The Postman Preview

Jamie and Patrick enter the cocktail party at Colonel Stanley Von Freed’s posh ski chalet dressed in tuxedos and looking dapper. They scope the scene and begin to mingle with the crowd. Masters of smalltalk they express dismay at the latest news out of the Asian markets and hint at promising developments at their racehorse farm. Hands touch arms and laughter rings out until they realize they’ve been cornered by several sultry minxes eyeing them hungrily. They can’t be distracted. Patrick signals to the jazz band and a funky beat begins to play. Stripping to the waists, Jamie and Patrick perform their award winning breakdance routine that the New York Times deemed “the essence of pure masculinity.” Through a combination of hip thrusts and backflips Jamie and Patrick dispatch the sultry minxes and amongst fading cheers abscond upstairs. In the master bedroom they find a safe and hold their breath as they try the lock. It’s already open! Inside? Nothing. “Ah yes, I wondered why you two were here. Simple party crashers? I think not. You are looking for the medallion.” Out of the darkness Colonel Von Freed leans forward, his sad eyes searching Jamie and Patrick. Patrick speaks hesitantly, “We… we need it… to save the world.” The Colonel sighs, “of course you do, but what is there to save? This world is already dead.” Jamie steps toward the Colonel. “Come with us and find out what’s left to fight for.” The Colonel looks between them and for a moment a light shines in his eyes, “Who… who are you two?” he shakes his head, “It was taken. Long ago. By a fraudster who pretended to be my mailman. He took it to The Waste. We’ll find it there.” They shake their heads. Of course. Exactly where they started. That’s right! We’re watching what is considered one of the biggest bombs in film history, The Postman starring (and directed by) Kevin Costner. Good thing I definitely have three hours to kill this weekend, otherwise it would have been pretty annoying to watch … Let’s go!

The Postman (1997) – BMeTric: 32.5



(Wowza, up to 6.0. I can imagine it ages well. Costner seems like he has to be a competent director, so perhaps once you have some distance and are choosing to watch this 3 hour epic is probably skewing things upwards a bit. By all accounts this films is)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Long, boring, pretentious allegory about an itinerant performer in the post-apocalyptic future who passes himself off as a U.S. mail carrier. In that guise, he personifies hope for several isolated communities who’ve been beaten down by the cruel tactics of a demagogue (Patton, in a one-note performance). A well-meaning (but complete) misfire. That’s Costner’s son in the film’s final shot; one daughter plays a mail carrier, the other sings “America the Beautiful.” Mary Stuart Masterson appears unbilled.

(It feels like Maltin really slams films who strive to be something great and completely fail. Pretentious and boring. I can see it. I mean … you don’t hear much more about this film except that it is long and boring.)

Trailer –

(Wow, even the trailer is long, boring, and pretentious. I’m being serious, that felt like the longest trailer in the history of film.)

Directors – Kevin Costner – (Known For: Dances with Wolves; Open Range; BMT: The Postman; Razzie Notes: See the acting category Notes: An oddly limited directing career considering he won an Oscar with his first effort, and Open Range was well received as well … maybe he hates it. Nope.)

Writers – David Brin (novel) – (BMT: The Postman; Notes: His novel Startide Rising, part of his Uplift series, won the Nebula award in 1984, the year before he published The Postman (which was nominated for a Hugo and Nebula award))

Eric Roth (screenplay) – (Known For: A Star Is Born; Forrest Gump; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Ali; Munich; The Good Shepherd; The Insider; Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; The Horse Whisperer; Wolfen; The Onion Field; Suspect; Mr. Jones; The Drowning Pool; Future BMT: The Concorde… Airport ’79; Lucky You; BMT: The Postman; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for The Postman in 1998; Notes: Was sadly a victim of Bernie Madoff losing his retirement fund in the grift.)

