"Vigilante (1983/Blu-ray/Blue Underground)" Review

New York City factory worker Eddie Marino (Robert Forster, Oscar nominee for JACKIE BROWN) is a solid citizen and regular guy, until the day a sadistic street gang brutally assaults his wife and murders his child. But when a corrupt judge sets the thugs free, Eddie goes berserk and vows revenge. Now there's a new breed of marauder loose on the city streets, enforcing his own kind of law. His justice is swift. His methods are violent. He is the VIGILANTE.

 Review: For sometime I have heard that Vigilante is nothing but a ripoff of Death Wish and not worth the time. I can tell you after giving it a viewing that it really isn't. The only thing it has in common is that a man takes out revenge on a local gang after they kill his child and nearly kill his wife. Yes that sounds alot like the plot for Death Wish I will give those people that, but this film has a more gritty and down to earth feeling to it. I actually feel more for the guy in this film than I did for Charles Bronson's character. I think it's because he is a average joe factory worker. Aside from him I really liked seeing Fred "The Hammer" Williamson in this film as well, he is always awesome on screen.
I should of known that this film would be as good as it was because it had director William Lustig. He has done many other films that I simply love like Maniac Cop & Maniac. He always uses a very gritty and grimy side of New York City as his backdrop for the films he does which just makes the film have that much more better of atmosphere to it and it makes it feel that much more authentic and realistic. Like I said before Fred Williamson is in Vigilante cast as a man who has had enough with the gang that is infesting his neighborhood and gets back at them with a group of other citizens. There is also an appearance by Joe Spinell who Lustig also used in Maniac, this time he plays a crooked lawyer. I cannot forget Robert Forster as Eddie Marino the man who is out for revenge.
One thing I can say is that Vigilante is much more brutal and in your face than Death Wish was. Lets just say there is a few people who practically get ripped in half by shotguns and two cops get shredded by a gang with guns. To top that off you also get a very cool cat and mouse car chase through the streets of New York. For anyone who is a fan of revenge films and exploitation will no doubt love what Vigilante has to show. This film was truly enjoyable and kept my attention better than most films like it ever did. Like you would expect I highly reccomend this film and also I think anyone else who has been pushed away from it for being a so called ripoff of Death Wish give it a chance you won't regret it!
Now for the picture quality and audio quality I think that Blue Underground has once again went above and beyond the call and did a fantastic job of cleaning up this film, but no to the point of destroying the look and gritty feel it has. The audio is quite great as well, it's clear and very clean. Along with the great presentation you get Trailers, TV Spots, Radio Spot, 2 Commentaries, Still Gallery and a Promotional Reel. Once again great job Blue Underground!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: William Lustig
Genre: Exploitation
Blu-Ray Release Year: 2010
Theatrical Release Year: 1983
Time Length: 89 mins.
Company: Blue Underground 
Website: www.blue-underground.com