Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Sunday, April 01, 2012

They Think They Control Him...

In 1988, Dolph Lundgren starred in Red Scorpion, a Rambo-esque military actioner directed by Joseph Zito, veteran of several slasher films and a couple of popular Chuck Norris vehicles for Cannon Films (Missing In Action, Invasion U.S.A.). It was Lundgren's second lead role, coming between Masters Of The Universe and The Punisher, still early in an action movie career that has lasted about a quarter-century and almost 50 films.

I remember renting Red Scorpion on VHS and watching it with my pal Mark Gerardi, but I couldn't tell you much about it now. All I remember (without prompting from the IMDb) is that Dolph (sporting an amazing buzzcut and his Rocky IV accent) played a Soviet Special Forces soldier (or Spetsnaz) sent on a mission to execute an anti-Communist rebel in Africa, and for reasons of conscience, switches sides, going up against the Russian Army. I'm sure it's silly as shit - but I'm also sure I enjoyed the hell out of it back in the late 80s. As I've said before, these old school action flicks are like crack to me.

Well, I'll soon be able to refresh my memory. I received a press release today from boutique video label Synapse Films, announcing that they'll be releasing Red Scorpion on DVD and Blu-ray in June, with a brand-new HD transfer (not the same transfer that's being used on foreign Blu-ray releases) of the uncut, International version of the film, along with a whole bunch of extras:
• All-New 2K High-Definition Digital Restoration of the Uncensored Version
• Audio Commentary with Director Joseph Zito and Mondo Digital’s Nathaniel Thompson
• All-New DTS-HD MA 5.1 Soundtrack Mixed Specifically for This Release
• HATH NO FURY– "Dolph Lundgren and the Road to RED SCORPION Featurette"
• ASSIGNMENT: AFRICA – Video Interview with Producer Jack Abramoff
• SCORPION TALES – Video Interview with Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini
• Rare Original On-Set Behind-the-Scenes Video Footage
• Animated Still Gallery
• Liner Notes on the Making of RED SCORPION by Jérémie Damoiseau
• Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots
• Reversible Cover Design
Anyway, you know I'll be getting my hands on this one. It'll make a great warm-up to The Expendables sequel.

ADDED: I just found the Red Scorpion trailer on YouTube.  Crom help me, I love this stuff!

1 comment:

Jack Badelaire said...

Awesome. This is one of the Dolph movies I've never seen, but it has always lingered on my "if I come across it, buy it" list. Great to hear they are releasing it, because I'll snap it up quick.

Oddly enough, this sort of plotline is repeated in Lundgren's 1994 movie "Men of War", where he's part of a merc unit sent to a small island somewhere in the tropics to "evacuate" the locals so some company can plunder - wait for it - a king's ransom in bat guano. I'm not even joking. Dolph & Co. of course go all native-loving and fight against The Man. Still, pretty entertaining, but I'm sure not as balls-out as Red Scorpion.