This is an ongoing series that will explore the perceived anomalies in the DVD collections of BP writers. These are movies that may give someone pause when they browse your movie shelf, but we’re here to tell you why they belong in any film lover’s collection.
To my friends and fellow cineastes, no film in my collection is more baffling than 2008’s Punisher: War Zone. Having had the outrageous misfortune of following one of the worst comic book adaptations of all time – 2004’s The Punisher was a woefully miscast mountain of shit that turned Marvel’s most dour and menacing anti-hero into an impotent sadness-robot – and coming at the heels of two wildly successful comic book films in Iron Man and The Dark Knight, Punisher: War Zone never seemed to have a chance. Grossing only ten million dollars world-wide (worse than Howard the Duck) and a Rotten Tomatoes score of twenty-seven percent (only one point higher than Blade: Trinity), Punisher: War Zone was a commercial and critical disaster. A film remembered only as a punch-line. But Punisher: War Zone is in on the joke, a self-aware mixture of camp and fun that captures the very essence of its source material.