Monster really looking forward to not seeing dis movie. So looking forward, in fakt, dat me make planz to visit Wildwood New Jerzey for jellyfish mating seazon instead. Joe accuze monster of not trying hard enuf to find movie, but iz not true. Me look everywhere for it! Even check out speshulty video store dat have hard-to-find moviez NOBODY want to see like Howard de Duck, Showgirlz, and Tree of Life (Trip not total loss. Me reserve advance copy of John Carter of Marz). No dice. Or Punisher. So monster decide to take week off. Me shopping for new flip flops (me got fungal infektion after lending last pair to Grover for his trip to Iziba) when get call from Joe. He have not good newz! Blog reader, kymm, find copy of Punisher for me. So instead of Wildwood trip, monster stay at home to do movie review. Biggest trajedy is jellyfish. How dey supposed to have seks witout people watching dem?
Punisher movie start off wit opening credit sekwence dat remind monster of Kwentin Tarantino parody of cheezy late 80’s action movie opening credit sekwence. So far, so good. But den producerz get greedy and decide to release rest of movie.
Movie start wit mob boss going home after being akwitted of murdering family of cop. Turn out dat cop very angry. He now go by new name, Punisher, becuz dat what he do now: punish bad guyz dat commit crimez, punish screenwriter by butchering his dialog, punish viewerz by making dem sit thru his scenez. Dolf Lundgrim play Punisher as cross between comic book charakter, Elvis, and not very good aktor wit shoe polish 5 o clock shadow. But, boy, he kick some ass!
He kill gangster, den go back home, aka de sewerz, where he strip down, oil up, and chat wit God about life and current affairz. Punisher have only one friend = homeless stage aktor who quote Shakespeare and, sadly, miss some great opportunitiez to die. He also have former friend and police partner, Iron Eagle, who trying to help him with plot-forwarding-cliche-computer-ekspert-female-cop-Sam.
New mob boss come to town and try to unite gangsterz. But dey threatened by Yakuza boss Lady Tanaka who wear pinky thimble like 50 Cent used to back when he more street. She also have crazy adopted blond daughter dat make good argument for old timey orfanages. Lady Tanaka kidnap gangsterz kidz to get dem to cooperate – but kill gangsterz anyway AND sell de kidz into slavery. She be one col’ azz mofo!
Punisher crash club dat look like bad 80’s rock video (Old rich-looking white guy? Check! Guy wit turban wit a blond on each arm? Check! Half-dressed super-muscular woman on stage? Check! Hey! Where Dee Snyder?!). He shoot up amuzement park and get captured and tortured. But he tuff and full of
witty one-linerz. He eskape and reskue kidz, load dem on bus and drive away. Bad guyz try to stop him by shooting at bus, but no one have bright idea to shoot out tirez. Punisher get away, spot police road block, speed up toward it AND…stop. Ha! Fooled ya! Police not amuzed. He arrested.
BUT he freed by new mob boss who need his help to save his son, only kid dat still wit Lady Tanaka! Marvel Super Villain Team Up! Eksellsior!!!
Dey take elevator up. Shoot up room full of guyz wit swords. Hobo Hamlet killz de elektricity and switch mood lighting to looorid red. For some reazon.
Punisher fight crazy blond adopted daughter. And snap her neck.
Halfway thru movie, producerz realize Lady Tanaka not quite stereotypikal enuf Japanese villain so dey dress her up like geisha for final fight. Ah. Much better. She threaten to kill boy. Punisher kill her wit knife to de head. Den gangster boss try to kill Punisher. But Punisher kill him first. Den son want to kill Punisher. But he not have de stones. Son upset but, hey, whatyagonnado?
Verdikt: Plot aktually not bad. But monster can’t say same for Dolf Lundgrim.
Rating: 5 out of 10 chocolate chippee cookies.
23 thoughts on “April 2, 2012: The Supermovie of the Week Club reconvenes! Cookie Monster reviews The Punisher (1989)!”
Well Cookie, I kind of feel bad that I wasn’t able to snark along with you on this one. Try as I might, I could not find a copy of this version of The Punisher anywhere. Great review though, as usual.
In other news, in a couple of days I’m off to my vacation in Australia for two weeks! I’m really looking forward to it, stuff like climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Brisbane’s Australia Zoo, and SCUBA diving on the Great Barrier Reef! Should be a blast. I’m also planning on spending a few days in Vancouver on the way home, so if you’re up for any culinary adventures, I’m up for anything! Even some suggestions would be great.
Hopefully, I’ll have the Internet available regularly, so I’ll give some updates. Also, I’m pre-watching TMNT, so hopefully I can provide my comments next Monday.
Hey Joe – If this one made it as a Superhero flick, how could you have skipped Remo Williams?
