5.2/10
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62 user 74 critic

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.

Director:

Joseph Zito

Writers:

Robert Abramoff (story by), Jack Abramoff (story by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dolph Lundgren ... Lt. Nikolai Rachenko
M. Emmet Walsh ... Dewey Ferguson
Al White ... Kallunda Kintash
T.P. McKenna ... General Vortek
Carmen Argenziano ... Col. Zayas
Alex Colon ... Mendez
Brion James ... Sgt. Krasnov
Ruben Nthodi Ruben Nthodi ... Ango Sundata
Vusi Dibakwane Vusi Dibakwane ... Guerilla Officer (as Vuzi Dibukwana)
James Mthoba James Mthoba ... Guerilla Officer
Dinky Motsemme Dinky Motsemme ... Guerilla Officer
Ernest Ndlovu ... Guerilla Guard / Guerilla
Thapelo Mofokeng Thapelo Mofokeng ... Guerilla (as Thapeld Mofokeng)
Mxolisi Hulana Mxolisi Hulana ... Guerilla
Nicky Rebelo 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the various poster artwork from around the world altered Dolph Lundgren's hairstyle so that it resembled the hairdo he had sported as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV (1985), despite him having a different more military hairstyle in the actual film. This was probably done to capitalize on the popularity of that character as Lundgren was once again playing a Russian soldier. Ironically, it is highly likely filmmakers had deliberately avoided this hairstyle so that the characters were not too similar looking in appearance, and thus eliminating a visual rehash of the Drago character. See more »

Goofs

Ferguson leans out of the truck's passenger door and fires a pump action shotgun at the pursuing vehicles one of which instead being hit at the front blows up at the rear. See more »

Quotes

Colonel Zayas: [Menacing Nikolai with a grenade] This is such a small space... and this is such a very big grenade!
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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 »

Alternate Versions

The Dutch, German, UK, and US Blu-ray editions feature the 105 minutes uncut version in widescreen. See more »

Connections

Followed by Red Scorpion 2 (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Jenny, Jenny
Performed by Little Richard
Words & Music by Enotris Johnson (as Johnson) & Little Richard (as Penniman)
Courtesy of Specialty Records
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User Reviews

 
One of the many "Red" films, but above average
30 August 2012 | by BeneCumbSee all my reviews

1980ies saw various Cold War related films with titles beginning with Red: Red Dawn and Red Heat are most known, Red Scorpion has got somewhat less attention, but it is not bad at all. Many other action films contain much more clichés and Lundgren is less numb actor than e.g. Seagal, Dudikoff or Norris.

The only thing that really annoys me is letting Americans or Slavic emigrants to communicate in Russian - the result (= accent) is horrible, providing films undue undertones.

But still, both the script and Lundgren's performance have earned my 6 points; M. Emmet Walsh's part is even more catchy. Just forget the past black-and-white East-West collisions and enjoy it as a proper action film with constant (and at times complex) fight between good and evil, friendship and betrayal.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | South Africa | Namibia

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

21 April 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Scorpion See more »

Filming Locations:

Namibia

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,972,994, 23 April 1989

Gross USA:

$4,192,440

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,192,440
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (cinema release)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)| Mono (France)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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