The Exterminator 2 is your typical ‘man meets gang, man comes a bit of a cropper, everyone man loves is beaten up or killed, man sets about killing them’ type thriller. Obviously it’s a sequel and in true ’80s fashion seems to tone down the darkness and violence somewhat in order to maybe gain a little more box office.
The gang here aren’t actually named but their leader, a charismatic fucking mental called X, is worth a look. He’s that weird sort of gang leader that Hollywood loved back then. Dressed like Grace Jones coming out of an S&M club and played by the chiseled but girlish Mario Van Peebles, you wouldn’t feel threatened at all by him if you met him in a dark alley.
As IMDB point out in their ‘goofs’ section, his hair style changes constantly through the film (mainly switching between a sequence of basic geometric shapes) adding to the daftness of his character who gets increasingly on edge as the Exterminator comes and burns all his subordinates.
Overall, Exterminator 2 isn’t nearly as powerful a thriller as it’s predecessor but is worth a look if you want to see gang members who are as convincing as Michael Jackson in the Bad video getting topped by a flamethrower-wielding Vietnam vet.