In vigilante films a person violates the law to exact justice. These movies were rooted in 1970s suspicion of government corruption, failure in the Vietnam War, and rising crime rates.
Here’s a look at a few vigilante films:
Joe (1969): A film about Bill, a wealthy businessman who kills his junkie daughter’s drug-dealing boyfriend after she has an overdose. Panic-stricken, he wanders the streets and eventually stops at a bar. There he runs into a factory worker named Joe, who hates hippies, and would like to kill one himself. The two start talking, and Bill reveals his secret to Joe, and the two eventually go on a hippie murder spree.
Death Wish (1974): This movie is about a New York City architect who becomes a one-man vigilante squad after his wife and daughter are attacked in their apartment. His wife is killed and his daughter is in catatonic state. After her death he goes out after dark and kills would-be muggers.
Coffy (1973): Coffy is a dedicated nurse whose younger sister gets involved in drugs and is severely injured by contaminated heroin. Fed up with the narcotics in her city, Coffy sets out on a mission of vengeance and vigilante justice, killing drug dealers, pimps, and mobsters.