5.7/10
4,580
93 user 97 critic

The Exterminator (1980)

A man's best friend is killed on the streets of New York City. The man (Robert Ginty) then transforms into a violent killer, turning New York City into a great war zone, and Christopher George is the only one to stop him.

Director:

James Glickenhaus
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

The flamethrower-wielding vigilante John Eastland returns to rid New York of a drug lord and his gang.

Director: Mark Buntzman
Stars: Robert Ginty, Mario Van Peebles, Deborah Geffner
Vigilante (1982)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When his wife and son are brutalized by thugs and a corrupt criminal justice system puts the perpetrators back on the street, a New York City factory worker turns vigilante to find some measure of bloody justice.

Director: William Lustig
Stars: Robert Forster, Fred Williamson, Richard Bright
Blastfighter (1984)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A former policeman sets out to unleash violent vengeance upon deer poachers when they rape and kill his long lost daughter.

Director: Lamberto Bava
Stars: Michael Sopkiw, Valentina Forte, George Eastman
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Black radical activist and a young White woman find themselves drawn to one another during the politically and racially-charged atmosphere of early 1970s America.

Director: Michael Schultz
Stars: Clifton Davis, Lois Chiles, Northern Calloway
The Soldier (1982)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Terrorists take over a plutonium bomb and threaten to detonate it in a Saudi Arabian oil field. A special anti-terrorist unit is sent in to stop them.

Director: James Glickenhaus
Stars: Ken Wahl, Alberta Watson, Jeremiah Sullivan
Shakedown (1988)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A legal attorney and renegade cop team up to stop a corrupt cop.

Director: James Glickenhaus
Stars: Peter Weller, Sam Elliott, Richard Brooks
Magic Sticks (1987)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Felix is a down-and-out young drummer who obtains a pair of magic drumsticks from a street vendor. He soon finds out the sticks are able to make native New Yorkers dance uncontrollably.

Director: Peter Keglevic
Stars: George Kranz, Kelly Curtis, Chico Hamilton
The Trial of the Moke (TV Movie 1978)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

"The Trial of the Moke" is about the first black man to graduates from West Point. Flipper is framed for embezzlement by his fellow cadets to drive him away. But Flipper wasn't going anywhere until he cleared his name.

Director: Stan Lathan
Stars: Thalmus Rasulala, Alfre Woodard, Franklyn Seales
The Displaced Person (TV Movie 1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A conscientious but driven Polish refugee disrupts the hierarchy of power on a Georgia farm in the 1940s.

Director: Glenn Jordan
Stars: Irene Worth, Shirley Stoler, Lane Smith
Timemaster (1995)
Adventure | Sci-Fi | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

Young Jesse travels through time trying to stop a bunch of evil, virtual, fight managers from destroying Earth.

Director: James Glickenhaus
Stars: Jesse Cameron-Glickenhaus, Pat Morita, Joanna Pacula
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

In the year 3000, the Earth has turned into a desert after nuclear war. A group of survivors runs out of water, so they need to search for the valuable water, but it will not be easy because other group also wants to get it at any cost.

Director: Giuliano Carnimeo
Stars: Robert Iannucci, Alicia Moro, Luciano Pigozzi
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A cyborg is programmed to kill a scientist who holds the fate of mankind in his hands. He fails and hides in a diner in a desert run by a woman who likes him. The people who sent him are after him and so is the local arm wrestling champ.

Director: Sergio Martino
Stars: Daniel Greene, Janet Agren, Claudio Cassinelli
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher George ... Detective James Dalton
Samantha Eggar ... Dr. Megan Stewart
Robert Ginty ... John Eastland
Steve James ... Michael Jefferson
Tony DiBenedetto Tony DiBenedetto ... Chicken Pimp (as Toni Di Benedetto)
Dick Boccelli Dick Boccelli ... Gino Pontivini
Patrick Farrelly ... CIA Agent Shaw
Michele Harrell Michele Harrell ... Maria Jefferson
David Lipman ... The State Senator from New Jersey
Cindy Wilks Cindy Wilks ... Candy
Dennis Boutsikaris ... Frankie
Roger Grimsby ... Himself
Judy Licht Judy Licht ... Herself
Stan Getz ... Himself
George Cheung ... Vietcong Leader (as George Lee Cheung)
Edit

Storyline

When John Eastland's best friend, Michael Jefferson, is mugged and left permanently crippled, he decides to do something about it. Jefferson had saved Eastland's life in Vietnam and now it's time for Eastland to get revenge for his friend. Using his old Army gear he sets out on a crusade to clean up the streets of New York using the name "The Exterminator." Written by David Bongo <ajgs09b@prodigy.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you're lying, I'll be back... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Exterminator See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Interstar See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(director's cut) | (original uncut)