Okay, I’m a little unclear on what the definition of a superhero movie is. Cuz in my mind, this was NOT a superhero movie. Does “superhero” just mean there was a comic about the protagonist at some time? So would Dick Tracy be a superhero? No, right? So where is the line drawn?The Punisher, to me, is no more a superhero than Robocop. And in fact I’d say he’s less a superhero than Robocop. At least Robocop has some awesome super powers, even if they’re mechanical. But then Batman’s superpowers are mechanical too. So why aren’t we watching Robocop? Simply because he was never the subject of a comic? Somebody please explain this to me!
Anyway, this movie was hard to sit through. Many WTF moments, starting with the cheezy 70’s TV cop drama opening credit sequence.( It seemed like this movie was shot in 1981, not 1989. Even a lot of the cars in the street scenes were leftovers from the 1970s — more than you’d expect for a late-80s setting.) Why is Castle naked (and filthy) when he prays in front of his fire? And how does he have that little nook with the fireplace in the sewers, anyway? Aren’t the sewers busy being, oh I don’t know… SEWERS?!? Since when do sewers have fireplaces? And how do you get a motorcycle in and out of the sewer? Not to mention all the other buildings we see him riding a motorcycle into. Seems poor foresight to make it so that you have to back your bike out through narrow hallways in order to make a getaway from the guys with whom you plan on exchanging gunfire.
And why does the Punisher have at his disposal a remote-controlled toy armoured truck with a bottle of alcohol to lure his inebriated actor buddy from in front of the bar he just got thrown out of? He and the actor were supposed to meet 4 hours ago, so there would not have been a need to lure the actor guy with a toy. And why go to the bother of luring him just around the bloody corner? It’s like 15 feet away!
And when the kids are getting rescued by the Punisher, why does Tommy (the Franco kid not being held with the other kids) tell Kathy (the kid who lagged behind to get her dolly) to go run along outside to the bus? What?!? Neither Tommy nor Kathy even know about the bus, because they haven’t been outside to see it yet. And the kids have all been in a holding cell since they arrived. There’s no way Kathy (a six-year-old, at best) could find her way outside by herself.
I also don’t get Lady Tanaka’s plan. She first arrives to “dictate terms” to the Mafia bosses. Then she kidnaps their kids to get them to comply. But she doesn’t plan on returning the kids at all. Nor does she plan on letting the Mafia guys live. So what was the point of her coming in to “dictate terms” in the first place? She had them all there together for that first meeting: why didn’t she just murder them all then? Would have saved a lot of trouble. Of course that would have made a much shorter movie…
Then the final showdown between the Punisher (with Franco) and the Yakusa was just ludicrous. Exactly what was the point of the C4 remote thing that the actor had control of? He killed the lights, and then he killed…. what exactly? The elevator? That’s what the Punisher meant by “everything else”? Huh? And I thought when the remote detonator fell into the sewer grate that it would mean the poor drunk actor guy was going to have to choose whether to blow off pushing the second button that was supposed to detonate “everything” (thereby saving himself), or to find a way to push it anyway, knowing that it would bring certain destruction raining down on him (since he was stuck in that location, having dropped the detonator down the grate). But no, nothing really came of that, because he pushed the second button by SHOOTING THE DETONATOR (!), and “destroying everything else” meant nothing consequential at all. WTF?!?
In the room with all the martial arts weapons (swords, other sharp objects), when the lights were red, the Yakusa guy wailing on the Punisher was only using his fists???? Why, when they are surrounded by sharp stuff, is he just punching? And even when the Punisher is clearly straining to reach the hilt of a sword, his attacker continues just punching him, rather than trying to grab the sword for his own use — not to mention any of the many, many other sharp implements along the walls.
I don’t really have bad things to say about Dolph’s acting. It was really more of a problem of him not being given anything to do other than glower, sulk, shoot stuff, and beat the shit out of people. We really never know the Punisher as a person. In the scene where we could have gotten to know him, when Gossett visits him in jail, he has practically no lines! We learn way more about Gossett’s character than we do about the Punisher (or Frank Castle, for that matter).
Ugh, what a crappy movie this was. The only saving grace was Louis Gossett Jr. My favorite part was when he had just dispatched one of his Mafia kidnappers, and the other one enters, announcing “Pizza’s here!” Louis takes him out with a pizza to the face, and then leans over to grab a slice as he exits. Awesome.
There were some weird shots in the copy I watched, all of them during fight/shooting scenes, where the picture went suddenly very grainy and wasn’t color-timed to match the rest of the scene. I’d think it was like a director’s cut “additional footage” thing on a DVD, but they were just quick shots, not whole scenes. For example, someone getting a knife to the forehead (Lady Tanaka, when the Punisher kills her), or someone getting shot (one of the ineffectual “bodyguards” in the restaurant scene where the Mafia bosses get offed). Was this just in my (admittedly shadily sourced) copy?
