5.7/10
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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.

Director:

Mark Goldblatt

Writer:

Boaz Yakin

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dolph Lundgren ... Frank Castle
Louis Gossett Jr. ... Jake Berkowitz
Jeroen Krabbé ... Gianni Franco (as Jeroen Krabbe)
Kim Miyori ... Lady Tanaka
Bryan Marshall ... Dino Moretti
Nancy Everhard ... Sam Leary
Barry Otto ... Shake
Brian Rooney Brian Rooney ... Tommy Franco
Zoska Aleece Zoska Aleece ... Tanaka's Daughter (as Zoshka Mizak)
Kenji Yamaki Kenji Yamaki ... Sato
Hirofumi Kanayama Hirofumi Kanayama ... Tomio
Larry McCormick Larry McCormick ... TV Newsreader
Todd Boyce ... Tarrone
Lani John Tupu ... Laccone (as Larney Tupu)
Gianfranco Negroponte 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:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 1989 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Punisher See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut) (1990) (1995) | (Workprint Version)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Albert Pyun was considered to direct but was unavailable due to working on the Jean-Claude Van Damme film Cyborg (1989). Dolph Lundgren later starred opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in Universal Soldier (1992) and Albert Pyun later directed the Marvel comic book movie Captain America (1990). See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 10 mins) After the lights go off, some goons shoot at where two characters are standing, only to find them gone when the emergency lights come on. Not a single bullet hole is visible in the Japanese paper screen they were standing before, however. See more »

Quotes

[the Punisher is being tortured]
Lady Tanaka: Who sent you?
The Punisher: Batman.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There is an uncut "work print" of the film which includes over 15 minutes of footage in which a character plot for Frank Castle is developed. These scenes were dropped in the final cut, and sequences of this footage were included in the montage of his family's death later in the movie. This workprint resurfaced as a bad quality bootleg in 2003 and was then released as a bonus feature in 2006 on XT-Video and Starlight's (Germany/Austria) DVD editions. In 2013, Koch Media released a transfer of Mark Goldblatt's own Beta tape of another cut of the workprint in higher quality. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Laat maar zitten: Recht in eigen hand (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Vicious Minds
Written by Harry Garfield
Performed by Hobo & Habby
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Cut this movie some slack! It's fun action!
18 May 2001 | by Aphex97See 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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