The Exterminator (1980)

Director: James Glickenhaus
Starring: Robert Ginty, Christopher George, Samantha Eggar, Steve James. USA. 1h 39m

Sometimes a bit of vigilante justice is glorious to watch and you don’t need to be Charlie B or Van Michael to wake a city up. In Glickenhaus’s blood action thriller, a once kind and quiet man turns full on Rambo when his friend is attacked and crippled by a bunch of goons, but getting revenge on them just isn’t enough; he’s not going to give up until all the streets are clean.

John Eastman (Ginty) doesn’t look like the human terminator that he turns out to be, the retro Russell Crow is all about the good things in life, years after being exposed to the horrors of Nam he’s just the average Joe, until provoked and he brings Nam to NYC.

A one man army. A new kind of soldier in a new kind of war

The film isn’t a commentary of mindless violence, but when it gets gritty it really does swing an ugly and dangerous bat, there’s people being fed into meat grinders, and the trademark flamethrower crispy death scenes. It’s something that could have gotten real video nasty in the right hands. But exterminator it way more than just another exploitation film, and being one of the early voices to the damaging effects of the war without the moniker of PTSD being uttered, it spread a message which is still relevant today.

If you’re lying, I’ll be back.

– John Eastman

We have to assume that once the blood has been shed and the tables levelled that our hero bad guy killer is just going to go back to a peaceful life, but there’s a sequel and in my honest opinion there should have been a lot more.

TLDR:

Rating: 7/10

Related: Exterminator 2 (1984), Stone (1991), The Soldier (1982), Shakedown (1988), Defiance (1980), Deathwish (1974), Punisher (1989)

Lists: Best Friends Revenge

Trailer

Mystify : Michael Hutchence (2019)

Director: Richard Lowenstein Starring: Michael Hutchence, Kylie Minogue, Paula Yates, Helena Christensen. Australia/USA. 1h 42m

For all of their creative lives, Richard Lowenstein and Michael Hutchence, spent a great deal of time together being best buddies, and they experienced their highs and lows. So it’s only apt that after dedicating the movie He Died With A Felafel In His Hand (2001) to him, Richard should make a documentary about his bright and troubled life.

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Undergods (2020)

Director: Chino Moya
Starring: Johann Myers, Ned Dennehy, Burn Gorman, Kate Dickie, Tim Plester .UK/Estonia. 1h m

After watching a deeply profound movie Undergods from Chino Moya, I still have questions, but I don’t really want to utter them too loudly in fear that the Corpse Collectors might come.. Very much in the vein of Domink Moll, Peter Strickland, and Ben Wheatley, this trippy blend of strange comedy and the darker elements of human nature, really creeps under the skin and while the film trips over its own message from time to time there’s mountains on mythology and messages worth contemplating. There’s a familiarity in both worlds depicted here, worlds in which we can all recognise but just uncanny valley enough for us not to properly understand.. or maybe we don’t want to admit to it.

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