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Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)

Architect/vigilante Paul Kersey takes on the members of a vicious Los Angeles drug cartel to stop the flow of drugs after his girlfriend's daughter dies from an overdose.


J. Lee Thompson


Brian Garfield (characters), Gail Morgan Hickman


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Bronson ... Paul Kersey
Kay Lenz ... Karen Sheldon
John P. Ryan ... Nathan White
Perry Lopez ... Ed Zacharias
George Dickerson George Dickerson ... Detective Reiner
Soon-Tek Oh ... Det. Phil Nozaki (as Soon-Teck Oh)
Dana Barron ... Erica Sheldon
Jesse Dabson ... Randy Viscovich
Peter Sherayko ... Nick Franco
James Purcell James Purcell ... Vince Montono
Michael Russo Michael Russo ... Danny Moreno
Danny Trejo ... Art Sanella
Daniel Sabia Daniel Sabia ... Al Arroyo
Mike Moroff ... Jack Romero
Dan Ferro ... Tony Romero


Paul Kersey, LA architect and part-time vigilante, is fed up with violence and wants a quiet life. However, when friend's daughter dies of overdose, he has no choice but to go to war on drug dealers. Written by Dragan Antulov <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


This time it's war! See more »


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Release Date:

6 November 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Death Wish 4: The Crackdown See more »


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,466,557, 8 November 1987

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Gail Morgan Hickman understood that Cannon producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus "wanted a mindless movie with nonstop action", so he came up with "cartoonish" action scenes. See more »


The window is already shattered before Frank Bauggs is knocked threw it. See more »


Ed Zacharias: [as Kersey walks to him] Who are you?
Paul Kersey: I'm the guy that set you up.
Ed Zacharias: Why?
[Kersey opens up his coat pocket and shows the picture of his girlfriend's daughter to Zacharias]
Ed Zacharias: I don't know the girl.
Paul Kersey: I do!
[Kersey shoots Zacharias dead]
See more »

Alternate Versions

German Videoversion misses an unimportant scene of 3 seconds, probably because of bad master-material. In the TV-Version most of the violence has been edited out See more »


Referenced in Jimmy Hollywood (1994) See more »


The Hunger
Written, Arranged, Performed and Produced by Michael Bishop
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Penultimate entry in the original five film series in which Kersey takes the law on his own hands , searching for vengeance against drug traffickers
20 December 2014 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Sequel to successful crime thriller that created the Vigilante genre with Bronson as the main star as architect Paul Kersey turned the one-man vigilante when his family is attacked by furious band formed by some ominous punks , as his wife is murdered and daughter reduced to living vegetable ; he then stalks the slums of N.Y. and searching crooks , hoodlums , muggers , pimps making the neighborhood safer and bumping off delinquents and street scum . This fourth entry with excessive violence concerns about Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson was about sixty-five years of age when he appeared in this one), a middle-age New York architect and become again into vigilante . Nowadays , he lives in Los Angeles along with his girlfriend (Kay Lenz) and her daughter . Paul takes on the members of a vicious Los Angeles drug cartel led by Ed Zacharias (Perry Lopez) to stop the flow of crack after his girlfriend's daughter (Dana Barron , though Kay Lenz is only 13 years older than Dana) dies from an overdose. Then Paul Kersey wiping out the bands suppling drugs .

This fourth outing from the novel ¨Death wish¨ by Brian Garfield in which an architect taking the law into his own hands and acting as judge , jury and executioner ; it contains suspense, noisy action-packed , intrigue , thrills and lots of violence . Bronson with his usual stoic acting displays efficiently his weapons such as ¨Harry the Dirty¨ and killing mercilessly nasties . Screenwriter Gail Morgan Hickman re-wrote the entire script while filming but Charles Bronson constantly had problems with the dialog . It's certainly thrilling , though the morality may be questionable , even in this time, as the spectators were clearly on the Kersey-Bronson's side . This movie represents the seventh of nine teamings of director J. Lee Thompson with star actor Charles Bronson . Both of whom worked together nine times , this sequel was the only 'Death Wish' movie of the five film series that they made together . The two first collaborated on St Ives (1976), White Buffalo (1977), Cabo Blanco (1980), Ten to midnight (1983) , The Evil That Men Do (1984) Murphy Law (1986). After this movie, they made Messenger of Death (1988) and Kinjite (1989). Furthermore , it appears a nice secondary cast , as George Dickerson , Soon-Tek Oh as obstinate cops , John P Ryan , Danny Barron , Danny Tejo , Mark Pellegrino and as heinous drug baron , Perry Lopez . It packs a screeching musical score composed, orchestrated and performed by John Bisharat , Paul McCallum and Valentine McCallum ; the studio, Cannon : Yoram Globus, Menahem Golan along with executive producer Pancho Kohner wanted a more muscular sounding score for the action scenes and decided to re-use much of the music from their past action efforts Missing in action (1984) and Invasion USA (1985).

The original film ¨Death wish¨ had great commercial hit , it was followed by various extremely violent sequels to this successful 1974 movie , that's , of course , the best from the series . This first big hit motion picture was middling directed by Michael Winner such as the successive films with his main star, Charles Bronson , usually giving wooden performance . In the mid-70 Winner , in need to other hit smashes attempted with the sequels , but both , Bronson and Winner , looked increasingly passionless and mechanical in the later years of their partnership in this cheap as well as worn-out final series. The worst sequels in which Kersey goes on to torture robbers , all of them inferior and the violence could be deemed exaggerated , they are the followings : ¨Death wish II¨ by Michael Winner with Jill Ireland , Anthony Franciosa , JD Cannon and Vincent Gardenia , ¨Death Wish III¨ by Winner with Ed Lauter , Martin Balsam and Deborah Raffin . However , Michael Winner showed no interest in directing Death Wish 4 because he had heard that Charles Bronson had a terrible experience filming Death Wish III (1985). And this ¨Death Wish 4 : The crackdown¨(1987) with Kay Lenz directed by J.Lee Thompson and finally ¨Death Wish : The face of death¨(1994)that would be the last and it was then not made for about another seven years , being starred by with Leslie Anne Down , Michael Parks , Chuck Shamata and poorly directed by Allan Goldstein . In addition , an intended but unfilmed sixth movie was also to have a subtitle: 'Death Wish 6: The New Vigilante'.

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