The Exterminator

Watch The Exterminator

  • R
  • 1980
  • 1 hr 44 min
  • 5.7  (6,480)

The Exterminator is a 1980 action-thriller movie directed by James Glickenhaus. The movie revolves around a Vietnam War veteran, John Eastland (Robert Ginty), who takes the law into his own hands after his friend Michael Jefferson (Steve James) is left paralyzed in a mugging in broad daylight. After he witnesses the criminals get off without any punishment for their crime, Eastland becomes disillusioned with the justice system and takes it upon himself to serve justice.

The movie opens with a squad of US soldiers in Vietnam, led by Eastland and his best friend Michael. Though they valiantly fight in the war, they are captured and subjected to gruesome torture which has a profound impact on the two soldiers. After getting discharged, they return home with severe PTSD and attempt to integrate back into society. However, the jarring events they witnessed during the war have made them numb to the violence around them.

One day, while Michael is working at a local grocery store, he is attacked and left paralyzed by a gang of thugs who also rob the store. When the court fails to convict the criminals, Eastland takes justice into his own hands as he begins a systematic killing spree of the people involved in the robbery and assault. But what starts as an effort to bring justice, quickly turns into a bloodthirsty rampage for Eastland, who is consumed by his inner demons.

A social worker named Dr. Megan Stewart (Samantha Eggar) tries to help Eastland and understand why he's become a vigilante. But despite her efforts, Eastland can't let go of his need for revenge. Meanwhile, Detective Leo James (Christopher George) and his team are investigating the vigilante killings, and they finally catch up to Eastland when they find him torturing a pimp who was involved in Michael's paralysis.

The movie features some very brutal scenes of torture, action and violence, and is known for its gritty portrayal of vigilantism. However, it also delves into the psychological impact of war and violence on individuals, as Eastland's descent into madness is a commentary on how the violence he witnessed during the war has shaped his worldview.

Robert Ginty delivers a memorable performance as John Eastland as he transitions from a sympathetic victim to a ruthless vigilante. Samantha Eggar also shines as the empathetic social worker trying to make sense of Eastland's actions. Christopher George's portrayal of Detective Leo James is also laudable as he juggles his admiration for Eastland's motives and his duty to uphold the law.

The Exterminator was met with mixed reviews upon its release due to the graphic violence depicted in the film, but it has since become a cult classic due to its gritty portrayal of vigilantism and its commentary on the psychological impact of violence. The film spawned two sequels, although they were not as well-received as the original.

Overall, The Exterminator is a brutal action thriller that explores the complexities of vigilantism and the impact of violence on individuals. The film is not for the faint-hearted, but it is a gripping portrayal of a veteran's descent into madness and features some memorable performances from its cast.

The Exterminator is a 1980 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.7.

The Exterminator
Where to Watch The Exterminator
The Exterminator is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Exterminator for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 44 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.7  (6,480)