Anyway, 2 out of 10 cookies.
When do we watch Robocop?
Oh, I forgot to mention: Dolph Lundgren is really ugly. If you’re going to make a movie with a plot such that only adolescent-to-twenty-something boys will want to see it, you’d damn well better cast a hot guy in the lead role to entice at least a few ladies in to see your machismo-fest. Sorry, but it’s true. The lead guy has to attract the ladies. If he’s one ugly fuck, your movie’s dead in the water.
A very entertaining review, but, like It2369, I’m having a bit of difficulty understanding how Frank Castle qualifies as a superhero. Is it because he was a comic book character?
The Ninja Turtles, however, were transformed by radioactive green goo from cute little turtles in a New York Sewer into fearsome fighting ninjas – so I’m going to be joining in on that one. Also, I own the movie. And have parts memorized. Um, my kids watched it a lot. Yeah, that’s it.
Sorry Mr. Monster…our anniversary was last weekend. 😉
Punisher was one of those movies that did not make it to the theaters because the studio (?) supposedly went out of business and there was a very lengthly legal fight. (Along with the original Captain America and Fantastic Four) There are rumors of other films that were never released. In fact, the three I mention made it out as boot legs LONG before they were ever officially released, but I never saw the FF4 except for one or two scenes (thank goodness, if it is half as bad as the unreleased Captain America I would have burned my comic book collection)
It is a real shame that every Punisher that has come out has been horrible. Quite frankly, was one of my favorite comic books and they never got it right.
Two years ago, as we were editing a straight to dvd movie that Dolph directed and starred in, I convinced him to record the voice over in the style of the Punisher.
I am so sorry.
Boo! I neglected to look at what the next movie of the week was and just assumed it was Batman Returns so I watched that on the weekend.
By the time I noticed that it was supposed to be The Punisher I didn’t have time to locate it and watch it before Cookie’s review.
So I’m going to avoid reading the review in case there’s spoilers in there and I’ll watch The Punisher tonight.
Wait, what? I missed the cookies?
The Punisher was my favorite comic in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I’m still a fan of the character in general, although I don’t read comics any longer. I even sport the logo on my Jeep. https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/466389_363555687001309_100000406410194_1109173_2064469998_o.jpg
I was excited to see this film when it hit video. Then I threw up in my mouth a little when I actually sat through it. Typical 80’s action movie trash. It actually makes Tango & Cash appear Oscar worthy.
The only good thing to come from it was this sweet little ditty by NY hardcore band Biohazard: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYn7lUbrg9Y&feature=colike
In my opinion, the only version to get it mostly right is Punisher: War Zone. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0450314/ I don’t get why it was so disliked when there are two other really horrible movies to hate on.
Meh, my two cents.
I agree with Cookie on the actor this time; Dolph Lundgren is a rubbish actor. Lucky for him he has steroid-powered muscles, or he wouldn’t have made it at all. As for the film, I confess that I’ve not watched it yet, and after Cookie’s review, I won’t be rushing to watch it either.
I enjoyed Cookie’s review. It’s better than watching the movie. Sorry didn’t have the time or control of the TV to watch it. What is the next movie?
Texans: Everybody ok from the tornado? Weird weather. It was 87F/30.5C here in the Memphis/Mississippi area yesterday and not much cooler today.
I worked at the humane society this morning. Here is one of the black kitties enjoying the bath rug I bought him. https://twitter.com/#!/jertam/status/187258605895024640/photo/1
Deni: here are two of my “kids”. https://twitter.com/#!/jertam/media/slideshow?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftwitpic.com%2F42jxv3
Harry is the big cat (26lbs) and Sammie (7lbs). Sometimes we call Sammie “the tumor” because he is always attached/touching Harry in some way.
😳 Second link didn’t work. I’ll try again tomorrow when I have a real computer.
Guy from school just stopped by work – haven’t seen him since 1990. He’s been around before, asking about me and if I’m still married (he’s divorced), but this is the first time I’ve been here. I try to avoid people I knew in school…guess I’m just not one to look back.
