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The Exterminator (1980)

A man's best friend is killed on the streets of New York City. The man (Robert Ginty) then transforms into a violent killer, turning New York City into a great war zone, and Christopher George is the only one to stop him.


James Glickenhaus




Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher George ... Detective James Dalton
Samantha Eggar ... Dr. Megan Stewart
Robert Ginty ... John Eastland
Steve James ... Michael Jefferson
Tony DiBenedetto Tony DiBenedetto ... Chicken Pimp (as Toni Di Benedetto)
Dick Boccelli Dick Boccelli ... Gino Pontivini
Patrick Farrelly Patrick Farrelly ... CIA Agent Shaw
Michele Harrell Michele Harrell ... Maria Jefferson
David Lipman ... The State Senator from New Jersey
Cindy Wilks Cindy Wilks ... Candy
Dennis Boutsikaris ... Frankie
Roger Grimsby ... Roger Grimsby
Judy Licht Judy Licht ... Judy Licht
Stan Getz ... Stan Getz
George Cheung ... Vietcong Leader (as George Lee Cheung)


When John Eastland's best friend, Michael Jefferson, is mugged and left permanently crippled, he decides to do something about it. Jefferson had saved Eastland's life in Vietnam and now it's time for Eastland to get revenge for his friend. Using his old Army gear he sets out on a crusade to clean up the streets of New York using the name "The Exterminator." Written by David Bongo <ajgs09b@prodigy.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When everyone's the victim .. He's the only hope they've got. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The Vietnam sequence cost $400,000 to film, which was 20% of the movie's budget of $2 million. See more »


During the conversation at the table in the park, the boom mic is visible against the front of the umbrella over the actors See more »


John Eastland: You really are a sick motherfucker, you know that?
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Crazy Credits

"The producer" is credited as burping ghoul See more »

Alternate Versions

Finnish VHS version is cut over 10 minutes, it's missing:
  • The infamous decapitation (later on the film, an ultra-fast glimpse of this scene is shown uncut in a flashback). 2. A Nam-soldier walking from the bleeding torso body wiping his machete. 3. A Nam soldier trying to remove a wire from his bleeding throat. 4. Michael shooting a Nam soldier. 5. A Nam soldier fusing in flames. 6. A Nam soldier running to water in flames. 7. Ginty shooting the Nam-leader who is in the water (later on the film, this same shot is shown in an even more graphic angle in a flashback, completely uncut!). 8. The "Ghetto Ghouls" beating Michael (almost completely cut, all the actual beating deleted).
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Heal It
Written by Byron Hill and Mike Reid
Produced by Byron Hill
Sung by Roger Bowling
See more »

User Reviews

Grindhouse Classic
16 January 2019 | by FalconeerSee all my reviews

This is not a great film, in fact it can't even be considered a "good film," when you take into account the poor, confusing editing, ugly cinematography and some bad acting. What makes "The Exterminator" a valuable movie, is it's "grindhouse credibility. This is one of the few movies of it's kind that actually makes me a little sick when I watch it, and similar films like "Death Wish" and "Vigilante" don't succeed in doing that. Yes, they are both way superior films, but they don't pack the punch that this sleazy movie from 1980 achieves in spades. You have the Vietnam Vet, still feeling the effects of one jungle, when he is thrust into another jungle, the urban jungle of New York city at the very end of the 1970's. The film's anti-hero is hunting the true filth of the Earth, mafioso, child molesters and murdering gang members. At the heart of the story is an ongoing struggle between him and "The Ghetto Ghouls," a hyper violent gang that is terrorizing New York. Offering some great, vintage location scenes of New York landmarks, like the West Side's meat packing district, the crime ridden Central Park, and the slime ridden Times Square. For these qualities the movie has value. It's a rough movie, but this one should be appreciated by fans of violent revenge movies from back in the day. The version I saw on Bluray appeared kind of choppy, like some scenes were missing. If there is an even nastier version of this one in existence, I can't even imagine what they cut..

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

19 September 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Exterminator See more »


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Interstar, Interstar See more »
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Technical Specs


| (director's cut) | (original uncut)

Sound Mix:

Stereo (Dolby Stereo)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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