The Punisher: Dirty Laundry

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The Punisher: Dirty Laundry
Poster for Dirty Laundry.jpg
Promo poster
Directed byPhil Joanou
Produced byAdi Shankar
Written byChad St. John
Based onThe Punisher
by Gerry Conway
Ross Andru
John Romita, Sr.
Music by
  • 1984 Private Defense Contractors
  • RAW Studios
Release date
  • July 15, 2012 (2012-07-15)
Running time
10 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States

The Punisher: Dirty Laundry, also known simply as Dirty Laundry (stylized as #DIRTYLAUNDRY), is a 2012 short film[2] based on the Marvel Comics anti-hero the Punisher, starring Thomas Jane[3] (reprising the title role from the 2004 film The Punisher)[4] and Ron Perlman, produced by Adi Shankar and directed by Phil Joanou. The film was first screened at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International.[5][6]


In a run-down neighborhood, Frank Castle wakes up and exits his van to get his laundry done. On his way to the coin-op laundromat, he witnesses a street gang stop and confront three prostitutes before Goldtooth, the gang leader, takes one of them to a back alley where he beats and rapes her. Despite hearing her screams from a distance, Frank minds his business and places his laundry in a washing machine.[7]

Minutes later, a boy named DeShawn crosses through the neighborhood and is harassed by the gang while Goldtooth offers him an opportunity to sell drugs for them. When DeShawn refuses, the gang members begin to mug him. After a brief verbal confrontation with Goldtooth, Frank walks to a liquor store across the street to get a bottle of Yoo-hoo. There, a handicapped store clerk named Big Mike tells him that two years ago, he witnessed a similar situation and insinuates that he wound up crippled for confronting the criminals.[7][8]

Frank pays for the Yoo-hoo and also buys a bottle of Jack Daniel's, which he uses to club some of the gang members to death, while killing others with their own guns and knives. He then breaks Goldtooth's right arm and both legs before asking him if he knows what the difference between justice and punishment is, while pouring the whiskey on him. Frank pulls out a lighter, and places it on the ground before returning to the laundromat.[7]

The battered prostitute returns to the scene to pick up the lighter and sets the gang leader on fire as Frank walks back to his van with his laundry. DeShawn approaches him to return a T-shirt he dropped, but Frank tells him to keep it. As Frank drives off, the boy unfolds the shirt to reveal the Punisher symbol.[7][8]



The film is the first medium to reveal a new Punisher logo designed by Tim Bradstreet.[5] Thomas Jane screened the film at the RAW Studios panel at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International. In explaining the reason for this project, he posted this quote on YouTube:

I wanted to make a fan film for a character I've always loved and believed in - a love letter to Frank Castle & his fans. It was an incredible experience with everyone on the project throwing in their time just for the fun of it. It's been a blast to be a part of from start to finish; we hope the friends of Frank enjoy watching it as much as we did making it.[5]


Ivan Kander of called the film a "love letter" to the Punisher character and a success. He also stated that the film "proves that fan films aren't just for crazed geeks running around with their home video cameras anymore". He did criticise the films for having a rather thin plot and predictable outcome for the villain but praised the production value.[11]

Kyle Anderson of The Nerdist stated that the film was worth watching and stated that Jane should reprise the role of the Punisher again if another theatrical film was to be made.[12]

Chris Sims of ComicsAlliance expressed that the film was interesting in that it showed the main character in a transitioning period between that of the 2004 Punisher film and how the character is portrayed in the comic books as the Punisher in the 2004 film was more concerned with getting revenge as opposed to waging a war on crime.[13]

Brad Brevet of criticized the use of Hans Zimmer's and James Newton Howard's The Dark Knight score, especially in the opening moments when the film's antagonist appears with music playing from his car stereo, but stated that the short was otherwise solid.[14]

At the time of its release described the film as "arguably the best 10 minutes of screen time The Punisher has ever had".[15]

Jon Bernthal, who portrays Frank Castle in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has stated that he took Jane's performance in the short as inspiration.[16]


