"I'm only going to say this once; give me your lunch money."


"I'm only going to say this once; give me your lunch money."

THE PUNISHER (1989)

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. LUXURIOUS MANSION

A SMUG MAFIA BOSS is boasting to a group of reporters.

SMUG MAFIA BOSS

There’s no way Dolph Lundgren will ever kill me!

DOLPH LUNDGREN

(kills Smug Mafia Boss)

SMUG MAFIA BOSS

Aaargh! The irony!

(dies)

DOLPH LUNDGREN

Yes! I’ve just killed the last of the criminals who were responsible for murdering my family!

DIRECTOR MARK GOLDBLATT

Congratulations! You’ve ended the most compelling part of the Punisher’s story in the first five minutes.

DOLPH LUNDGREN

Shit I did, didn’t I? Ah well. Nothing for it but to blow up this entire mansion while striking a dramatic pose in just the right way that the smoke and lighting will hide my face from all the reporters.

(does so)

INT. SEWERS – DOLPH’S HIDEOUT

DOLPH LUNDGREN

(monologuing)

I’m a gritty action hero in an 80s movie. I was once a law-abiding cop, until the brutal murder of my family by a group of criminals I pissed off. Now I live outside the law, a haunted shell of a man, hunting down the scum who killed my loved ones with my leather jacket and-

(frowns)

I’m being turned into Mad Max, aren’t I?

(breaks into a grin)

Holy shit, I’m being turned into Mad Max!

EXT. BLOWN-UP LUXURIOUS MANISON

Police lieutenant LOUIS GOSSETT, JR is investigating the crime scene.

LOUIS’S BOSS

Godammit Louis! You’d better start toeing the line! I’ve got the mayor breathing down my neck! You’re this close to being booted off the case! Cop dialogue!

LOUIS GOSSETT, JR

I’m not sure why I’m on the receiving end of this treatment. I’m not exactly portrayed as a loose canon.

LOUIS’S BOSS

You can’t keep insisting that Dolph Lundgren and the Punisher are one and the same!

LOUIS GOSSETT, JR

Why not?

LOUIS’S BOSS

I…don’t actually have an answer for that. I’ll just end this conversation awkwardly.

(leaves)

LOUIS GOSSETT, JR

(sighs)

Man, I hope I don’t run into any more clichéd dialogue tonight.

NANCY EVERHARD

I wanna be your partner!

LOUIS GOSSETT, JR

I work alone.

(beat)

Shit.

NANCY EVERHARD

I know you’re reluctant to get another partner after what happened to your last one-

LOUIS GOSSETT, JR

Oh come on, you’re just making this worse!

NANCY EVERHARD

But I got top marks from the academy and I’m eager to prove myself!

LOUIS GOSSETT, JR

If I say yes, will you stop?

EXT. OUTSIDE A BAR

DOLPH lures BARRY OTTO into an alley using (I am not in any way joking) a REMOTE CONTROL CAR CARRYING A BOTTLE OF BOOZE.

BARRY OTTO

Curse you and your “Home Alone 3”-style antics, Dolph!

(chugs booze)

I can tell you big time mob boss Jeroen Krabbé and all his men are receiving a $500 million shipment of drugs tonight. That’s all I know!

EXT. DOCKS

JEROEN KRABBE and his WISEGUYS wait for the DRUGS. But then the YAKUZA attacks!

WISEGUY #1

(stabbed with sword)

Aaargh! Why a sword!? How did you throw it so hard it went right through my windshield without slowing down!?

(dies)

WISEGUYS #2 AND #3

(shot)

Oh, I see. You had bullets all along. There was no reason to impale that guy with a sword then.

(dies)

WISEGUY #4

(hit with dart)

A dart!? Why the fuck a dart!? Are your guns one use only!?

(dies)

DOLPH LUNDGREN

And now I enter the gunfight with my crossbow!

JEROEN KRABBE

What the fuck is wrong with everyone tonight? Is this some Exotic Weapons Expo I don’t know about?

DOLPH LUNDGREN

Hey, let’s have a contest to see who can pull off the most ridiculous murder of the night.

YAKUZA

You’re on!

YAKUZA GOON #1

I just killed a wiseguy with a throwing star thingy!

YAKUZA GOON #2

Well I just killed a wiseguy by…I think it was clapping his ears too hard?

DOLPH LUNDGREN

I gunned down a group of wiseguys while swinging from a zipline. Top THAT.

YAKUZA GOON #3

Okay. Watch this!

YAKUZA GOON #3 slices a man’s throat using RAZOR BLADES hidden in his shoes.

YAKUZA GOON #3

Ha!

DOLPH LUNDGREN

Hmmm. Beating that’s going to be tricky…

DOLPH LUNDGREN catches up to a speeding van on foot, climbs on top of it, swings in through the window and stabs the driver to death.

YAKUZA

You win.

DOLPH LUNDGREN

For extra points, yes I did still have bullets while pulling off that van murder.

INT. JEROEN KRABBE’S HEADQUARTERS

Yakuza leader KIM MIYORI bursts into a meeting.

KIM MIYORI

Give us all the profits of your drug-running organization. Now!

JEROEN KRABBE

Why on earth would we do that?

KIM MIYORI

We’re hoping you would be intimidated by the way we sank your drug delivery last night.

JEROEN KRABBE

Those drugs cost $500 million. You just cost yourselves nearly half a billion dollars.

KIM MIYORI

Er…maybe. But there’s no reason for me to take over a mob operation that’s just about to make a huge profit.

JEROEN KRABBE

Get out.

KIM leaves and kidnaps the children of all the city’s most powerful gangsters.

KIM MIYORI

NOW give me all your profits!

JEROEN KRABBE

You really REALLY should have led with that instead of sinking $500 million worth of drugs you could have extorted from us.

INT. CARNIVAL STORAGE WAREHOUSE

DOLPH is led to where the kidnapped children may have been taken by BARRY OTTO.

BARRY OTTO

This is it, here is the place.

Now I leave; don't show my face!

DOLPH LUNDGREN

...what are you doing?

BARRY OTTO

I'm so sorry, I speak in rhyme.

In fact I do it all the time.

(beat)

Except when I don't.

(shrugs)

DOLPH LUNDGREN

...Ooookay. Perhaps just leave the rest of this scene to me.

Suddenly, the YAKUZA attack!

YAKUZA

Behold! Our secret attack of “Dozens of us all riding down a giant children’s slide at once while simultaneously shooting at you!”

DOLPH LUNDGREN

You couldn’t have all shot at me while riding on a merry-go-round? Seriously, this looks even sillier than it sounds.

DOLPH tries to escape but fails! He is launched off a SPEEDING MOTORCYCLE, over a ONE-STOREY BALCONY, smashes through a PLATE OF GLASS, and lands on the HARD CONCRETE.

DOLPH LUNDGREN

Wait! That’s not enough to incapacitate me!

DOLPH is beaten up by every GOON in the warehouse.

DOLPH LUNDGREN

Aaah! A small cut on my face!

(falls unconscious)

INT. YUKUZA HEADQUARTERS

DOLPH wakes up strapped to a TORTURE RACK.

KIM MIYORI

You cost us two million dollars. How much pain do you think that buys?

DOLPH LUNDGREN

(actual line)

Is the question True, False, or Multiple Choice?

KIM MIYORI

...what? Why would “How much pain do you think that buys?” be either “True” or “False”? You need to work on your 80s action hero one-liners.

(leaves)

DOLPH breaks free and sticks his TORTURER in his own HUMAN STRETCHING DEVICE.

DOLPH LUNDGEN

I hope this isn't too much of a "stretch".

TORTURER

See, now THAT was an 80s action hero one-liner. Also: AAAAAARRRGGGGHHH!!!

(presumably stretched to death)

INT. RESTAURANT

The MOB LEADERS are waiting for a meeting with KIM MIYORI.

KIM MIYORI

Sorry I'm late gentlemen. I was busy finding two dozen local hitmen willing to start a gunfight in a public place. Took forever.

MOB LEADERS

Wait, what are you talking about?

EVERY SINGLE PATRON in the restaurant pulls out a gun and shoots the MOB LEADERS'S BODYGUARDS.

MOB LEADERS

Holy shit! Why don't you just shoot us and be done with it.

KIM MIYORI

No need. I poisoned your wine.

MOB LEADERS

(dying)

But...why...you have...two dozen guns...pointed right at us...could have saved...so much money...in hiring a restaurant full of armed-

(dies)

KIM MIYORI

Ha ha! My plan to take over the city's underworld by murdering the bosses I already have under control is going great!

EXT. BIG INDUSTRIAL BUILDING

DOLPH LUNDGREN rescues the CHILDREN kidnapped by the YAKUZA!

RANDOM CHILD #1

Wait! We're missing Kathy!

KATHY

Oh, I was just wandering throughout the building. Outside my cage. Completely unsupervised. It's a wonder kidnappers this incompetent can even fire guns.

DOLPH loads everyone on a BUS and escapes!

YAKUZA GOONS

They're getting away! Shoot them!

(fires one million bullets at the bus)

DOLPH LUNDGREN

Bullets? Ha! This bus is made out of the same material as my face! You've only broken a few windows!

YAKUZA GOONS

Well, we can still chase after you on wheels-

(smashes into pest control truck)

(explodes in Hiroshima-style fashion)

DOLPH LUNDGEN

Pest control services apparently use napalm. Who knew?

POLICE

Yeah, well you still have a police blockade to deal with asshole.

Everybody still alive gets ARRESTED.

INT. POLICE STATION

LOUIS GOSSETT, JR interrogates DOLPH.

LOUIS GOSSETT, JR

What the hell man? Why did you have to commit over a hundred murders? You were my best friend!

DOLPH LUNDGREN

WHAT!? HOLD THE FUCKING PHONE! Are you telling me the head of the Punisher taskforce used to the Punisher's best friend!?

