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Red Scorpion (1988)

A Soviet Special Forces soldier is sent on a mission to infiltrate an African rebel army and assassinate its leader, but the war machine they trained starts to think for himself.

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Writers:

(story by), (story by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Alex Colon ...
Mendez
...
Ruben Nthodi ...
Vuzi Dibukwana ...
Guerilla Officer
James Mthoba ...
Guerilla Officer
Dinky Motsemme ...
Guerilla Officer
Ernest Ndlovu ...
Guerilla Guard / Guerilla
Thapelo Mofokeng ...
Guerilla (as Thapeld Mofokeng)
Mxolisi Hulana ...
Guerilla
Nicky Rebelo ...
Occupation Officer
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

21 April 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escorpião Vermelho  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,972,994 (USA) (23 April 1989)

Gross:

$4,192,440 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (cinema release)

Sound Mix:

(4 channels)| (France)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The initial budget was about $8 million but ended up at $16 million with all the delays and production issues. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Colonel Zayas: Are you out of your mind?
Lt. Nikolai: No. Just out of bullets.
[Burps]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Sound effects of various weapons firing and exploding are heard over the Little Richard song the plays during the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Red Scorpion: All Out of Bullets (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Good Golly Miss Molly
Performed by Little Richard
Words & Music by John Marascalco (as Marascalco) and Robert 'Bumps' Blackwell (as Blackwell)
Courtesy of Specialty Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Lame and overpatriotic, but not as brainless as you might think
5 March 2004 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

Red Scorpion was filmed and released in the final months of the Cold War when communism was soon to fall. The 1980s saw a whole range of anti-Soviet films (which, in their style, were technically propaganda) as well as films promoting peace between the United States and Soviet Union (the most odd example probably being Red Heat)

This is certainly of the former camp. Portraying Dolph Lundgren as a mindless automaton of Soviet-era Russia, he fights with dedication for his Soviet commanders, until he is thrown in jail for drunken behaviour. There he meets a resistance fighter, who the Soviet command have designated as a terrorist threat, and learns the "truth" about the Soviet presence.

Looking beyond the mindless action scenes (which, despite the countless guns and explosions), there is a good fable about the possibility of manipulating truth, and how appearance is not always truth. It's nothing deep, and won't have film academics breaking out in a sweat, but it does add some interesting twists to the story.

Dolph Lundgren's acting, as always, does leave a lot to be desired, but then this film does seem to be concentrating more on the storyline and action. His education by an African Bushman is particularly funny, even touching at times as you see the relationship between Nikolai and the Bushman develop. It's just a shame that more wasn't made of it.

All in all, the film does try to be what it isn't but doesn't suffer for it

  • indeed, at times, it even shows signs of succeeding.


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