The Exterminator (1980)

The Exterminator (1980)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Exterminator Photos

Movie Info

John Eastland (Robert Ginty) has vowed to avenge his buddy from the Vietnam War days when the friend is permanently disabled by a street gang. Revenge in this case involves not simply killing all the "guilty parties," but murdering them in ways that are particularly cruel and gruesome. A detective (Christopher George) gets on the trail of Eastland, but unknown to both the hunter and the hunted, the CIA is also interested in the killings. A sequel followed in 1984.
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
AVCO Embassy Pictures

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Robert Ginty
as John Eastland
Christopher George
as Detective James Dalton
Samantha Eggar
as Dr. Megan Stewart
Steve James
as Michael Jefferson
Tony DiBenedetto
as Chicken Pimp
Dick Boccelli
as Gino Pontivini
Patrick Farrelly
as CIA Agent
Michele Harrell
as Maria Jefferson
David Lipman
as State Senator
Cindy Wilks
as Candy
Roger Grimsby
as Himself
Phil Chong
as Vietcong Garrottee
Bill Saito
as Vietcong AK-47
Clay Wright
as US Pilot
Paul G. Hensler
as Captured US Soldier
Frank Ferrara
as Collector #1
Tony Munafo
as Collector #2
Irwin Keyes
as Bobby
Santos Morales
as Police Captain
Ralph Monaco
as Bartender
Louis Edmonds
as CIA Chief
Lou David
as Leaflet Man
Tom Everett
as Hotel Clerk
Gerald M. Kline
as Massage Parlor Cop
Paul Farentino
as Message Cop (sic)
Robert King
as Motorcyclist
Joe Duquette
as SWAT #2
Ryan Hilliard
as SWAT #5
Kenny Endoso
as Vietcong Fire Gag
Sean O'Rinn
as Uniform Cop #4
George Kee Cheung
as Vietcong Leader
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Critic Reviews for The Exterminator

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

The Exterminator is a sick example of the almost unbelievable descent into gruesome savagery in American movies.

Full Review… | January 31, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

An action film with little action. Contrived script instead opts for grotesque violence in a series of glum, distasteful scenes.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Top Critic

Even connoisseurs of violence will be disappointed in The Exterminator since its grisly events are not actually shown on screen.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Prime revenge action cinema that will feed the appetites of fans of Dirty Harry and Charles Bronson...

Full Review… | April 22, 2012
Cinema Crazed

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.

Full Review… | November 17, 2011
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

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.

Full Review… | January 31, 2011
TV Guide

Audience Reviews for The Exterminator


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


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.

Francisco  Godinho
Francisco Godinho

Super Reviewer

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.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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