The original Punisher ROCKED, for maaany reasons.
While I understand the acting might not have been great, and that perhaps some of it was low budget, I'd like to just add in the following points:
Dolph Lundgren had the perfect body size/type for the role. There's number one. Number two, while it wasn't necessarily the costume worn on the comics -- the attire he wore during the movie was spot on, especially the stilleto's with the little silver skulls on the top. (As well as the kind of dusty/beatup motorcycle he had)
Did you notice how he looks ... rough? Beat up? It's rare in a movie to see the 'hero' get cuts, and more specifically bruises, on his body. This is not a James Bond movie where he fights off 10 guys and doesn't even mess up his hair. As the movie goes on, he looks more and more haggard, tired, and "like shit". Fantastic job of making a guy who doesn't have any "super powers" take damage and SHOW it.
Also, I find the hand to hand fighting sequences to be fantastic. Why? There were, to a point, adlibbed -- Dolph Lundren being a black belt in several(?) martial arts, the director also brought in several other martial artists, to perform the various fight sequences. At least to me, a certain credible, chunky, "bad ass" feel is thus apparent in the hand to hand fighting sequences, especially when the Punisher fights the two Samurai guys in the "Yakuza tower".
I thought some of the dialog was great, albeit hilarious. One liners can get cheesy, but I thought that some of them as delivered by Dolph, were spot on. When Frank (Lou Gossett) is talking to the Punisher in prison, and he says, "You..you know you're sick, don't you?" and the Dolph just gets this kind of maniacal little smile and whispers, "..no I'm not.." back -- that's one of my favorite lines from any movie. Or how about, "Hey, what's the reason behind you killing all those guys? There's a limit to revenge..." and then, as he's checking the magazine of his rifle, the Punisher looks over and with a wry expression, says, "Well then I guess I haven't reached mine yet..."
I realize that I have lower/different standards on what makes a good movie and a bad movie. But for every movie that I think is great that others say is garbage -- I guarantee you there are "great movies!" they'll recommend which truly are shit, too. *cough Titanic cough*
Oh, and do yourself a favor and watch "Showdown in Little Tokyo" while we're talking about the Dolphman. That is, if you don't suck, and you like movies that rule.
Then, I dare you to go rent, and watch the ENTIRE movie: R.O.T.O.R. Trust me on this one -- once you've been through this particular Hell, there will quite a few more movies which be placed upon your "not bad to good" list.