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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


He's not only smarter than the police-He's doing their job...He's the Exterminator See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Joseph Bottoms was originally cast as John Eastland, but his agent asked for too much money, and Bottoms was subsequently dropped from the project. See more »


While approaching his apartment, Eastland signals to turn left when he notices the police car outside his building. He can not turn left because the street he is trying to turn into is a one-way street going the other direction, as shown by the sign on the corner which is clearly visible during several of shots. 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

On British and German Blu-rays, a picture (hanging on a wall at the chicken house) showing a male genitalia was blurred. Ironically, the included making-of shows the non-blurred picture. See more »


Referenced in Ash vs Evil Dead: The Killer of Killers (2015) See more »


Kali Au
Written by Chuck Loeb
Performed by Stan Getz (as Stan Getz Ensemble)
See more »

User Reviews

Okay, at best.
20 September 2004 | by poolandrewsSee all my reviews

A vigilante revenge thriller set in New York (why is it that about 90% of films are shot at least in part in New York, everything is set there!) that for some unknown reason has become a bit of a cult classic. During the opening sequence set in Vietnam, a soldier, John Eastland (Robert Ginty) saves the life of his buddy from a group of nasty Vietnamese soldiers. Years later back in New York (why New York, why?!) Eastland's mate is attacked and paralysed by a group of thieves/thugs. Eastland is annoyed about this and kills them all in revenge. He then goes round killing the odd bad guy here and there for various reasons, not just that he wants clean New York up. For instance, he kills the mob boss so he can get money for hes mates wife and kid, not just because its the moral thing to do. He kills the guy who runs the brothel because of what he did to the prostitute he has befriended. Then there's the cop (Christopher George) whos trying to track him down, yawn. So, the exterminator for the most part isn't really a vigilante film in my opinion, hes just a guy who tries to do the right thing by his mate, and kills the odd bad guy here and there if he gets a good enough reason. Ginty is poor, laid back, mild mannered and looks rather uninterested in the whole thing. I never got the impression he was a hard as nails ruthless killer. He just seemed to quiet and nice. George as the cop is also pretty bad, mostly focusing on his relationship with a female doctor, yawn. One or two nice bits of gore to keep you awake/interested, the beheading by machete in the opening sequence an obvious standout. I just found the whole thing a bit boring, dull and pedestrian. This guy was meant to be the exterminator, by half way through the movie he had killed about 4 people, hardly a one man army! I maybe am being a bit harsh as there's nothing technically wrong with it, and what was there was okay but I just expected more from a film with a title and reputation like the exterminator.

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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
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