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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
Reviews
Popularity
3,185 ( 328)

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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 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:

If society won't punish the guilty, he will. See more »


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 1989 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Каратель 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

It was rumored Dolph Lundgren went without sleep to achieve the look of Frank Castle. See more »

Goofs

When Frank Castle escapes from the rack (stretching table), he is slowly unscrewing the wingnut on the metal clamp holding his hand in place and as he is still doing so, he calls the two men over. Just as they arrive, he unlatches the one wrist clamp but somehow, suddenly, both hands are free enabling him to shoot them down. He could not have had time to undo his other hand during that sequence. See more »

Quotes

Lady Tanaka: You Americans have a great capacity for violence, but it's wild, unfocused. You will learn.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD released in R1 America (Artisan), R0 Korea (New World International) is the "R-Rated Theatrical" cut. It misses:
  • Sailor hand being chopped of by blade, on yacht (1 sec).
  • Close-up shot of nanny's head (face) and body sliding down, after being shot (2 secs).
  • Gangsters bodyguard being shot sitting down at restaurant, lots of blood (4 secs).
  • Mr Franco shooting a guard at Tanaka's building, close-up of head shot (1 sec).
  • The Punisher kicking a guard in the red room, we see his body fall through spikes (1 sec).
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Blockbuster Buster: The Punisher (1989) (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Vicious Minds
Written by Harry Garfield
Performed by Hobo & Habby
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Excellent live-action version based on a comic book character
14 January 2003 | by bd119-2See all my reviews

The Punisher was made in 1990 but it remains my best comic-book adaption on screen ever. The film has captured the dark atmosphere of the comic-book like no other movie I've ever seen. Dolph plays Frank Castle, an ex-cop who retired after his wife was murdered (by the Mafia) to become a heavily-armed vigilante who lives in the sewers, called The Punisher. The story is about the Japanese Yakuza trying to take over the Mafia's business in America, causing a gang war on the streets. When the Mafia refuse to make an agreement, the Yakuza kidnap all the children of of the mob bosses to hold them for ransom. This is where Dolph has to save the day, rescue the children and put an end to the war. Louis Gosset Jr. is excellent as Dolph's ex-partner, Jake, who is now determined to find him. As The Punisher, I couldn't have thought of a better choice than Dolph. He fits the role perfecttly, and is unrelentingly cold throughout the movie. The plot is pure hokum, no doubt, but the movie looks and feels just like the Marvel comic. But this is no children's comic book movie, as the movie is packed with graphic violence that gave it a lot of negative publicity. It's a shame this movie bombed at the US box office, because it really is a great movie. If you haven't seen this gem, go rent it or buy it now!


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