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[Kill of the Week] Shotgun Blast to the Face in ‘Punisher: War Zone’

Every week, we spotlight a kill that we just can’t get enough of. This is Kill of the Week.

Naturally, the majority of movies that we feature in this segment are horror movies, but every so often a non-horror movie comes along and, well, outdoes most horror movies in the gore department. Punisher: War Zone, directed by Lexi Alexander and released in 2008, is damn sure one of those movies.

Before Jon Bernthal took over the role of Frank Castle in Netflix’s “Daredevil” and now standalone series “The Punisher,” which just debuted its first season today, the character was played by a handful of different actors. Dolph Lundgren first brought Castle to the screen in 1989’s The Punisher, followed by Thomas Jane in 2004’s The Punisher.

But nobody embodied the sheer badassery of the iconic comic book character better than Ray Stevenson, who starred as the vengeful vigilante in Punisher: War Zone.

The body count is insanely high in War Zone, with 100 people losing their lives across the film’s 103 minutes. Stevenson’s Castle goes through bad guys like Jason Voorhees, shooting, blowing up, punching and impaling a seemingly endless array of unlucky victims; the gore approaches Story of Ricky levels, and that’s no exaggeration.

The standout scene of brutality in Punisher: War Zone? Castle and a Special Agent corner a mobster in his home. Guns pointed at him, the agent plans on calling the capture in so the man can be arrested proper. Castle has other plans, however, blasting the mobster’s face clean off with a close-range shotgun blast.

All this while holding a child in his arms. God. Damn.



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COMMENTS

52 Comments
  • Christopher Nickerson

    No thanks. War Zone was good for gore but was a piece of unwatchable shit beyond that. Great cast ruined by awful writing and terrible directing

  • Daniel Anderson

    I don’t think theres a punisher I haven’t liked yet. However Dolph Lundgren will always be the original in my eyes. I even liked War Zone for its own merits. Looking super forward to the new series. Prison scene of Daredevil S2, nuff said.

    • Honestly, I loved all of them except Dolph. He was just too wooden and emotionless to me.

    • Travis_Bickle

      Cosign!

      • Creepshow

        By signing this form, you will have agreed to admittance of liking War Zone (in someway, shape, or form).
        *hands over pen*

  • Travis_Bickle

    Awful movie that nobody should watch.

    • Creepshow

      That’s crazy talk, Bickle.

      • Travis_Bickle

        The Dolph Lundgren Punisher is better

        • Creepshow

          I understand it’s Friday, and you probably started tipping them back already.
          But…That’s crazy drunk talk, Bickle!!!

          • Travis_Bickle

            Dude, he shoots the parkor guy with a missile? Come on now. The Thomas Jane one is better then War Zone.

          • Creepshow

            Well for starters, I didn’t see anyone get hit by a missle in any other Punisher movie. Who doesn’t love that?
            Yeah, Jigsaw was annoying. But there are some serious ass beatings, and gore like no other Frank Castle movie. And I respect the shit out of it, because it was directed by a woman who showed some BALLS.

          • Travis_Bickle

            Female directors can be brutal AF. It’s rad and I hope for more female action movie directors in the future.
            The missile just looks stupid. The guys is flipping through the air. It’s so dumb. IMO though.

          • Creepshow

            Ok, truce. But that flipping dickweed deserved it.

          • Travis_Bickle

            Agreed.

        • IBelievePhonies

          1989 Punisher is entertaining the look for Punisher was from the old school comic books which was fitting for its and budget.

          • Travis_Bickle

            *takes a shot*

    • madchilli

      He’s right!

      • Travis_Bickle

        Thank you!

  • jurgmandr

    Ray stevenson was legit the best punisher in films (as big a fan as I was of tom jane he didn’t really capture the vibe of the garth ennis comics like stevenson did). I don’t get the hate for this film, war zone was a super solid punisher film imo.

    • Creepshow

      Stevenson ruled.

    • IBelievePhonies

      The hate about this version is that it lacked a good plot or characters like the cop friend but Stevenson does truly look like the Punisher from Marvel Knights very brutal look.