Brian Helgeland (screenplay) – (Known For: A Knight’s Tale; L.A. Confidential; Legend; Mystic River; Robin Hood; 42; Green Zone; The Taking of Pelham 123; Conspiracy Theory; Payback; A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; Blood Work; Future BMT: The Sin Eater; 976-EVIL; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant; Assassins; BMT: The Postman; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for The Postman in 1998; Notes: Was a fisherman in New Bedford, MA for a short time before driving cross country to Hollywood.)

Actors – Kevin Costner – (Known For: The Highwaymen; Molly’s Game; Man of Steel; Hidden Figures; Dances with Wolves; Waterworld; The Untouchables; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; Mr. Brooks; No Way Out; Field of Dreams; Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit; JFK; Open Range; Bull Durham; Silverado; The Big Chill; Draft Day; Thirteen Days; Wyatt Earp; Future BMT: The New Daughter; Play It to the Bone; Dragonfly; The Bodyguard; 3 Days to Kill; Message in a Bottle; Swing Vote; Criminal; Revenge; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Black or White; The War; BMT: Rumor Has It…; The Postman; 3000 Miles to Graceland; The Guardian; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director, and Worst Actor for The Postman in 1998; Winner for Worst Actor, and Worst Remake or Sequel for Wyatt Earp in 1995; Winner for Worst Actor for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1992; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1993 for The Bodyguard; in 1996 for Waterworld; in 2000 for For Love of the Game, and Message in a Bottle; and in 2002 for 3000 Miles to Graceland; Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 1995 for Wyatt Earp; and in 2002 for 3000 Miles to Graceland; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Century in 2000; Notes: Y’all know Kevin Costner. He has seven children. The oldest is 34 and the youngest is 9. Quite the range.)

Will Patton – (Known For: Halloween; Remember the Titans; No Way Out; American Honey; The Mothman Prophecies; After Hours; Copycat; Desperately Seeking Susan; Rex; The Client; Brooklyn’s Finest; Silkwood; A Mighty Heart; The Scent of Rain & Lightning; Meek’s Cutoff; Wendy and Lucy; The Rapture; Jesus’ Son; A Shock to the System; In the Soup; Future BMT: Code Name: The Cleaner; Breakfast of Champions; Fled; The Fourth Kind; The Puppet Masters; Entrapment; The November Man; Knucklehead; Trixie; Gone in Sixty Seconds; The Punisher; The Canyon; Inventing the Abbotts; Boarding School; Armageddon; Everybody Wins; The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond; Romeo Is Bleeding; BMT: The Postman; Notes: Has narrated over forty audio books. Also … how is this first Will Patton film we’ve done? That is insane.)

Larenz Tate – (Known For: Crash; Girls Trip; Ray; Menace II Society; Dead Presidents; Love Jones; Why Do Fools Fall in Love; Future BMT: Biker Boyz; A Man Apart; Waist Deep; BMT: The Postman; Notes: Both of his brothers are also actors, although neither of them have worked much as actors in the last ten years.)

Budget/Gross – $80 million / Domestic: $17,626,234

(Two in a row, some great box office bombs recently. Unfortunately I think late-90s box office bomb might be the same as saying it is long and boring)

#56 for the Future – Near genre


(Right at a little peak in futuristic films, and right near other weird ones like Soldier which came out in 1998. Booming now. A genre which feels like it only gets bigger as cheap CGI becomes readily available.)

#87 for the Sci-Fi – Adventure genre


(Star Wars has this genre a-booming again. Somehow The Postman made less money than Battlefield Earth, so let that sink in for a bit.)

#52 for the Sci-Fi – Based on Book genre


(I can’t believe Jumper is the highest grossing BMT film for this sub-genre. I’m starting to get these graphs. They are all just variations on the same graph: sci-fi films from 1990 to present. The shapes are all kind of the same.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 9% (3/35)

(I’ll have to make a consensus: So earnest it somehow loops back around and becomes a joke. So long you’ll forget what it’s like to not be watching The Postman. Reviewer Highlight: Star/director Kevin Costner’s futuristic folly The Postman is so loopy that, for a while, one wants to shield it from a critical storm that has already begun. – Mike Clark, USA Today)

Poster – Postman: The Scorch Trials (C-)


(There is just too much going on. There is another version without the American flag and that’s better but still not the best. Everything is off about this, but not offensively bad. Also… like who wants to see this? Costner is a major star but even at the time I feel like people would look at this and be like “so we just watching him wander in the desert. No thanks.”)

