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The Vindicator (film)

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Director  Jean-Claude Lord
Music director  Paul Zaza
Language  English
5/10 IMDb

Genre  Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Screenplay  David Preston, Edith Rey
Country  Canada
The Vindicator (film) movie poster
Release date  February 14, 1986 (1986-02-14)
Writer  Edith Rey (original screenplay), David Preston (original screenplay)
Cast  David McIlwraith (Carl Lehman alias Frankenstein), Teri Austin (Lauren Lehman), Richard Cox (Alex Whyte), Pam Grier (Hunter), Maury Chaykin (Burt Arthus), Catherine Disher (Catherine Collins)
Similar movies  Mad Max: Fury Road, RoboCop, Turkey Shoot, Saturn 3, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Mezzo Forte
Tagline  They thought they took his he wants theirs. Invincible. Unstoppable. Indestructible. He's out on the street and out of control!

The Vindicator (also known as Frankenstein '88 and known in Brazil as Roboman) is a 1986 Canadian science fiction film directed by Jean-Claude Lord. The film is a modern-day retelling of the classic Frankenstein story set in the 1980s. It involves a man who was killed in an accident in a laboratory, but revived as part of an experiment as a cyborg. The film was released by 20th Century Fox and released on video by Key Video (a division of CBS/FOX Video), and is now out of print. The special effects were by Stan Winston. Despite numerous plot similarities, and most notably some nearly verbatim key scenes to the film RoboCop, The Vindicator was written and filmed several years prior to either's release.


The Vindicator (film) movie scenes

As of 2012, the only known DVD release is in Brazil, where it is known as "Roboman".

The Vindicator (film) movie scenes

B movie roll out the vindicator 1986


The Vindicator (film) The Vindicator 1986 New High Quality Version Full Movie HQ English

Carl Lehman (David McIlwraith) is a scientist working on a next-generation space suit for the ARC corporation, run by the sinister Alex Whyte (Richard Cox), where all kinds of high-tech research is being conducted. One of these projects is developing "rage program" software that can sense when a user is provoked/endangered and take over its brain to destroy the attacker and then return to normal once the threat has been eliminated. The software is shown to be tested on monkeys, one of which dies after Whyte who, out of curiosity, has the rage factor turned up beyond safe levels.

The Vindicator (film) Canuxploitation Review The Vindicator

After Carl confronts Whyte about some suspicious funding cuts, Whyte sends his employee Massey to rig an explosion in Carl's lab to kill him and disguise the death as a lab accident.

The Vindicator (film) THE VINDICATOR 1986 The Betamax Rundown

ARC informs Carl's pregnant wife Lauren (Teri Austin) and daughter Catherine (Catherine Disher) that Carl has died. In reality, Whyte is keeping Carl's charred body in a suspension of oxygenating fluid which keeps his brain functioning. Using Carl's space suit and ARC's cutting-edge prosthetics technology, they build Carl a cyborg body and dub him "Project Frankenstein". The rage program is also installed, with a remote control unit acting as a safeguard. The reanimation initially fails, so researcher Gail Vernon (Lynda Mason Green) disassembles the suit. After the remote control unit is removed, a short circuit causes Carl to suddenly revive. When she tries to reinstall his control unit, he pushes Gail away. She falls onto a control panel, which releases all of the lab monkeys. They attack Gail in a rage and kill her.

The Vindicator (film) Canuxploitation Review The Vindicator

Carl sneaks out of the building and stows away on a garbage truck, which drops him into an incinerator. His flight suit is burned away, revealing the cybernetic prosthetics underneath. However, thanks to his immense strength, he is able to break out and heads for his residence. On the way, some street thugs chase him into an alley. When they attack him, his suit activates and sends him into a rage and he brutally overpowers and kills all of them. Realizing that the rage program forbids close contact with people, he talks to his wife from outside their house through a faulty ground wire in the synthesizer in their living room that they had earlier discovered receives radio signals.

The Vindicator (film) Canuxploitation Review The Vindicator

Later, the thugs' bodies are discovered and Whyte. Fearing a police investigation of Project Frankenstein, he hires the elite assassin Hunter (Pam Grier) to track down and eliminate Carl.

