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The Punisher (1989)
Reviewed by Gary Mitchel, Joe Crowe, Jason Myers, © 2004

Format: Movie
By:   Mark Goldblatt (Director)
Genre:   Comic Book Movie
Review Date:   April 23, 2004
Audience Rating:   R
RevSF Rating:   2/10 (What Is This?)
Joe Crowe: Hey dudes (if I may be so bold), either of you seen the Dolph Lundgren Punisher recently enough to slap together a review of it? I think it'd be a good companion piece to the new Punisher, like Sneezy did for Dawn of the Dead.

Sneezy the Squid: Well, I guess that means enough people turned to page 106. Good, because I didn't want to be a mixed-up zombie anyway. As for the Dolph-isher flick, I haven't seen it in years, and I've tried to scourge it from memory.

Jason Myers: I totally refuse to watch that again.

Sneezy: While I admit it is part of why Marvel Comics films had the suck reputation before X-Men came out, it wasn't the worst Marvel film made <cough>FantasticFour<cough>.

Jason: According to Stan Lee, Fantastic Four wasn't made with any intention of releasing it. They made it for legal reasons to retain the movie rights.

Sneezy: Well, if you were to scratch that one off of the "Worst" list, I think Punisher is still better than the Captain America travesty.

Jason: Granted.

Joe: I own two out of three of these (not Punisher), and it behooves me to write reviews of them, just for the sake of completism. But at the moment, I would need about a bajillion extra hours. Which means one of you two has to do Punisher. So to speak.

Jason: I don't think my friends and I watched that movie the whole way through, and that was in the days when I'd actually watch Steven Seagal movies (not rent them, mind you. Just watch them if someone else rented them).

Sneezy: Hey! I like a few of Seagal's flicks. Under Siege rocks!

Jason: You're thinking of the Erika Eleniak scene. Stop it. In the battle of the aging white martial artists, I give odds on Jean Claude Van Damme. At least Hard Target is half decent. Seagal's best work to date is that commercial where he goes into a convenience store and accidentally beats up the guys who are robbing the place.

Joe: Sneezy, since you like Seagal flicks, that means you can write the Dolph Punisher review. I'll be seeing the new Punisher and doing its review. Mmmmm... Travolta.

Jason: Whew.

Sneezy: FILK!

Sneezy: I think I have it on tape here somewhere ...

Okay, here we go.

Oh God, this is bad. I had forgotten how bad. He's riding a motorcycle through the New York sewers. And they look awfully clean to be New York sewers. On the other hand, they did made Dolph look grungy in this. Did they use motor oil to get his hair that color?

Hey, it's one of the few good things in this flick, the ex-actor Shakespeare quoting wino/ informant. He was neat.

Hmmm, Dolph's done a real good job of dropping his Teutonic accent, which neither Schwarzenegger nor Van Damme have ever been able to do. Maybe he should go into politics. Wait, is Dolph from the U.S. or not? Time to IMDB. I wonder if I should pause the flick while I look ... No, I don't think so.


According to this he's from Stockholm, Sweden. There he attended the Royal Institute of Technology and has a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney.

Wow. Smart guy.

Jason: Smarter than us three put together.

Sneezy: Not smart enough to turn down this flick.

Jason: He's dumber than dirt. Retarded dirt even.

Sneezy: Wait, there's Louis Gossett Jr... . Where's he been since this flick? I wonder if this was supposed to be a comeback role after Iron Eagle?

Jason: Iron Eagle rules! Okay, well, maybe it doesn't rule, but it's better than The Punisher. Hell, I'd be willing to bet Iron Eagle III is better than The Punisher.

Sneezy: So Louis has been after Frank Castle, a.k.a. the Punisher, ever since the mob killed Frank's family, which sent Frank on a murder spree against the criminal underworld. Frank's killed 125 people in five years? Reminds me of that Eddie Izzard routine. "Your date book must be interesting: Death, death, breakfast, death, death, death, lunch, death, death, afternoon tea, death, death... ."

