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Incredibly bad but sporadically incredibly funny
on 12 December 2007
When people said On Deadly Ground ended with Steven Seagal giving a lecture about the environment, I thought they were talking metaphorically: I didn't realise that he actually got up on a podium and gave a slide presentation. The kind of film that gives ecology a bad name, Seagal's directorial debut may have had a similar premise to the aborted Rambo 4 that was planned around the same time (lone hero takes on oil company despoiling the wilderness, in this case in Alaska) but is inept on a scale previously undreamt of, with heavy-handed mysticism and speachifying rubbing shoulders with staggeringly badly staged action scenes that bored even the whispering ones fans. Weirdest sight: Michael Caine's villain, not just content with polluting the environment even pollutes his comically dyed hair with oil and his over-made-up face with the most hideous display of the embalmer's art this side of the Bride of Wildenstein. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. And then some. But at least Basil Poledouris' score is pretty good.
If you are tempted to check it out, do bear in mind that - unlike the NTSC Region 1 US DVD - the UK release has been very oviously cut by the BBFC by 70 seconds.