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Written by / 7/26/2021 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , ,

JAN-MICHAEL VINCENT FIGHTS BACK IN JOHN FLYNN'S 'DEFIANCE'

Foreign DEFIANCE Poster 1980 Rating: ***1/2

Both lead actors from THE MECHANIC would get the vigilante bug, especially Charles Bronson, two years later beginning what would become the DEATH WISH franchise; and right before the second of five features, Jan-Michael Vincent waged DEFIANCE directed by the always capable John Flynn, who does his best work with low budget b-flicks with big budget intensity... wherein Vincent plays a merchant seaman on leave and doesn't want to be... stuck in New York where the usual bullying gang rears from the woodwork, led by Rudy Ramos, looking a kind of stylish Zoot Suit throwback... 

Soon enough this villain's hateful eyes lock on Vincent, about to enter his shabby apartment in a shabbier building that includes the token young mentored boy and gorgeous ingenue, here played with Spanish zest by zesty Italian beauty Theresa Saldana, throwing herself at Vincent's tough silent type. And he just as quickly befriends local allies led by big/strong and jovial Danny Aiello with equally-rough sidekicks Don Blakely and Frank Pesce, providing Vincent a kind of street-savvy Greek-chorus along with Art Carney as a helpful liquor store owner and Lenny Montana, bigger than Aiello and... with this muscular group why did Vincent have to defend the neighborhood in the first place? Well the BIG WEDNESDAY star was mentally and physically built for this kind of hard-edge action role, no matter how easy victory seems despite Ramos's deadly-effective turn and, overall, DEFIANCE provides AIR WOLF legend Vincent his last decent theatrical role before TV (and years of demons) took him down the long last decline.   

Jan-Michael Vincent in DEFIANCE
Jan-Michael Vincent in DEFIANCE
Theresa Saldana in DEFIANCE
Theresa Saldana in DEFIANCE
Jan-Michael Vincent in DEFIANCE
Santos Morales, Danny Aiello and Don Blakely in DEFIANCE
Frank Pesce, Danny Aiello and Don Blakely in DEFIANCE
Church Ortiz behind Rudy Ramos in DEFIANCE


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