Tagline(s) – The year is 2013. One man walked in off the horizon and hope came with him. (C-)

(Way too long, but love the specificity of the year considered that we have now blown by it. Ages like a fine wine. Also it hints at the incredible cheesiness of the film and I admire that. But still not good.)

Keyword(s) – drifter; Top Ten by BMeTric: 84.9 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011); 75.5 Anaconda (1997); 63.4 I, Frankenstein (2014); 60.8 Conan the Barbarian (2011); 51.0 Graveyard Shift (1990); 49.8 Frogs (1972); 46.3 Cabin Fever (2002); 46.0 Ator the Invincible (1982); 43.7 The Dark Tower (2017); 43.6 Coyote Ugly (2000);

(This can be split up into three groups. The “so bad we had to watch them” starts it off. Then three horror films. Then three kind of off the wall selections. Coyote Ugly is a funny one. Sometimes I forget that qualifies.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Kevin Costner is No. 1 billed in The Postman and No. 2 billed in 3000 Miles to Graceland, which also stars Kurt Russell (No. 1 billed) who is in Tango and Cash (No. 2 billed), which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 16. If we were to watch Love Happens, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – The actors did their own stuntwork on the rope bridge scene and Kevin Costner, a skilled equestrian, did his own horse-riding. He also performed the cable cart scene himself, with the cart winched through the air by helicopter.

Kevin Costner’s children all appear in the film.

Tom Petty mentioned back in 1982 while filming the video for his song “You Got Lucky” (a post apocalyptic themed story) he wanted to do a small part in a futuristic movie. He said he wanted to portray a post war character, which he finally did in this movie. (ugh, what a terrible story)

The area of Metaline Falls, Washington (where a lot of the filming took place) did not have much to offer for housing film crews (like hotels) so many of the crew stayed at local campsites, rented rooms from locals. Kevin Costner rented a house from a resident of the nearby town of Ione, Washington. The stars and crew treated the locals very kindly even when approached for autographs when eating in local restaurants. (Sounds like fun)

Residents of an apartment building in Metaline Falls, Washington were paid to have their windows blown out during the “Hannibal at the gate” scene that takes place in Benning. The apartments were later repaired and cleaned up, returning them to new.

The Postman’s fake president was named “Richard Starkey”, the real name of Ringo Starr. (Ah, I didn’t get that)

An open mining pit in Tucson was used in the movie. It was one of the largest film sets ever dressed, at least two miles wide, and 1200 feet deep to create Bethlehem’s camp. Engineers looked over the drawings for buildings of the future to see if they were structurally sound. They built Bridge City on the face of the dam that supplies half of Seattle’s power. (These are cool notes)

Visual effects supervisor Tricia Henry Ashford was fired several weeks before the end of production and replaced by storyboard artist David J. Negron Jr.. This was reportedly due to various “creative differences” between her and Kevin Costner; she wanted most of the effects to be done in post-production, while Costner wanted them to be done in-camera and on-location.

In the sequence where Kevin Costner’s character names Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) as President, he continues with another reference to The Beatles by telling the assembly “It’s getting better. Getting better all the time” from the band’s song “Getting Better”. (Also didn’t get that one)

We never learn The Postman’s real name.

The crew referred to the film as “Dirt World”.

Tom Petty plays himself. When The Postman and Abby met The Mayor of Bridge City (Tom Petty), The Postman says to him “I know you. You’re famous.” (Well … I guess if he was supposed to be like 60 in those scenes.)

At one point, this was in development as a project for Ron Howard, with Tom Hanks set to star. (I don’t believe it)

The Postman (1997) takes place the same year as another post apocalyptic movie – John Carpenter’s Escape From L.A. (1996). Both films take place in the year 2013. (Extended universe!)

