Vigilante (1983)

Vigilante (1983) movie poster

director William Lustig
viewed: 10/02/2018

1970s level NYC Grit in 1983 permeates William Lustig’s Vigilante, a hot button exploitation thriller starring Fred Williamson and Robert Forster.

Not the first vigilante flick, and certainly not the last vigilante flick, it’s not quite as conventional as you might assume.

Williamson leads a vigilante gang in regular acts of vengeful violence back at the ruthless lowlifes that rule the roost in an ungoverned swath of the Big Apple before Rudy Giuliani “cleansed” it. But it takes a stint in prison for good guy Forster to become radicalized to criminal violence after the brutalization of his wife and the murder of his child.

Impotent rage pops a Viagra and firearms. The car bombing of the judge in the end feels the most anarchic and political of the revenge statements. Interestingly, at this day and age, the violence against a jurist feels much less justified and more terroristic.

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