Marked for Death

Marked for Death Information

Marked for Death is a 1990 action film directed by Dwight H. Little. It stars Steven Seagal as John Hatcher, a former DEA troubleshooter. Upon moving back to his home town, Hatcher finds it taken over by a gang of vicious Jamaican drug dealers. The gang is led by Screwface using a combination of fear and Obeah, a Jamaican syncretic religion of West African and Caribbean origin similar to Haitian vodou and Santerķa as practiced in Cuba.

The film is widely considered by fans and critics alike to be one of Seagal's best films (alongside Under Siege and Above the Law), due to the fight scenes integrating heavy elements of aikido, use of weapons, and arm dislocations. Seagal supposedly studied Obeah in depth to make the film. Scenes in the movie show a priestess throwing cowry shells with a picture of Screwface in an attempt to put a curse on him for a rival drug lord.


Chicago DEA agent John Hatcher (Seagal) has just returned from Colombia, where his partner Chico (Richard Delmonte) was killed in a confrontation with drug dealers, and John killed the dealers. As a result of Chico's death, John has decided to retire.

One night, John and his friend Max (David), the head coach of a high school football team, go to a bar. A gunfight breaks out between local drug dealers and a Jamaican gang called the Jamaican Posse, whose leader is a drug kingpin known as Screwface (Basil Wallace). Hatcher arrests one of Screwface's henchmen as the gunfight ends.

The next day, Screwface and some of his henchmen take revenge by shooting up the house where John, his sister Melissa (Gracen), and Melissa's 12-year-old daughter Tracey (Harris) live. Tracey is shot and is hospitalized in critical condition.

Hatcher encounters a gangster named Jimmy Fingers (DiBenedetto). After unsuccessfully trying to get Jimmy to tell him where Screwface might be, Hatcher is forced to kill him. A Jamaican named Nesta (Evans) arrives. Hatcher is able to sit him down but Nesta tells him to go after Screwface alone and jumps out the window to his death. The next day, John finds the blood symbol used by the Posse during their murders marked on a carpet, and gets information about it from Leslie (Pacula), a Jamaican voodoo and gang expert who works part-time as a detective.

Hatcher then comes out of retirement to join Max in a battle against Screwface. John gets a phone call from Melissa, which is cut short when Screwface and his men invade Hatcher's home and attempt to murder Melissa, but leave upon Hatcher's arrival.

The next day, Hatcher and Max get into a fight with three of Screwface's henchmen during a car chase. The fight moves to a mall after the henchmen's car crashes, and the duo kill the three henchmen there. Hatcher realizes that the only way to stop the Jamaican Posse is to bring down Screwface.

The two team up with Charles (Wright), a Jamaican Chicago police officer who has been trailing Screwface for five years. They acquire all the weaponry they need from a local weapons dealer"?machine guns, submachine guns, pistols, suppressors (silencers), bombs"?then head for Kingston, Jamaica to find Screwface. Upon arrival, Max and Charles ask people in the streets the location of Screwface's hideout. They meet a Jamaican who gives them a photo of a woman who knows Screwface. Hatcher meets her in a club and she gives the address of Screwface's mansion. The woman also gives Seagal's character a cryptic clue about Screwface: "The secret of Screwface's power is that him have (sic) two heads and four eyes."

At night, Hatcher, Max and Charles (disguised as members of the Posse) head for Screwface's mansion where there is a party in progress. They secretly infiltrate the premises through a nearby plantation. Hatcher guns down three henchmen on the balcony, then goes to a nearby power station and plants a bomb. He infiltrates the inner grounds by climbing across roofs while Max and Charles keep a lookout. Hatcher detonates the bomb, causing the party to erupt in violence and gunfire. Hatcher enters the building and disposes of many henchmen. He finds a sacrificial area but is captured by Screwface and his remaining henchmen. Hatcher is able to break free and kills every henchman before fighting Screwface. During a swordfight, he cuts Screwface's genitals then decapitates him.

Back in Chicago, Hatcher displays Screwface's severed head to the Jamaican Posse to get them to leave town. However, Screwface's identical twin brother, who runs the Chicago Posse crime business, arrives and kills Charles, making the gang and the audience think that Screwface has returned from the dead. In fact Screwface's twin actually committed all the Screwface crimes in Chicago, including the attempt to murder Hatcher and his sister. The meeting erupts in chaos and the gang members open fire on the duo. During the gunfight Max holds off the henchmen while Hatcher kills more gang members before dealing with Screwface's brother in a swordfight. The fight moves to the nightclub where Hatcher kills Screwface's brother, gouging his eyes and blinding him, breaking his back, then dropping him down an elevator shaft, where he is impaled when he gets to the bottom. The gang looks at their dead boss. With both Screwfaces dead, remaining gang members are presumably arrested at the end of the film.

The final scene shows Hatcher carrying Charles' body with Max, shot in the leg, limping next to him. The film ends with Jimmy Cliff's song "John Crow" displayed in the credits.


  • Steven Seagal as John Hatcher
  • Basil Wallace as Screwface
  • Keith David as Max
  • Tom Wright as Charles
  • Joanna Pacu"?a as Leslie
  • Elizabeth Gracen as Melissa Hatcher
  • Danielle Harris as Tracey Hatcher
  • Al Israel as Tito Barco
  • Arlen Dean Snyder as Duvall
  • Victor Romero Evans as Nesta
  • Michael Ralph as Money
  • Danny Trejo as Hector
  • Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter as Nago


Critical reaction

The movie had a mixed reception. Both The New York Times and Washington Post gave it average reviews, noting that it was a fairly standard Seagal action film.

Box office

Marked For Death was considered a box office success, earning a little more than $43 million domestically and $57 million worldwide.


See Marked for Death (soundtrack) for more information A soundtrack containing hip hop, reggae and R&B music was released on September 27, 1990 by Delicious Vinyl.

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Marked_for_Death" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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