The Executioner Part II (1984)
THE EXECUTIONER PART II
WRITER: Renee Harmon
DIRECTOR: James Bryan
STARRING: Chris Mitchum as Roger
Aldo Ray as Police Commissioner
Antione John Mottet as Mike
Renee Harmon as Celia Amhurst
Dan Bradley as Big Dan
Frank Albert as Pete Vance
Bianca Philipi as Laura
Frisco Estes as Antonio Casallas
QUICK CUT: A soldier returns from Vietnam, and has trouble adjusting back to normal, civilian life.
Mike - A Vietnam veteran who comes back from war and doesn't quite find things the same as when he left. He struggles to find his place back in the world, and eventually leads to him trying to clean up the streets. As you do.
Roger - Mike's friend, a detective, and father to Laura. He's a good guy, a rare good cop, and is out to stop the vigilante wrecking his town.
Laura - Roger's daughter, she's high on drugs and desperate for cash.
Kitty - Laura's best friend, whose soul personality trait is that she is so fucking high she laughs at everything. Constantly.
Antonio - The local drug dealer, crime boss, and all around bad guy. He runs Bartertown, and he's also known as the Tattoo Man for some reason. Oh, and he also is into sadomasochism.
TRISK ANALYSIS: Welcome back, Triskelions! I thought this week we would go a bit off the beaten path, and explore a bit of a revenge movie. It's not strictly horror, but it does share elements, and I've done similar movies before. This week is The Executioner, Part II! And here's the thing. There IS No Part One. Does not exist. At all. They thought they would confuse people wanting to see the Exterminator 2. I am not even 100% sure *I* didn't just confuse them. And I'm sure I'll get it wrong at least once in the next thousand words...
The movie takes us through a lengthy opening sequence set in early 70s Vietnam, with a band of brothers being shot at as they try to get to a chopper. This is a long way to start your movie that probably isn't necessary. All you need to know is that Mike and Roger are fellow soldiers, and both come out of the war in very different places.
Roger joins the police force, and Mike...well Mike becomes a mechanic, and we'll see how things go with him.
Oh. And during the battle, we legit hear someone shout out "BANG!" and I'm dying over here.
After they make it to safety, we jump ahead ten years to the modern day of 1980, at a crime scene, as the cops and EMTs deal with a murder. We meet up with Roger investigating, and also Celia the reporter trying to get information from the cops.
The murder has been committed by someone called the Executioner, and he's going through town taking out criminals. Now that we've set him up, we jump to a gang dragging a woman to a roof to rape her, when a man all covered up and probably VERY hot for the LA summer shows up. I guess he's the Executioner.
How does the Executioner know where to go? How does he show up where he does? He's like a slasher who just APPEARS. Or maybe crime is just THAT bad it's everywhere. Walk down the street and run into a rape.
But oh, this guy has the BEST method of killing people. He shoves grenades down their clothes, or in the case of one guy here, he shoves it under the nylons wrapped around his head. Let me emphasize this. The guy is wearing some nylons as a mask, the the Executioner shoves a grenade in there up against his cheek. That guy's head goes BOOM.
There's a brief interlude of a news reporter talking about the Executioner's victims, saying he either shoots his victims, cuts them with glass, or the aforementioned grenade thing. So uh, that's three WILDLY different methods of murder. Why would they assume it's all the same guy? Why aren't they looking for THREE guys, the Executioner, the Grenadier, and the Slasher? Unless there's been enough witnesses describing the same guy...but he's also only killed five people so far.
And we instantly get the news taking the side of, this guy is only killing criminals, so maybe we should just let the vigilante justice play itself out.
We then meet modern day Mike, working at his garage, and up drives Mr. Casallis, who owes him a whopping 64 bucks for repairs. But he ain't gonna pay, because he's eeeevil. Dude, even in 1980, 64 dollars isn't THAT much, and you can spare it. Now you're just being a shit.
Roger stops by to get his car fixed up, and the two war buddies catch up a bit. Then, suddenly, Mike notices a buncha punk kids following Jason Todd's lead and trying to strip down a car right out front.
