The Punisher (1989)

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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 ...
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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Judge. Jury. Executioner. All in a day's work. See more »


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

5 October 1989 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

El castigador  »

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?


Film debut of Brendan Gleeson. See more »


When detectives Berkowitz and Leary go down into the sewers to search for The Punisher's lair, Berkowitz explains how he met Frank Castle. As they round a corner a film crew member's leg is visible in the corner of the shot, and they quickly move their leg out of the frame. See more »


Lady Tanaka: I have an appointment and I will leave you in the hands of Mr. Tomino. He will keep you alive much longer than you care to be. Goodbye.
[Lady Tanaka turns and starts to walk away]
The Punisher: Hey
[she turns back]
The Punisher: Have a nice day.
See more »


Referenced in Fresh (1994) See more »


Winning isn't Everything, It's the Only thing
Performed and Written by Bobby Laurel
Courtesy of Gary Lazar Productions
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

6 May 2002 | by (England) – See all my reviews

The Punisher was one of the better Marvel films adapted from a comic-thanks mainly to the casting.

Dolph Lungdren was an excellent choice as The Punisher and I cannot imagine anyone else being able to play it as well as he did. His facial expressions were so convincing throughout the movie;you really could believe that he was Frank Castle, a man whose family had been butchered. It was probably one of Dolph's best roles since playing He-Man in Masters of the Universe. The Punisher is a dangerous and pessimistic character and Dolph played it great.

Louis Gossett Jr. played Jake Berkowitz who had been chasing The Punisher for years and the lovely Nancy Everhard played his sidekick.

Jeroen Krabbe played crime boss Gianni Franco and he too did a brilliant job. He wasn't the stereotypical gangster. He made Gianni Franco into an intriguing character.

The casting for this film was brilliant so all that was needed after that was lots of action. And lots of action is exactly what we got. It was very vicious at times and I found myself flinching at times but it was great action.

I do wish there had been a sequel to this film.

38 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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10x better than the 2004 version christothefrantz
Dolph vs Jane vs Stevenson obin_gam
What's so bad about this film? paladin-64
The difference between this Punisher and the awful remake is... Sirus_51
Lady Tanaka's lovely daughter! Lorifan
Dolph is better guns2000
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