Red Scorpion (1988)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure  |  21 April 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 6,001 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 55 critic

An elite Special Forces operative is chosen to assassinate an anti-Communist rebel leader, but defects after witnessing the brutality of his comrades, leading the resistance against their oppressors.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Nikolai Rachenko
Dewey Ferguson
Kallunda Kintash
General Vortek
Col. Zayas
Alex Colon ...
Sgt. Krasnov
Ruben Nthodi ...
Ango Sundata
Vuzi Dibukwana ...
Guerilla Officer
James Mthoba ...
Guerilla Officer
Dinky Motsemme ...
Guerilla Officer
Ernest Ndhlovu ...
Guerilla Guard / Guerilla (as Ernest Ndlovu)
Thapelo Mofokeng ...
Guerilla (as Thapeld Mofokeng)
Mxolisi Hulana ...
Nicky Rebelo ...
Occupation Officer


Hesitating in the moment he is about to kill the rebel leader, Nikolai fails and is captured. Rather than being killed outright, he is forced to undergo a shamanic initiation ritual. The ingestion of the poison of a local scorpion, and his initiation ceremony, including scarification (a scorpion), give him a new identity and role in the world -- the Red Scorpion. Written by Phillip Batz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They think they control him. Think again... See more »


Action | Adventure


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

21 April 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escorpião Vermelho  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$16,000,000 (estimated)


$4,192,440 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut) | (cinema release)

Sound Mix:

(4 channels)| (France)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The filmmakers used a real bushmen tribe and Regopstaan was their 95 years old leader who only agreed to play in the movie if his tribe can follow him everywhere. See more »


During the first chase scene, a Russian soldier fires an RPG (rocket propelled grenade) at a truck. The soldier fires the weapon even though there is clearly no rocket inserted in the launcher. See more »


Dewey Ferguson: Man, what I'd give for a bacon-cheeseburger right now. Wash it down with an icecold glass of beer. Fuckin' A.
Kallunda: When we arrive at Porto Silva, there will be a celebration, and much feasting. Beer too.
Dewey Ferguson: Fuckin' A!
Lt. Nikolai: Do the americans all swear so much as you do?
Dewey Ferguson: As a matter of fact, in America, an american can swear whenever, wherever, however much he or she fuckin' well pleases! It's a little something we call freedom of speech, which I'm sure you russians aren't real familiar with!
Lt. Nikolai: We are free to ...
See more »


Referenced in Casino Jack (2010) See more »


Jenny, Jenny
Performed by Little Richard
Words & Music by Enotris Johnson (as Johnson) & Little Richard (as Penniman)
Courtesy of Specialty Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great movie, but misunderstood
7 December 2004 | by (Wellington, New Zealand) – See all my reviews

There are four rules that seem to be required for a "great" movie:

1. Acting = Dialogue

2. Excitement = Explosions

3. The Russian is not allowed to be the hero

4. There should be romance, even when irrelevant to the story

Red Scorpion is one of my all time favourite movies, precisely for breaking all of these rules

This is a brilliant, well paced movie. Well acted by Dolph Lundgren, who is one of the few actors with the ability and charisma to succeed with the "quiet but strong" type of hero.

9 out of 10

20 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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