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Robert J. Smawley
Robert F. Lyons,
The Films of Damian Lee: Circle Man (1987). The Last Place You'd Expect to Find a Hero.
After constant viewings of Damian Lee's "Abraxas: Guardian of the Universe", I became more interested in his other works. The first movie from Damian that I saw after "Abraxas" was "Busted Up." I also had been wanting to see "Circle Man", also known as "Last Man Standing", for some time. I got a copy of this movie on eBay for $10, and it was $10 well spent. Though I think "Circle Man" is a better title for this movie.
The movie is about a man named Roo Marcus (Played by Vernon Wells from Fortress, The Road Warrior, and King of the Ants) who had just spent 8 years in a mental institution, and takes up bare-knuckle boxing and gets a job fighting in a gym run by Napoleon (Played by Michael Copeman, who played Sheriff Sharp in Abraxas.) Roo is often tormented by memories of shock treatment and inhumane conditions. His friends, Capser (Played by William Sanderson from Savage Weekend, Blade Runner, and Newhart) and Ratty (Played by Franco Columbo from The Terminator) help him along the way, until he gets brutally beaten up by one of Napoleon's fighters and ends up in the hospital, and Ratty, after trying to fight his friend, commits suicide by jumping off a roof. Marcus meets up with a girl named Charlie (Played by Sonja Belliveau.), whose father is in debt and owes Napoleon money. Marcus channels up his pent-up aggression and becomes a bare-knuckled street fighter. Eventually, Marcus goes up against the champ, Razor (Played by Real Andrews.) Overall, "Circle Man" has to be Damian's second best, in my opinion, the first, of course, being "Abraxas". Vernon Wells seems to have played mainly villains, but in the case of "Circle Man", he does a swell good guy character. This movie seems to be very similar to "Busted Up", which is another movie Lee wrote, and is also about boxing. Charlie Barnett, who did "Busted Up." This movie is pure fun. The director makes a quick cameo as Sully at the beginning, and he doesn't appear in the rest of the movie, which was the only letdown. Producer David Mitchell's daughter, Jackie, has a small role at the end.
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