The Punisher is a 1989 superhero film based on the The Punisher. It was directed by Mark Goldblatt, and released by New World Pictures. This is the first live-action Punisher movie to be filmed. The next attempt, the 2004 Punisher film featuring Thomas Jane and the 2008 reboot featuring Ray Stevenson.
Frank Castle is the city's most wanted, and most mysterious, vigilante, known as "The Punisher". He has killed 125 people in the last 5 years. In reality, the Punisher is Frank Castle, an ex-police officer whose family was murdered in a mob hit. Living in the sewers and waging a one-man war against organized crime, his only friend is an old alcoholic named Shake. Now legally declared dead, he strikes back from beyond the grave, killing mobsters wherever he can find them. Because of this, the mobsters' families have weakened, forcing Gianni Franco, one of the leaders of one of the Mafia families, to come in and take control of the families. Franco has a plan to bring the families together as one unit. However, this has attracted the attention of the Yakuza, Asia's most powerful crime syndicate, led by Lady Tanaka, who decide to take over the families and all their interests. In order to sway the mobsters to their cause, they kidnap their children and hold them for ransom in order to bring the American underworld under their control. Now the Punisher must fight to save the lives of the children of the people he has fought against for five years, while at the same time fighting alongside the man who killed his family.
Shake pleads with the Punisher to save the children, who are likely to be sold into childhood slavery no matter what their criminal parents do. While he is able to save most of the children, the Mafia leader's son is taken away to the Yakuza headquarters. Furthermore, the Punisher is taken into custody by the police, only to be freed by Franco's men. Franco persuades the Punisher to help him save his son, and stop the Japanese criminal underworld from taking root in America.
Franco and the Punisher raid the Yakuza headquarters, fight and kill all the thugs and Yakuza, including Lady Tanaka and her daughter. Upon being reunited with his son, Franco betrays the Punisher in an effort to kill him, but the Punisher wins the duel, killing Franco. As the police arrive, Castle warns Franco's son not to follow the sins of his father, and vanishes from the scene.
- Dolph Lundgren as Frank Castle / The Punisher
- Louis Gossett, Jr. as Jake Berkowitz
- Jeroen Krabbé as Gianni Franco
- Kim Miyori as Lady Tanaka
- Bryan Marshall as Dino Moretti
- Nancy Everhard as Sam Leary
- Barry Otto as Shake
- Brian Rooney as Tommy Franco
- Zoshka Mizak as Tanaka's Daughter
- Larry McCormick as TV Newsreader
- Kenji Yamaki as Sato
- Todd Boyce as Terrone
- Hirofumi Kanayama as Tomio
- Lani John Tupu as Laccone
- John Negroponte as Musso
|Released Films||1989 | 2004 | War Zone|
|Cancelled Films||The Punisher 2 | Punisher: War Zone 2|