The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 10, 1990 - Page 7
,....', .. . . . ... ,- ''e A.. a.a.tea,
The marks run deep8£
by Mike Kuniavsky ,.M'
" Clip and save dr ar vy
tRecipe for... a° ay K 3at;w
Action film (Marked for Death style) ;.........e..
1 retiring or retired cop (Steven SeagalTM Brand)
1 ruthless, insane minority drug lord (JamaicanTM brand)
30-40 henchmen (same minority as ruthless, insane drug lord)
1 'Nam sidekick
3-4 family members (Sitting DuckTM Brand)
1 love intrest (optional)
1 car chase scene
1 assault on hideout (Drug LordTM Brand)
5-6 really cool guns
Dash of plot
Ultraconservativism (Drug War" Brand) , sadism, to taste.
Have RUTHLESS, INSANE MINORITY DRUG LORD not only sell crack to high schoolers, but hurt FAMILY
MEMBERS of RETIRING OR RETIRED COP. Place RETIRING OR RETIRED COP and SIDEKICK in revenge situations.
Loudly break 10-15 limbs. Insert gratuitous lines from LOVE INTREST, ex: in response to FBI agent's declaration
that COP is RETRING OR RETIRED, "He still looks functional to me." Simmer PLOT with CAR CHASE SCENE 'til
audience tender, add ASSAULT ON HIDEOUT. Cook on high heat for 20 more minutes. Lay on thick.
Serves no one.
Okay, enough sarcasm. What re-
ally bothered me about this film was
the fact that, once again, Hollywood
attempts to couch its hatred for mi-
norities (or, to be more accurate, its
insistence on placing minority char-
acters in negative situations while
*retaining white males as "positive"
role models) by choosing a "more
minor" minority for its victims, pre-
sumably one that can't fight back as
This time around they chose
Jamaicans. The filmmakers do in-
clude a positive Jamaican character, a
positive Black character (the afore-
mentioned SIDEKICK) and some nat-
uralistic scenes of the conditions in
Jamaica that could possibly - in
the film's internal logic - lead to
the bloodthirsty, insane villian. But,
regrettably, the broad thrust of the
film is still with the reinforcement
that the people doing the worst ills
are not white and are not from this
country and that the whites must de-
fend themselves at all cost before
their families (or, as the catchword
in political rhetoric seems to be re-
cently, their "children" - bullshit,
it's their bank accounts) are hurt.
What also really bothered me was
that the audience - mostly Black,
where I saw the film - did not seem
to recognize this fact. They laughed
and cheered when this white
schmuck cracked the wrists, legs and
necks of idiot Blacks. Needless to
say, I was very disappointed: the
same thing probably would have
happened if I was sitting in an audi-
ence full of average whites, but I had
hoped, had really hoped, that things
would be different.
Here's Steven Seagal, "America's hottest new action star," and boy is he baaad.
Ultimately, it seems that Holly-
wood really does represent the views
of its viewers and this, more than
any two-bit B movie from a dork
like Seagal (pronounced say-gall,
presumably so that it doesn't sound
too "ethnic"), is where the tragedy
really lies. The medium is the mes-
sage, and the message is shit.
MARKED FOR DEATH is showing
at Briarwood and Showcase.
Not all poetry is solipsistic and
obscure: Roger Weingarten is here.
Weingarten brings wisdom and hu-
mor to the dark side of country life
in his poetry. Says reviewer W.S.
Di Piero of his second collection of
poems, Ethan Benjamin Boldt, "I
don't know of any contemporary
poet his age (Weingarten is 30) w#0
can sink us so deeply into the often
cruel, sometimes witty, sources"of
country wisdom." Infant Bondsof
Joy is his seventh and latest book of
poetry. Weingarten will be reating
from his work at Rackh n
Amphitheatre today at 4 p.m.
WRITE FOR ARTS!!! CALL 763-0379!!!!
Marked for Death Soundtrack
Okay, here is where the film par-
tially redeems itself. Though almost
absent from the film, the songs fea-
tured on the soundtrack album are
almost exclusively by Black artists
and feature if not a range, then a va-
riety of Black music. The best cut
on the album is "The Shadow of
Death" by Def Jef and Papa Juggy.
With a pretty hellish groove and the
tension between Jef's intense rebel-
liously-anguished voice and Papa
Juggy's reggae lyrics (telling you
where rap was before rap was) Jef
pulls you through a hell where "it's
too much friction/So your tempera-
ture goes up/It's too hot to han-
dle/Boom, your head blows up."
There's also an interesting con-
versation among the tracks: in the
fifth cut, Mellow Man Ace's
"Welcome to My Groove," Ace tells
a pretty typically sexist (male rap
speaks with its mouths and thinks
with its cock) story of an average
guy wanting to get laid with no re-
grets and no commitments; later, 3
tracks to be exact, Body & Soul an-
swer him, and tell about how he
"wants to be your man, your sweet-
heart and your lover/But under cover,
that brother's lookin' for a second
mother." They sum it up with "Men
live in that frame of mind/Blind in
two eyes, but his third eye sees
Finally, in the classic tradition of
the kid that's left out of kickball on
the playground, Tone-Loc decides to
jump on the "I'm a gangster, too"
bandwagon with "I Joke, but I Don't
Play." He asserts his usual pop de-
meanor as a facade, " I never talk
about a gangster shotgun/But when
they see me they find that I've got
one.' Yeah, and I bet it's bigger than
The last four tracks on the al-
bum, bonuses on the CD, are by
Jimmy Cliff and Peter Tosh and
were produced (executive produced by
Seagal himself!) especially for the
film. This makes 'em all pretty
lame, sountrack muzak, and even
more tragic considering the film's
content. On "No Justice" Cliff sings
"I can't get no justice under this sys-
tem/I can't get no justice in this so-
ciety." No, Jimmy, you can't. And
you can't even get respectful em-
ployers, ones that would listen to
your music before slapping it in
their stupid, racist films.
Every country has
the government it
Joseph de Maistre
et Opuscules Inidits,
1, p. 215, 15 aout 1811.
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