LOUIS GOSSETT, JR

It's-

DOLPH LUNDGREN

I have committed one hundred and twenty-five murders. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE! Over half a decade! And in all that time, no one said "Hey, that Punisher guy has slipped through the fingers of the police for years. Maybe it's because his best friend is head of the taskforce catching him".

LOUIS GOSSETT, JR

The-

DOLPH LUNDGREN

It's not like our connection is much of a secret or anything. You're infamous for claiming I'm the Punisher. The news media loves repeating those claims. We've seen them stoking those rumors whenever they can.

LOUIS GOSSETT, JR

I-

DOLPH LUNDGREN

And why were you the only member of the Punisher taskforce until Nancy Everhard came along? Do the police have a problem larger than one hundred and twenty five murders?

LOUIS GOSSETT, JR

(beat)

Finished?

DOLPH LUNDGREN

(hyperventilating)

For now.

INT. POLICE VAN

NANCY EVERHARD transports DOLPH to prison.

NANCY EVERHARD

You asshole! Louis didn't have anything in his life except the hope to redeem you! He quit the force this morning!

DOLPH LUNDGREN

Really? Wow, I wish we could have seen some of this onscreen.

JEROEN KRABBE'S GOONS crash the VAN and kidnap DOLPH.

INT. JEROEN KRABBE'S HEADQUARTERS

JEROEN KRABBE

Dolph, my ten-year-old son is still being held hostage. Help me rescue him or I'll kill Louis, who I've kidnapped.

DOLPH LUNDGREN

Fine. Which of your best hired guns do we bring?

JEROEN KRABBE

None whatsoever.

DOLPH LUNDGREN

Uh okay. I'd like to bring along Barry Otto if you don't mind.

JEROEN KRABBE

That barely-coherent alcoholic stage actor? Sure! Would you like to wear some of the body armour I'm offering too?

DOLPH LUNDGREN

Well, the Punisher character is famous for his body armour, so...No. No I would not.

LOUIS GOSSETT, JR

(buries head in hands)

INT. YAKUZA HEADQUARTERS

JEROEN KRABBE

Remember, this is the headquarters of a Japanese organization so of course it has paper walls and dozens of sword-wielding maniacs.

DOLPH LUNDGREN

Damn, I thought Daredevil was the one who got constantly attacked by hordes of sword-fighting East Asian men. Okay, let's do this!

They burst in and start shooting EVERYONE!

DOLPH LUNDGREN

(firing everywhere)

I'm so glad someone took the scene where Indiana Jones anti-climatically shot a sword-wielding mook and turned it into half an action climax!

INT. JEROEN KRABBE'S HEADQUARTERS

LOUIS GOSSETT, JR

Say, you wouldn't mind unlocking my handcuffs so I could take a leak, would you?

WISEGUY

I don't see why not. Here, let me-

(knocked unconscious)

LOUIS GOSSETT, JR

I wonder if they'll ever be a totally innocent bathroom break in the history of cinema hostage situations? Oh well.

(escapes)

INT. YAKUZA HEADQUARTERS

DOLPH and JEROEN gun down BAD GUYS! BARRY OTTO engages in ANTICS!

YAKUZA GOON #1

Okay using swords didn't work so I'm going to try a blade attached to a length of chain-

(killed)

YAKUZA GOON #2

Well I'm just going to try beating them to death with my bare hands-

(killed)

Hey, the rack of blades I fell on were all pointing in different directions. How did I get impaled on all of them?

ZOSHKA MIZAK

Well I have SUPER DUPER martial arts skills! I can take them!

(starts kicking ass)

DOLPH LUNDGREN

Aaargh! I'm getting beaten to a pulp!

(shoves Zoshka)

There, I shoved her through a paper wall. That should stop her for good. I'm going to look at her unconscious body for only a few seconds before turning my back to her and-

(stabbed in the leg)

Yeah, I deserved that.

ZOSHKA MIZAK

You certainly did-

(neck snapped)

KIM MIYORI

I have a knife to Jeroen's son's throat. If you don't let me leave alive-

DOLPH LUNDGREN

(bursting through window)

OH YEEEAAAHHH!

(kills Kim)

JEROEN KRABBE

Gee thanks, Dol-

(killed)

JEROEN KRABBE'S TEN-YEAR-OLD SON

What the FUCK, Dolph? You killed my Dad right in front of me!

DOLPH LUNDGREN

Now, obviously you've gone through a lot of trauma in the last few days. Not only have been the victim of a violent kidnapping, but you just witnessed your father being murdered right in front of you. So let me end this scene by threatening to murder you if you grow up like your dad. Sweet dreams kid! Say hi to a long line of therapists for me!

(leaves)

INT. SEWERS – DOLPH’S HIDEOUT

DOLPH broods.

BARRY OTTO

I don't want to knock the Punisher character or anything; but it still feels a little weird that he's the first Marvel character to get their own feature-length movie. Well aside from Howard the D-

(killed)

DOLPH LUNDGREN

Howard the who? I have absolutely no idea who you're talking about.

END

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