50 user 46 critic

Vigilante (1982)

1:09 | Trailer
After his wife and son are brutalized by thugs and a corrupt criminal justice system puts the perpetrators back on the street, a New York City factory worker turns vigilante to find some measure of bloody justice.


William Lustig


Richard Vetere





Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Forster ... Eddie Marino
Fred Williamson ... Nick
Richard Bright ... Burke
Rutanya Alda ... Vickie Marino
Don Blakely ... Prago
Joseph Carberry ... Ramon
Willie Colón ... Rico (as Willie Colon)
Joe Spinell ... Eisenberg
Carol Lynley ... Assistant D.A. Mary Fletcher
Woody Strode ... Rake
Vincent Beck ... Judge Sinclair
Bo Rucker Bo Rucker ... Horace
Frank Pesce ... Blueboy
Steve James ... Ptl. Gibbons (as Steve W. James)
Randy Jurgensen ... Det. Russo


Eddie Marino is a factory worker in New York City. He has a wife named Vickie and a son named Scott. Eddie's friend and co-worker Nick and some of the factory's other workers have formed a vigilante group because Nick and the group are fed up with the pimps, gangs, and drug dealers who keep taking over the neighborhoods. Nick and his group are also sick and tired of the police, because the police always fail to protect people who become victims. Eddie goes home from work one night, only to discover that Vickie has been stabbed, and Scott has been shot dead. Frederico "Rico" Melendez, the leader of a Puerto Rican street gang, is arrested for Vickie's stabbing and Scott's murder. Assistant District Attorney Mary Fletcher plans to put Rico away for as long as possible, since New York doesn't have the death penalty. Nick tries to convince Eddie to join the vigilante group, but Eddie turns Nick down, preferring to let the courts handle Rico. Nick makes it clear that he has no faith ... Written by Todd Baldridge

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


If the law won't get them... we will! See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In the scene where Fred Williamson is chasing Frank Pesce, Richard Bright hits him with what appears to be a real baseball bat. In fact, it's a plastic bat in which Bright actually hit Pesce on the ear and his face. His facial expressions were real. Pesce joking states on the DVD "He's swinging like an idiot...that fucking stung. He hit me thinking it was a real baseball bat. Lee Strasberg stuff". See more »


Prago's stunt driving double during the car chase is Caucasian but Prago is African-American. See more »


[first lines]
Nick: Hey, I don't know about you guys, but me... I've had it up to here. There are some 40-odd homicides a day on our streets. There are over two million illegal guns in this city. Man, that's enough guns to invade a whole damn country with. They shoot a cop in our city without thinking twice about it. Aw, come on. You guys ride the subway. How much more of this grief are we gonna stand for? How many more locks we gotta put on our goddamn doors? Now, we ain't got the police, the ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was cut by MPAA before the film was released in 1983, for graphic violence and in particular the pier scene where crooked politician and his lookout are killed with blood splatter lasting a bit longer and also the scene where the two patrol cops in their car are ambushed and killed underneath the underpass which filled with more blood splatter. This is the version that appeared on home video on the Vestron Home Video label and cable television. See more »


Featured in The Joe Spinell Story (2001) See more »


(Willie Colón (as Willie Colon))
Arranged by Hector Garrido
Produced by Willie Colón (as Willie Colon)
Executive Producer Jerry Masucci
See more »

User Reviews

Sleazy Lover!
14 November 2013 | by shawhoreSee all my reviews

If like me you are an avid fan of sleazy and grubby looking flicks packed with sleazy and grubby looking characters, filmed in sleazy and grubby looking locations then this is the film for you. The film is essentially a revenge thriller, which tips an over sized Barbisio hat to the Italian Euro-Crime flicks of the 1970s: A bitter protagonist; middle-aged hoodlums(who should know better at their age); corrupt judges; a car chase(or three); clichéd dialogue; mindless- slaughter, and Fred "That Man Bolt" Williamson. The film stars Robert Forster playing an unremarkable factory worker whose life is suddenly beset by an inconceivable tragedy and (without giving too much of the plot away) he finds himself requiring little encouragement in joining a group of vigilantes led by his co-workers Williamson and two other colleagues. The film certainly doesn't pull any punches with the protagonists dispensing some reasonable savagery on any wrongdoers along the way. Some class acting from Forster and Williamson keeps the viewer interested throughout and the climactic fight scene at towards the end of the film, wouldn't look out of place in an Enzo Castellari or Umberto Lenzi flick. This is a well paced, well acted and thoroughly engrossing '80s exploitation film, with a compelling soundtrack and a nice little cameo from Italian director's favourite Woody Strode.

Watch at (almost) all costs!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 50 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

4 March 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vigilante See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,588,464, 6 March 1983

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Magnum Motion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)| Dolby Atmos | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed