The Exterminator (1980)
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No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
A Vietnam veteran declares a one-man war on crime in this vigilante revenge thriller. Michael Jefferson (Steve James) saved the life of his best friend John Eastland (Robert Ginty) while the two were serving in Vietnam, so when Jefferson is left permanently paralyzed after a vicious attack by muggers, Eastland is determined to get revenge. Declaring war not only on the thugs who injured Jefferson but the entire lawless underclass, Eastland becomes known as "The Exterminator" for his swift and deadly retaliation against muggers and other street criminals. While Eastland's actions may be making for safer streets, they're also illegal, and just as the mob have put a price on Eastland's head, Detective James Dalton (Christopher George) has set his sights on putting "The Exterminator" out of business. Jazz great Stan Getz makes a cameo appearance as himself. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Exterminator
The Exterminator is a sick example of the almost unbelievable descent into gruesome savagery in American movies.
An action film with little action. Contrived script instead opts for grotesque violence in a series of glum, distasteful scenes.
Even connoisseurs of violence will be disappointed in The Exterminator since its grisly events are not actually shown on screen.
Prime revenge action cinema that will feed the appetites of fans of Dirty Harry and Charles Bronson...
As depicted literally here, going through the meat grinder is an apt metaphor for the Vietnam experience, and for the intended impact on audiences of movies like this one.
One of the most wretched of all film genres is the vigilante justice movie, and this must-to-avoid Death Wish takeoff is one of the worst of its ilk.
D-grade Death Wish leech.
Audience Reviews for The Exterminator
Deathwish II meets Rambo III. Campy, cult-ish film that's just bad enough to be fun. Best viewed in a room full of lightly inebriated friends.More
This movie became infamous for exploitative scenes of violence and gore... that don't happen at all, they're mostly suggestive but whatever.
The gritty tone of Exterminator sets it apart from most vigilante based 80s flicks, which is an immediate turn off for the majority of audiences but it's not on this approach that the movie fails. It's on an unbalanced script that's more concerned on punishing detestable characters and not having a more evolving story in the process. Hell, the motive that sets the Exterminator on a rampage is not that shocking and the post-war Vietname stress the main character is suffering from seems to get lost on his motives too.
A failed opportunity.
The Exterminator Quotes
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