actors were looking for some fun and John began to play with a powerful 44.Magnum. He brought the gun to his temple imitating he was playing the Russian Roulette and pressed the trigger. His death was caused not by the bullet as it did not come out but by the strongest shockwave. Regrettably, it seriously damaged his skull and hit the brain with a piece of the bone not leaving him a single chance. The emergency could not help and he died in the hospital.
- In 2010 the well-known English actor Alan Cumming revealed a sad story about the death of his grandfather. It was during one of the BBC programs. He was telling the journalist a story of his family. A hearty conversation could fill in some missing bits about Alan’s relatives. It turned out that his grandfather was serving in the army in Malaya. Everybody thought that he had died due to an accident while clearing his gun. But Alan told a different story. His grandfather was playing a fatal game of the Russian Roulette and was shot dead.
- The latest tragedy happened in Missouri, in winter 2019. Two policemen were wasting the time by playing Russian Poker. It is another variant of the Russian Roulette. The difference between the two is that the player is pointing the gun to the adversary’s head. The game went well at the beginning, but it soon went off killing one of the officers. The other policeman was immediately arrested, charged of manslaughter. After the investigation, he was announced guilty and sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment. Later he was allowed on a house arrest and a huge bond.
Famous Game Role in the Pop Culture
After a loud declaring itself, the Russian Roulette entered the pop culture for a long period. It was very popular not only in the USA but all around the world. The game was often met in artworks, films, songs, books. And it did not pass by the screens of Hollywood. It appeared in several movies, starting from Bugs Bunny in the early 1950s.
The Russian Roulette was shown in the most picturesque way in 1978, in the film The Deep Hunter. The plot is telling about 3 best friends from Pennsylvania. They all found themselves in Vietnam after they were called in the army. The guys were captured and put in jail. There the guards demanded to entertain them by playing the death game. The film showed that after three successful shots the main character managed to kill the local guards and received a chance to escape. The story keeps the audience nerves on the edge every time the guys pulled the trigger. But there was no happy ending in this film. One of the friends decided to stay in Vietnam. He was earning his living by playing the Russian Roulette in one of the bars. Two friends had to test their luck again one day, but unfortunately, the game was not fortunate to them that time, and one of the then was shot dead.
There were very many reviews of the film, many of them were very controversial. Some officials blamed the film director that he was far away from reality showing false things about Vietnam prisons during the war. They said there were no records to prove that the imprisoned were made to play the dangerous game. The famous cinema critics explained that it did not really matter whether the game facts were true or not. The idea of the film was to show the insanity of the war. He commented that the main purpose was to describe war violence and its influence on people. The game became a clear manifestation of the war in general.
So that opinion is very true as for a few decades the film is still one of the best pictures about the Vietnam terrible wartime. Many cinema experts call it the best film ever in that respect. It is highly recommended for everyone to watch it. On the example of this film and many others, we can state that the Russian Roulette still plays a significant role in the culture. It is used with a metaphoric purpose to show
What do People Want to Know About the Russian Roulette?
Let us summarize the information about this dangerous game. The article does not give any conclusions to the readers. And we decided to check what information internet users are looking for in most cases. And before we pass to the questions we want you to know that we highly appreciate your attention and reading our articles. We hope you have learned a lot of new things.
The Specifics of the Game.
Russian Roulette is a gambling and potentially deadly game of chance. According to unofficial rules, the player leaves one cartridge in the drum of the revolver and rotates the drum so as to forget the position of the cartridge. As a result, the players alternately place the revolver on the temple and fire. The game comes from Russia, it was first practiced more than a century ago. The first mention of the game can be found in a short story in the press.
What are the Main Rules?
As it has been already mentioned you need a discharged revolver and only one cartridge in the drum of the revolver. You have to rotate it well. Then the players take turns, put the revolver to the head and shoot. The number of cartridges in the drum may vary, depending on the model of the revolver. In conventional gambling, a toy revolver is used to simulate Russian roulette. In the global culture, Russian roulette has been popularized through numerous references in literature and cinema.
Why is the Russian Roulette so Popular?
This question can be answered only by those who tried to play this game and managed to stay alive. It looks the game attracts those people who want to feel death breathing close to them. But does it worth the risk of life?
No matter how much you may want to rush adrenaline in the blood, always remember why guns were used at all times. Any game, from children’s pranks and fun in the sandbox, to serious world competitions, should be reasonable from a safety point of view. As even a harmless joke can turn into a fatal tragedy.