Review: The Executioner Part 2

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Directed by: James Bryan
Category: Grindhouse/Exploitation

I'm all for Grindhouse films. I love that shit. But even I have a threshold, and this film really pushed my limits of how bad a film I can endure before I just completely give up on it. First things first though. I had heard about this a few times, and I can't remember where I read it, but someone said it was crazy and all that jazz, which got me excited. Only once I started watching it and saw the credits did I realize it was written and directed by none other than James Bryan, of Don't go in the Woods fame. If you've done any kind of research on the guy, you will come to learn that most people are not fans of his type of guerrilla-style filmmaking. While I personally have never seen any of his films, I hoped for the best, thinking that maybe Grindhouse would be more his calling. Nope. Not by a long shot.

A Vietnam vet, with nightmares of the Vietnam War, has taken it upon himself to rid the city of violence, by using........violence. 

The Executioner Part 2 was so gawd-awful on every single level that I could not find one single redeeming quality. Nothing works, and everything looks and feels like some 13 year old kid went out with a Super 8 camera and gathered a bunch of friends together and shot a film on the whim. That's exactly what it looks like. Nothing is entertaining, even on a sub-par level. The action is terribly shot, choreographed and edited. The acting is atrocious. The violence is lame, even by low-budget standards. The dubbing is laughable. All of this, combined with the zero budget make for an excruciatingly painful experience that not even usually cool Chris Mitchum (Final Score) can save. Yes, he costars in this as the police commissioner completely unaware that his best Vietnam bud is actually the masked vigilante known as The Executioner. *Facepalm

One of the most obvious signs of its zero budget is the constant use of the same exact stock footage explosion used in every single sequence that involves the vigilante dispersing some vengeance with a hand grenade. After the second time you're thinking "alright, that's enough". Also painfully obvious is the use of shitty lighting equipment to enhance certain scenes that look like they shot it in a dark alley as the sun was going down. You can actually tell that the lighting guy is holding a crappy light, and waving it in front of their faces to add just that extra bit of light sorely missing from virtually every single frame of film.

I liked the story, as simple as it is. And I liked the stupidly awful, yet kind of amusing lines of angry dialogue the executioner spouts whenever he's ready to off someone, but even that doesn't save this mess. The acting is so bad in this, that it's actually annoying. Every time the two teenage girls would open their mouths, I wanted to shut the sound off. I would be shocked to learn if anyone in this ever acted in anything ever again. Yet, surprisingly, the main guy who plays the vigilante, actually wasn't so bad. Go figure.

Just in case you were wondering, there actually is no Executioner Part 1. Somehow thinking this was clever marketing, they deliriously thought that they could cash in on The Exterminator vigilante series starring Robert Ginty, of which Part 1 came out in 1980 and Part 2 came out the same year this one did. So yea, don't bother looking it up. There is no Executioner 1.

The Executioner Part 2 contains all the things that make these types of films so great and certified classics, yet somehow, this particular one fails so miserably at all that on every conceivable level, leaving you numb from the painful experience you just had. It never goes far enough to satisfy in any department, be it the nudity, the sleaze, the violence, the badness, and worst of all, the entertainment. This poster is the coolest thing about this film Skip it!!

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