It was the extras that referred to the production as “Dirt World”. This was never to be spoken within earshot of Kevin Costner, because he would fire anyone he heard saying it. (Ah I get it, like Waterworld … that’s pretty good)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture of the Decade (2000)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Jim Wilson, Steve Tisch, Kevin Costner, 1998)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Kevin Costner, 1998)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Kevin Costner, 1998)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Eric Roth, Brian Helgeland, John, John Wilson, 1998)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (John Coinman, Joe Flood, Blair Forward, Maria M. Machado, Jono Manson, 1998)


Under the Cherry Moon Preview

Nearing the end of our time wallowing in 1986 and this week we get to target a Razzie release from that year. Of the five films nominated for Worst Picture we still have two unwatched: Under the Cherry Moon and Blue City. I think the choice is obvious. This was Prince’s follow-up to Purple Rain and he decided to direct it himself to… interesting results. Not much more to say. Let’s go!

Under the Cherry Moon (1986) – BMeTric: 24.5



(Yet again a pretty standard linear BMeTric plot but … can we revel in the fact that Under the Cherry Moon barely broke 2000 votes at this point? That is absurd. It won a Worst Picture for the Razzies. It has the late great Prince in it! Just weird and wild stuff)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Supremely silly vanity film with Prince self-cast as American gigolo/entertainer in the south of France who has a devastating effect on women (yes, it’s a science fiction story). Stylish-looking fairy tale/fable, filmed in black & white, is a triumph of self-adoration, and overall embarrassment. Some music throughout, but in fragmented scenes. Kristin Scott Thomas’ film debut.

(The mere fact that this got 1.5 stars instead of bomb is pretty unlikely in the first place. Also it is like Leonard Maltin can’t help himself: what is the deal with the alternative-separated-by-a-slash in this review? “gigolo/entertainer” I could have dismissed, but to follow so closely with “fairy tale/fable”? Unacceptable. At least he doesn’t dismiss it as merely boring. We got that going for us, considering this feels like the spiritual successor to Harlem Nights.)

Trailer –

(This trailer consists of a series of random clips from the film with Prince’s ‘Kiss’ playing over them and an announcer telling me to “See it”… and it was amazing.)

Directors – Prince – (BMT: Under the Cherry Moon; Graffiti Bridge; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 1987 for Worst Actor, Director, and Original Song for Under the Cherry Moon; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2000 for Worst Actor of the Century;  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1990 for Worst Actor of the Decade; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1990 for Worst New Star of the Decade for Under the Cherry Moon; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1991 for Worst Actor, Director, and Screenplay for Graffiti Bridge; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1985 for Worst Original Song for Purple Rain; He only made three major movies and directed two of them! Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (holla!) he did a lot for that community his whole life. He had season tickets to the Vikings and I believe owned part of the concert venue First Avenue (which featured in Purple Rain). Is recognized for his highly sexualized lyrics which got him into some trouble with parents groups early in his career … I liked Prince, it was very sad that he died earlier this year.)

Michael Ballhaus – (BMT: Under the Cherry Moon; Notes: From a show business family (his father was a German actor and his sons are cinematographers and second unit directors). He is German and mostly known for cinematography (he’s been nominated three times for an Oscar including for Gangs of New York). He was kicked off of this movie after disagreements with Prince and is often listed as uncredited.)

Writers – Becky Johnston (screenplay) – (Known For: Seven Years in Tibet; The Prince of Tides; BMT: Under the Cherry Moon; Arthur and Mike; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1987 for Worst Screenplay for Under the Cherry Moon. Very strange, hard to find info. I say it is strange because she wrote Seven Years in Tibet and was nominated for an Oscar for Prince of Tides. I can only assume she is a producer / script doctor now … but seriously, I can’t find anything.)

Actors – Prince – (Known For: Purple Rain; BMT: Under the Cherry Moon; Graffiti Bridge; Notes: See above for Razzie details and biographical details. Graffiti Bridge is a sequel to Purple Rain by the way … I didn’t know that.)

