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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


Judge. Jury. Executioner. All in a day's work. 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?


When Frank is being tortured and interrogated by Lady Tanaka. Frank tells Lady Tanaka that Batman sent him. An improvised (not in the shooting script) reference to the "Batman" DC comic book about billionaire Bruce Wayne, who becomes the masked vigilante Batman, after both his parents are murdered in-front of him, when he was a boy. See more »


While Frank Castle is fighting a Japanese Swordsman, a holstered gun on Castle's back disappears. Moments later, it re-appears in the holster. The weapon wasn't touched by anybody. See more »


[the Punisher is being tortured]
Lady Tanaka: Who sent you?
The Punisher: Batman.
See more »


References Batman (1989) See more »


Planet of Love
Performed by Simon Stokes
Written by Simon Stokes & Harry Garfield
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Lighten Up: It's a Fun Flick
23 May 2005 | by (Tampa, FL United States) – See all my reviews

Relatively few comic-book-based films are true to their origins. For instance, Spoilers follow.

In the first Batman film, The Joker is killed In the second, The Penguin dies. The Swamp Thing films strayed significantly from their ... roots. So, okay: this version is markedly different from the comic book.

Within that context, the film is entertaining. Dolph Lundgren plays a laconic Punisher, who finds himself in the middle of a war between two crime organizations. As with the second version of Blade, our hero finds himself in a reluctant alliance with some of his enemies to confront a more dangerous group of enemies.

Actually, where the newer film (remake?) gives a better origin story, it takes forever to get going; this one gets right into the action. Rather like the Hamlet soliloquy in The Last Action Hero.

16 of 22 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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