Monday, June 24, 2024

The Moment I Feared: Part 9

Watching a bootleg copy back in the day of James Glickenhaus's classic vigilante thriller The Exterminator (1980) at a mate's house might have been the first X rated film for your host. Didn't get to see the whole film the first time as my friend's older sister turned off the VHS player so she could watch Little House on the Prairie (1974 - 1983) on TV — the Philistine! It was too late, The Exterminator poured enough nightmare fuel into my mental tank to leave a fearful impression for decades.

The pre-credits PoW camp sequence featuring a gruesome decapitation was frightening enough, but it was mafioso boss Gino Pontivini being lowered into an industrial meat grinder and ending up as potential spag bol that brought pure terror to a young Sparty. The screams are still haunting.

It was also the sequence where Robert Ginty uttered the line "If you're lying, I'll be back!". Heads like myself have often pondered whether Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous quote might have been lifted from The Exterminator. The infamous line would also appear as text on some of the film's promotional posters. What is an absolute certainty is Robert Ginty never looked anywhere near like the Mad Max style biker on the posters. Regardless, The Exterminator will always be a B-movie classic and deserves its spot in the vigilante movie hall of fame


Kelvin Mack10zie said...

One of those movies I saw on shop shelves countless times but never watched.

Just peeped the meat grinder scene. So glad I didn't see that as a kid 😬

Spartan said...

Ironicaly, I would see posters of The Exterminator 2 (1984) on the way to school. A film I only ever watched for the first time around a decade ago.

Always used to see Commando, Eliminators and Ninja III: The Domination on the shelves in a bunch of local video shops near me.