Brigitte Nielsen, as Conan creator Robert E. Howard’s female warrior Red Sonja, gets an assist from Arnold Schwarzenegger in this enjoyably campy, Italian-lensed sword & sorcery adventure. Nielsen’s thespian skills may be a bit stiff, but she certainly fills out the physical demands of the role, which asks her to look impressive with a sword as she avenges the death of her priestess sister and the theft of a sacred orb by an evil queen (Sandahl Bergman, also from the ‘82 theatrical Conan and a match for Nielsen’s acting ability). Schwarzenegger (not playing Howard’s barbarian king) lends some star power in a supporting role as a warrior assisting Sonja, and if the film stumbles in the acting, scripting, and special-effects departments, Richard Fleischer‘s direction and cinematography Giuseppe Rotunno are appropriately action-heavy and comic-book colorful (Fleischer also directed Conan the Destroyer and The Vikings); Ennio Morricone’s bombastic score is another plus. —Paul Gaita
About Red Sonja (1985)
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sven-Ole Thorsen, Pat Roach, Paul L. Smith, Sandahl Bergman, Erik Holmey, Brigitte Nielsen, Hans Meyer, Kiyoshi Yamasaki, Tad Horino, Ronald Lacey, Terry Richards, Janet Agren, Donna Osterbuhr, Lara Lamberti, Francesca Romana Coluzzi, Stefano Maria Mioni, Tutte Lemkow, Ernie Reyes Jr.
Director: Richard Fleischer
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