So, now I’m looking back. Back in school he dissected my frog for me (I’m good with bones and dry stuff, not so good with the juicy, meaty bits), and I did his homework. He was a real charmer – a bad boy – and though I like those types in film and literature, I’m not one to fall for their act in real life. He tired to kiss me once but I managed to turn away, and quickly shoved homework papers between us. 😀
Anyway, at first he didn’t recognize me, and I said it’s because I’m fat, but then quickly pointed out that he’s bald (just so we were on the same imperfect page 😉 ). First thing he asked when he saw me was if I was still married. Now, he’s a good-looking guy (dimples even you would die for, Joe), so that’s not the problem, neither is the fact that I am happily married. He’s a very funny guy, and I wouldn’t mind sharing a pint with him down at the local. Ya know, buddy-stuff, nothing more. I’m cool with that. It’s just…
How can I say this? I don’t like that feeling when you think a guy is checking you out for fun and games, if ya know what I mean. I’m a very self-conscious person, very insecure about my appearance. It’s one reason I don’t mind being a ‘jellyfish’ 😉 – I figure people don’t notice jellyfish. I feel being overweight puts me on a more level playing ground with the guys (appreciate me for my mind, NOT my body!). Now, maybe he wasn’t fishing, but he did ask me twice if I was still married, and then asked if I’m here every day. The whole thing was kinda weird for me. I really can’t figure out what he was up to. Oh, and he hugged me twice, and gave me a peck both times. Just…weird. I’m really hoping my fatty fatty boombalatty defense worked, because I really don’t know how to read what just happened.
And wait ’til Mr. Das finds out. He’s gonna be FURIOUS! 😆
And, really, he’s the only one I care about. 🙂
*tried, not tired…which I think I am. 😛
OK, just finished watching The Punisher. It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting but it wasn’t good either!
I agree, the 70s porno-style opening credits were just weird! Or maybe they were trying for James Bond style? Clearly the studio had run out of money by that time and couldn’t afford a decent credit sequence.
Dolph’s diction was almost as good as Sylvester Stallone’s in Judge Dredd but we’ll get to that when we get to that.
Did anyone notice that it was filmed in Sydney? I spotted a few familiar locations, in particular Luna Park where the amusement park scene was shot. Speaking of which . . . what’s with the ninja dudes shooting machine guns at Dolph and missing so badly? They seemed so embarrassed by their crappy aim that they ditched the guns and just stared kicking and punching him instead which worked!
The actor dude was Barry Otto, an Australian acting national treasure.
I also agree that this barely can be called a superhero movie. If it’s just the comic book connection then we should have watched Flash Gordon (1980) several movies ago (I’m ignoring the 1936, 38 and 40 serials although it could be argued that they qualify after Superman and the Mole Men was included).
Anyway, time for bed!
@das: You’re a charming, funny person – a charming, funny, MARRIED person. Hopefully, Mr. Badboy will get the message, though you may need to be a little more direct with him. A knee to the groin would speak volumes.
@Tam Dixon: the link worked fine for me – that is one big kitty! But they are so darn cute together.
@Das and the guy from school:
Well that seems awkward…
I’m coming up on “30 year high school reunion” territory, and recently ran into some folks I knew back then. It’s funny how some people I knew then have not really moved on with their lives; they seem stuck in the same patterns, and hangups they had back then.
Looks like this guy may fall into that category?
@ Sparrowhawk – Awww…I couldn’t do that. He’s really a sweet guy. That, plus I have a problem being mean to men (unless they’re total jerkholes). That’s my problem, I love men, but in a platonic way. Physically, I’m a very monogamous person. But when it comes to attraction…well, I’m attracted men the same way one might be attracted to a work of art. Like the dude sitting at the bar tonight – just too pretty, with his little goatee and hair tied up in a samurai knot. Mmmm-mmm-mmm! But it’s not a sexual thing, per se, instead it’s that buddy thing all over again (probably why back in school I hung out with all the gay guys). I just want to share a drink, chat, and have a laugh or two. I do much better talking with guys than I do women (thus my desire to be on equal terms with them, and not objectified). However, when you’re nice to guys they often think that means sex, and then they get mad when you say nopers. So what I want is to be friends, but they want something else….and that just ruins everything. I think that’s why I love my imaginary men so much – I can get into their heads without having to get into their beds. 🙂
So, I was talking with mom about this over dinner, and I told her I don’t think I have to worry because of my weight. And she said it doesn’t matter when the lights are out. And I said even with the lights out a guy can still feel, and if he can feel than he can certainly tell if he’s got a french fry on his plate, or a pile of mashed potatoes.
@ JeffW – Hard to say. He is a nice guy, a charmer, always worked since he was a kid. Not lazy, just not steady, I’d say. A bit of a rogue – comes and goes as he pleases, that sort. JUST the sort I love on the big screen! 😆 If I had to compare him to one movie character, it would be Captain Jack Sparrow, with less hair. Just like that.
And if I had to say that anyone hasn’t moved on, it’s me. I don’t look back, but at the same time I can’t say that I’ve moved forward. I’m basically the same kid I was back in the 70s, only my appearance has changed. I’m definitely suffering from Peter Pan Syndrome, that’s for sure. 😛
@Das: Yeah, that just has a creepy vibe to it, for sure. And also, you’re an awesome, wonderful person. Don’t let anyone tell you differently, especially yourself.
I want to watch the movie now. Hope I like it. The crazy adopt blonde daughter 😉