The Exterminator

In war, you have to kill to stay alive... On the streets of New York, it's often the same.

98 min     5.646     1980     USA


When a man's best friend is killed on the streets of New York, he transforms into a violent killer, turning New York into a war zone.


John Chard wrote:
Exterminate, Exterminate! How wonderfully tacky and exploitive, The Exterminator rides in on the coat tails of films like Death Wish and has a bloody good time doing so. Plot sees Vietnam veteran John Eastland (Robert Ginty) embark on a crusade of vigilantism when his best buddy is left paralysed by scumbags. Pic is relentlessly bleak, as Eastland goes about his business, offing serious low-life's in a number of gruesome ways, director and writer James Glickenhaus revels in saying that all around us is a rotten apple. Of course vigilantism is wrong, but Glickenhaus makes it virtually impossible to not be on The Exterminator's side, such is the vile stench that circles the seamy underbelly of the city. Trying to stop The Exterminator is world weary Detective James Dalton (Christopher George), well when he is not having sex with Samantha Eggar in the local hospital that is! He's a great character is Dalton, stoic and scuzzy, a throwback to the halcyon days of film noir gumshoes. And of course, he will be tinted with a conflict of interest. The pace sometimes plods, but this is off set by the action that is guaranteed to arrive in the next passage of play, and the kills, graphic for the time, are not without grotesque ingenuity. Eggar is pretty much a token offering and really serves no purpose other than to give Jimmy some sugar, while some of the editing and photography leaves quite a bit to be desired. Cheap independent problems be damned though! The Exterminator is in your face, it shows it all and doesn't cut corners or soft soap its theme. It be a splendid slice of Grindhouse Grue for those with a kink for such glorious excess. 8/10