The next day, Lauren visits Carl's colleague and friend Burt Arthurs (Maury Chaykin) to tell him about her conversation with Carl. Burt shows her security footage of the accident to convince her of Carl's death. In the evening, Carl's voice comes over the synthesizer again; this time, however, Whyte's accomplice Kessler is monitoring them. Carl learns that Massey signed his autopsy report and death certificate, and sets out to confront him. At his home, secured by Hunter's forces, Massey is snorting cocaine and evicting his girlfriend Lisa, when Carl appears to interrogate him. In doing so, Carl learns that if he can get to the suit's programming, he can remove the rage program. Massey shoots Carl in panic, which causes Carl to again lose control and he throws Massey out of the window. Lisa bears witness, so Hunter kills her to cover up the project.

Carl flees down the sewers, and Hunter gives pursuit along with her men. They corner Carl, and their guns damage his life-support system. Carl defends himself by ripping open a gas line and manages to incinerate Hunter's men as well as Kessler, then escapes. Hunter confronts Whyte, who had not disclosed the Frankenstein enhancements, and he admits that the enhanced Carl is nearly indestructible. Meanwhile, Carl arranges a meeting with Lauren by coded message. Upset over his grotesque appearance, he exhorts her to leave him and move far away. He also asks her to summon Burt's help, which she does. Carl meets with him but, unbeknownst to Carl, Burt has betrayed him and is working for Whyte and the two have set a trap for Carl. He falls through a weakened floor into a trap of quick-setting resin. Whyte sends the block of resin to ARC, but Carl's strength prevails and he breaks out during transport. Meanwhile, Whyte tells Burt that he has to get rid of Lauren as well if he wants to keep his high paying position.

Burt goes to the Lehman residence, where he confesses his love for Lauren and suggests that they should escape and be together and become a family. Lauren rebuffs him so he angrily assaults her by strangulation. Catherine comes home and attacks Burt and she and Lauren overpower him. As they are trying to escape, Hunter arrives and kills Catherine and Burt knows Lauren unconscious. Burt knows that he is ruined if Lauren escapes, so Hunter advises that he take Lauren and Catherine and dump them in the nearby lake.

Carl shows up and, in a panic, Burt rams him repeatedly with his car. Carl is sent into another rage and he crushes Burt's car, killing him, but not before Lauren slips out of the passenger door.. However, he is captured by Hunter and taken to ARC to lure Carl. Meanwhile, Whyte's girlfriend is being interrogated by the police, hinting that Project Frankenstein will be investigated and defused.

At ARC, Carl manages to evade the security cameras for some time, so Hunter goes on the intercom and threatens to kill Lauren unless he comes to the laboratory to bargain for her. There, Hunter throws Lauren onto Carl to provoke him, but he does not go into a rage, since he reprogrammed himself in the computer room while the cameras weren't monitoring him. Realizing she is no match for the cyborg, Hunter commits suicide. Carl and Lauren get to Whyte, who has continued his experiment by turning the corpses of Gail and Kessler into cyborgs and has programmed them to protect him. Whyte is also wearing one of the suits himself. Carl, his life-support failing, battles Whyte while Lauren dispatches the others by pulling their own life-support umbilical cables. As Whyte begins to overpower Carl, Lauren hands him an umbilical, which he connects to Whyte's suit and drowns him by filling his suit with fluid. His own fluid supply exhausted, Carl expires.

Years later, Lauren is visiting a aeronautics museum with her son Carl Jr. There, they admire a display of the suits, one of which is Carl's original suit. A guide is heard explaining a fabricated story that Carl was the first to valiantly test the suit and that as a result of his suit being torched, they were able to fix its weaknesses and were able to then successfully deploy them on Mars. Meanwhile, Carl Jr. asks if he was the hero, to which Lauren responds that he was.


  • David McIlwraith as Carl
  • Teri Austin as Lauren
  • Richard Cox as Whyte
  • Pam Grier as Hunter
  • Maury Chaykin as Burt
  • Production

    It was filmed in Montreal.

    Critical reaction

    Janis L. Pallister in her survey of Quebecker cinema calls it "tedious", noting a strong influence from the earlier films of David Cronenberg. Horror Chronicles praised the special effects, while criticising a thin storyline and uneven pacing. Film School Rejects criticised the acting and low production values. gave it 7/10.


    The Vindicator (film) Wikipedia
    The Vindicator (film) IMDb The Vindicator (film)