The Top Five Vigilante Movies of the 80s

Vigilante movies in the 80’s were a big thing and they have been ever since. There’s something thrilling about being able to go out and take your own brand of justice, but in the real world it’s got to be remembered that an eye for an eye always tends to make a bigger mess than one might intend. In the movies the good guy usually ends up getting the people they’re after but at the same time they make a huge mess that others have to clean up. That’s the part a lot of us don’t tend to pay attention to since it urges people to exercise caution and think rationally when emotion is what really gets a person worked up and wanting something to be done about the injustice in the world. If more and more people started acting like the lead characters in these movies then the world would revert back to a lawless place like the old west.

Justice might get done, but the rivers of red wouldn’t be worth it.

5. The Punisher

This earliest version of the Punisher wasn’t even a quarter as good as what we’ve got now but back then this was what we had to go off of and for a time it was awesome enough. He was the guy that went out and took on organizations like the mafia and the Yakuza and didn’t bat an eyelash over it. The Punisher has always been the kind of hero that will shoot first and ask the important questions later or well before the bullets start flying. That’s why he appeals to people, he’s all about getting to the people responsible when the law can’t or won’t touch them.

4. Roadhouse

Dalton wasn’t much a vigilante until he got pushed too far. He was the kind of guy that wanted everything to run right and would do what it took to make sure that happened. But when his friend was killed and his landlord was nearly burned to a crisp there was nothing else to do, he went off the deep end and went to get his own justice since no one else was going to do it. Dalton was one of those guys you just didn’t want to make mad, because then he became unpredictable.

3. The Principal

This is probably the worst case scenario fantasy for any principal coming into a new school. While he wants to make a difference Belushi soon realizes that the school doesn’t want to change. They’re mired in a depressive state so deep and controlled so heavily by the local crooks that a change just isn’t in the cards. And yet he keeps coming back even after the promise of more and more violence. That’s when you know it’s not for the money.

2. Sudden Impact

Dirty Harry is like THE premier vigilante on this list, with all respects to Charles Bronson. He’s the guy that we’ve all been quoting since the day we learned his lines, and have idolized no matter how bad of a guy he really was. He’s one of the few people that actually gave a decent representation of a vigilante and what not to do while still making the role look absolutely awesome.

1. Death Wish

Looking at Charles Bronson and then looking at the vigilantes of today you wouldn’t think much of him. But back in his day he did a good amount of damage. Anyone that reads this needs to think long and hard about what they would do if their family was taken from them in this manner. Would you really just want to wait for the cops to do their job?

Granted you probably would, but would you WANT to?

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