Full disclosure. As a kid I loved Dolph Lundgren. I rented every one of his films from my local Mom & Pop video store. All I really remember was that most of them left me wondering why I loved him in the first place. Red Scorpion wasn’t one of those films. I rented it and loved it and promptly forgot about it. I eventually ran out of movies or ran out of interest and my passion for the impressive Lundgren faded away. I knew I had to have Red Scorpion when it was released by Synapse. Here was a tasty slab of 80s cheese forgotten by most, that i needed to see again.
Red Scorpion was released hot on the heels of Rocky IV, so of course Lundgren plays a Russian again. This time hes a crazy badass Spetsnaz sent to a turbulent African nation to befriend the rebel leader and notify the Russian army of their whereabouts so that they can crush them. He does his job but in the process learns that his people are the oppressors and decides to fight back with the rebels.
This is Dolph at his least charismatic I’m afraid. I mean in Rocky IV he was supposed to be an immovable object so of course he had the disposition of a rock. Here though he mumbles through his lines and flexes for the camera. Still, Red Scorpion is filled to the brim with awesome bloody action with special effects courtesy of Tom Savini, and direction by Joseph Zito (Missing in Action, Invasion U.S.A ((which also had sfx by Savini))). So with those two behind the scenes you know you’re gonna get what you paid for. Bloody squibs, explosions, fist fights, and lots of stunts. It’s hard to trash a film that gave me exactly what I came for. If you want an 80’s action flick with tons of violence, a high body count, great direction, and Dolph Lundgren, look no further.