Why couldn't I be watching that? That's one funny comedian. I wonder if that show is out on DVD?

Dolph is killing mooks at the docks. Where's his damn skull shirt? What, they couldn't afford the t-shirt? You can get them for sixteen bucks at any comic shop! Oh, there's the skull, it's on the end of his daggers. Lame.

Can't focus. I wonder how many DVDs I own now. One, two, three... . One hundred and four. Not too bad a collection. Should organize them better. At least I have all my horror flicks together.

Ninjas? Oh, the Yakuza. That's right, the 80s. Ninjas were everywhere. God, the American Ninja flicks. They make this look like Under Siege. Ugh. Someone should be punished just for making me remember those. What was the one movie with Sho Kosugi where the evil ninja possessed the hot chick and used her to kill people.... I think I'd rather be watching that flick. Hard call for me to make there.

What the hell, did someone glue toothpicks to a golf ball? That's supposed to kill someone? What's wrong with just using throwing stars?

Oh, the head mob guy... what all has he been in... Oh yeah, the guy who ordered Harrison Ford's wife dead in The Fugitive. Great flick. Tommy Lee Jones owns that movie.

So the Yakuza wants to wipe out the Mob and take over by holding the head mob people's kids hostage. Well, the Yakuza does have those ninjas.

How the hell did Frank get that bug into the mob meeting room, much less run the wire down to the sewer... My brain hurts.

I had forgotten the look on his face when he unloads the M60 in the casino ... who on earth thought that was a cool look? Now Frank is going to work with the mob guys to fight the Yakuza to save the "innocent" kids. Why is everything red? Is the tape messed up? Gah. That's it, I can't take anymore ... Hey Joe!

Jason: Where you goin' with that gun in your hand?

Joe: Gonna shoot my old lady.

Sneezy: Hey Joe!

Jason: Whaddya know?

Joe: We need a hit, so here I go.

Jason: Joe, Joe DimagiCrowe, we want you on our side.

Sneezy: Stop going off on tangents.

Jason: But I need the tangents. Just listening to you talking about that lousy film is giving me narcolepsy.

Sneezy: Anyway, here's the review. Except for a few scant bits, it's not good. VERY not good.

Jason: Are you talking about the movie, or this review?

Sneezy: Hey, you wanna write it?

Jason: You're doing a great job. I love the review. I love the whole thing. Four thumbs up.

Joe: What about the DVD Extras?

Sneezy: <mumbles>

Joe: What?

Sneezy: I said, I saw it on DVD at Wal-Mart for 5 bucks, but I ain't buying it.

Jason: I have to support him on this, Joe.

Joe: But we need those features checked out or this meandering review is just a waste of web space!

Jason: No, it's not. People now know to avoid this piece of crap, and learned a valuable lesson.

Joe: Which is?

Jason: There is only so much Punishment a person can be expected to take.

Joe: You know the rule. Each Pun means 20 push-ups.

Sneezy: You mean the ice-cream kind?

Joe: I'll make you both watch Fantastic Four.

Sneezy: 1... 2... 3....

Jason: 1... 2... 3.... Hey, Joe, shouldn't you be down here too?

Joe: Why?

Jason: 4... 5... 6... Look. Right here: Joe says, "Each Pun means 20 push-ups."

Joe: Hmmm, I could have sworn that I didn't capitalize that "P".

Jason: Behold the power of final edit.

Joe: Hey, no fair.

Jason: 7... 8... 9... Talk the floor, funny boy.

Joe: Wheeee! Exercise is fun!

Sneezy's Movie Rating: 1 out of 10
Joe's Movie Rating: 2 out of 10
Jason's Movie Rating: "I abstain."
Gary "Sneezy the Squid" Mitchel, Joe Crowe and Jason Myers are afraid to write a funny byline because someone might make them do more push-ups.

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