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What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

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What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

Old 03-13-24, 02:37 AM
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What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

While cleaning out the basement at my parent's house, I came across some notebooks containing my sisters journal for 1988. She was 8. I think this was a school thing, that every morning the kids spent ten or fifteen minutes writing these short diary entries.

I'm perplexed by her entry for Feb 2nd 1988, which reads:

Originally Posted by My 9 Year Old Sister's Diary
Today is Groundhog day. I hope the groundhog will not see his shadow.
Today is my brothers [sic] birthday. He is 13 years old.
His friends Dwight Lee and Nathan are coming.
My mom rented the punisher and a night mare [sic] on elm street part 3.


I looked it up, and the first Punisher movie I can find is not only from 1989, but it says it didn't get a North American release until 1991. So what is this "the punisher" movie she says got rented in February of 1988? Is there a movie with a similar title, and she was just confused? This is driving me nuts.

Anyone have any speculation?

Last edited by Crocker Jarmen; 03-13-24 at 01:29 PM.
Old 03-13-24, 06:45 AM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

Maybe she thought Hellraiser was called The Punisher.

Are you not able to ask her?
Old 03-13-24, 09:27 AM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

The good old days when parents rented A Nightmare on Elm Street movies for 9 year olds.


The Principal also came out around that time. Maybe sheís referring to that.

Old 03-13-24, 09:31 AM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

The timing may be wrong? From what I can tell, Nightmare 3 didn't hit home video to rent until April of 88.
Old 03-13-24, 10:13 AM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

Originally Posted by Noonan
The timing may be wrong? From what I can tell, Nightmare 3 didn't hit home video to rent until April of 88.
At least Feburary 2nd was a Tuesday, so the year fits.
Old 03-13-24, 10:13 AM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

Originally Posted by dex14
Maybe she thought Hellraiser was called The Punisher.

Are you not able to ask her?
I can't imagine she's going to remember such a mundane detail from nearly 40 years ago. Also, she doesn't give a shit about any of this kind of stuff, and assuredly think I'm moronic for wondering about something so insignificant.

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
The good old days when parents rented A Nightmare on Elm Street movies for 9 year olds.


The Principal also came out around that time. Maybe she’s referring to that.
The movies were rented for our 13 year old brother.



He was collecting the new Punisher series Marvel was publishing, so my sister would have been aware of the character of the Punisher, so maybe she thought a different movie character was the Punisher, like The Principal? Yet, she specifies it's Nightmare Part 3, so she's paying attention to the titles.

Originally Posted by Noonan
The timing may be wrong? From what I can tell, Nightmare 3 didn't hit home video to rent until April of 88.
Feb 2nd 1988 is the date of my brother's 13th birthday, so the diary is dated correctly.

And this promo video advertising the Nightmare 3 VHS gives a release date of August 5th 1987 (6 min 20 sec mark)


Last edited by Crocker Jarmen; 03-13-24 at 10:22 AM.
Old 03-13-24, 10:16 AM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

Are we sure it's not the Terminator?

I know you said she was paying attention to the movies but the names are similar enough in concept. Or Predator, which came out the year before, I think.

Last edited by fujishig; 03-13-24 at 10:22 AM.
Old 03-13-24, 10:16 AM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

Can you ask your brother? He might remember what movies were rented for his 13th birthday party.

I still remember renting Robocop for my 10th birthday.
Old 03-13-24, 10:18 AM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
Can you ask your brother? He might remember what movies were rented for his 13th birthday party.

I still remember renting Robocop for my 10th birthday.
Yeah, stuff like that sticks to memory. I remember clearly seeing T2 for the first time at a friend's bday party.
Old 03-13-24, 10:21 AM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
Can you ask your brother? He might remember what movies were rented for his 13th birthday party.

I still remember renting Robocop for my 10th birthday.
Holy shit! Of course he'd likely remember. I don't know why I didn't consider asking my brother!

Oh, that's right... we're estranged. Could be months before we cross paths again. He's probably my only hope.
Old 03-13-24, 10:47 AM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

Originally Posted by Crocker Jarmen
Holy shit! Of course he'd likely remember. I don't know why I didn't consider asking my brother!

