EXTERMINATOR 2 (1984) Reviews and overview

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‘The gangs are back on the streets… So is Ginty – burning with a vengeance!’

Exterminator 2 is a 1984 American thriller film about a flamethrower-wielding vigilante who returns to rid New York City of more crime gangs. The movie is obviously a sequel to The Exterminator (1980).

Written and directed by Mark Buntzman (producer of The Exterminator) with ‘additional scenes’ written and directed by William Sachs (Spooky House; Galaxina; The Incredible Melting Man), the movie stars Robert Ginty, Mario Van Peebles, Deborah Geffner and Frankie Faison.


Exterminator 2 is terrific. It’s entertaining as all hooha, and it’s precisely the kind of movie you can see yourself just putting on when there’s nothing else to watch. It isn’t great, it may not even be a good movie, but it works enough to make it worth your while.” 411 Mania

“The pacing isn’t that great in the mid-section with a bit too much romance, but I suppose it’s needed to show the motivation for why Johnny is gonna set a few bad guys on fire in the finale […] The music is hilariously bad though and is really off-putting in some places…” The Action Elite

“One must go into this film expecting cheesy revenge film, similarly toned to other Cannon film productions (especially Death Wish 3). The acting is bad and the plot is cliché, but that all adds to the fun. People expecting a serious sequel with the tone of the first film might be a little disappointed but fans of cheesy violent action films will have a ball.” Blood Brothers

“The real goofball star of the show this time out is Van Peebles, who looks ridiculous decked out in what appears to be some sort of football padding and a frizzy hair cut. Frankie Faison is amusing too, as are the random break-dancers that appear sporadically throughout the movie. All in all, this one works well.” DVD Talk

“much of what is loveable about this film depends on its awfulness. The love scene, with its pastel backgrounds, insipid soundtrack and actors who look half asleep, is a grindhouse-style classic. The gangster who goes to showdowns wearing roller skates is particularly funny, and, well, there’s that truck… Not so much a sizzling thriller as an idea that’s gone up in smoke.” Eye for Film

Exterminator 2 is just one wasted opportunity after another. There’s no character development at all. It’s as if they felt it was all covered in The Exterminator, so there’s no need […] The Mafia angle is dropped as soon as it has served its purpose.” The Gentlemen’s Guide to Midnite Cinema

”  …the action, especially in the finale, isn’t bad. Lots of explosions, flame thrower action, and submachine guns blasting on full auto. It culminates of course with Eastman and X battling mano e mano, but this itself is goofy — though what other movie could you name that features flame-thrower versus Uzi? All told, this is a forgettable movie done cheaply and quick…” Glorious Trash

” …exhibits all the tell-tale signs of a troubled production:  choppy editing, mismatched shots, obvious stock footage, continuity errors, superfluous padding, blatant gaffes (co-star Frankie Faison looks straight into the camera twice in one scene) and most noticeably, the complete absence of star Robert Ginty for the last twenty minutes of the film.” Good Efficient Butchery

“Discriminating audiences will make a point of shunning this movie, and seekers of kicks will find its bluish hue, slapdash writing, fifth-rate comic-book characters and unimaginative editing to be indicators of genuine inferiority even in its own league.” The New York Times, September 15, 1984

“Far from another Cannon extravaganza, Exterminator 2 is a cheap, aimless effort that hardly bothers to even engage in trashy exploitation. For a movie that hardly features much of a plot, it manages to feel ridiculously contrived due to the prominence of a garbage truck that figures into the plot much more than it should…” Oh, the Horror!

“It’s always easy to laugh at goofs, but they’re just part of being a human, what’s more impressive with Exterminator 2 is how they, considering the very thin script, is keeping up the pace and delivers quite a lot of entertainment. Sure, there’s some scenes drawn out in absurdity (like X’s speech and the love scene between Ginty and Geffner), probably because they had to make the movie come up in a certain length.” Schmollywood Babylon

Exterminator 2 is a silly and tiresome revenge actioner. Mark Buntzman, who produced the original, here wears (and shares with William Sachs) too many hats, ending up with a contradictory mishmash. Generally, the sadistic element of the first film (which had Ginty ingeniously feeding bad guys to a meatgrinder, etc.) has been toned down.” Variety

“As much fun as Exterminator 2 is, it really falls apart in the second half. The extended chase between Exterminator and X goes on far too long, and the flick suffers from some poor editing; especially in the truck scenes […], Robert Ginty is once again excellent as John Eastland. Some of the material with his crippled girlfriend veers into Lifetime Channel territory, but he still delivers the goods.” The Video Vacuum

“What makes the film very exciting are its action-filled sequences, especially when the Exterminator unloads setting thugs on fire with his flame thrower […] While Cannon’s Exterminator 2 is quite the 80’s action gem, one can only hope someday we could see the original vision Mark Buntzman had with this vigilante film.” World Film Geek

Cast and characters:

Robert Ginty … John Eastland
Mario Van Peebles … X
Deborah Geffner … Caroline
Frankie Faison … Be Gee
Scott ‘Slo-motion’ Randolph … Eyes (as Scott Randolf)
Reggie Rock Bythewood … Spider
Bruce Smolanoff … Red Rat
David Buntzman … Head Mafioso
Kenny Marino … Tony
Derek Evans … Squealer
Irwin Keyes … Monster
Robert Louis King … Philo
Arye Gross … Turbo
Janet Rotblatt … Mom
Steffen Zacharias … Pop

Filming locations:

Los Angeles and Vernon, California
Central Park and Times Square, Manhattan, New York City, New York

Filming dates:

From 11th October 1983

Fun facts:

The Cannon Group rejected writer-director Mark Buntzman’s original cut of the film, so they hired William Sachs for reshoots in Los Angeles.


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