  • Creepshow

    One of several blasts to the face. I enjoyed the fat dude in the elevator getting his head cleaned off his shoulders. And lets not forget the great midair rocket launcher shot.

  • I prefer the fist-to-the-face kill, and the opening scene. That’s just me.

    https://youtu.be/cXKOHhSz8-U

    • madchilli

      Why is there no blood on the floor?

    • Travis_Bickle

      Dude, this scene is so DUMB. He starts spinning around upside down? Come on.

      • The whole movie exists in a heightened comic book reality and THAT is drawing the line? He was on a chandelier.

        • Travis_Bickle

          Comic book reality is one thing, and i’m OK with that. This is just a silly action movie trope that looks stupid AF. Also…why doesn’t he just shoot everyone at the table? It’s not like he’s leaving witnesses to talk about how dope it was he hung upside down.

          • Mainly because simply shooting everyone at the table would be less dramatic and more boring. You don’t sound okay with it being in a comic book reality.

            As for why he spun around on a chandelier, that was because he was surrounded on all sides by attackers. It was a matter of necessity. Can you think of a better solution when you are under siege from all sides by oncoming attackers with guns of their own?

          • Travis_Bickle

            I normally don’t find myself in those situations. However, I feel the character wouldn’t intentionally surround himself by standing in the middle of the table. Then again you are right, it’s 100% for dramatic effect. I just think it’s silly IMO

          • “I normally don’t find myself in those situations.”

            It’s a pain in the arse. I’ve already had to delay my wedding 15 times because of this 😉

          • J Jett

            LOL! 🙂

      • IBelievePhonies

        Yes the scene is ridiculous but it is based off a comic book which is also in the comic book but this are the issues between comic books realism vs. fiction and to respect both can be difficult without hurting the fans of the comic books.

        • Travis_Bickle

          every time you say comic book…do a shot!

          • Creepshow

            Ok, what now? Please don’t ask me to drive anywhere though.

    • J Jett

      ok THIS scene convinced me to watch this movie!! LOL. i’ve never seen it but i’m going to now!

  • Thomas Jane, Ray Stevenson, and Jon Bernthal are all great. Hard to pick a favourite.

    Punisher: War Zone is very underrated, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t just swollow anything the studios put out. It was a bloody, entertaining action B-movie that knew what it was (not to mention having style and being faithful to the comics). For some reason, everyone compares it to the big budget superhero movies.

  • Runciter

    One of the rare comic book movies which are actually fun.

  • KnegaKnick

    The dinner scene was so much fun.

  • KnegaKnick

    The Thomas Jane one was weak sauce.

  • Bart Crowe

    The gore in this movie reaches an almost Troma level of absurdity. That scene where Punisher nails that parkour dude with a rocket is hilarious.

    • DC_Fan38

      It is one of the few things I remember from the movie.

    • Werewolf

      GMTA.

  • Werewolf

    I really liked when he hit the Parkour meth head mid-flight with the RPG.

    *POOF* gone….that was classic.

    • MrX13

      Totally unexpected and great for laughs. One of the best scenes ever!

  • EndZero13

    oooh yeah parkouring to rise against, gonna jump this building and then a fence *BOOM*

  • IBelievePhonies

    Nothing will come as close to the black parkour guy who he dropped on a fence and then he jumps down on him snapping his neck. All I can say the War Zone could have been something the violence was exactly as the comic book but not everything in the comic book should be part of the movie because it comes off really silly.

  • J Jett

    i’ve never seen this movie but after watching some of the clips here and reading the comments here i’m excited to watch it tonight! it looks awesome!

    • Evan3

      Oh, it really isn’t. The Thomas Jane one is highly entertaining though! This one is a humorless, boring, generic, blah.

    • MrX13

      This is what a Punisher movie should look like.

      Don’t get me wrong but I do love Jane’s Punisher but this one is more brutal

  • ArmitageX

    I dunno. During that scene, I just can’t take my eyes off that obvious doll Castle is holding.

  • MrX13

    “GOD DAMN IT CASTLE!!” hahaha I love that part. One of the best scenes ever in War Zone! This Punisher movie is right up there with Jane’s Punisher but this one is the best in brutality.

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