The Action Fix: Happy Birthday to the Legit Martial Arts/Action Icon Mark Dacascos!

By: John M Jerva

Today is February 26th and all you serious action aficionados out there knows what that means. It’s Mark Dacascos’ birthday today! I was a day early with my festivities yesterday but I thought I’d get jump started on it because that’s how I roll. Plus the man deserves a birthday week celebration if you ask me.

Dacascos is regarded as a legit God in the realm of action and martial arts films where men and women revere this genre as if it’s religion and ever since he took on David Bradley in his debut starring turn as Kenjiro Sanada in American Samurai, Mr. Dacascos has lit up theater screens and television with his jaw dropping physical skills.

Dacascos has starred in countless adrenaline laced projects through the years and to this day, the man looks flat out sensational as he hasn’t lost a step when it comes to executing a banging fight sequence.

It’s customary here at Action-Flix to share a fan favorite scene for an action star on their birthday and what kind of action film blogger would I be if I didn’t share something from Dacascos on a yearly basis.

A lot of sites out there will post scenes from Mark’s tried and true films like Only the Strong and Drive but I’m switching it up and delivering the high-octane finale from his underrated 1995 Anime adaptation Crying Freeman which to this day has not seen a proper release in the United States and North America. A true crime if you ask any action flick fanatic.

Helmed by Christophe Gans, Dacascos stars as legendary assassin Yo Hinomura AKA The Crying Freeman. The mysterious killer got his name because he sheds a tear each time he kills someone as a sign of regret. Things get complicated when a woman sees him doing his business and when he is forced to eliminate her as a witness, he instead falls for her and the two navigate through the dangerous underworld of the Yakuza who want both of them dead.

Crying Freeman is a true action noir piece and is a slow burn for much of it with action beats peppered throughout. The finale is the real payoff where Yo uses firepower, bladed weaponry and fisticuffs to make one final stand to save the woman he has fallen for.

It’s a blistering sequence that utilizes all of Dacascos’ particular skill set and is one of my my favorite scenes to this day.

It’s a fun fact to point out that Dacascos really did fall for his mark in real life as he married his co-star Julie Condra shortly after. They are married to this day and actually appeared together again in The Driver which hit DVD and Digital in 2019.

Fans can get region free DVD copies of the movie as I did years ago and Crying Freeman is a must for any collection. It is available on Blu-Ray in some territories as well. The movie is also available on Amazon Prime finally here in the west however if streaming is your thing.

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Dacascos twice for the site and he couldn’t have been any nicer and accommodating. They say you should never meet your heroes but this is one case where it was proven wrong and it was a real treat to talk movies, fighting and more with the legend and I can’t wait for my next opportunity to chat again. Check out both interviews down below!

Exclusive Interview: Martial Arts and Action Icon Mark Dacascos Talks THE DRIVER, JOHN WICK, Working with Family and More!

With that, we wish Mark Dacascos a very happy birthday. Enjoy your day and here’s to many more years of kicking ass on screen!

Without further ado, here’s the take no prisoners final act from 1995’s Crying Freeman courtesy of Kung Fu Fights on YouTube.



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