Mar 31, 2014
Marked for Death (1990) (part 1 of 2)
Note from the author: This is the fifth in my series of tributes to cheesy action movies of the ’80s and early ’90s. Rather than in-depth recaps or straightforward reviews, these will contain a brief synopsis followed by a longer list of highlights, notes, and observations.
SUMMARY: Steven Seagal goes up against a Jamaican drug posse after they threaten his family. Guess who wins?
Another note from the author: This was originally supposed to be a piece on Jean Claude Van Damme’s Bloodsport, but after a few viewings of the film, I realized I had very little to say about it. So, let’s move on and delve deep into the world of Steven Seagal.
I’ve covered Steven Seagal before, and his personal background has been covered elsewhere, so let’s just skip straight to our feature, Marked for Death. Seagal’s third movie features our ponytailed wonder as John Hatcher, a DEA agent seeking revenge after his family is targeted by Jamaican drug dealers led by a guy named Screwface (the name comes from a Bob Marley song). The film is a boisterous cheesefest as Seagal slashes, shoots, and snaps his way through villain after villain.
This is classic Seagal, before the prayer beads, the fringe jackets, and the sanctimonious bullshit. We get our fill here of his bone-crunching violence, macho swagger, and his attitude that gives new meaning to the word “badass”.
It’s a fun ride, and along with Under Siege, is easily one of Seagal’s best.
I give it 8 out of 10 snapped limbs. Let’s check it out.