Taglines: Justice with a vengeance.
Frank Castle is the city’s most wanted, and most mysterious vigilante, known as “The Punisher”. He has killed 125 criminals in the past five years. An ex-police officer, Castle’s family was murdered in a mob hit, in which Castle was also thought to have perished. This, combined with Castle’s furtive methods of attack, has made the Punisher’s identity a mystery to the general public.
Living in the sewers and waging a one-man war against organized crime, his only friend is an old alcoholic named Shake, a former stage actor who speaks in rhyme for reasons unexplained. Now legally declared dead, Castle strikes back from beyond the grave, killing mobsters wherever he can find them. Due to his war against them, the Mafia families have weakened, forcing one of the family leaders, Gianni Franco, to come out of retirement.
Franco has a plan to unify the families. This, however, has attracted the attention of the Yakuza, Asia’s most powerful crime syndicate. Led by Lady Tanaka, the Yakuza decide to take over the Mafia families and all of their interests. In order to sway the mobsters to their cause, they kidnap their children and hold them for ransom.
Shake pleads with the Punisher to save the children, who are likely to be sold into the Arab slave trade regardless of whether or not the Mafia give into the demands. The Punisher attacks Yakuza businesses, warning that for every day the children are held in captivity, he will inflict heavy costs on them in property damage. The Yakuza later capture the Punisher and Shake and attempt to torture them into submission, but Punisher breaks free and decides the only course of action is a direct rescue.
The Punisher is a 1989 Australian-American action film directed by Mark Goldblatt, written by Boaz Yakin, and starring Dolph Lundgren and Louis Gossett, Jr. Based on the Marvel Comics’ character of the same name, the film changes many details of the character’s comic book origin and the main character does not wear the trademark “skull” shirt. Shot in Sydney, Australia, The Punisher co-stars Jeroen Krabbé, Kim Miyori, Nancy Everhard, and Barry Otto.
The Punisher (1990)
Directed by: Mark Goldblatt
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Louis Gossett Jr., Jeroen Krabbé, Kim Miyori, Bryan Marshall, Nancy Everhard, Barry Otto, Brian Rooney, Zoska Aleece, Kenji Yamaki
Screenplay by: Boaz Yakin
Production Design by: Norma Moriceau
Cinematography by: Ian Baker
Film Editing by: Tim Wellburn
Costume Design by: Norma Moriceau
Art Direction by: Peta Lawson
Music by: Dennis Dreith
Distributed by: New World Pictures
Release Date: July 8, 1990