Review: On Deadly Ground


Twitter: adadrian
on deadly ground: a pretty good movie...great seagal action ...great aikido moves...even though there could be a few more but the main point for this movie was the whole save the planet scheme sure it's a pretty good movie but some of the whole indian spiritual things are a bit odd.....michael caine plays a great bad guy he really acted well.
if it wasnt so much on the whole spiritual side it would be a great movie but its pretty good steven's acting is really good


Huge Member
On Deadly Ground really isn't that bad. I only had a region 2 copy for a while, which coloured my judgement somewhat, as it seemed rather disjointed. However, when I got my hands on a region 1 copy, I saw the reason why - a large proportion of the violence has been simply removed from the region 2 copy and, consequently, the movie suffers considerably.

Pretty much the entire scene where Seagal's friend Hugh gets his hands broken with the whale bone has been cut out and, following on from that rather brutal sequence, the part where Seagal begins his quest to avenge the death of his friend by utilising the same weapon to chin the thugs who storm Hugh's house as he is trying to get the disk later on in the movie - a lot of that scene was cut too.

I agree with MMCK2 - On Deadly Ground has some of Seagal's best fight sequences, particularly the final fight scene where he single-handedly takes out the control centre.

I could have done without some of the dream sequences and silly imagery and the speech at the end (although it raised a lot of valid points) was out of place in an action film, but overall, I think the film was pretty good, with Michael Caine turning in a very hammy performance, which was tempered by the cold brutality of his right hand man and R Lee Ermey (of Full Metal Jacket) is wonderfully over the top as the leader of the team hired to find and kill Seagal's character.

Overall, I feel that this was a good film, but I think that some people found it too much of a departure with it's heavy handed 'Save The Environment' theme after the pure action of previos Seagal films.



New Member
On Deadly Ground

Hi Glimmerman

I quite agree that the film is a corker. I haven’t seen the Region One version so I’m unaware of any cuts, unless they were in the cinema release.

One of the best fight scenes is the bar one. I just love it when bullies get their just desserts, especially on screen, and no-one does it better than Seagal. The fight culminates in the stand-off with the man from 'The Bodyguard' and the hand-slap game. In fact all Seagal's bar scenes are great, just look at the bar scene in 'Out For Justice', where he has the stick fight with Bruce Lee's old student Dan Inosanto. Brilliant.

I think he needs to return to America and leave the cheaper European films.

Have a good weekend!



Huge Member
Ninj - you don't know what you're missing with the Region 2 DVD! I'm sure I've got a spare copy of the Region 1 flick somewhere - I'll try and find it and send it to you if you like... it's on VHS though, I think.


New Member
On Deadly Ground

Hi Glimmerman

Thank you for offer, very kind. Thing is though I've got rid of my VCR. I'll try and get it off on Region One.

Hey one thing I think a lot of critics fail to mention is the overlooked flick 'My Giant' in which Seagal plays himself and really pokes fun at himself. I take my hat off to him for that.




Huge Member
I just ordered On Deadly Ground on Region 1 DVD. Excellent.

Ninj - if you're interested, 1 minute and nine seconds in total was cut from the UK (region 2) release, in the shape of the following:

1. The bar fight - cut in several places to remove a head being slammed into a jukebox, two kicks to the groin, a wrist snap, and arm break.

2. The 'Hugh' torture sequence has been greatly reduced. The finger breaking has been greatly cut and we no longer see a pipe cutter being used on his leg.

3. The raid on the wilderness cabin has lost a few violent moments: a bullet impact/blood spurt as a thug is dispatched with a shotgun and a thug being clubbed with a piece of ivory.

4. Near the end when the woman crashes her truck into an oil tanker causing it to explode: we no longer see her - dazed and bloodied - struggling to get out.

5. A beating of a henchman as Seagal breaks into the oil refinery has been cut to remove him breaking an arm and kicks to the chest.

6. The stand-off between Seagal and a group of hired thugs has been toned down: two blows to the head with a piece of lead pipe have been cut, a close-up of a knife protruding from a face has been trimmed.




Hard To Kill
Hi. This is my first post here, so be gentle with me :)

I used to watch Steven Seagal films a lot when I was younger (I'm 40 now) and have recently been catching up with his movies again after a couple recently screened on television, Above The Law and On Deadly Ground.

What else can be said about On Deadly Ground that hasn't already been said here and elsewhere? As much as I enjoy Seagal's films, this one is enjoyable for all the wrong reasons. It has an unintentionally funny bar fight that ranks as one of the funniest 'bad movie' scenes I've watched...I have no idea how Mike Starr did that scene with a straight face, especially when Steven says "What does it take to change the essence of a man?". I can see that they were going for something of a more spiritual level with this film, but that whole bit takes you right out of the film and it never recovers.

We also have the well meaning environmental message of the film, which is especially timely now....but how can you take it seriously when Seagal's character almost single handedly destroys an oil refinery which would cause an incredible amount of damage to the environment? The speech that follows is right on in its message but so out of place and hypocritical following the destruction and violence the viewer just witnessed.

Is it just me or does Seagal's character come off a little Timothy McVeigh in this movie? Look at the scene when he takes Joan Chen (who is criminally wasted in this film) to his mountain hideaway and we see countless boxes of explosives. His answer to why he has stockpiled this arsenal? A calm "just in case". That came off a little creepy to me!

And Michael Caine...what was Steven thinking as a director allowing Caine to look like the way he did in the film? Not only is his hair painted black, he's covered in so much make-up he stands out in a scene for all the wrong reasons. And who thought it'd be a good idea for Caine to perform a dramatic scene with cold cream on his face, especially just under his nose?

I don't want to come here and appear to be a Seagal basher because I am not. I admire the man and most of his work. I admire the fact that he tried introducing positive and meaningful themes into his films that would make people think. However, kick-ass action films aren't really an appropriate genre to do this. And it took On Deadly Ground to demonstrate why.

I'm looking forward to going back and watching the really good stuff like Marked For Death and Under Siege, and then catching up with his later DTV efforts, regardless of all the bad things I've heard. Regardless of how bad the film around him is, I think Seagal is always worth watching...and I hope I still think that after seeing his most recent work.

Thanks for having me here, I hope to join in more regularly.
I just watched this recently on DVD and I have to say it`s very underrated, I`m not saying it`s a classic like Marked For Death by any means but its got some great action sequences, Seagal`s attack on the oil refinery is some of the best stuff he`s ever done.

Good cast of actors too.

*beep* these animals stink! Get me a washcloth!"

2.5 out of 5


New Member
I just recently watched On Deadly ground for the first time myself, and I have to confess, the "message" of the film didn't detract from my enjoyment of it a bit. I really enjoyed the fight scenes and I thought Michael Caine was terrific as the bad guy. I appreciated it even more after watching a few of the newer stv movies, to be honest.