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The Mark Dacascos appreciation thread

Old 02-06-19, 09:17 AM
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The Mark Dacascos appreciation thread

Mark Dacascos, the son of noted martial artist Al Dacascos and a talented martial artist in his own right just could never break out. While walking down the street one day, he was discovered by the assistants for Hong Kong director Wayne Wang, who encouraged him to get involved in movies. Dacascos built up some small credits in TV shows like Doogie Howser M.D, The Flash, and the 80's Dragnet. Dacascos was also cast as the Red Ranger in Haim Saban's Bio-Man. Bio-Man was based on the eighth Super Sentai Choudenshi Bioman. The show was not picked up however Saban reworked it as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers years later. 1992 gave him some small notoriety in American Samurai with the second American Ninja(the one who wasn't Michael Dudikoff) David Bradley. While the movie went straight to video, Dacascos fighting skills and presence were noted and he essentially stole the movie from star David Bradley.

Dacascos had his big break in 1993 with the release of Only the Strong, the movie which brought Capoeria to the big screen. With a talented lead, and directed by Sheldon Lettich who co wrote Rambo 3, as well as wrote and produced the Van Damme hits Bloodsport,, Lionheart and Double Impact, it seemed like it would be a box office hit. It wasn't. While Dacascos was a great lead, the movie only made $3 million on a $6 million dollar budget. In 1994 he had his second chance at big screen stardom with Double Dragon. Based on the popular videogame it starred a pre Party of Five Scott Wolf and post Who's the Boss Alyssa Milano. Between the company that released it going bankrupt, the lack of martial arts, the stupidity of the plot, writing it for kids and a host of other problems the movie bombed at the box office and along with Super Mario Brothers caused the death of the video game movie.

From there his big screen career was over. He appeared in one of my guilty pleasure Tales from the Crypt episodes The Pitt, and starred in Kickboxer 5 which was the last Kickboxer movie and not a great career move. He had much greater success in Crying Freeman which was directed by Christopher Gans and an adaptation of the anime. It again showed his skill as a martial artist and charisma as an actor but it did not help his career much. In 97 he appeared in Drive with Brittany Murphey. The movie is probably one of the best straight to DVD movies ever made and again showed how much talent Dacascos had. Unfortunately, he followed it with the forgettable movies Redline(with Rutger Hauer), Sanctuary, No Code of Conudct(with Charlie and Martin Sheen), and Mark "Commando" Lester's The Base.

Dacascos then took over playing Erick Draven in The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, The show was actually somewhat popular and a season 2 was expected, but Universal bought the production studio and canceled the second season. FWIW, Dacascos said that he hated working on the show, citing the long hours he had to work, the commute to Canada, and hating the somber scenes he had to constantly do. In 2000 he had what looked to be another big break by appearing in China Strike Force. The movie was made with the premise of a Chinese company shooting it in Hong Kong, adding notable American actors and making a killing in the Chinese and US box office. In 2001 he teamed up with Christpher Gans again for Brotherhood of the Wolf. The movie got good reviews and was a great showcase for Dacascos which again showed he could be a star In 2003 he appeared opposite Jet Li in Craddle 2 the Grave. He won the role after a survey was done asking who fans wanted to see Jet Li fight in his next movie.

From here he did a lot of forgettable movies including taking over for Dolph Lundgren as the lead in Alien Agent, and starring in the Asylums I am Omega. However a weird thing happened in that he started to get a lot of fame by appearing in of all things Iron Chef America. From here, that led to him getting work in some notable TV shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and Hawaii Five O, as well as getting him to appear in straight to DVD movies again. You can soon see him on the big screen again this may in John Wick 3: Parabellum.

So why did he not hit bigger? It seems like his biggest issue was that he seemed too big to headline B-movies, but he also did not seem like a big enough star to headline A-movies either. It did not help that his best movies tended to see limited releases, and a lot of his better movies like Crying Freeman and Drive have long been OOP and Double Dragon was such a bomb that it pretty much closed all his major doors in Hollywood.

The Dacascos 5 best films:

1.American Samurai: Good exhibition of his martial arts skills and a fun take on the underground fight circuit movie.

2.Only the Strong: I watched this again recently and honestly I think it is still pretty fun.

3. Crying Freeman: Great action and fight scenes.

4. Drive: This is not easy to find(like Freeman it's been OOP for awhile) but it has action, comedy, great fight scenes and is easily his best movie IMO.

