Tag Archives: Mark Gregory

JUST A DAMNED SOLDIER (1988) AND AFGHANISTAN – THE LAST WAR BUS (1989)

just a damned soldierJUST A DAMNED SOLDIER aka One Damned Soldier (1988) – Balladeer’s Blog concludes its look at all ten films of Italian cult action icon Mark Gregory, real name Marco De Gregorio. I know IMDb states that he also appeared in the made for tv movie Rainbow, but I watched that film and he’s not in it. The error seems to have been made by someone who saw the name MARY Gregory in the closing credits and, because the font for the credits is a bit stylish, mistook the y in Mary for a k.

Previously, I reviewed Mr. Gregory’s post-apocalypse movies 1990: The Bronx Warriors and Escape from the Bronx, plus his Thunder Warrior trilogy of Rambo imitations, his quasi-peplum Adam and Eve vs the Cannibals, and his pair of outings as an action villain in Delta Force Commando and Ten Zan: The Ultimate Mission.

mark in his j hatI’ll wrap up everything by examining Mark’s final two films before he walked away from the business at age 25 in 1989, with no explanation and after having just made his highest amount of money from a movie role.

The public fascination with Mark Gregory continues due to the mystery of his following years and the sometimes contradictory information about his life. Supposedly he raised horses for a time, then became a street artist in Rome, possibly spent all his film earnings or was conned out of them, and died in 2013 from an overdose. Some sources say it was a suicide, others an accidental overdose.

mark with dead meatJust a Damned Soldier features Mark in an ensemble cast as one member of a trio of badass international mercenaries who take on any dangerous, high-paying job that comes along. Our hero, whose character is also named Mark, serves alongside Cisco (Romano Kristoff) and their boss Bert Ernst (Peter Hooten).

Those three, plus their fourth, soon-to-die comrade that I’ll call Dead Meat for a Hot Shots joke, kick off the movie in style with a guns-blazing raid on an industrial compound in Cambodia. The quartet shoots and explodes their way to victory, overcoming dozens of armed soldiers in scenes that live up to the standard joke about 1980s action flicks – “Page One of the script says ‘The good guys open fire’ and Page Two says ‘The End.'”

Mark and his colleagues look typically badass while killing bad guys, stealing tons of gold from the facility, then escaping to a nearby hideout to have the booty flown out of the country. After high fives and similar gestures all around, our main characters escape in a ground vehicle. Continue reading

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DELTA FORCE COMMANDO (1987) AND TEN ZAN: THE ULTIMATE MISSSION (1988)

delta force commando mark in foregroundDELTA FORCE COMMANDO (1987) – Balladeer’s Blog’s salute to cult icon Mark Gregory continues, with two movies that proved he could be just as dynamic as the villain as he was playing the hero, like in his other action flicks. Previously, I’ve reviewed Mark’s two movies in which he played the post-apocalypse/ dystopian biker Trash in 1990: The Bronx Warriors and Escape from the Bronx, plus his Thunder Warrior trilogy of Rambo knockoffs, and even his quasi-peplum Adam and Eve vs the Cannibals in which, as Adam, he fought dinosaurs, cavemen and green-skinned cannibals.

mark g picBecause Italian filmmakers were always Enzo-on-the-spot with cash-in imitations of mainstream movie hits, it was inevitable that they would produce flicks coat-tailing on the popularity of Delta Force. Mark Gregory’s screen presence in Delta Force Commando reminded me of what a shame it is that he walked away from his acting career in 1989, just when he was at the peak of his game and his earnings. If only he’d signed up with Cannon films then.

I’ve long felt that if Mark had held on into the 90s, he might have turned up as either heroes or villains in movies made by Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez, and, in the 21st Century, as a player in one of the Expendables movies. Again, as either a good guy or a bad guy.

mark gregory in dfcHell, in Delta Force Commando, Mr. Gregory spices up the schlock as the main villain, even though his character is never even given a name! Hey, that’s Italian exploitation cinema for ya!

Villain X, as I’ll call Mark’s character (at right), has a much shorter haircut than usual and dresses like a Miami Vice or Scarface ’83 gangster in his first several scenes.

Villain X, who has scarring on the lower left side of his face, speaking of the Pacino movie, leads a covert mark aiming weaponteam of communist commandos from Nicaragua in a daring raid on a military base in Puerto Rico. Villain X and his team succeed in making off with a nuclear bomb despite a few firefights, one of which kills the pregnant wife of Delta Force member Lieutenant Tony Turner (Brett Baxter Clark). Continue reading

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1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS AND ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX

1990 bronx warriors1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS (1982) – Spaghetti-pocalypse movies were to the 1980s what Spaghetti Westerns were to the 60s and 70s. Italian-made ripoffs of post-apocalypse and/or dystopian flicks like The Road Warrior and Escape From New York were everywhere back then.

Today, Balladeer’s Blog takes a look at two such movies that starred cult icon Mark Gregory, real name Marco De Gregorio. Years ago, I covered Mark as Adam in Adam and Eve vs the Cannibals. Last week I reviewed his Thunder Warrior trilogy of Rambo imitations, this week it’s the pair of films in which Mark played a dystopian man of action called … Trash.

Talk about making your hero’s name a joke right off the bat! He SHOULD have been called something like Vandal, which has much more panache and was more befitting of a character following in the footsteps of Mad Max and Snake Plissken.

1990 bronx warriors in italianThe story is set eight years in the future from its 1982 release and presented a crime-ridden New York City run by plutocratic corporations who have every politician in their pocket. So, just think of New York as it is right now.

Crime in the Bronx has become so out of control that the borough has been declared a No Man’s Land in which gangs and other criminals rule the streets and any law-abiding citizens are on their own. Most of the gangs have silly theme costumes like the gangs in The Warriors, so there’s some of that movie’s flavor in this, too. Continue reading

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THUNDER WARRIOR: ALL THREE MOVIES

thunder warriorTHUNDER WARRIOR aka Thunder (1983) – Here at Balladeer’s Blog I’ve reviewed plenty of Spaghetti Westerns and Spaghetti-pocalypse movies, but in this item I examine what could be called Spaghetti Rambo flicks. Mark Gregory, famous as the post-apocalypse action hero Trash from 1990: The Bronx Warriors and Escape from the Bronx, stars as an Apache named Thunder.

This Italian schlock film takes Stallone’s First Blood and combines it with elements of the Billy Jack series of movies in which the title hero was a Native American fighting on behalf of his people against 1970s racists, corrupt politicians and plutocratic businessmen. However, Thunder Warrior ramps up the action to nearly superhuman levels and piles up a Spaghetti Western sized body count.

thunder warrior b and wThe story features Mark Gregory’s character Thunder as a modern-day (1980s) Apache who lives on a reservation in Arizona. Assorted corrupt cops and bigoted construction workers are verbally and physically abusing the men and women of Thunder’s tribe.

The cops are led by Bo Svenson as Sheriff Bill Cook and the hate-filled construction workers are led by Antonio Sabato as the Hispanic-American Tomas, no last name given. Your standard amoral businessmen are planning to construct roadways and assorted businesses on the Apaches’ land, so their wealth and influence provides cover for Svenson’s and Sabato’s men.
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