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Trivia / Red Scorpion

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  • Fake Russian: Dolph Lundgren, once again.
  • Troubled Production: The movie was originally set to film in Swaziland, but the production was denied permits just a week before filming was to begin. As a result, it was instead filmed in what was then the South African province of South-West Africa (now the republic of Namibia). This immediately caused problems, as South Africa at the time was under apartheid and subject to massive international pressure against it, and more importantly, the South African government and the film's producer and writer, the infamous lobbyist Jack Abramoff, were using the film (in which Dolph Lundgren plays as Spetsnaz operative in Africa who defects to the anti-communist rebels) as part of their propaganda efforts to portray the African National Congress as communist sympathizers. Warner Bros. pulled out of the production as a result, not wanting to run afoul of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, while anti-apartheid activists led a boycott of Lundgren's films in protest. Even a number of cast and crew members, such as Carmen Argenziano (who plays a villainous Cuban colonel), were disgusted when they found out that South Africa was essentially bankrolling the film. Tom Savini, meanwhile, who did special effects work on the film and described his experience in one of the DVD bonus features, also said that the meals on set were barely edible and that he and his family almost died in a flood during production. The budget ballooned to $16 million as a result of the delays to production that these issues caused, even with the South African Defense Forces providing support of their own, and it landed at the box office in April 1989 with a resounding thud.
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