Red Sonja (1985)

1985 Action, Fantasy, Adventure

User Score: 52/100


A vengeful woman sets out to retrieve a magic orb from an evil queen whom she vows vengeance upon after the evil queen slain her family and her loyal warriors raped her.

Red Sonja (1985) is a Dutch-American adventure fantasy movie that contains sword and sorcery action. Red Sonja was based on Robert E. Howard‘s character he created in his short story The Shadow of the Vulture (1934). Red Sonja acknowledges Robert E. Howard in the introductory credits. Roy Thomas created the sword fighting Marvel Comics character Red Sonja, who made her first appearance in 1973 Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian series #23. Red Sonja took place in the Hyborian Age and was filmed in Italy. Director Richard Fleischer (Conan the Destroyer (1984), Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), Soylent Green (1973), 20000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)) did not succeed in making this film into an adventurous entertaining watch.

Red Sonja‘s parents and brother scarred the queen’s face, so Red Sonja had her family murdered. She has her hands full as she was raped by the soldiers of Queen Gedren which made her more distrustful of men. A spirit visits Red Sonja (Brigitte Nielsen - Rocky IV (1985), Big Brother VIP - Jokeren (2003), Cobra (1986), The Fish (2009)) to give her the strength she needs to seek revenge. Lord Kalidor (Arnold Schwarzenegger - The Terminator (1984), Predator (1987), Total Recall (1990), Pumping Iron (1977)) takes Red Sonja to see her sister Varna who is dying. After a few events, Varna (Janet Agren - Eaten Alive! (1980), Hands of Steel (1986), Aladdin (1986)) was severely wounded by Queen Gedren’s soldiers. Varna persuades her sister to find the Talisman and destroy it. After encountering numerous murders/killing, Sonja joins forces with someone she previously declined and was spotted by Queen Gedren’s army. Someone uses the Talisman to conjure up a storm to make the opposing party become weaker and surrender. The movie goes on showing Red Sonja’s adventure to gain control of the Talisman after encountering many violent fights.

I gave this movie a five because it was an average watch the did not disappoint me but did not fulfil my expectations. The special effects was a tragic disaster that appeared fake in every way including the blood. The fight scenes were great to a point, but it lacked angles and realism. One of the plot holes I found was when Kalidor called Falkon by his name in the cavern with the killing machine - Kalidor was not told Falkon’s name at that point so he could not have known it. The actors all did a wonderful job, and the screenplay was nicely written, but the movie had flaws that I could not overlook. I tried to watch this movie with an open mind, but there was too many what ifs and questions.

A few goofs I found were:

  • Queen Gedren’s scar on her face was not there after she took off her mask, but the scar was shown throughout the movie afterwards.
  • The wires holding up Tarn on his back can be seen (are visible) when Kalidor was lifting Tarn with one arm into the air.
  • Red Sonja and Falkon fighting bandits that captured Tarn - Falkon hits a bandit with his bone club which resulted in part of the club to break off, but the club is shown undamaged in the next scene.

About Red Sonja (1985)

Title: Red Sonja
Year: 1985
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sven-Ole Thorsen, Pat Roach, Paul L. Smith, Sandahl Bergman, Brigitte Nielsen, Hans Meyer, Erik Holmey, Kiyoshi Yamasaki, Tad Horino, Ernie Reyes Jr., Ronald Lacey, Terry Richards, Janet Agren, Donna Osterbuhr, Lara Lamberti, Francesca Romana Coluzzi, Stefano Maria Mioni, Tutte Lemkow
Director: Richard Fleischer
Score: 2.5 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 2.6/5 stars from 23 users. Votes: 23.
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Adventure

Red Sonja Cover Poster Art