Picks and Pans Review: The Exterminator
Don't get your hopes up, pest-control fans. The villains in this poor man's version of Death Wish are human. Make that poor producer's version, since every expense has been spared. The cast's big name is Christopher George, most visible these days in 2 a.m. TV reruns of Rat Patrol. He plays an honest cop halfheartedly chasing a vigilante who vows to rid New York City of crime after a Vietnam buddy is mauled by a street gang. To his credit, Robert (Coming Home) Ginty works at playing the vigilante with some subtlety, though when he looks queasy after stuffing a mobster into a meat grinder it's hard to tell if the character or the actor can't quite believe what he's doing. Also noteworthy is special effects man Stevie Kirschoff, clearly expert at making junky old cars blow up in spectacular fashion. Writer-director James Glickenhaus crams in excessive sadism, violence and obscenity in a movie that indicts the Establishment as well as overt criminals. Audiences cheer as much when corrupt officals are foiled as they do when a homosexual procurer is sautéed. What sort of idle fantasy they are cheering over is a sad speculation. (R)
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