FILM OF THE WEEK-4/29/13: THE PUNISHER (1989)
Frank Castle, a veteran cop who loses his entire family to a mafia car bomb, has become THE PUNISHER… a shadowy, invincible fighter against evil who lives for total revenge on his mob enemies. Only his ex-partner believes Castle survived the blast. Lashing out from a labyrinth of subterranean sewers, THE PUNISHER leads a heavily armed raid into a world of brutal crime and savage retribution. A world where only one thing is certain…the guilty will be punished.
Several years ago, Dolph Lundgren started making an even bigger name for himself, appearing in Sylvester Stallone’s all-star action blowout, The Expendables, and director John Hyams’s re-envisioning of the classic Deveraux vs. Scott rivalry in the Jean-Claude Van Damme starrer, Universal Soldier: Regeneration, followed by Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning with Scott Adkins in the lead. And still, after decades of a continually lucrative career in the film industry, Lundgren is taking on Asia with Ong Bak’s Tony Jaa and David Ismalone, along with Conan Stevens in their new 1950’s western martial arts action adventure, A Man Will Rise.
Yes, it seems the years have been good to Lundgren and action fans everywhere. He is one of the best action heroes and film icons who continue to live for his fans, doing what he does best. And if you have ever been an action fan in your entire life, full-fledged sickness he dispersed in bringing The Punisher from comic book to the big screen for the first time in 1989, long before Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson were cast for later films reinterpreting the dark hero.
The Punisher is one milestone of many that makes everything we love about action movies of the 80’s and 90’s so memorable, featuring a great cast and a phenomenal and iconic film with incredible set pieces, with explosive gun battles, fisticuffs, and some of the most lethal femme fatale action ever seen on film. Director Mark Goldblatt serves us the action starring Lundgren along with Louis Gossett Jr., Jeroen Krabbé, Kim Miyori, Bryan Marshall, Nancy Everhard, Barry Otto and Brian Rooney.
There has since been many versions of the film made available on DVD and Blu Ray; As recently as the beginning of April, a newer version was released on BluRay in the U.K. Last week however, I caught onto something that Dolph declared “could well become the definitive PUNISHER edition”.
Here is the run down of the newest version, available from the German website, D&T.
•BLU-RAY: R-rated version (89min) & uncut version (90min)
•DVD: Unrated Version (86min)
•Bonus DVD: Workprint (about 94 minutes)
•20-page booklet by Thomas Witzler
•Exclusive produced audio commentary with Mark Goldblatt
•Gag Reel (about 6 minutes)
•Gallery with rare promotional material
I know what you are thinking, and I feel your pain. So hopefully you know people who know people who can speak German and send you a PAL copy and a Region B disc player. 😉
In the meantime, Lundgren is also heading back to the big screen soon for his third appearaence with Adkins in the Eric Styles film, Legendary: Tomb Of The Dragon, which is set for a 3D screening at Cannes this May, according to a report from Martial Arts Movie Junkie.
Styles tweeted a photo as he announced completion of audio mixing on Sunday, thus signaling the film’s near post-production completion.
Check back for news updates on Legendary, and other stories. And do get your copy of The Punisher in the link above if you can.
By the way, happy belated birthday Eric!
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.
DOLPH - The Ultimate Guide
April 29, 2013 @ 8:41 am
It's "Legendary: Tomb Of The Dragon" (no need for "Emperor"). 😉
April 29, 2013 @ 9:21 am
Whoa lol, thanks for correcting. Bad habit. Lol