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When Frank Castle's family is murdered by criminals, he wages war on crime as a vigilante assassin known only as the Punisher.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gianni Franco (as Jeroen Krabbe)
Kim Miyori ...
Bryan Marshall ...
Brian Rooney ...
Zoska Aleece ...
Tanaka's Daughter (as Zoshka Mizak)
Kenji Yamaki ...
Hirofumi Kanayama ...
Larry McCormick ...
Laccone (as Larney Tupu)
Gianfranco Negroponte ...
Musso (as John Negroponte)


Based on the Marvel Comic, Dolph Lundgren is Frank Castle an ex-cop who lives in the sewers and acts as judge, jury, and executioner to the city's criminals in retaliation for the unpunished murders of his wife and kids. Frank's ex-partner Jake (Louis Gossett Jr.) finally catches up with the vigilante as he tries to stop the Japanese mob, which is trying to take over the city's mafia operation. Written by Matt Carlin <ghola@umich.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Justice with a vengeance. See more »


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

5 October 1989 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Der Punisher  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (heavily cut) (1990) (1995)

Sound Mix:

(4 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In Detective Berkowitz's office the map on the wall with the red pins in it is a map of Seattle. See more »


When Frank fights Tanaka's daughter, after he pins her to the wall, she takes both her earrings off and scratches him. In the next shot her earrings are back on and then they're gone again. See more »


Shake: My God man can't you see? This is a result of your five-year killing spree! You've weakened the bosses to such a degree they can't protect their own families!
See more »


Featured in Honest Trailers: Captain America (1990) (2016) See more »


Vicious Minds
Written by Harry Garfield
Performed by Hobo & Habby
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Better Than People Give Credit For
26 May 2003 | by (Sylvester, Georgia) – See all my reviews

No, this is not CITIZEN KANE. But it is an entertaining film that did make a somewhat unbelievable Marvel "hero" to celluloid.

Lundgren plays Frank Castle, a former NYPD detective (originally a military special ops expert in the comic) who loses his family to a mob hit. This pushes his already unstable personality over the edge, and he becomes a one-man judge, jury, and executioner. The VERY underrated Louis Gossett Jr. plays his former partner, determined to find him and keep him out of the gas chamber.

This movie is quite a decent action film. It actually delves quite deeply into the characters' motivations, their histories, their personalities. I agree with earlier comments that, out of the lot of action stars, Lundgren does bring at least some dramatic chops to the role. I really couldn't imagine Schwarzenegger playing this part, though Stallone or Willis might have been better choices.

The action sequences are done quite well for a low-budget film. The director, Mark Goldblatt, served as editor on films such as TERMINATOR 1 & 2, the underrated PREDATOR 2, TRUE LIES, STARSHIP TROOPERS, ARMAGEDDON, and PEARL HARBOR, so he definitely has knowledge of how to properly compose an action sequence. He also served as Paul Verhoeven's 2nd Unit Director on the original ROBOCOP.

The movie is rather tough to find, and though it strays away a bit from the source material, it does manage to flesh out a rather one-dimensional character.

A new version of THE PUNISHER is now being prepped, starring DREAMCATCHER's Thomas Jane as Frank Castle and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh.

30 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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10x better than the 2004 version christothefrantz
What's so bad about this film? paladin-64
The difference between this Punisher and the awful remake is... Sirus_51
Tanaka's daughter - Zoshka Mizak/Mycak/Aleece passed away in 2015 dinupassproductions
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