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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.

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
Vuzi Dibukwana Vuzi Dibukwana ... Guerilla Officer
James Mthoba James Mthoba ... Guerilla Officer
Dinky Motsemme Dinky Motsemme ... Guerilla Officer
Ernest Ndlovu 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:

He's a human killing machine. Taught to stalk. Trained to kill. Programmed to destroy. He's played by their rules... Until now. See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

South Africa | USA | Namibia

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

21 April 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Escorpião Vermelho 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,192,440
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (cinema release)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)| Mono (France)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Mil-24 Hind" in reality is a Sikorsky S-62 modified to look like a gunship. The same helicopter was also used in the movie Braddock: Missing in Action III (1988). 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 »

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

References King Kong (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Jenny, Jenny
Performed by Little Richard
Words & Music by Enotris Johnson (as Johnson) & Little Richard (as Penniman)
Courtesy of Specialty Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Public Relations Campaign for UNITA
25 June 2006 | by AKalinoffSee all my reviews

Anything "Red" out of Hollywood would be better dead.

The usual Cold War anti-Soviet/Russian propaganda.

The movie most likely takes place in Angola, as this was the only place where Soviet and Cuban troops were deployed in Africa in the 1980's.

The real history was that a Progressive Angolan government was overthrown by "freedom fighters"(UNITA) loyal to Ultra-Nationalists in South Africa and the US. UNITA was a terrorist organization which grew out of low level Civil War in the country which had raged well before any Soviet or Cuban troops arrived. Various factions supported by the European Powers as well as the regional South Africa were seeking to come to power. A government that would have stabilized the country did come to power, but it was not friendly to UNITA, and therefore an enemy of people like Jack Abramoff and the South African government. There was a regional ideological conflict and the Soviet Union was providing weapons to some of the local government friendly groups. But in reality the amount of Soviet troops in this country never exceeded 600, Cubans sent several 1,000. This war raged way after the fall of the USSR into 1994, when the South Africans went in to clean up the mess they started, fighting their own UNITA allies for control of oil supplies. By that time UNITA was busy shooting down airliners with Stinger missiles.

Anyway this conflict in the movie is simplified as "Russians evil, rebels 'good'." Of course Russians are the darkest form of evil in the movie, even a Russian does not want to be a Russian. There are many mistakes with uniforms and such where Soviet troops are shown without any kind of gear and in uniforms dating back to the 1930's. As well as the "Mi-24" in the movie has too many rocket pods on its "wings", there can only be a maximum of 4, there are 6.


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