Mike loses his shit and goes out there to DESTROY these kids. Hmm. I wonder if he knows the Executioner!
Also, the audio in this movie HAS to be dubbed, because it is all kinds of off. And the foley work in every fight is *amazing*.
We then meet a woman, who is gonna turn out to be Roger's daughter, as she meets with a guy to get The Stuff. And look, I know that Stuff is GOOD, but I got an entire movie that says...oh wait, some drugs. Not that they ever tell us WHAT she's hooked on, so it might as well be The Stuff.
But she doesn't have any money and tries to make a deal. However, Pete does offer her the choice to make some money by hooking.
We jump back to Roger being yelled at over the phone because of the Executioner, and Celia shows up with her thick accent because ja ser gut reporter.
From there, it's on to some hooligans making trouble in a mischief montage. Bothering a woman, beating up an old lady, and wrecking a store and injuring the owners.
Also, this looks like the EXACT same group as earlier, which yes many escaped, but I think one is the guy who got his head grenaded. I guess they could only afford one gang of ruffians.
The owner stumbles out the door calling for help, beaten and bloody, as one of the punks comes over to finish the job. But never fear, the Executioner hears all the cries of the oppressed, and HE IS THERE!
And this time, the Executioner tosses a grenade down Discount Paul Reiser's pantsleg, probably right to his crotch, and he goes all to pieces. Aww nuts.
One of the other punks just so happens to find his way to Mike's auto shop, and something triggers Mike and he begins to have PTSD flashbacks which cause him to go grab a gun.
Whhhy do we see him having the flashbacks NOW, and beginning a killing spree, when we've already seen "The Executioner" killing people? Is he a different guy? Is this a trigger situation that keeps happening, and this is just the first we've seen?
Of course, this movie is so nightmarishly edited, who knows??
Meanwhile, we catch back up with Laura, whose friend convinces her to start hooking so she can get her Stuff and stop whining about it. So her friend calls Pete to set things up.
On the 'nightmarishly edited' front again, these two conversations don't quite match up. But I'll let that slide since the girls are both fuckin' high as balls.
I'll also say, for a movie that deals with sex and drugs so much, and borders on exploitation, they go out of their way to NEVER show a single breast in this movie.
And MORE nightmarish editing, as Laura is on the phone with Kitty, needing her drugs, and IT CUTS TO PETE. And if that isn't bad enough (it is!) Laura agrees to give in to the hustling lifetyle. BUT SHE ALREADY DID THAT.
This movie is one giant shit show of a mess.
We then find Mike still hunting through the urban jungle for the punk who snuck into his garage. And this time he's not all Executionered up, for no particular reason.
Nightmarish editing, continued. Mike picks up a box and swings it at the gangbanger, and instantly the scene replays. How did this stuff happen?
Back with Laura, Kitty drops her off at Pete's and shouts out, "I got a new one for ya!" Did...didn't we already establish this? TWICE??
Pete takes her in, shoots her up with The Stuff, and hands her off to his regular girls to get her ready. And they take great offense at her being drugged. While I respect girls protecting girls, it still feels really weird.
But in the scuffle, Laura runs off, Pete shouting about his precious virgin escaping. This movie is just plain weird.
Roger drives off to the latest scene of a few homicides that I breezed past Mike committing, and gets yelled at by the commissioner. Oh, and also, they found some broken glass used to murder the guy, and they check it for prints.
Oh and there's a minor subplot with the reporter's good press for the Executioner being an embarrassment for the city officials, so they try to deal with her, but none of it really matters and is more padding. Especially since the reporter is also the movie's writer...
Roger checks in on Mike, getting a suspicion he might be the guy because uh... *shrug emoji!* He also notices Mike's hand is cut, so HE MUST BE THE GUY. I mean yes, he IS, but it's still a leap. Roger also grabs a glass Mike touched, to see if the prints match. And they do, so yeah.,
Since Laura ran away last night, Pete isn't happy, so he shows up to kidnap Laura and give her an introduction to hooking class.