Oh, that's right... we're estranged. Could be months before we cross paths again. He's probably my only hope.
A good, fun excuse of a starting point to possibly mend fences...
Old 03-13-24, 11:23 AM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

My first guess is Cobra. Very similar aesthetic and M.O.
Old 03-13-24, 11:29 AM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

Maybe it was The Punisher starring Sinbad. A lot of people forget about that one.
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Old 03-13-24, 11:59 AM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

no idea but I am surprised the thread was not started by a random person who will never be back and an actual Hall of Famer instead!
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Old 03-13-24, 12:09 PM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

I thought it could have been The Sicilian, but that came out in late October of 1987, so don't know if it would hit home video by February. Back in those days most releases had up to a 6-month window before hitting home video.
Old 03-13-24, 12:26 PM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

Curious...maybe the clamshell showed the name "punisher" on the cover but the movie was something else? Punisher, Jury, Executioner etc. Its _______


Lots of DTV movies back then had sort of a bait and switch names on the covers to get attention.




So the obvious question is was there anything in the follow-up entries and did it name anything specifically? Like if he enjoyed the movie?
Old 03-13-24, 12:35 PM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

This is a fun exercise. I was trying to think of something with the skull motif but they best I could come up with was Casey Jones in TMNT but that didnít even come out in theaters until 1990.

Iím assuming it wasnít a version of Crime and Punishment.

I looked up top rentals of 1988 and Predator jumped out as a possibility.

Old 03-13-24, 12:47 PM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

Or maybe she saw the vhs cover and didn't catch the title?

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Old 03-13-24, 01:00 PM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

If the brother is not an option, why not check with Dwight Lee and Nathan?

If one of those guys would create an account and post here, this thread would automatically be the TOTY in my opinion.
Old 03-13-24, 01:09 PM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

I thought maybe the Punisher NES game but that was 1990.
Old 03-13-24, 01:10 PM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

Yeah, it's very possible that it was either The Terminator or Predator, but, being eight years old, she wasn't familiar with those terms, but probably knew who The Punisher was because of the comics you read, and she transposed either one of those movies with the title of that comic book in her mind.
Old 03-13-24, 01:25 PM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

Originally Posted by d2cheer
So the obvious question is was there anything in the follow-up entries and did it name anything specifically? Like if he enjoyed the movie?
No further mentions of my brother's birthday. The following week our grandfather died, and she wrote a few entries about that (including a drawing of him dead in his hospital bed )

Originally Posted by stingermck
I thought maybe the Punisher NES game but that was 1990.
A video game briefly crossed my mind, but she mentions the playing games on our Commadore-64, and we didn't get an NES unlike long after that computer was gone.

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
Yeah, it's very possible that it was either The Terminator or Predator, but, being eight years old, she wasn't familiar with those terms, but probably knew who The Punisher was because of the comics you read, and she transposed either one of those movies with the title of that comic book in her mind.
The way kids brains are like sponges, I have trouble imaging her getting a title wrong. Any movie, whether at the theatre, rented, or on TV was a big deal.

Which brings me to another possibility; she just made up a movie title as a little creative flourish. I remember when I had to do these journals in school, and would often throw in little made-up details, even though they were lies that I had nothing to gain from.

I am having dinner with my sister tonight and plan to give her the diaries. I'll mention this to, but I guarantee it's going to be a two-second conversation
Old 03-13-24, 01:35 PM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

Originally Posted by fujishig
Are we sure it's not the Terminator?

I know you said she was paying attention to the movies but the names are similar enough in concept. Or Predator, which came out the year before, I think.
The reason I'm sure it's not The Terminator is because in 1986, the video store was giving away free posters that had The Terminator on one side, and Raw Deal on the other. They had these to give-away for ages so we got multiple copies. I had the Terminator side displayed on my bedroom wall, so she would have known that movie.

EDIT: Of course, since my hoarder parents never throw anything away, that poster is amongst the mountains of junk in the basement.



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Old 03-13-24, 06:23 PM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

I think I remember seeing a promo teaser for The Punisher on either Hellraiser or Hellraiser II VHS back in the day.

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Old 03-14-24, 08:57 PM
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Re: What "The Punisher" movie is my sister referring to in her 1988 journal?

It was actually the sequel:

Punish 2: Punisher

I think we have a lady yelling at the cat scenario. I am looking at the picture, and I see:

"I hope the Groundhog punisher and a night [sic] will not see his shadow mare on elm street part." I'm not sure if she was only hoping that wouldn't happen on part of Elm Street, or if she meant any part of Elm Street. Any good groundhog punisher is going to be riding a black horse of death, so it checks out for me.

Last edited by Abob Teff; 03-14-24 at 09:05 PM.

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