CANNON MONTH 2: The No Mercy Man (1973)

Bad Man, Trained to Kill and Trained to Kill USA to some, The No Mercy Man was the first and last film for director Daniel Vance, as well as Dean Cundy’s first movie ever.

Prophet (Rockne Tarkington, Black Samson) and his gang of carnies have come to the home of the Hands and nearly killed their patriarch Mark (Richard X. Slattery) and assaulted young Mary (Heidi Vaughn). And even after she stabs one and escapes into the desert, her Vietnam vet brother Steve Sandor — a Greenville, PA native as well as Darkwolf in Fire and Ice and the man himself in Stryker — just says that the cops can handle it.

Two of Olie’s fellow vets visit and we soon discover just how withdrawn Ollie has become, not even telling his family that he had been a decorated commander of an Army Ranger LARRP (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol).

Meanwhile, Prophet, Dunn (Ron Thompson), their men and Pillbox’s (Sid Haig) motorcycle gang plan on breaking back into the Hand house, stealing their guns and killing pretty much everyone in town.

This movie also has its own theme song “The No Mercy Man,” which was written by Lois Vincent and Don Vincent (the composer of the music for Blood Mania and The Night God Screamed) and performed by Al Gambino and Glory, with these lyrics: “Love and lust are the same to him, like being raped by the devil.”

Pretty much a Western — and a Tarantino favorite — this may have come out a month before Walking Tall, but later posters had no problem putting this movie in the same cinematic universe, saying “Like Billy Jack and Buford Pusser, he stood tall!” You could also consider it a proto-Missing In Action, except Chuck Norris’ PTSD was soon forgotten so that he could sidekick the Vietnamese villains that still had American POWs into another dimension (they also come from the two versions of Cannon).

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