So, to recap. Roger's daughter has been kidnapped. Her friend is trying and failing to reach anyone for help. Roger knows Mike is the vigilante. We are all set to rocket into the final act. And what does the movie do? Slow way the fuck down and people just kinda aimlessly wander. This COULD drive some tension, as things are dangerous for most characters, and with the right music it would work. But this score goes full on laid back, and it defuses eeeeverything.
Mike and Roger do have a REALLY good scene together, as Mike rants about coming home, but it doesn't FELL like home. You really feel for the guy, and even though it is WAY overacted, it still hits the right notes and tone, more often than not.
The Executioner is on the edge, and is so close to eating his own gun, but Roger talks him down. He gives his friend three hours to...y'kow, he never says. Clean up evidence? Get out of town? Stop killing? Make any final kills? *shrug emoji!*
Celia finally checks her messages, hear Kitty's frantic call, and calls Mike to clue him in on his missing daughter. But one of Antonio's goon squad shows up and kidnaps her.
Somehow MIKE gets the call at the garage and...I don't even know. But this sends him off on his latest revenge spree, because now it's personal. Or personal adjacent.
Meanwhile, Pete gets Laura ready to meet with the Tattoo Man, and they have Celia in custody, and everyone is slowly circling in on this place to wrap this mess up.
There's MORE bad editing with a random scene of different people that then disappear from the room for other people...
While we wait for the plot to catch up, we get some bits of Antonio torturing Laura with cigarettes and such in the meantime, and some of the goon molesting the reporter.
Mikescutioner arrives, beats a guy with a toaster, and as he advances on the enemy, Celia asks her captor to untie her. And the idiot DOES. He gets what's coming to him...
Our hero crashes in, beats people up, and Antonio tries to make a deal. But Mike ain't having it, and leaves a HUGE pile of dynomite right next to the bad guy. If Tony doesn't wake up, he is gonna go BOOM.
Laura urges Mike to go save Celia, but she got this. As the reporter is untied, she grabs the RANDOM KATANA ON THE WALL and finishes the guy off.
The explosion goes off, and we cut to the commissioner going apeshit and dressing down Roger, until he points out that the Executioner saves Roger's daughter. The chief has the FASTEST mood swing ever and is like "That's right! How is she??"
Roger assures the chief he'll catch the guy, and he has one last meeting with Mike, telling Executioner never to be seen again...at least, not in THIS city.
And with that, there is really only one way to end this review...
Video: This looks...REALLY good, for an obscure early 80s flick like this. Great job on cleaning it up and giving it a great transfer.
Audio: It's a mono track, but it works well enough. I mean, considering the audio and foley is hilarious rerecorded.
Sound Bite: "You're letting my virgin get away!!"
Body Count: The best part of this movie is all the murder that occurs. There could've been more, but this is a nice amount.
0 - Look, I'm sure SOMEone died in that war scene, but I'll be damned if I know who.
1 - Someone dies off screen as the present day kicks in.
2 - Rapist gets his head exploded with a grenade
3 - Gangbanger gets exploded
4 - Gangbanger gets his neck slit with a broken bottle.
5 - Tattooed Tony is dymomite!
6 - So much so that another guy in the apartment goes with him.
7 - Other guy attacking the reporter gets katanaed
Best Corpse: I am partial to that grenade in the nylons.
Blood Type - D: It's got a bit of blood here and there, and it's fine, but ultimately unimpressive.
Sex Appeal: I boggle at this having zero sex appeal to comment on. Some of the guys get shirtless, that's it!
Drink Up! every time the same stock explosion appears.
Movie Review: This is a rough one. There is a basic okay story buried in their somewhere. But the editing and writing is pretty laughable. I feel like some scenes are out of order, and there might be a better narrative lurking around. It's also pretty standard, and there's better movies of this sort. Two out of five tattoos.
Entertainment Value: I only scratched the surface. I didn't get into a lot of silly details. I didn't mention the attack couch. This movie has some very slow moments, and I was a little down on it the first time I watched it for this review. But when I did my rewatch, I came around a bit more, and really started noticing little things, like the editing, and some of the attempts at pathos. It's got something there, and I was nicely entertained. Three out of five hand grenades.