Jerome Benton – (Known For: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Purple Rain; BMT: Under the Cherry Moon; Graffiti Bridge; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 1987 for Worst Supporting Actor for Under the Cherry Moon. Musician and comedian who worked with Prince and Janet Jackson among others. As a member of The Revolution he obviously had major parts in all of Prince’s films)

Kristin Scott Thomas – (Known For: The English Patient; Four Weddings and a Funeral; Only God Forgives; The Golden Compass; Suite Française; Mission: Impossible; Gosford Park; The Other Boleyn Girl; Ne le dis à personne; Bitter Moon; The Horse Whisperer; Salmon Fishing in the Yemen; Life as a House; Nowhere Boy; Easy Virtue; The Invisible Woman; Dans la maison; Richard III; BMT: Random Hearts (BMT); Bel Ami; Confessions of a Shopaholic; Under the Cherry Moon; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1987 for Worst Supporting Actress and New Star for Under the Cherry Moon; Most recently we saw her in Random Hearts with Harrison Ford. Off the top of my head I do know she is fluent in French and tends to provide her own French dubbings in film. A lot of her films are French for the same reason.)

Budget/Gross – $12 million / Domestic: $10,090,429

(Yeah … so that isn’t a good result. It is specifically mentioned in Prince’s IMDb biography as a giant bomb like … why mention it? Anyways, yeah, catastrophic.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 32% (10/31): Under the Cherry Moon may satisfy the most rabid Prince fans, but everyone else will be better served with this vanity project’s far superior soundtrack.

(Kind of shockingly high given it might as well as swept the Razzie Awards. I am excited for the soundtrack especially given that it appears to be a Harlem Nights-esque period piece vanity project.)

Poster – Under the Cherry Sklog (B-)


(Really old fashioned looking. I like the font on the letters and the fact that Prince is drawn. Should have scrapped the screenshots of Jerome Benton and Kristin Scott Thomas. Benton’s in particular is really odd with him standing there holding a phone.)

Tagline(s) – See It – Hear It – Feel It – Live It (C+)

(Hate it (slaaaaaammed). I think it is a classic sounds-like-a-tagline tagline. But have to give it some credit for being short and trying to have some cadance.)

Keyword(s) – love; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.2 The Last Airbender (2010); 84.9 Date Movie (2006); 81.4 Alone in the Dark (2005); 80.6 Vampires Suck (2010); 78.9 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 75.4 Troll 2 (1990); 74.7 From Justin to Kelly (2003); 72.9 Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009); 70.4 Grease 2 (1982); 70.2 Universal Soldier: The Return (1999);

(Weird list, but that’ll happen when literally like 800 movies have the same keyword. Has some of the worst of the worst according to the BMeTric, and yet only Grease 2 really should be watched for BMT. Only From Justin to Kelly is really a “romance” per se, which is a bit annoying. There are so many bad romance movies too.)

Notes – Prince took over from original director Mary Lambert over “creative differences”. Because the production was filming in Europe, it did not come up against the Director’s Guild of America, which has rules against firing a director in favor of a lead actor. (Oh shit, not that is a fun fact)

Kristin Scott Thomas has since been disdainful of the film. In an interview in 2005, she said that “When I left drama school…I was more afraid of not working at all than of the actual material I was being offered. And if you look at my very first film, you’ll understand exactly what I mean.”

The movie had an unlikely spot for its world premiere – the Centennial Twin Theater in Sheridan, Wyo. – in June 1986. Local resident Lisa Barber won the right to host the premiere by being the 10,000th caller in MTV’s “Prince Under the Cherry Moon” contest. Several members of the cast (including Prince) and a few notables such as Joni Mitchell and Ray Parker Jr. showed up in the north-central Wyoming city for the event, which also featured a post-movie party and a 45-minute private concert from Prince at the local Holiday Inn. (Prince is a cool dude. I still kind of regret not going to his pancake pajama party in Minneapolis a few years back. That also involved an impromptu private concert)

Filmed in color, released in black and white.

Prince wrote the Bangles’ “Manic Monday” using the pseudonym Christopher Tracy, the character he plays in this film. The song became a hit for the band the same year this film was released.

