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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 <email@example.com>
As a microphone disappears overhead, scientists in the "Primate Lab" division of "ARC" witness a monkey going ape. Meanwhile, at home, absent worker David McIlwraith (as Carl Lehman) tells barely pregnant Teri Austin (as Lauren Collins) he suspects boss Richard Cox (as Alex Whyte) is up to no good. Relatively unconcerned (at this point), Ms. Austin responds, "You wanna try for twins?" Running a tight ship (with jeans to match), Mr. Cox has already determined Mr. McIlwraith is a risk to his top secret "Project Frankenstein," and McIlwraith "dies" in a freak accident.
"The Vindicator" gives presenter Michael Levy and viewers an excellent bang for the buck.
As it turns out, the "accident" was staged, and McIlwraith isn't really, totally dead. Cox and company put his brain (and eyes) in an indestructible containment suit. But, the suit is equipped with a protective device making McIlwraith wantonly kill anything it perceives as a threat. Think of it as "The Terminator" meeting "The Hulk" (the script wisely offers the comparison). As you might imagine, punks and Cox had better beware, but Austin and innocents are in danger too. No dummy, Cox hires Pam Grier (as Hunter) to track down McIlwraith before he completes his revenge.
"The Vindicator" is a good example of what to do with a formulaic project and limited budget.
Director Jean-Claude Lord and the crew pace it very well. And the lead performers are terrific. In two of three sexy "R-rated" scenes, Austin shows more than she did on "Knits Landing" (and it's a welcome sight). Cox is one of those actors who never gets the caliber of parts he deserved (and it shows). Grier seems a little lost at first, but is fine on later auto-pilot (there couldn't have been many re-takes). Unrequited lover Maury Chaykin (as Burt Arthurs) plays his role just right. And, McIlwraith (whom you may have seen in "Hollow Man II") follows suit. Make some popcorn.
******* The Vindicator (2/14/86) Jean-Claude Lord ~ David McIlwraith, Teri Austin, Richard Cox, Pam Grier
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