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

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
Edit

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

Allegedly financed by the South African Defence Force through the International Freedom Foundation, a right-wing political thinktank which it funded. _Red Scorpion (1989)_ co-writer/producer Jack Abramoff helped to run the foundation. See more »

Goofs

When Lt. Nikolai Rachenko is lifting the truck out of the ground in the final battle be props his gun up leaning on the truck. As he lifts, you can notice the gun sliding off; and in the next shot, its back standing up. 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 »


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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