Thursday, January 2, 2014

Only now does it occur to me... MARKED FOR DEATH

Only now does it occur to me... that prior to Danny Trejo hunting Steven Seagal in MACHETE, Steven Seagal chased Danny Trejo:



 and all the way to a showdown at the Club 'Tecate!'


In a more general sense, MARKED FOR DEATH (from Dwight H. Little, the director of HALLOWEEN 4 and FREE WILLY 2) is not quite a classic in this gentle-voiced, ponytail'd lunatic's oeuvre (like OUT FOR JUSTICE), but it's pretty damned enjoyable, notably because of the terrific Keith David (THE THING, THEY LIVE) as Seagal's crazy-eyed sidekick.

Keith David:  having none of your bullshit.

The film has a strange sensibility to it that's worth mentioning, too–  despite the presence of Cannon Films-style, hastily-sketched Rastafarian voodoo-luvin', crack-dealin' villains, the action scenes play out with a peculiar, humorless detachment (I daresay realism) that is reminiscent of Michael Mann's meticulous, paramilitary setpieces (i.e., in THIEF and HEAT).

Like its star, the film takes itself a little too seriously, but MARKED FOR DEATH is well worth a view for the early 90s action fan– and for you camp-lovers, it even boasts a finale whereupon the villain is sliced, stabbed, eye-gouged, spine-shattered, flung down an elevator shaft, and then impaled upon a steel rod: Seagal is nothing if not thorough.

-Sean Gill

7 comments:

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

The hunter becomes the hunted.

Who knew Trejo would have even longer staying power.

Happy New Year.

Mike B. said...

Good call on the Seagal-meets-Cannon vibe, that pretty much sums it up! Isn't this also the one where Seagal wears an absolutely amazingly over-the-top-even-for-the-times jacket to a bar? Wait, that's all of Seagal's films!

Sean Gill said...

SFF,

Ah, the poetic staying power of Mr. Trejo. Happy New Year to you, too!

Mike,

Ha ha, well said. He indeed spends about 65% of this movie in a black jacket with silk-stitched-dragon designs all over it. No one treats it as if it's the least bit out of place.

Anonymous said...

This is actually my favorite Seagal movie. Completely forgot that Trejo was in it.

Sean Gill said...

Anon.,

It's not precisely a big or even featured role– he only has the chase sequence and a line or two. Thanks for stopping by!

John Guedes said...

The thing I remember most about this movie is the car. I'm referring to Seagal's black Mustang Mach 1, how sad it was to see it crushed by a bulldozer.

Also isn't there a character that's like a rasta version of Ice-T's cop character in NEW JACK CITY?

Sean Gill said...

John,

Yes, 'twas a pity to see Seagal's car crushed. And There's a character that's rather Ice-T in flavor (no pun intended?). And oh yeah- we even get Danielle Harris (of HALLOWEEN 4 and 5 fame) as Seagal's beloved niece.