Release Date: 1989
Director: Mark Goldblatt
Running Time: 92 minutes
Cast: Nancy Everhard, Louis Gossett, Jr., Jeroen Krabbé, Dolph Lundgren, Bryan Marshall, Kim Miyori
Comic artist: Gerry Conway (text)
1st appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man Nr. 129 (1974)


This is an adaptation of a popular, violent Marvel Comics series about a character who's a frontier-style vigilante in modern-day urban America. First introduced in the Spider-Man series he would later re-appear drawn by Frank Miller in the Daredevil (Nr. 182) series. When he finally appeared in his own title (The Punisher - July 1987) he became one of Marvel's biggest hits.


Dolph Lundgren stars as Frank Castle, once a crusading police officer whose family was murdered by a car bomb planted by the Mob. Believed to be killed in the explosion, Castle has gone underground, building a subterranean lair in the sewer system and vengefully assassinating various criminals, wracking up an impressive body count of 125 slain in five years. Castle's former partner, Jake Berkowitz (Louis Gossett, Jr.) rightly suspects that he knows the true identity of the motorcycle-riding avenger dubbed "the Punisher." Meanwhile, Castle's bloody campaign has had the intended effect of weakening organized crime, creating an opportunity to consolidate power for the ambitious Gianni Franco (Jeroen Krabbe), the man responsible for the Castle family hit. Sensing an opportunity to muscle in on new lucrative turf, foreign competitors threaten Franco's empire. When the Japanese yakuza has the crime boss' innocent son kidnapped, Castle finds himself in the ironic position of helping a man he'd like to kill. Filmed in Australia, this low-budget action thriller did not get a theatrical release in the U.S., instead going directly to video.

© Karl Williams, All Movie Guide

Past Appearances:

The Punisher (2004) Directed by: Jonathan Hensleigh. Starring: Laura Elena Harring, Will Patton, Roy Scheider, John Travolta, Thomas Jane

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