Vigilante

Vigilante

Director: William Lustig

Cast: Robert Forster, Fred Williamson, Richard Bright

     
 

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The excessive violence in this action thriller makes New York City look like the site of a civil war -- or rather, a nauseatingly uncivil war fought between factory workers allied with neighborhood citizens against their enemies: drug pushers and other low-lifes. At first the worker Eddie Merino (Robert Forster) refuses to join a vigilante movement, but when his wife

Overview

The excessive violence in this action thriller makes New York City look like the site of a civil war -- or rather, a nauseatingly uncivil war fought between factory workers allied with neighborhood citizens against their enemies: drug pushers and other low-lifes. At first the worker Eddie Merino (Robert Forster) refuses to join a vigilante movement, but when his wife is stabbed and his son killed by a Puerto Rican gang, Eddie eventually opts for his own right to kill. His decision is not allowed to come quickly, he is made to agonize a bit longer. When the gang leader (singer Willie Colón) who killed Eddie's son is caught and brought up for trial, he gets off with a suspended sentence because of a corrupt defense lawyer and an inept judge. Eddie attacks the judge in court and is sent to jail for contempt. When he gets out of jail, he becomes a vigilante, out to kill the guilty or those he sees as protecting the guilty in the death of his son. From then on, a non-stop bloodbath takes over as the star of the film.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
After testing the gag reflex of horror fans with the sleazy, gore-drenched excess of Maniac, notorious genre specialist William Lustig turned his attentions from serial killers to vigilantes for this tale of an honest blue-collar worker whose well-grounded principals are violently uprooted by one sickening act of annihilation. Lustig isn't the kind of filmmaker whose frequently sited for his restraint, and the shotgun splatter on display in this tale of inner-city warfare is s prime example of inner-city exploitation at it's most watchable. Having honed his skill for staging sloppy shotgun deaths (with a little help from special make-up effects maestro Tom Savini of course) in the aforementioned schizoid shocker, Lustic here ups the ante by not only placing a pre-adolescent in the line of fire, but refusing to flinch when the child's violently dislodged viscera is sent splattering through a third-story window as well. It's not a pretty site, and though it could be argued that witnessing the child's violent demise may cause the viewer to take greater emotional stake in the father's quest for revenge most viewers will reflexively (and perhaps, rightfully) object to the director's audacious lack of tact. For those willing to buckle themselves in and go along for the ride, on the other hand, it's precisely these kind of shocks that keep the viewer glued to the screen as to not miss a minute of the morbid spectacle - after all, if Lustig's willing to callously smoke a small fry in the opening reels, who knows how far hell go to wrap this whole mess up? Thankfully Lustic has a team of skilled actors to back up his bleak vision, with Robert Forster's damaged stoicism, Fred Williamson's fervent lawlessness, and Willie Colon's cocksure street thug serving well to keep the grim endeavor on the right track. Energetic supporting performances by Joe Spinell as the corrupt defense lawyer and western legend Woody Strode as rock-solid inmate Rake ensure that Vigilante never gets boring, even during the occasional lull in action. It's lean, it's mean, and for fans of revenge flicks, Vigilante delivers a devastating setup and a cathartic release on par with such celebrated retribution classics as Death Wish and Rolling Thunder.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/21/2010
UPC:
0827058700498
Original Release:
1983
Rating:
NR
Source:
Blue Underground
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:29:00
Sales rank:
23,535

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Forster Eddie
Fred Williamson Nick
Richard Bright Burke
Rutanya Alda Vickie
Don Blakely Prago
Joseph Carberry Ramon
Willie Colón Rico
Joe Spinell Eisenberg
Woody Strode Rake
Vincent Beck Judge Sinclair
Bo Rucker Horace
Peter Savage Mr. "T"
Carol Lynley District Attorney Fletcher
Frank Pesce Blueboy
Steve W. James Ptl. Gibbons
Randy Jurgensen Det. Russo
Henry Judd Baker Quinn
Vincent Russo Rubin
Michael Miller Dr. Fallon
Frank Gio Ptl. Shore
Ray Serra Court Officer
Sal Carollo Mr. Nulty
Sandy Alexander Prisoner
Kim Delgado Leon
James Brewster Bobby
Alex Stevens Alex
Ralph Monaco Jake
Nick Barbaro Prison Guard
Harry Madsen Bodyguard
Joseph Winogradoff Policeman #2
Gino Lucci Limo Driver

Technical Credits
William Lustig Director,Producer
Jay Chattaway Score Composer
Andrew Garroni Producer
Randy Jurgensen Associate Producer,Asst. Director
James Lemmo Cinematographer
Lorenzo Marinelli Editor
Jerry Masucci Executive Producer
John Packard Executive Producer
Kenneth Pavia Executive Producer
Mischa Petrow Production Designer
Richard Vetere Screenwriter
Gary Zeller Special Effects

Scene Index

Audio Commentary #1 with Co-Producer/Director William Lustig and Co Producer Andrew W. Garroni; ; Audio Commentary #2 with Co-Producer/Director William Lustig and Stars Robert Forster, Fred Williamson and Frank Pesce; Theatrical Trailers; TV Spots; Radio Spot; Promotional Reel; Still Gallery

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