Jack Abramoff’s Hollywood career- nasty, entwined with brutish African regimes, and short

In Salon, James Verini takes a long, interesting look at disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s dalliance in Hollywood, which resulted in the Dolph Lundgren-starring Cold War relic B-movie ‘Red Scorpion.’ Long story short, the movie (which Abramoff executive-produced with his brother Robert) was motivated by an odd mix of Abramoff’s Reagan-ite anti-Communist ideals and good old-fashioned profit, was shot per Abramoff’s dictum in Namibia– which was, at the time, occupied by apartheid South Africa– and featured South African Defense Force members as extras. (You youngsters with your White Stripes albums and MySpace pages may not remember this, but back in the eighties, certain political elements in this country felt that the threat of Communism in the third world was so strong that P. W. Botha’s racist South African regime was a worthy ally in the struggle against the Soviet sphere of influence.)

And, embarrassment of embarrassments, the Abramoff brothers ended up having to surrender their movie to the completion bond company because they couldn’t meet their budget. (Yet, oddly, there is a ‘Red Scorpion 2.’)