This animated fan film is the best Punisher movie to date

The Punisher fan film

Since 1989 Hollywood has produced and released three separate films based on Marvel Comics’ Punisher character. Though each of those films has its own bright spots, you’d find little argument that they are each objectively bad movies. As much as we like Dolph Lundgren, the 1989 Punisher film he starred in played too fast and loose with the character’s established mythology — no skull shirt? no thank you! — and was very noticeably produced on a shoestring budget. The 2004 Thomas Jane version had a far more respectable budget, but skewed a bit too sunny for a character whose existence is defined by his unending hunger for bloody vigilante justice. 2008’s Punisher: War Zone had the opposite problem: It attempted to capture the character’s brutal nature and the violent, dark world he inhabits, but went a bit too far with that. The end result is a movie that’s so self-serious as to be comical.

So, Hollywood doesn’t have a great track record with the Punisher. C’est la vie. At the very least we still have dedicated, talented fans capable of doing the character justice in their own homemade DIY projects. Projects like the short film you see embedded below.

According to the lovely folk over at io9, this vignette is the work of animator Luis Pelayo Junquera. As Junquera is obviously a massive fan of the Punisher, he decided to immortalize one of the character’s most beloved stories, and as long-time Punisher fans will tell you, there are few tales in the character’s history more beloved than those created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. To be specific, this cartoon is based on “Do Not Fall In New York City,” a Punisher story first published in 2002 that depicts … well, you should probably just watch the thing to see what it’s all about. Junquera’s animation skills do a far better job of explaining the plot than we could with mere words.

Oh, but before you hit “play” on the clip below, you should probably make sure you aren’t at work or in front of any impressionable children. Punisher fans are well aware of how gory, profane and morally appalling the character’s stories can get, but for the rest of you, just think of this thing as akin to an R-rated Hollywood thriller. Less than a minute after starting the short film you’ll witness spousal abuse culminating in a murder, so it seems wise to describe this thing as “Not Safe For Work.”

Despite our excitement over this vignette, we’ll be the first to admit that it’s far from perfect. Though we appreciate Junquera’s creative animation style, his art must be necessarily compared to that created by Steve Dillon for the original “Do Not Fall In New York City” comic book, and in that case it’s found very lacking. Likewise, the voice over work in Junquera’s film is a bit spotty at times. However, these flaws with the film only make it more impressive that a single amateur could more accurately capture a moving picture version of The Punisher than Hollywood has been able to do in its three attempts to date.

Supposedly there’s another Punisher movie scheduled for release in 2014, and with Marvel Studios focused on making movies based on Marvel characters as excellent and reverent of their source material as possible we might finally see a quality adaptation of the character on the silver screen. Until that time though, this 7 and a half minute fan film is the pinnacle of the Punisher’s cinematic adventures.

Movies & TV

Stan Lee has died: Marvel Comics icon and legendary creator dead at 95

Stan Lee, one of the world's most important and iconic comic-book authors, has died at the age of 95. Creator of some of the most famous and beloved superheroes and villains of all time, Lee leaves behind an indelible legacy.
Movies & TV

Winter coming in spring? HBO reveals 'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere date

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Movies & TV

Cassian Andor series and 'Mandalorian' details expand Star Wars' future

Disney has sky-high expectations for its Star Wars universe, with plenty of plans for the franchise on the big screen and television over the next few years. Here are all the upcoming movies and TV shows, both rumored and confirmed.
Movies & TV

'Black Panther 2' director weighs in on the pressure of returning to Wakanda

The success of 2018's Black Panther has audiences eager for another Wakandan adventure. From story predictions to casting news, here's what we know about Marvel Studios' plans for Black Panther 2 so far.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

Michelle Yeoh reportedly in talks for stand-alone ‘Star Trek’ show

Reports claims that actress Michelle Yeoh is in talks to reprise her Star Trek: Discovery role in a spin-off series. The series will focus on Georgiou being recruited into Section 31, a secretive organization within Starfleet.

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Buster Scruggs,’ ‘Missing Link,’ ‘Mowgli’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Mortal Engines, and the first trailer for Missing…
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘Room 104,’ German thriller ‘Beat,’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Room 104 returns for a second season, Robert the Bruce fights for Scotland's throne, and more.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

‘The Grinch’ steals the box-office crown from ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Dr. Seuss' The Grinch is the new box-office champion, knocking off Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody and posting a better opening weekend than Jim Carrey's 2000 live-action film based on the character.