Sound Mix:

Stereo (Dolby Stereo)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Kurt Russell based his character of Snake Plissken from Escape from New York (1981) on John "The Exterminator" Eastland (Robert Ginty). See more »

Goofs

The 1968 Chevelle in the opening scenes has no vent windows, like a 1969 Chevelle would have. In subsequent shots, the Chevelle has vent windows. They can clearly be seen after the Chevelle crashes. See more »

Quotes

Detective James Dalton: Jesus, looks like he got hit with napalm.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"The producer" is credited as burping ghoul See more »

Alternate Versions

Finnish VHS version is cut over 10 minutes, it's missing:
  • The infamous decapitation (later on the film, an ultra-fast glimpse of this scene is shown uncut in a flashback). 2. A Nam-soldier walking from the bleeding torso body wiping his machete. 3. A Nam soldier trying to remove a wire from his bleeding throat. 4. Michael shooting a Nam soldier. 5. A Nam soldier fusing in flames. 6. A Nam soldier running to water in flames. 7. Ginty shooting the Nam-leader who is in the water (later on the film, this same shot is shown in an even more graphic angle in a flashback, completely uncut!). 8. The "Ghetto Ghouls" beating Michael (almost completely cut, all the actual beating deleted).
See more »

Connections

References The Condemned of Altona (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Kali Au
Written by Chuck Loeb
Performed by Stan Getz (as Stan Getz Ensemble)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Grim but effective vigilante tale
8 November 2012 | by lovecraft231See all my reviews

I love Synapse films. Along with Blue Underground, these guys are pretty much Criterion for fans of horror and exploitation, with movies like "Thriller: A Cruel Picture", "Frankenhooker" and "Maniac Cop" under their belt. So it makes perfect sense that they would release the vigilante movie favorite "The Exterminator" on a Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack. This is a mixed bag for me, as I don't have a Blu-Ray player, but I do have a DVD player, so I can watch the movie but not judge the two discs. I can however, judge the movie.

John Eastland (Robert Ginty) is a Vietnam vet whose war buddy and long time best friend Michael Jefferson (Steve James.) When Michael is fatally wounded by thugs, Eastland decides that not only those responsible should pay: the pimps, pushers and filth of the streets must be exterminated. Thing is, this is bad for the mayor, whose got an election coming up, so it's up to Detective James Dalton (Christopher George) to stop the man known to the city of New York as "The Exterminator."

While there are flaws in this movie (the relationship between Dalton and a nurse played by Samantha Eggar feels unnecessary), this is a prime example of early 80's exploitation. While gore-hounds will be let down (only a gnarly decapitation in a Vietnam flashback), the violence here is vicious and unrelenting-in fact, largely skimping on splatter actually helps enhance the brutality on display-and boy is it a vicious little movie. Eastland is not a man who plays around, setting people ablaze, dropping them in meat-grinders, shooting them with mercury laced bullets-he means business. Also, exploitation fans will more than likely enjoy this, as this is the type of movie that shows you New York before it was cleaned up. This is a world of drug pushers, murderers, and more-the scum of the Earth, and The Exterminator has had enough of them.

It also helps that this is a well directed and mostly well acted movie. James Glickenhouse* films the whole thing in a matter of fact style-no flashy editing or tricks here, just the worst the city has to offer and ugly violence pushed into your face, which aids the already gritty tone of the movie. Meanwhile, Ginty (who most may remember from the MST3K movie "Warriors of the Lost World") has a kind of Charles Bronson like quality-not as good of an actor, but he doesn't really look like an action star. He just looks like a regular guy, and the actor thankfully manages to make Eastland human but not too sympathetic. If anything, he's a psychopath. George meanwhile, plays the guy who may be the most likable character. He doesn't want The Exterminator killing people, but he understands why he's doing it, and doesn't seem to care much for the corrupt political and police establishment around him.

For fans of revenge movies and exploitation, "The Exterminator" is something that must be seen. Is it a perfect movie? No, but it get's the job done without any added bulls#!t.

*Glickenhouse also wrote this movie, and directed the Christopher Walken action movie "McBain", Jackie Chan's ill-advised U.S. debut "The Protector" and the Peter Weller/Sam Elliot cop movie "Shakedown." He also produced "Basket Case 2", "Frankenhooker", "Maniac Cop" and the Joe Don Baker vehicle "Ring of Steel."


10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 93 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed