"Blackmark" is an astonishing straight-to-DVD movie that promises a "millennial take on the Cold War." Writer-director AJ Martinson III says he wrote the script at age 21.
Set in 1963, the movie stars low-budget action stalwart Kaiwi Leonard, who must have insisted that he be allowed to keep his beard and '90s hot-guy haircut. Once the crew realized that their lead wouldn't go along with a period look, they just gave up on everyone else. No suit, shirt collar or tie remotely matches the era and, even though the production designer makes an effort to have the sets look right, the movie's going to look weird to anyone who was born before the end of first Bush 41 administration.
The plot? There's a mysterious military contractor named Arthur Blackmark who's been secretly running the government since he eliminated his arm dealer rivals. Leonard thinks he's a CIA agent but he's really working for Blackmark. He teams up with a Soviet officer to stop a nuclear attack at the beginning of the movie and the rest of the running time is filled up with the unraveling of an impenetrable conspiracy. Bonus: the actor who plays Lee Harvey Oswald looks enough like the actor who plays the Soviet officer that they're easy to mistake for each other.
Anyone who thinks that they don't make 'em like they used to might want to check this out. "Blackmark" fits right in with the weirdest VHS action pictures that you'd find stuffed in the back corner of your local video store back in the early '80s.