Academy Award winner Michael Caine delivered a humorous slight towards Steven Seagal after seeing 1994’s On Deadly Ground.
After a string of “Steven Seagal is…” movies — Above the Law, Marked for Death, etc. — it was time for him to direct his first: 1994’s On Deadly Ground. It, expectedly, was an absolute dud, something that co-star Michael Caine knew and acknowledged at the premiere.
In one of the many incredible stories from Nick de Semylen’s book “Last Action Heroes: The Triumphs, Flops, and Feuds of Hollywood’s Kings of Carnage” – which chronicles the best and worst action flicks of the ‘80s and ‘90s – it’s revealed that Michael Caine had a rather coy way of expressing his views on On Deadly Ground to Steven Seagal, who he was seated next to. Once the lights came up, Caine delivered his verdict to his co-star/director: “I really didn’t think it would be anywhere near this good.”
Seagal, for his part, held no grudge against Michael Caine for his slight against On Deadly Ground and was still proud of the movie. “I had many of the greatest directors on earth come to my premiere…And I wasn’t really too nervous about it, what they’d think about it, because I was proud of my work.”
To make things even worse for Caine, the Oscar winner couldn’t even enjoy himself when filming On Deadly Ground due to the locales. “I had broken one of the cardinal rules of bad movies…If you’re going to do a bad movie, at least do it in a great location.” On Deadly Ground filmed in Alaska, Wyoming, Washington, and more. Caine has spoken ill of the action flick before, saying, “I got desperate to the point that I accepted a picture in Alaska with Steven Seagal, the martial arts expert. The movie was called On Deadly Ground and the title was to prove apt.” Wonder what Brian Cox thought of Michael Caine’s performance…
Fortunately, Michael Caine avoided garnering one of the movie’s six Razzie nominations, while Seagal would “win” Worst Director and be nominated for Worst Actor and Worst Picture (as producer). For what it’s worth, Seagal only has one more Razzie nod for acting than Caine.
Where do you put On Deadly Ground in the list of best/worst Steven Seagal movies?