“If you’re lying, I’ll be back.”
Vietnam vet John Eastland (Robert Ginty) seeks revenge for the brutal beating of his best friend (Steve James), and eventually becomes an all-purpose vigilante in New York City.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- New York City
- Samantha Eggar Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
This “ugly urban melodrama” is a clear rip-off of Charles Bronson’s Death Wish (1974) — and, despite its erstwhile popularity (according to Peary, “audiences cheered when [Ginty] tortured the bad guys”), it’s certainly not must-see viewing. The screenplay lacks any nuance at all, with director James Glickenhaus portraying his villains as “the dirtiest, hairiest, most disgusting youth gang imaginable”. Perhaps most interesting is the film’s status as part of the subgenre of “Vietnam vets gone wild”; along with Shoot (1976), Deathdream (1974), Joe (1970) and others, The Exterminator capitalizes on the titillating trope of trigger-happy vets.
- A mildly interesting premise
No, unless you’re a fan of vigilante films.