Madonna was originally offered the role of Mary Sharon. Susannah Melvoin was then cast as Mary but was replaced before filming began. (Goddamn)

The picture was nominated for Worst Picture at the Hastings Bad Cinema Society’s 9th Stinkers Bad Movie Awards in 1986. (The Stickers! Rarely mentioned these days)

Awards – Won the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Prince)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Jerome Benton)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Prince)

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Prince)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Kristin Scott Thomas)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Becky Johnston)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Kristin Scott Thomas)

On Deadly Ground Preview

Alright, onto this week. Once upon a time a boy named Steven Seagal stumbled inadvertently into fame after giving an aikido demonstration for a bunch of Hollywood talent execs hopped up on cocaine (probably). They thought it was totally kick ass and immediately allowed him to star in five major motion pictures, culminating in Under Siege (a wild success). After reading The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump (probably) he was all like “I have leverage” and was like “I totally won’t do Under Siege II unless you let me direct my next film.” The execs were horrified. They needed the sweet, sweet Under Siege II dollars to fuel their obsessive speedboat collecting habits. So they said yes and he made a little movie called On Deadly Ground and everyone in the world lived happily ever after. That’s the story of our next film. The only directorial effort by the late, great Steven Seagal (Patrick’s Note: Steven Seagal is not dead). He apparently decided not to direct again because how can you improve at something you’ve perfected? We now get to watch his perfection. Let’s go!

On Deadly Ground (1994) – BMeTric: 62.8


(BMT University Alert! Months ago I postulated that an adjustment to the BMeTric needed to be made, a Genre Adjusted BMeTric (GABMeT, the first part of an adjusted BMeT+), in order to account for the fact that Horror films have a small bizarrely devoted fanbase who watches everything and is perfectly willing to throw out ratings on IMDb. It artificially inflates the BMeTrics of Horror films and leaves us baffled. I’m going to say it now: Seagal is the same. His straight-to-video film from 2015 has 2000 votes on IMDb … 2000! How?! Who watches these things?! Baffling. So this is probably like … a 40 in my Seagal Adjusted BMeTric (SABMeT). Book it.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – After the critical/popular success of Under Siege, Seagal was allowed to direct this fast-fader about the raping of Alaska’s interior by an oil company run by evil Caine. Spiritual mumbo-jumbo halfway through look like an outtake from The Doors, and the star’s anticlimactic final speech (and the obligatory wrist-snapping) had fans bolting for the exits. Caine looks as if he’s undergone cosmetic surgery by Dwight Frye.

(Leonard should have just stopped at “evil Caine.” No need to say more. I’m in. He then descends into film nerd jokes that only he would get. I do not understand either The Doors reference or the Dwight Frye thing. Finally, I can’t wait to enjoy Seagal’s anticlimactic speech. I feel like BMT was built on anticlimactic speeches.)

Trailer –

(I wonder if this is the only case of the White Savior trope being used in reference to the inuit people? Probably. Love, love, love the line “I’m gonna reach out and touch somebody here.” Bwhahahahaha.)

Director(s) – Steven Seagal – (BMT: On Deadly Ground Notes: For Razzie info see below. His lone directorial debut. It is said that he got to do this because he agreed to be in Under Siege II: Dark Territory. This was a small production until Seagal was attached at which point its budget ballooned.)

Writer(s) – Ed Horowitz (written by) – (BMT: On Deadly Ground; Exit Wounds; Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, On Deadly Ground (1994); Teaches at UCLA and is known for his work with Segal in addition to writing for La Femme Nikita.)

Robin U. Russin (written by) – (BMT: On Deadly Ground; Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, On Deadly Ground (1994); Teaches as University of California Riverside and the author of Screenplay: Writing the Picture.)