In an interview with Inverse Adi Shankar revealed that he was previously in pre-production on a sequel to Dirty Laundry, stating that the film was "going to be a two-hander that introduced the 'Lady Punisher', who was going to be played by MMA fighter and Deadpool actor Gina Carano. Thomas Jane was due to reprise his role in the sequel, and the script was written by Wayne Kramer. Shankar stated in the interview (regarding the film) that: "it may still be revisited and revived at some point down the road, and that it shouldn't be ruled out just yet."[17]


The film was nominated for a Webby Award for the category Online Film & Video, Drama: Long Form or Series[18] and was listed on Collider's Top 5 Surprises of 2012.[19][20]

In 2016 named the film the number one fan film based on comics and stated that the film revolutionized the world of the fan film community.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ James N. Gilmore and Matthias Stork (2014). Superhero Synergies: Comic Book Characters Go Digital. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 239. ISBN 978-1442232112.
  2. ^ Kristin M. Barton, Jonathan Malcolm Lampley and foreword by Stephen J. Sansweet (2013). Fan CULTure: Essays on Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century. McFarland. p. 13. ISBN 978-0786474189.
  3. ^ Franich, Darren (July 16, 2012). "Thomas Jane made a new 'Punisher' short film for Comic-Con". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2016-08-16.
  4. ^ Eisenberg, Eric (2012). "Thomas Jane Returns As Frank Castle In Short Film Punisher: Dirty Laundry". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 2016-08-16.
  5. ^ a b c Bettinger, Brendan (16 July 2012). "Watch DIRTY LAUNDRY, the PUNISHER Short Film Thomas Jane Brought to Comic-Con; Plus 10 Images and a New PUNISHER Logo". Collider. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  6. ^ Fischer, Russ (2012-07-16). "Watch 'Dirty Laundry,' Thomas Jane's Unofficial 'The Punisher' Short Film". /Film. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  7. ^ a b c d McEniry, Matthew J. (2016). Marvel Comics into Film: Essays on Adaptations Since the 1940s. McFarland. p. 237. ISBN 978-0786443048.
  8. ^ a b c d e Chewie (February 23, 2015). "DIRTY LAUNDRY – THOMAS JANE RETURNS AS THE PUNISHER". ScareTissue. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  9. ^ a b c Lis, Martin (August 28, 2016). "TOP 5 FAN FILMS BASED ON COMIC BOOKS". ScreenGeek. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  10. ^ a b c Gelderd, Chris (February 25, 2015). "The Punisher: Dirty Laundry 2012". Letterboxd. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  11. ^ Kander, Ivan (July 17, 2012). "Punisher: Dirty Laundry". Retrieved 2016-08-16.
  12. ^ Anderson, Kyle (July 16, 2012). "THOMAS JANE'S #DIRTYLAUNDRY". The Nerdist. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  13. ^ Sims, Chris (July 17, 2012). "'Dirty Laundry': The Awesome Punisher Fan-Film By Thomas Jane". Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  14. ^ Brevet, Brad (July 16, 2012). "Thomas Jane Takes Out Dirty Laundry in a 'Punisher' Short Fan Film". Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  15. ^ "Thomas Jane makes Punisher short film". July 16, 2012. Retrieved 2016-09-19.
  16. ^ Lis, Martin (October 9, 2016). "JON BERNTHAL SAYS THOMAS JANE'S DIRTY LAUNDRY PUNISHER SHORT FILM INSPIRED HIS VERSION". ScreenGeek. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "PUNISHER: #DIRTYLAUNDRY". 2014. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  19. ^ Belt, Jenna (2014). "ADI SHANKAR". MOST Magazine. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  20. ^ Barr, Jason (December 29, 2012). "TOP 5: End of the Year Edition – Disney Buys Lucasfilm, Limited Paper, Lessons from BATMAN: THE MOVIE, THE COLLISION Podcast, Thomas Jane's THE PUNISHER Short Film". Collider. Retrieved 2016-08-17.

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