Mark Gregory was born as Marco Di Gregorio, but it’s his acting — well, whatever you call it — that has made him such a memorable person in Italian exploitation junk cinema. The first film you need to watch out for is 1990: The Bronx Warriors, where he supposedly defeated 2,000 other hopefuls for the role of Trash after his girlfriend sent in his head shot.
Gregory is a strange screen presence. He walks strangely, he pouts throughout every scene and he doesn’t seem like someone tough enough to lead a gang, even if his head is all screwed up from that “Manhattan pussy” he’s been getting.
Fred Williamson has said in interviews that he had to teach Gregory how to walk and look tough. He did what he could, but follow-ups like Escape the Bronx and the utterly insane Adam and Eve vs. the Cannibals only serve to illustrate that Mark Gregory has a strange charisma all his own.
I’ve read accounts where Gregory’s “feminine mannerisms resulted in homophobic harassment from some of the extras.” Perhaps that’s why he disappeared.
He has superfans like Lance Manley, who runs the Bronx Warriors site, who was so concerned as to where Gregory went that he actually searched throughout Italy and met with director Enzo G. Castellari to find him. The new Bronx blu rays feature “THE HUNT FOR TRASH: Interview With Bronx Warriors Superfan Lance Manley,” a short film about Manley’s love for the films and search for the actor.
Gregory wasn’t in many movies. In fact, after the two Bronx films and the Italian exploitation version of Genesis, I thought I had seen them all.
How wrong I was.
The films this next week are every single appearance Gregory made on film. The great site Monster Hunter pointed me in the direction of some films I missed. Amazon Prime became where I found his films, except that for some, I had to search the darkest corners of the web. I’ve survived some of the roughest films I’ve ever witnessed to come back to you with the results.
Please don’t take the path I have. Be content to enjoy the more known of Gregory’s IMDB list. I wouldn’t wish War Bus Commando on you. But I’ve done it. I’ve accomplished something. And I ask you to come back all week long to read more.
UPDATE June 28, 2021: Check out our Mark Gregory Letterboxd list!
Here’s the full list of our reviews:
And our very own R. D Francis examines the life and career of Mark Gregory, as well as his fellow apoc-warrior, Michael Sopkiw, with his Medium article, “Warriors of the Pasta-Apocalypse: Michael Sopkiw and Mark Gregory Kicking Ass in the ’80s Italian Wastelands.”
UPDATE March 20, 2022: Sadly, according to Cinema Italiano Database, Mark Gregory died in 2013. I won’t go into the sad details, only to say that I hope the actor, who has given me so much joy, has found the peace in death that he could not get in life.