42nd Street Cinema

The Exterminator (1980)

James Glickenhaus' fiery action-revenge flick, The Exterminator.

Starring: Christopher George, Robert Ginty, Steve James, Samantha Eggar and Dick Boccelli.

A stunning piece of '80s American action cheese. A film that oddly enough, got caught up in the Video Nasty fiasco. Though never actually placed on the infamous list, it was still one of the many titles at the time to be forcibly removed from rental shop shelves.

Like other films of the era, The Exterminator also serves as a New York period piece, often giving the viewer an insight into the seedy past, of the now bustling tourist destination.

Opening with a cacophony of explosions, we see our soon-to-be protagonist John Eastland (Ginty) being propelled through the air by one of the blasts. He is quickly helped to his feet by fellow solider and best friend, Michael Jefferson (James). Both Michael, John and a couple other U.S. soldiers are soon captured by the Viet Cong. The narrative then jumps to a Viet Cong camp, with the prisoners tied to wooden stakes. John is interrogated by the VC commander, when John refuses to talk, one of the soldiers is decapitated by the commander. Resulting in a slow motion decapitation sequence with surprisingly very little arterial spray. Shortly after this Jefferson manages to free his hands and quickly assassinates the Vietnamese soldiers.



Now, the Vietnam vets John & Michael work in a New York food warehouse. One day, a group of thugs attempt to steal beer from the said warehouse, as John confronts them he gets cornered. Michael comes to his aid, together the duo defeat the thugs, however the gang follow Michael home and after a ferocious attack, he is left paralyzed. Seeking revenge, John kidnaps one of the gang members and through interrogation he gives up where their hideout is. With the help of his trust M-16, John pays the gang a visit. Obviously enjoying his 'work', John then sets out to clean up the city. A warpath ensues, in which he takes out mobsters and other societal scum. Tasked with bringing 'The Exterminator' to justice, is a policeman named Dalton (George). Although he seems to be more interested at times bangin' a female doctor.

The Exterminator isn't a pretty picture, it's not an intentionally funny picture but ultimately it's a really enjoyable picture. Ginty's performance as the titular Exterminator is gratifying, along with various methods of dispatching his victims, who, are altogether reprehensible; a violent street gang, paedophiles and mafioso types.

Filled with explosions, over the top squib effects and breakneck car chases. If you want an alternative to Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, Stallone, or even Seagal, give this a shot.

3 comments:

silverferox said...

The Exterminator is super metal. That is all.

Nick Cato said...

Recently found the "deluxe" DVD at a dollar store for like 5 bucks---always liked this one.

The Man With No Name said...

Wow this looks like a classic. Queued up now lol. thank you!

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