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The Vindicator (1986)

An employee of a secret company operation becomes the victim of the company's special weapons project. He is transformed into a robotic killing machine that, because of his programming must... See full summary »



(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
David McIlwraith ...
Carl Lehman / Frankenstein
Lauren Lehman
Alex Whyte
Burt Arthurs
Catherine Collins
Ian Massey
Micki Moore ...
Mrs. Jan Scott
Larry Aubrey ...
Kurt Kessler
Lynda Mason Green ...
Denis Simpson ...
Joe Simpson
Caroline Arnold ...
Lisa, Massey's Girl
John Zobolles ...
Paper Boy
Trevor Daves ...
Lab Security Guard #1
Carl Knutson ...
Lab Security Guard #2


An employee of a secret company operation becomes the victim of the company's special weapons project. He is transformed into a robotic killing machine that, because of his programming must destroy anything that comes near him. Written by Michael Silva <silvamd@cleo.bc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They thought they took his life...now he wants theirs. Invincible. Unstoppable. Indestructible. He's out on the street and out of control!


Action | Horror | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 February 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frankenstein '88  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$4,210,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Carl Lehman: I reprogrammed myself in the computer room - I don't have to kill anymore!
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User Reviews

He'll stop at nothing… to see you dead.
23 November 2008 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

Maybe I was expecting a little too much from it, but 'The Vindicator' was a so-so Canadian low-budget get-up of a half-human / robot on the rampage for revenge against those who did him wrong. While being tacky, junky and trashy all rolled into one, it just didn't rally up the thrills like it could have done. The story is pure comic-book stuff with some outrageous inclusions and can be loosely tied to the 'Frankenstein' story. But the main cause of interest, and it's been thrown around was how it could be seen as a minor blueprint for Paul Verhoeven's superior 'Robocop (1987)'.

Comparisons aside (which on the other hand James Cameron's 'Terminator (1984)' could've been an influencer to it), it's standard b-grade ho-huh that I didn't find it all that exciting or gripping in it's bland story-telling (which had too many daft moments in a wonky script) and uniformed visuals. Director Jean-Claude Lord's (who was also behind the 1982 slasher 'Visiting Hours') handling is crudely makeshift and the pacing can get blotchy, but the grimy atmosphere and cold-blooded violence (at least the deaths are creative) seems to fit. However the premise had something original to work with, but the way Lord went about it wasn't. At times it seemed to get too mushy with some unwanted details, where I wished it kept to a more straight-forward, but harrowing revenge exploitation path.

Iconic cult actress Pam Grier appears as a hired gun to destroy the cyborg, but even her firebrand presence isn't all that flammable. David McIlwraith cruises through his part as the scientist turned machine. Richard Cox is perfectly snake-like in his performance, but the pick of the bunch is Teri Austin's gallant turn. The always dependable Stan Winston vividly crafts out the space-suit wearing cyborg and make-up FX with great care, and is one of the film's major highlights. Paul Zaza's music score starts off effective, to only go on to be mainly forgettable.

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