CANNON MONTH 2: Dead Center (1993)

Steve Carver has a pretty good track record. I mean, if he only made Lone Wolf McQuadeAn Eye for an EyeSteelJocksThe ArenaBig Bad MamaCaponeFast Charlie…the Moonbeam Rider and River of Death are all pretty fun or weird or at least have a moment that entertains you.

Joe (Justin Lazard) is a killer. He’s not elegant, but he’s ruthless. But the law has finally caught up with him and he’s facing the chair.

Or maybe not. Mary (Rachel York) makes him an offer on behalf of the U.S. government: train to be an elite hitman or die. Under the watchful eye of Saunders (Eb Lottimer), Mary trains him to be an unstoppable assassin.

His first mission is to kill Ambassador Chavez (David Carradine) at a Washington, D.C. art gallery. He easily pulls it off, but angers Saunders when he leaves a loose end: an innocent tourist who photographed the crime scene. That woman is killed in a fire.

So yeah. El Butch Nikita.

Mary gets suspicious of her boss and learns that he’s really working not for the interests of the U.s. but instead using his killing machines to commit legal murders for crime boss Emilio Cordoba (Frank McCarthy). Saunders next commands Joe to kill Congressman Clark (JoeStraderr) and also tells Mary to erase him afterward. Of course, Joe is in love with Mary, so they run off together, pulling off their own killings, like wiping Cordoba off the map.

Then, the two infiltrate the toxic chemical lab that is Saunders’ base. Joe blows it up real good and heads off to sleep with a blonde, just like James Bond would, but Mary ends up saving him from her, as his love interest — for the evening — ends up being a killer.

After having his books The Park Is Mine and The Fourth War into movies, Stephen Peters started writing movies of his own. He got set for life when he wrote Wild Things. For this one, he had Menahem Golan giving him the initial story, which for all we know was a few words, as his story for Ninja 3: The Domination was “Female ninja.”

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