Bullet Points: Marked Man
I have not had a lot of luck with Roddy Piper movies the past few months, but when Marked Man showed up on Amazon Prime I decided to give it a chance and I’m glad that I did.
The cover art leaves something to be desired, but all in all Marked Man was easily one of the best performances I’ve seen from Hot Rod.
- The Premise: Piper plays Frank Gibson, a good working class man. Gibson is a mechanic, who has plans to marry his girlfriend when his entire life changes in a matter of minutes. His girlfriend is hit by a drunk driver, when the driver tries to pay off Gibson so they don’t have to report what happened, Gibson punches him, the drunk hits his head on the concrete and dies. Gibson’s girlfriend also dies as a result of the accident and Gibson himself is sent to prison for 2nd degree manslaughter.
- In The Can: Gibson’s life in prison doesn’t seem so bad. We seem him sparring at the beginning at the prison gym, then he gets to work in the garage so they can utilize his mechanic skills… but there is one problem, he has a run in with a white collar criminal named Elkins. So later when Elkins shows ups dead in the garage, it is easy for everyone to assume that Gibson did it. But Gibson actually knows who did it, since he saw two of the prison guards (Pappas and Watters) kill Elkins. Realizing he was next, Gibson flees and the movie goes into man hunt mode from there. Gibson and Watters get into it, but during the struggle Watters is shot. Now Gibson is wanted for killing Elkins and Watters.
- Double Duty: With some help from an ATV, Gibson manages to escape the guards and make his way to Albany, where he can get some help from his brother and try to figure out why Pappas and Watters killed Elkins and who was behind it. So not only is he an escaped convict, Gibson is also a detective! He does learn that an ex-cop that graduated with Pappas, Vince Mallick (played by Miles O’Keeffe of Tarzan, The Ape Man and Ator, The Fighting Eagle fame) has something to do with it, but what? As far as the FBI is concerned, Mallick is a stand up guy, a former cop who went went into the private security business.
- The Fight Scenes: I think one of the big reasons I enjoyed this movie over some of the other Piper films I’ve seen is it played to Piper’s strengths. He got to play that every man type character and he had plenty of fight scenes. My favorite was a fight scene in the cemetery where Piper had a guy and airplane spun him into a tombstone. And remember this took place in a cemetery so I mean an actual tombstone, not The Undertaker’s patented finishing maneuver.
I was strongly considering a three strikes and you’re out rule where Roddy Piper was concerned and I was prepared to make not watching any more of his movies one of my 2015 New Year’s Resolutions. But Piper redeemed himself in my eyes with this movie. The movie has a good story, good action and it flows well.
When Gibson was fighting with Watters the prison guard, I couldn’t help but think back to the late 80’s and early 90’s and if there was ever a Roddy Piper vs. Big Boss Man match. But to the best of my recollection there was not, when Boss Man was at the top of his heel game, Piper had left wrestling and by the time Piper came back he was tied up in a feud with Bobby Heenan and Rick Rude and by the time that ran its course, Boss Man was about to become a babyface and Piper was embroiled in his next feud with Bad News Brown.