Iron Chef America’s Chairman is also one of the great action stars

Many folks know Mark Dacascos as The Chairman in Food Network’s Iron Chef America, a task that he returns to this week as Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend involves Netflix. But Dacascos is also one of the finest display fighters we’ve ever been blessed to see gracing our screens, delivering some quintessential action performances in the ’90s and past that stay outstanding to today.

Dacascos’ distinctive mixture of allure and talent coupled together with his laid-back perspective made him stand out from different martial arts stars of his period, like the far more intense Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van Damme. While he by no means received the shot at main stardom that these different two did, he’s seeing a beautiful little profession resurgence lately, enjoying the lead villain in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, voicing a major half in the strong Batman animated film Batman: Soul of the Dragon, and reportedly becoming a member of the forged of Cinemax’s wonderful martial arts tv present Warrior for its third season.

Dacascos was also one of the finest interviews on Scott Adkins’ wonderful Art of Action interview collection, diving into his life and profession. It’s properly price your time.

While some of his finest motion pictures (together with the capoeira drama Only the Strong and the live-action adaptation of Crying Freeman) usually are not at the moment out there to observe at house, these three are, and so they all rule whereas also offering terrific shows of Dacascos’ skills.


Mark Dacascos and Brittany Murphy holding an uzi in Drive.

Image: Simitar Entertainment

This is my private favourite of Dacascos’ motion pictures, and it made our listing of our favourite martial arts movies you’ll be able to watch at house. In Drive, Dacascos performs a superhuman escaping a gaggle of lethal assassins. His laidback allure, attractiveness, and terrific martial arts expertise go well with the function of a bionic man. Along the means, he groups up with a down-on-his luck songwriter (Kadeem Hardison) and a motelier (a really charming Brittany Murphy, in an early function). —Pete Volk

Drive is out there to stream without spending a dime with adverts on Vudu, Tubi, and Pluto TV.

Brotherhood of the Wolf

Mark Dacasos as Mani in Brotherhood of the Wolf.

Image: Universal Pictures

Dacascos stars reverse Samuel Le Bihan in Christophe Gans’ 2001 martial arts-action-horror interval movie Brotherhood of the Wolf as Mani, the formidable and ever-loyal Iroquois companion to Sir Grégoire de Fronsac, a knight and royal naturalist of King Louis XV. When the province of Gévaudan is besieged by a mysterious rash of murders perpetrated by some unknown creature, Fronsac and Mani are dispatched to analyze. What they discover is a conspiracy that threatens not solely the native townspeople, however a plot that would topple the French monarchy if not stopped.

Dacascos’ Mani is a noble warrior of few phrases and swift actions, the form of man who’s not afraid to go toe-to-toe (and blow-for-blow) towards a gang of devious combatants or a horrifying armor-plated monster. Seriously, this man may’ve given the Predator a run for his cash. If you’re keen on swashbuckling sword duels, martial arts struggle scenes, tricorne hats, and Monica Bellucci (’nuff mentioned), Brotherhood of the Wolf is a must-see installment in the canon of Dacascos’ finest performances. —Toussaint Egan

Brotherhood of the Wolf is out there to stream on Shudder.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Mark Dacasos as Zero in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.

Image: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Dacascos wasn’t initially slated to be the lead villain on this film. Per his interview with Adkins (linked above), he was working with famed Shakespeare trainer Patsy Rodenburg when director Chad Stahelski requested if he can be keen to do a cameo in the new John Wick film, with perhaps a line of dialogue and a brief struggle. Dacascos agreed, and when the actor initially slated to play the villain dropped out of the half, abruptly our man was in line for a a lot meatier function.

The Wick collection redefined fashionable action in some ways, and the third installment is the most martial arts-heavy of the bunch. It’s a shift for the collection that fits Dacascos properly — he performs Zero, an murderer searching Wick, and has a showstopper of an ending struggle scene on a flooring full of glass panes. That scene took three to 4 weeks to shoot, Dacascos estimated, and he mentioned he almost walked into one of these glass panes a few “half a dozen times.” —PV

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is out there to lease on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu.

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