- Category: Reviews
- Written by Richard Taylor
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The Exterminator Collectors Edition
"The man they pushed too far."
Remastered, uncut and widescreen presentation of the early eighties revenge film starring Robert Ginty as John Eastland. Eastland is a Vietnam vet whose fellow black veteran friend played by Steve James is brutally beaten by a gang of thugs. They break his back and paralyze him for life. Eastland becomes a vigilante because of the incident and goes after the the men responsible while also waging a war on all crime. Known as "The Exterminator" Eastland seeks out criminals and "exterminates" them.
The opening scenes of the film which take place in Vietnam are probably the high point of the whole movie. Eastland and his friend played by James are captured by the Vietcong. James saves Eastland's life and wipes out the enemy. For a low budget film the war scenes were some of the best I've seen of this caliber. The opening of a soldier being blown off a cliff is incredible and the decapitation of an American soldier is one of the most realistic effects I have ever witnessed on film.
Its too bad the rest of it doesn't hold up as well. Its just Eastland extracting vengeance on various thugs in the usual way before the politicians decide Eastland is getting to be a thorn in their sides and something must be done about it. Christopher George is great as Dalton, a cop who is trying to find out who the Exterminator is. George has the best line in the film and its pretty funny: "Looks like you need to take a shit because its coming out of you mouth instead of your asshole." Ginty also has a powerful line when in response to one of the punks who paralyzed his friend, the punk says: "He's only a nigger" and Eastland replies "That nigger was my best friend motherfucker!"
The whole affair is pretty powerful and a lot more realistic compared to most of the action films out there. I wouldn't call it an action film, its more of a drama. Its great to see this in a fully restored and remastered version. Worth checking out.
Rating: *** ½