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Red Scorpion (1988)

An elite Soviet Special Forces operative is chosen to assassinate a rebel leader, but instead he defects to lead the resistance against his former comrades.

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lt. Nikolai Rachenko
...
Dewey Ferguson
...
Kallunda Kintash
...
General Vortek
...
Col. Zayas
Alex Colon ...
Mendez
...
Sgt. Krasnov
Ruben Nthodi ...
Ango Sundata
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)

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

Some of Jay Chattaway's musical score from Red Scorpion (1988) was re-used John Woo's Zong heng si hai (1991) (a.k.a. "Once a Thief"). See more »

Goofs

During the final battle scene, the truck that Rachenko earlier stowed away in and which was destroyed is magically back in the army compound, undamaged. (Either that or it had the exact same identification number on the front bumper.) See more »

Quotes

[after escaping from torture, he turns towards the woman taking notes]
Lt. Nikolai: Take a memo to General Vortek.
[She gulps and nods]
Lt. Nikolai: Subject: Escape. Message: I am *still* Spetsnaz!
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: On-Set Behind the Scenes Footage (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Uyandibiza
Performed by Amampondo
Words & Music by Mzoxolo Plaktjles
Courtesy of Claremont Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Exciting adventures , thrills and bloody battles in the African desert
4 January 2011 | by See all my reviews

Russian agent named Nikolai (Dolph Lundgren) is a Spetsnaz , a perfect killer machine . The Soviet lieutenant journey to Africa where is the headquarter in which lives the Russian and Cuban militia (Carmen Argenziano , Brion James). He is assigned to infiltrate and to assassinate an adversarial anti-Communist black revolutionary named Sundate as leader of a rebel group who is assisted by Kallunda (Al White). Nikolai unexpectedly , commits a betrayal that enrages his Russian commandant as the General Vortez (T.P. McKenna), who orders his immediate punishment . In this case the nasty General is a genocide officer who uses his helicopter to cause mayhem and slaughter in minority communities. Making his getaway through the dangerous desert, Nikolai switches sides and join forces with the rebels, in the company of an American reporter (M. Emmet Walsh). Nikolai allies himself with a tribe of bushmen, and earning the nickname "Red Scorpion" . As Nikolai's new-found independence and switch allegiances with new friends . All of them , lead in his leadership of the rebels against his previous comrades .

This moving film contains thrills ,fiercy combats , tortures , lethal shootouts and lots of explosions and noisy action . From the beginning to the end the comic-book action-packed and extreme violence is continued and it's fast movement ; for that reason the picture is pretty entertaining , though contains some perfunctory scenes . Passable performance of Sweden Dolph Lundgren as Soviet agent par excellence trained in deep undercover job and finds himself drawn to the guerrillas' riot . This is a routine actioner with Karate expertise star Dolph Lundgren as the Soviet veteran resulting to be one of the best roles he'd made to date , as he's fine -though some wooden- as tough, cold , obstinate agent Nikolai. It provides some interesting background on Dolph Lundgren 's rocky relationship with communism and switching allies with spectacular final climax storming their headquarters in a no-quarter , deadly showdown . Poor acting abounds but packed with violence , bloodshed and exciting action scenes as when Lundgren shoots his machine gun , several explosions or scenes from spectacular helicopters similarly used in ¨Rambo III ¨ at Afghanistan. Catching musical score by Jay Chattaway and regular cinematography by cameraman Joao Fernandez , both of whom worked in the trilogy ¨Braddock's Missing in action ¨ who bears certain resemblance in some qualities to ¨Red Scorpion¨. The motion picture produced in average budget is professionally directed by Joseph Zito (Invasion USA, 13th Friday final chapter, Missing in action , The prowler). Rating : Acceptable, passable and amusing but violent . Although the movie has some aspects a little tough to take , this thrilling film still has its nice moments getting a bemusing atmosphere with agreeable results , furthermore grossed moderated success at the box office .


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