5. Brotherhood of the Wolf: Not much I can probably add that has not already been said about this one.
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Old 02-06-19, 09:28 AM
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Re: The Mark Dacascos appreciation thread

Crying Freeman!!
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Old 02-06-19, 09:34 AM
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Re: The Mark Dacascos appreciation thread

Right on. Only the Strong is an absolute classic.


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Old 02-06-19, 11:35 AM
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Re: The Mark Dacascos appreciation thread

Married to the lovely Julie Condra... can't believe she was 20 when she was in the Wonder Years.

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Old 02-06-19, 01:20 PM
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Re: The Mark Dacascos appreciation thread

Originally Posted by robin2099 View Post
Mark Dacascos, the son of noted martial artist Al Dacascos and a talented martial artist in his own right just could never break out. While walking down the street one day, he was discovered by the assistants for Hong Kong director Wayne Wang, who encouraged him to get involved in movies. Dacascos built up some small credits in TV shows like Doogie Howser M.D, The Flash, and the 80's Dragnet. Dacascos was also cast as the Red Ranger in Haim Saban's Bio-Man. Bio-Man was based on the eighth Super Sentai Choudenshi Bioman. The show was not picked up however Saban reworked it as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers years later. 1992 gave him some small notoriety in American Samurai with the second American Ninja(the one who wasn't Michael Dudikoff) David Bradley. While the movie went straight to video, Dacascos fighting skills and presence were noted and he essentially stole the movie from star David Bradley.

Dacascos had his big break in 1993 with the release of Only the Strong, the movie which brought Capoeria to the big screen. With a talented lead, and directed by Sheldon Lettich who co wrote Rambo 3, as well as wrote and produced the Van Damme hits Bloodsport,, Lionheart and Double Impact, it seemed like it would be a box office hit. It wasn't. While Dacascos was a great lead, the movie only made $3 million on a $6 million dollar budget. In 1994 he had his second chance at big screen stardom with Double Dragon. Based on the popular videogame it starred a pre Party of Five Scott Wolf and post Who's the Boss Alyssa Milano. Between the company that released it going bankrupt, the lack of martial arts, the stupidity of the plot, writing it for kids and a host of other problems the movie bombed at the box office and along with Super Mario Brothers caused the death of the video game movie.

From there his big screen career was over. He appeared in one of my guilty pleasure Tales from the Crypt episodes The Pitt, and starred in Kickboxer 5 which was the last Kickboxer movie and not a great career move. He had much greater success in Crying Freeman which was directed by Christopher Gans and an adaptation of the anime. It again showed his skill as a martial artist and charisma as an actor but it did not help his career much. In 97 he appeared in Drive with Brittany Murphey. The movie is probably one of the best straight to DVD movies ever made and again showed how much talent Dacascos had. Unfortunately, he followed it with the forgettable movies Redline(with Rutger Hauer), Sanctuary, No Code of Conudct(with Charlie and Martin Sheen), and Mark "Commando" Lester's The Base.

Dacascos then took over playing Erick Draven in The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, The show was actually somewhat popular and a season 2 was expected, but Universal bought the production studio and canceled the second season. FWIW, Dacascos said that he hated working on the show, citing the long hours he had to work, the commute to Canada, and hating the somber scenes he had to constantly do. In 2000 he had what looked to be another big break by appearing in China Strike Force. The movie was made with the premise of a Chinese company shooting it in Hong Kong, adding notable American actors and making a killing in the Chinese and US box office. In 2001 he teamed up with Christpher Gans again for Brotherhood of the Wolf. The movie got good reviews and was a great showcase for Dacascos which again showed he could be a star In 2003 he appeared opposite Jet Li in Craddle 2 the Grave. He won the role after a survey was done asking who fans wanted to see Jet Li fight in his next movie.

From here he did a lot of forgettable movies including taking over for Dolph Lundgren as the lead in Alien Agent, and starring in the Asylums I am Omega. However a weird thing happened in that he started to get a lot of fame by appearing in of all things Iron Chef America. From here, that led to him getting work in some notable TV shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and Hawaii Five O, as well as getting him to appear in straight to DVD movies again. You can soon see him on the big screen again this may in John Wick 3: Parabellum.

So why did he not hit bigger? It seems like his biggest issue was that he seemed too big to headline B-movies, but he also did not seem like a big enough star to headline A-movies either. It did not help that his best movies tended to see limited releases, and a lot of his better movies like Crying Freeman and Drive have long been OOP and Double Dragon was such a bomb that it pretty much closed all his major doors in Hollywood.

The Dacascos 5 best films:

1.American Samurai: Good exhibition of his martial arts skills and a fun take on the underground fight circuit movie.

