An unofficial spinoff of sorts to the Conan franchise, Red Sonja starts off with Sonja (Brigitte Nielsen) as an attractive farm girl that evil lesbian Queen Gedren of Berkubane (Sandahl Bergman) finds fetching enough to invite over. Sonja finds the offer so repulsive she ends up giving the queen's face a nasty gash. Spurned, Sonja's family is soon murdered by Gedren's army, while they also destroy her home and she ends up raped by Gedren's soldiers.
Gedren seeks a powerful talisman, which grows stronger the more exposure it has to light, enough to destroy the world if left unchecked within a couple of weeks. Gedren has the all-female guards (only women can touch it) at the temple protecting the talisman massacred and takes it for herself.
After a forest spirit grants her great abilities to wield a sword, Sonja vows revenge, soon going off to the Orient to train with the masters on sword fighting, who end up giving her a powerful sword. On her quest, she meets a mysterious stranger named Lord Kalidor (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a protector of the Order of the Talisman, who tells Sonja about her dying sister, who took an arrow to the back from one of the Queen's soldiers. In her sister's final words, Sonja gets a mission to stop Gedren's quest to use the talisman to destroy the world, and she has fourteen days to do it.
Richard Fleischer directs this Dino De Laurentiis production.