Long since his heyday with DTV fare, I Am Omega, actor Mark Dacascos is returning to the zombie genre with action horror, The Driver. Its arrival is a timely and welcome one for the action star whose latest fame of late brought appearances in John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, and hit Netflix series, Wu Assassins.
The film is directed by Wych Kaosayananda, best known for directing Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, before rebooting his career in Southeast Asia. He directed photography on Daniel Zirilli’s upcoming Marko Zaror/Johnny Strong thriller, Invincible and collaborated twice with Dustin Nguyen lensing Once Upon A Time In Vietnam, and directing the actor on cerebral crime procedural, Angels (that film was later recut with scenes added featuring Scott Adkins and Kane Kosugi for its stateside release as 2 Guns: Zero Tolerance).
Kaosayanada shot the film last year as one of two films at the time in hopes of a planned series of films; One of the films is more of a slow-burn drama whereas The Driver definitely aims more toward commercial action entertainment. This is a major caveat for Kaosayanada who I spoke to late last year on the project.
He expressedly admired Dacascos while working with him on set, and it so happens he’s a self-avowed fan of the assassin manga, Crying Freeman which Dacascos led for a live-action adaptation by Christophe Gans 24 years earlier, which makes sense.
And that’s the connecting thread that now brings us The Driver, as Dacascos reunites on screen with his Crying Freeman leading lady, actress and wife Julie Dacascos (then Julie Condra at the time). The two also star along with daughter, young actress Noelani Dacascos for the story of a family living quietly in a survivalist compound after a plague of the undead decimates human life on Earth.
What the narrative also entails is Dacascos’ role as that of a former hitman. Alas, when their base is attacked and a massive explosion summons a swarm of the undead, they’re forced on the run in search of a rumored sanctuary known as “the Haven”, with the father doing what he does best to protect his family. In accodance, he must also teach his daughter to shoot, drive, and survive before time runs out.
Adding to the cast is actor, stunt performer and martial artist Charlie Ruedpokanon, best known for roles in Isaac Florentine’s Ninja 2: Shadow Of A Tear, Roel Reine’s The Man With The Iron Fists 2, Cinemax series Strike Back, and Jimmy Henderson’s upcoming action thriller, The Guardian, starring Gu Shangwei, Andy On and Jean-Paul Ly.
Screenrant‘s Zak Wojnar provided the exclusive this week describing the trailer as comprised of “a ton of martial arts moves, frantic shootouts, and promises a barrage of non-stop excitement, punctuated by genuine displays of sincere family dynamics.” The “ton of martial arts moves” part is definitely an exaggeration in terms of the trailer itself, but the trailer does sample a decent view of what lies ahead for a potentially entertaining action horror flick to check out soon.
The Driver releases on DVD, Digital, and On Demand November 26 from Lionsgate and Grindstone.