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The Beast of War (1988)

During the war in Afghanistan a Soviet tank crew commanded by a tyrannical officer find themselves lost and in a struggle against a band of Mujahadeen guerrillas in the mountains. A unique ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Konstantin Koverchenko
Khan Taj
Anthony Golikov
Moustafa (as Haim Gerafi)
Shoshi Marciano ...
Sherina (as Shosh Marciano)
Yitzhak Ne'eman ...
Iskandar (as Itzhak Babi Ne'Eman)
Moshe Vapnik ...
Claude Aviram ...
Victor Ken ...
Avi Keedar ...


During the war in Afghanistan a Soviet tank crew commanded by a tyrannical officer find themselves lost and in a struggle against a band of Mujahadeen guerrillas in the mountains. A unique look at the Soviet 'Vietnam' experience sympathetically told for both sides. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Cause: freedom. The enemy: The world's deadliest fighting machine. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

7 September 1988 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Beast  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$161,004 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The fire commands and terminology used by the tank crew in combat are the same as used by U.S. Army tank crews. This was to add military flavor to the movie, and give it a very realistic feel. See more »


When the first round flies over the town and hits the hillside in the opening scene, a black dot can be seen at the exact spot of the fireball just prior to the explosion (pyrotechnics placed to simulate the explosion of the round). See more »


[Golikov and Kaminski are walking back to the tank carrying fuel cans from the helicopter as Daskal watches them from behind the tank's machine gun]
Golikov: What are we doing? Why don't we make a run for it?
Kaminski: Are you crazy? He'd shoot us right out of the sky!
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the start of the film, just after the Columbia Pictures logo the following quote is given: When you're wounded an' left on Afghanistan's plains. An' the women come out to cut up your remains, Just roll to your rifle an' blow out your brains, An' go to your Gawd like a soldier. - Rudyard Kipling See more »


Referenced in Timecode (2000) See more »


Written by VICTOR TSI
Performed by KINO
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Moby Dick, with Ahab in the whale...
20 November 2000 | by (Bloomington, Indiana) – See all my reviews

This neglected and largely unknown anti-war film, ranks as one of the best of the genre. Since other posters have commented extensively on this movie, I'll limit myself to a few comments about those elements others have not addressed.

In it my understanding from material I read at the time the movie was in release (I saw it in Los Angeles when I was living there in the late 80s) that the actors who portrayed Afghanis learned and delivered their lines phonetically. The fact that the "Russians" sound like Americans, and the Afghans are speaking the language without subtitles is a brilliant dramatic device. Virtually no one is going to understand what the Afghanis are actually saying, but it is possible to get the gist from the context and from body language. This has the effect of alienating the viewer from the freedom fighters and making them tend to identify with the Russian tank crew. The movie then operates subversively against this natural tendency throughout the remainder of the story.

The hunting of the tank by the Mujahadeen has an almost mythic quality, except for the fact that the T-62 is real and it has a human crew. And leading that crew is the tank commander whose entire life was shaped by his experiences in "The Great Patriotic War" against the Nazis when, as an 8-year-old, he was used by Russian troops in Stalingrad to help kill German tanks. The commander is as monomaniacal as Ahab, but instead of pursuing the whale, he is it's animating spirit.

There are a lot of layers to this movie -- it will definitely repay repeat viewings.

57 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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WHY would Koverchenko do that? whorse9
Now, imagine an American tank, businka
Does it bother anyone? victorboston
Realism AccidntlTourist
I've got the soundtrack of the movie in MP3s, so..... kempet
Goof? aeroboy
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