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The Stick (1988)

During the apartheid era in South Africa, a young naive soldier is assigned to a unit of racist white soldiers. After they annihilate a remote village led by a witch doctor, the spirits of those they've killed target them.


Darrell Roodt


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Greg Latter Greg Latter ... Cooper
Sean Taylor Sean Taylor ... O'Grady
Frantz Dobrowsky Frantz Dobrowsky ... Lieutenant
James Whyle James Whyle ... Evans
Nicky Rebelo Nicky Rebelo ... Ferreira
Frank Opperman Frank Opperman ... Frank
Gys de Villiers ... Visser
Winston Ntshona ... The Witchdoctor
Dixon Malele Dixon Malele ... Mkhonto (as Dickson Malele)
Elsabe Zietsman Elsabe Zietsman ... Concert Singer
Kerneels Coertzen Kerneels Coertzen ... Major
Louis Minnaar ... Platoon Captain
Floris de Clerq Floris de Clerq ... Point Leader
Lucky Sishuba Lucky Sishuba ... Herd Boy
Theo Matsiesta Theo Matsiesta ... Herd Boy


A group of South African soldiers are sent out into the bush to find and destroy a rebel group that killed an earlier patrol. When they find a small village with all the men gone, the soldiers panic and slaughter the remaining villagers, including an old witch doctor. As the group tries to make their way back to camp, strange things begin happening to them. Are the enemy soldiers normal humans, or have they been cursed by the old shaman? Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Horror | War


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South Africa


English | Afrikaans

Release Date:

15 June 1989 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Platoon Warrior See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


The film has been banned in South Africa as of 1988. The producers refused to comply with the censors' demand for 48 cuts. This was the first South African film shown in the USSR when it was shown at the 1989 Moscow Film Festival. See more »


O'Grady: [sees the witchdoctor's skeleton] Miguel! Come and feast your eyes on this, china.
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Crazy Credits

"We used to wonder where war lived, what it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives, that it is inside ourselves." - Albert Camus See more »


Bad Boys
Lyrics by Janice Honeyman
Composed by Kevin Feather
Produced by Soltone Recording Studios
Performed by Elsabe Zietsman
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User Reviews

A doomed mission
5 July 2004 | by jrp-1See all my reviews

Darrell Roodt takes the viewer through a surreal journey as we see how a group of men lose their sanity. The Angola war was a sensitive subject at the time and this film was not welcomed by the government of 1988. The film is often described as being anti-war, but that is up to the viewer since the film only shows humanity at its worst in fact. The characters in the film don't really seem to change much, but more of them are revealed as they suffer more. Some snap, some panic, the film shows it all and I guess you can call it an anti-war film if you feel people aren't capable of acting responsibly when put under this kind of pressure. The direction is solid and the script seems realistic. Well worth a watch and certainly one of Darrell's best films.

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