Actors – Steven Seagal – (Known For: Machete, Executive Decision, Under Siege, The Perfect Weapon, Above the Law; BMT: On Deadly Ground, The Patriot, Half Past Dead, Fire Down Below, Ticker, The Foreigner, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory,  Into the Sun, The Glimmer Man, Exit Wounds, Maximum Conviction, Hard to Kill; Notes: For Razzie info see below. We all know Seagal. We rode that sweet high-octane martial arts wave from the late eighties, through the 90s, and (like many a-wave rider) became a parody of himself in the 2000s. He is still making movies, but basically straight-to-video stuff. His fanbase does appear strong though judging by the number of IMDb votes his recent movies receive (that I’ve never heard of, let alone seen). Make yo money Seagal, haters gonna hate.)

Razzie Info for Segal: Won for Worst Director, On Deadly Ground (1994); Nominated for Worst Actor, On Deadly Ground (1994), Fire Down Below (1997), and Half Past Dead (2002); Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, Executive Decision (1996); Nominated for Worst Original Song, Fire Down Below (1997) For the song “Fire Down Below” (!!!!!! He genuinely helped write that song!)

Also stars Michael Caine!

Budget/Gross: $50 million / $38,590,458

(Oooooooooooof. Why does this movie cost $50 million? Why would they give that to Seagal for his directoral debut? How much of that budget went to ‘splosions? Hopefully a lot. In reality Seagal probably gave most of it to Caine and himself and then laughed all the way to the bank.)

Rotten Tomatoes: 10% (3/30), No consensus yet.

(Bah, I’m going to give it a consensus. Not even evil Michael Caine can save this disastrous directorial debut. Explosions galore, but ultimately underwhelms.)

Poster – Bob Ross-esque (B-)


(There is something mesmerizing about this poster despite it being a bit crowded. I like the title font and really like the tones. Seagal’s giant orange face mixes nicely with the burning building and the sunrise and all that fades picturesquely into the darker background. It’s like a painting that Bob Ross would have painted. I can’t stop staring at it. This means something…)

Tagline(s) – His Battle To Save The Alaskan Wilderness And Protect Its People Can Only Be Won… (D)

(… On Deadly Ground. Let me just finish that little guy for you. Way too long. Almost a perfect example of informative, but boring. And stupidly incorporating an already stupid title into the tagline, just not a good look all around.)

Notes – The final scene when Forrest Taft gives the speech about the oil companies and air pollution, was originally 11 minutes long. Audiences complained that it was overlong and preachy. The scene was re-edited before release. (fuck you audiences, do you think I can find this?)

There were allegations that Michael Caine and Steven Seagal didn’t get along. However, in Caine’s memoir, The Elephant To Hollywood, he stated that he liked working with Seagal and the crew, but hated filming in Alaska, even joking that “On Deadly Ground” was an apt title. (This has been settings facts, brought to you by Jamie’s weird obsession)

Steven Seagal agreed to appear in Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) if Warner Bros. allowed him to direct this film. (good deal bro)

After Warner offered Steven Seagal the directorial reins for this film, then titled Rainbow Warrior, the budget blew out when bigger and more explosive action scenes were written into the screenplay. Warner turned to indie production company Largo Entertainment to share some of the cost. In return, Largo would get the international rights to the film. However, after Under Siege (1992) opened, and performed beyond Warner’s expectations, Warner decided to fully finance the film themselves.

On Deadly Ground was not Steven Seagal’s first choice to make his directorial debut. He was initially offered the mafia drama “Man of Honor” as a starring/director/writer vehicle by Twentieth Century Fox and Morgan Creek Productions, but cost overruns, and Fox’s unwillingness to plonk down $30+ million dollars for the film, forced the pic to shutdown, just weeks away from filming.

Razzie Awards 1995, Won for Worst Director, Steven Seagal

Razzie Awards 1995, Nominated for Worst Picture

Razzie Awards 1995, Nominated for Worst Actor, Steven Seagal

Razzie Awards 1995, Nominated for Worst Actress, Joan Chen

Razzie Awards 1995, Nominated for Worst Screenplay, Ed Horowitz, Robin U. Russin

Razzie Awards 1995, Nominated for Worst Original Song, Mark Hudson, Klaus Meine, For the song “Under The Same Sun”.