Action Movie Fanatix Review: Mask of Death

Mask of Death banner

He’s On A Mission For Revenge… With Nothing To Lose!

Starring: Lorenzo Lamas, Rae Dawn Chong, Billy Dee Williams, Conrad Dunn, Tom Cavanagh

Director: David Mitchell

1996  |  89 Minutes  |  Rated R

“Look at this guy, he makes Charles Manson look like the Good Humor Man.” – Daniel McKenna

So I pick up this action movie multipack at my favorite pawn shop and there’s this movie in there… Mask of Death… with a sweet shot of Lorenzo Lamas on the cover with what appears to be a cybernetic eye.  I read the synopsis… nothing about a cybernetic eye.  I watch the movie… no cybernetic eye.  What gives!?!

After his wife is killed and he is shot in the face, police officer Daniel McKenna (Lorenzo Lamas) gets a chance for revenge when he undergoes plastic surgery and ends up looking like the man who tried to kill him.

This movie gets right to the chase.  Within five minutes we are guns-a-blazing aboard speedboats with a helicopter in tow.

After that things start feeling a little like Face/Off but quickly departs that path and goes for something a little different.  Some of the themes are the same with McKenna impersonating Mason just like Sean Archer impersonates Castor Troy.  McKenna isn’t as successful as Archer was though.  Mason’s girlfriend figures out that McKenna isn’t him after screwing him.  She says could tell the difference.

The transformation from fluffy dirty blond haired, mustachioed Lamas to classic greasy black haired badass Lamas is pretty laughable.  The first guy never looked much like a human being much less a cop.

Mask of Death Lamas

As the bodies start piling up McKenna starts becoming more and more like the man he’s impersonating, even backhanding his ex-partner when she asks too many questions.

The acting’s fine, nothing to write home about but it works.  And it managed to pull a few laughs out of me.

The action is also just fine.  There’s a few gunfights and explosions but never enough to pull this above feeling like a TV movie.

Mediocrity aside, Mask of Death is actually kind of fun.  It’s stupid, I’ll give you that and there wasn’t any cybernetic eye.  But it worked for what it was, an 89 minute time waster.

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