5.7/10
18,186
169 user 96 critic

The Punisher (1989)

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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2,820 ( 496)

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Cast

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

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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 1989 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Каратель  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut) (1990) (1995)

Sound Mix:

(4 channels)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme appeared in Universal Soldier (1992). In the same year as this movie, Van Damme starred in Cyborg (1989), as a vengeful mercenary who goes after the evil gang that murdered his family, that have kidnapped a female cyborg. In this film, Frank Castle (Lundgren) a vigilante assassin whose family was murdered by criminals, agrees to help a mafia boss rescue his son from the Yakuza. See more »

Goofs

In a long shot of rack-torture scene, everyone is clearly standing on a place-marker. See more »

Quotes

[the Punisher is about to be tortured]
Lady Tanaka: Do you know how much pain $10,000 can buy?
The Punisher: Is this question true or false, or multiple choice?
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Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Satan, Bite the Dust (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Planet of Love
Performed by Simon Stokes
Written by Simon Stokes & Harry Garfield
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Cut this movie some slack! It's fun action!
18 May 2001 | by See all my reviews

I watched this movie when I was a young kid and I remember thinking "...Eh..." However, while browsing Borders, I saw the DVD for $6.99 and decided to give it another shot. I expected a fun action flick with lots of explosions, death-defying stunts, cool death shots, and a badass lead character. I was not disappointed. After reading so many bad reviews here on imdb I decided I need to write a review defending this movie. I don't know what other people expected when they saw this movie, but I certainly didn't expect much more than a cool action flick, and that is exactly what "The Punisher" gave me plus maybe a little more.

First off, Dolph Lundgren's stiff acting and menacing demeanor make him perfect for the part of the hell-bent, socially backwards loner determined to punish the scum of the Earth (His significant acting shortcomings are his assets here). The writer and director did a good job of showing many different facets of his personality and actually created a deeper characterization of the Punisher than I would have expected. Louis Gossett Jr. plays his his part competently enough. In fact, the acting was not all that bad all around (suitable enough for an action flick).

The action here is also pretty solid. Some examples: The opening sequence where Dolph punishes the trash-talking mob boss and his henchmen with style. In one scene, Dolph is driving a bus with children in tow while a hundred Japanese are firing machine guns and crashing their cars into the side of the bus...way cool.

The plot is pretty standard revenge bit with some minor twists and turns, but the ending is pretty cool and less predictable than most action thrillers, but then again thats not saying much :-)

FINAL RATING: 6/10 I doubt it will make anyone's top ten list, but this low budget action genre flick delivers the goods with solid action and semi-interesting characters, which is more than I can say for many big budget Hollywood action flicks (e.g. Cobra, Mercury Rising, The Watcher, the Art of War). Its not a movie to be analyzed, its a movie to enjoy. Action junkies should dig it, others should probably stay away.


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