Schwarzenegger’s Forgotten ’90s Action Movie Beretta’s Island Explained

At the height of his stardom Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared in the straight-to-video action film Beretta’s Island; here’s his role explained.

At the height of his movie stardom in the early ’90s, Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared in a straight-to-video action movie called Beretta’s Island – here’s why. While Schwarzenegger had hit movies before The Terminator, it was the 1984 sci-fi action movie that made him a movie star. In the aftermath of the film’s success, he had a run of major box-office hits, including Command and twins. By the end of the ’90s, it was clear the reign of action stars like Arnie, Stallone and Van Damme was coming to an end.

For Schwarzenegger, the failure of movies like End Of Days – the only movie where his character died – or Collateral Damage signaled he needed to move on to new things. He did so in 2003 when he became Governor of California, but when his political career came to a close, he returned to acting with 2013’s The Last Stand. Schwarzenegger remains a movie icon, which can be seen in the beloved status of much of his work like Terminator or predator.


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One of Schwarzenegger’s closest friends was the late Italian bodybuilder Franco Columbu. The two met at a competition in 1965 and quickly became close, working and training together in the years that followed. Columbu would also appear in Arnie movies like The Running Man and as the Infiltrator T-800 seen in The Terminator. Their close relationship is no doubt the reason Schwarzenegger appeared in Columbu’s action movie Beretta’s Island in 1994.

Schwarzenegger Appeared In Beretta’s Island As A Favor

arnold schwarzenegger and franco columbu in berettas island

Beretta’s Island cast Columbu as a retired Interpol agent – codenamed “Beretta” – who is lured back to his home island of Sardinia to deal with a drug lord. Beretta’s Island was one of several ’90s movies like Tasks Alive – co-starring Frank Stallone – that attempted to make Columbu into an action star. Sadly, he lacked the charisma and leading man presence of his old friend Arnold, who is seemingly playing himself in his sole Beretta’s Island scene.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Beretta’s Island appearance comes early in the story and sees him working out with Franco at a gym. While he makes vague references to Beretta’s Interpol retirement, the scene is really just the two working out. It’s likely Arnold – who has many upcoming movies and shows – only agreed to appear if his entire role could be captured in the space of a single workout session. Despite his tiny appearance, some VHS and DVD covers plastered his image all over their artwork to trick potential viewers into believing he had a much bigger role. Beretta’s Island was also helmed by Michael Preece, who directed Arnie in one of his earliest onscreen roles in “Dead Lift,” a 1977 episode of The Streets Of San Francisco. Beretta’s Island received largely terrible reviews for its action sequences and silent acting and has been largely forgotten – bar Schwarzenegger’s brief cameo.

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