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|“||You know, wearing that jacket, looking the way you do, you're asking for trouble around here, friend.||„|
|~ Will Teasle|
William "Will" Teasle is the main antagonist of the 1982 film First Blood, based on the 1972 novel of the same name. He is an overzealous sheriff of the Ligget County Sheriff Department and is best described as a redneck and control freak who is willing to abuse his power to get undesirable people out of what he thinks of as his town. Although he is the film's main antagonist and shows little remorse for his heartless actions, he is far more civilized in temperament and behaviour than his old friend, Art Galt, who is the only person in the film that dies.
He was portrayed by the late Golden Globe-winner Brian Dennehy.
Despite being a cop, Will Teasle lacks the qualities of one in some ways. Like his friend Galt, he's just nothing more than a vindictive corrupt cop who willing to abuse his authority to kick undesirable people out of what he thinks of as his town and as well as possessing control freak tendencies. As revealed in the novel, among those whom he detests that he is willing to kick them out of the town, Vietnam veterans are the worst ones for him, loathing them out of rancorous jealousy for upstaging the sacrifices the forgotten Korean War veterans like himself made, and for how Vietnam veterans are usually unemployed and scruffy. This explained why when he first met Rambo, he could easily recognize him as one that made him obsessed to do anything to kick him out.
Although, unlike Galt, Teasle is neither heartless nor ruthless killer since he is more civilized with faint hints of actually being a tragic villain and actually caring for the welfare of his townspeople and his deputies. Even so, his obsession in disposing of Rambo in violent ways, combined with his recklessness, jealousy of Vietnam vets and his lust for revenge upon the said veteran, made him as horrible and as ruthless killers that Rambo faced in the past and resulted in the town's almost complete destruction. This also worsened with the fact that he gave Trautman (who is a fellow Korean War veteran himself) the cold shoulder when he pleads with the corrupt policeman to deal with Rambo in a more humane way and completely disregard the worst consequences of his actions in pushing the veteran until he broke.
Will Teasle is first seen spotting drifter John Rambo, and seeing his ungroomed appearance, assumes him to be a hippie, and offers to give him a ride. Because it is December, he accepts, and asks if there is a restaurant he could get a bite to eat. Teasle tells him that he cannot eat in his town and if he wants to eat than he will have to hitchhike 30 miles up the highway. Teasle drives Rambo to the city limits, but a hungry Rambo turns back, only to be arrested for vagrancy. His old friend, Sergeant Art Galt books him and gives him a colossal beatdown: Rambo is hosed down with a high-pressure fire hose, then beaten with a nightstick, but before he can be maliciously dry shaved, Rambo flashes back to traumatic days when he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
Fearing for his corporal integrity and life, Rambo snaps and fights his way out of the police station, and flees into the mountains. A man hunt is staged and Galt pursues Rambo in a helicopter, in an attempt to kill Rambo in cold blood. Rambo is shot at repeatedly with a rifle, and Rambo is forced to hurl a large rock at the chopper so he doesn't die. Because Galt wasn't wearing his seatbelt, he falls to his death and Teasle vows to avenge his friend. He goes into the woods with a team of heavily armed deputies, but Rambo uses his green beret skills to improvise weaponry and use his survival knife to wound the soldiers.
Rambo sneaks up on Teasle and tells him to "let it go", but Teasle's anger seems to only be fueled by this, and he vows to kill Rambo. Trautman, Rambo's former commander, arrives in town from Washington D.C. and reveals that Rambo wasn't really a hippie, but was actually a homeless veteran and former top Green Beret special force member that was sleeping in the woods because America hated veterans so much. Trautman suggests letting Rambo go so he can be safely recaptured later via nationwide APB and nobody else will get hurt, but Teasle refuses, despite Trautman revealing that not even 200 men can prove a match for Rambo.
Rambo finally escapes a rocket blast by crawling through an old mine, hijacks a National Guard truck, and drives through a police blockade back to town. Rambo takes an M60 heavy machine gun from the back of the truck and blows up the town's gas station and a gun store. Rambo also knocks the power out to the town and begins destroying main street with machine gun bullets, all to distract and locate Teasle. Teasle gets to the roof of the destroyed police station and attempts to kill Rambo, but he is shot through the roof. A wounded Teasle eggs Rambo on to kill him, only to be stopped by Trautman. Teasle is last seen being taken to the hospital under the scornful gaze of Rambo and Trautman. Even though Rambo never killed anyone, Teasle is angry that he didn't get his revenge on Rambo.
His life after the events of the film is not clear, but it is implied it will be dark for him, because of his and his deputies' unjust treatment of Rambo as well as the agenda of revenge against Rambo, which escalated the whole situation. It also might be possible that he would be dismissed from his role as sheriff for his actions against Rambo.
- In the novel in which the film was based on, Teasle was given a different first name (Wilfred) and is portrayed as a confused yet moderate person who tries to take down Rambo (who is portrayed as a ruthless killer after suffering PTSD), but they end up being killed by each other in the end. However, the filmmakers decided to portray Rambo in a more sympathetic light while making Teasle more despicable due to his actions against Rambo.