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Merchant of Death (1997)

Jim Rendall (Michael Pare) is 6 when his family gets killed. 25 years later he finds out why.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Randell
Linda Hoffman ...
Dr. Maggie Winters
John Simon Jones ...
Detective Will 'Flash' Gordon (as Simon Jones)
Justin Illusion ...
Anthony Fridjhon ...
Canning (as Anthony Fridjohn)
Tony Caprari ...
Michael McGovern ...
Sam Washburn
Greg Melvill-Smith ...
Anthony Birch
Deon Stewardson ...
Harv Bennet
Frank Notaro ...
Frank Norton ...
Dave Ridley ...
Hyperion Security
Nick Randall
David Butler ...
Cessna Pilot
Michael Brunner ...


When he was 6-years-old 23 years ago, Portland, Oregon police detective Jim Randall witnessed the murders of his parents and his sister. Now, Randall is trying to crack a drug ring led by Panella, whose hit men Velazquez and Birch killed Randall's family 23 years ago. After Randall's interruption of another cop's stakeout, Randall's boss Sam Washburn orders him to undergo departmental psychiatric therapy. But Randall's visits with Dr. Maggie Weathers leads to Randall's memories flooding out to confront him. Randall learns that Washburn was mixed up in a scheme to buy the Randall family farm, and after Washburn's death, Washburn's widow hands Randall a file. The trail leads to the Hyperion Export Corporation, owned by Canning, the town's former mayor. Randall sets out to avenge his family's murders, knowing exactly who to go after. Randall starts by going after Velazquez and Birch, who didn't tell Washburn about their orders from Panella to kill the Randalls because the Randalls didn't... Written by Todd Baldridge

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, and for some language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 September 1997 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Mission of Death  »

Filming Locations:

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Did You Know?


Edited from Cyborg Cop III (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Merchant Of Death gets Reckless!
25 November 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I like Michael Pare. He's a great looking guy with decent acting chops, and enough on screen presence as a leading man. As his career moved through the nineties though, Pare seemed to fall into the B- movie market, taking a seat in the hit-or-miss roller-coaster in a huge number of dramas, horrors and action flicks, including lately, most of Marmite director Uwe Boll's projects!

Throughout his career though, there has been a number of gems that highlight the very best of this fan favourite. Merchant Of Death is one of those...

In a nutshell - With a cigar chomping performance from star Michael Pare, we are given a great mix of Hannibal from the A-Team and Chow Yun Fat's awesome Tequila from Hardboiled, in a mish mash of crazy action scenes and heavy drama that looks like its stepped right out of Hong Kong cinemas golden years!

In my opinion - While far from perfect, and apparently containing a host of shots cut in from the directors previous projects (although not confirmed), Merchant Of Death is a messy film, packed full of action scenes, dramatic moments and characters that come and go as they please... Much like that of cult Hong Kong classics. On the positive side, this allows us to having a glorious action packed, explosive and stunt filled opening that rivals most Hollywood features closing ten minutes and look like John Woo crept on set for the day!

If anything, it is the second third of the film that throws you off after hooking you in with said introduction. Playing as a heavy drama, things slow down for some time leaving you slightly bored and reaching for the remote. But if you get through that, you are once again hooked with an action packed end battle that saves this little gem from becoming just another typical Hollywood film.

Worth the watch, but leave your brain at the door!

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