|Directed by||Mark Buntzman|
|Produced by||Mark Buntzman|
|Written by||Mark Buntzman|
|Music by||David Spear|
|Cinematography||Robert M. Baldwin|
|Edited by||Marcus Manton|
George T. Norris
The Cannon Group
|Distributed by||Cannon Film Distributors (original)|
|September 14, 1984|
|Box office||$3.7 million|
Exterminator 2 is a 1984 action thriller film written and directed by Mark Buntzman (with additional scenes directed by William Sachs), starring Robert Ginty and Mario Van Peebles, with cameos by Arye Gross in his debut role, and John Turturro in his second role. It is the sequel to the 1980 film The Exterminator.
Following from the previous film, it shows Eastland walking freely on the streets of New York, without any hint that his dual identity was compromised. He meets up with another old army buddy, Be Gee (Faison), who owns a garbage truck. As seen at the beginning of the film, Eastland wears a welders' mask and wields a flame thrower, while listening to a police scanner for possible crimes to stop. Slaying the brother of a gang leader named X (Van Peebles), the Exterminator gains the gang's enmity. Coincidentally, his army buddy happens to see the gang during a robbery of an armoured car, and scares them away with his truck. However, they get the truck's plate numbers, and vow revenge. Following the truck one night when the buddy loans it to Eastland, they follow Eastland to his home, and, not having seen who the driver of the truck was the night it scared them away, they presume Eastland was the man behind the wheel that night. They attack Eastland's girlfriend in the park, crippling her. Later, they break into her apartment and kill her.
Then Eastland and his buddy interrupt a drug deal between X's gang and the mob, stealing the narcotics in the process, though the army buddy dies. Having earlier captured one of the gang members, Eastland allows him to escape to draw X into a confrontation, with the drugs as bait, in a closed up industrial site. Curiously, X seems to be aware of the Exterminator's real name in this final battle. Eastland triumphs, but was shot when last seen, and is seen walking away.
- Robert Ginty as John Eastland
- Mario Van Peebles as X, a gang leader
- Deborah Geffner as Caroline, a friend of Eastland
- Frankie Faison as Be Gee
- Scott Randolf as Eyes
- Reggie Rock Bythewood as Spider
- Bruce Smolanoff as Red Hat
- David Buntzman as Head Mafioso
- Kenny Marino as Tony
- Derek Evans as Squealer
- Irwin Keyes as Monster
- Robert Louis King as Philo
- Arye Gross as Turbo
- Janet Rotblatt as Mom
Exterminator 2 had a very troubled production which included budget problems, heavy re-editing and reshoots, and censorship issues. The Cannon Group studio was not pleased with director Mark Buntzman's original rough cut of the film, so they hired film doctor William Sachs to do extensive reshoots in Los Angeles to improve it.
In 2012 interview about his work, Sachs talked about the reshoots on Exterminator 2. He was the one who came up with idea of the Exterminator wearing the flame proof mask throughout the movie:
Bob Ginty was supposed to be doing another movie and they wouldn't release him. I said, 'I'll fix it so you don't need him.' I couldn't get any other stars, so that's where I came up with the idea. There's one shot of Ginty with the welding mask working on the garbage truck, and he lifts his mask and has a little torch. So I just used that shot at the end. I turned him into a vigilante with a welding mask for the whole rest of the movie.— William Sachs, about working on Exterminator 2
Because of the budget problems, the movie had to be reshot in Los Angeles:
They started shooting in New York, and they went so far over budget that they moved it to LA. They spent double their budget, it was supposed to be $1.5 million and they got to $3 million and they'd shot like 40 minutes. I had been working on the movie in New York as a co-producer. So I brought it to LA, and I had to ship the garbage truck from New York, because the ones in New York are metal and the ones in LA are fiberglass, because of the weight restrictions. We got permission. We have scenes where [the truck] goes around the corner of one street in New York, and the other's in LA. We threw garbage in the streets and painted the curbs in LA a different color, to make it look like New York.— William Sachs, about working on Exterminator 2
Sachs also mentioned that production's initial struggles were probably due to Buntzman's inexperience handling a large film crew:
I was in New York just to watch, and I saw what was going wrong. If you can't make a decision, everyone starts giving you their two cents until it's a committee. Mark Buntzman couldn't make a certain decision, so the script supervisor had an idea and the DP had an idea, and soon there was a meeting going on. A directing lesson: if someone asks 'Where do I point the camera?' you just point. The first thing that comes into your head, you just say "there." Nine times out of ten, it's the right place. And if it's not, you say later, 'Well, I thought about it and it'd be better over here.' But if you don't give an answer, you lose them.— William Sachs, about working on Exterminator 2
According to Sachs, the character of X got his name due to more indecisiveness from Buntzman, who could not think of a better name. It was also Sachs' idea to make the character more central.
Even in post-production, the film met with some troubles. The MPAA made Sachs cut down an early gory scene in which an elderly couple is shot up by the gang:
I'm not really excited about violent stuff. When you're shooting it, it's fun, but something a little more realistic affects people. When we shot that scene, the DP said it was the most realistic thing he ever saw. The squib and the gun went off in the same frame. It was timed perfectly, by luck, and you don't usually see that. We had six shots and ended up with one quick shot.— William Sachs, about working on Exterminator 2
In interview Sachs also had a funny anecdote about the casting of Arye Gross, who played gang member Turbo in the movie: "He came in and read for me, and he was talking like Marlon Brando, through his nose. It was fantastic, so I gave him the part. And when we did the scene, he didn't talk like that. I said, 'You're not talking like you did in your reading!' And he said, 'I had a cold.'"
Sachs tried to get co-director credit for his work on Exterminator 2 but wound up accepting a co-writer and "additional scenes directed by" credit due to a legal battle with Buntzman. "I joined the Director's Guild after that," he said.
The original script for the movie was very different to the movie the public got to see, a lot of the original scenes were removed and new scenes filmed to cobble a different storyline together, watching the movie knowing this its pretty obvious what was done since some of the original scenes are in the wrong order, for example the exterminator goes to Caroline's home early in the film but then travels in the garbage truck with her later in the film where Caroline is wearing the outfit from the previous scene in the movie.
Ginty couldn't return for reshoots so for scenes in which John wears a fireproof mask and burns down the gang members with a flamethrower were filmed with Robert Ginty's stunt double. Originally the only scene where John used the flamethrower to kill the gang members was in the ending when he burns the last few after he already killed most of the others with weapons from the garbage truck. so a double was used for scenes where you never saw his face, the most obvious scene is when he phones caroline and then runs to her home to find her dead. Deborah Geffner couldn't return as Caroline but Mario Van Peebles and Frankie Faison did return for the reshoots.
The original rough cut of the film has never been released.
Shout! Factory announced they would release Exterminator 2 as part of a four-film "Action-Packed Movie Marathon" DVD set on March 19, 2013.
101 Film released the Full Never Before Seen Uncut Version on Blu-ray in the UK in September 2016.