2.Only the Strong: I watched this again recently and honestly I think it is still pretty fun.

3. Crying Freeman: Great action and fight scenes.

4. Drive: This is not easy to find(like Freeman it's been OOP for awhile) but it has action, comedy, great fight scenes and is easily his best movie IMO.

5. Brotherhood of the Wolf: Not much I can probably add that has not already been said about this one.
Both "Crying Freeman" and "Drive" are offered on Amazon Prime right now.

Last edited by DWilson; 02-07-19 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 02-06-19, 01:44 PM
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Re: The Mark Dacascos appreciation thread

Drive the Director's Cut is fantastic. I have not seen the original version. I bought a region free DVD player for that movie!!! Then got the 2 DVD French set of Crying Freeman! Boom HUGE Mark fan.

I drove 45 miles to see Brotherhood of the Wolf in the theater when it came out. Never have I done that before or since.

Need a good versions of the all of these on Blu.
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Old 02-07-19, 02:00 AM
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Re: The Mark Dacascos appreciation thread

I was about to say he was also in SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO and RAPID FIRE, but then I remembered...no, he wasn't. That was Brandon Lee. Ooops! I'm now wondering if casting directors had this problem.
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Old 02-07-19, 02:19 AM
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Re: The Mark Dacascos appreciation thread

Originally Posted by devilshalo View Post
Married to the lovely Julie Condra... can't believe she was 20 when she was in the Wonder Years.
Damn. I knew she looked a lot older than Kevin, but that's crazy.
She was in two good shoes from my childhood, The Wonder Years and Eerie Indiana.

Originally Posted by DWilson View Post
Both "Crying Freeman" and "Drive" are offered Amazon Prime right now.
Thanks, I've been wanting to check out Crying Freeman for a while.
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Old 02-07-19, 06:31 AM
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Re: The Mark Dacascos appreciation thread

Well posting that picture obviously didn't work. Where did the edit button go?
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Old 02-07-19, 09:47 AM
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Re: The Mark Dacascos appreciation thread

In 2000 he had what looked to be another big break by appearing in China Strike Force. The movie was made with the premise of a Chinese company shooting it in Hong Kong, adding notable American actors and making a killing in the Chinese and US box office.
This seems backwards. Pretty sure CHINA STRIKE FORCE was a Hong Kong production granted access to the mainland (with possibly some limited funding from there), and the main cast was pretty much all Hong Kongers and Americans. A movie like that -- for better or worse -- was something you'd never see coming from the mainland at the time. They were barely out of their "fifth generation" phase.

Dacascos must be fairly accepting of his lot in life, though, bouncing from TV to B-movies to A-movie support. In addition to JOHN WICK 3 his next projects include a supporting role in an interesting looking (TV?) movie called LUCKY DAY from Roger Avary, and then THE DRIVER co-starring his wife (and CRYING FREEMAN co-star) Julie Condra and their daughter, and directed by . . . sigh . . . Kaos, the auteur behind such gems as ECKS VS. SEVER and TEKKEN 2. Gotta pay the bills, I guess.

I have to wonder if he's repped by the same agency as folks like Danny Trejo, Michael Madsen, Kelly Hu, Tom Sizemore, Eric Roberts, various Baldwins, Mandylors and others. There's a bunch of them that always seems to be mix-n-match "packaged" together in real low-budget stuff . . .
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Old 02-07-19, 01:42 PM
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Re: The Mark Dacascos appreciation thread

I don't know if robin2099 actually wrote those 6 paragraphs for real as he's tribute to Dacascos or if he copied and pasted it from somewhere I would be really impressed if he really did have that kind of Dacascos knowledge.
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Old 02-07-19, 03:40 PM
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Re: The Mark Dacascos appreciation thread

My brother and I met him at a local martial arts seminar a few years back, maybe a year or two after BOTW was released in the states. Pretty much exceeded our expectations and he was extremely impressed with my BOTW French 3-disc LE set (which was then stolen from me a few years later via break-in).

Looking forward to seeing him in John Wick 3.
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Old 02-07-19, 06:11 PM
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Re: The Mark Dacascos appreciation thread

Originally Posted by d2cheer View Post
Drive the Director's Cut is fantastic. I have not seen the original version. I bought a region free DVD player for that movie!!! Then got the 2 DVD French set of Crying Freeman! Boom HUGE Mark fan.
I have the same discs. The French set I had also came with a soundtrack CD. Only drawback for the set was there were no English subs for the Japanese parts. As for Drive; don't bother watching the U.S. cut. It's heavily edited. I saw that version first then heard about the U.K. version and it was a totally different movie.
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