On Deadly Ground (1994)

There is a story about Steven Seagal which may or may not shock you.

One day an executive walked into Seagal’s trailer and found the star weeping. ‘Oh, I’m reading this script,’ Seagal explained, his head shaking in disbelief. ‘It’s the most incredible script I’ve ever read.’

‘That’s fantastic,’ the executive said, ‘Who wrote it?’

‘I did,’ the star replied.

It is this kind of self-gratifying smugness that permeates Seagal’s directorial debut…

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Waterworld (1995)

Poor Kevin Reynolds.

After experiencing huge success with 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, he would be handed a budget of $175,000,000 to direct dystopian spectacular Waterworld, and although that sum may seem paltry by today’s standards, this was more than a quarter of a century ago, and at the time it constituted the world’s most expensive movie, a fact made so apparent in the mainstream media that the production was almost bound to fail, and in many quarters encouraged to…

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Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)

Back in 1982 Tobe Hooper directed Poltergeist, a movie that was written and produced by Stephen Spielberg, and in all honesty it may as well have been him behind the camera. Everything about that movie screamed Spielberg, from its familial tone and grandiose set pieces to its high profile marketing strategy and tantilsing teaser poster. The grisly touch of Hooper – a wonderful director in his own right – was nowhere to be found.

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Predator 2 (1990)

When it comes to Predator, less is definitely more.

In the three decades since the release of the original there have been so many pointless sequels that I now look upon this once cherished character with derision, his movies indifference. Predator 2 is perhaps the best of all those sequels, but it still manages to fail on just about every conceivable level, not least because you find it nigh on impossible not to compare it to the original, to which it is nothing more than a diluted carbon copy…

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American Ninja (1985)

Michael Dudikoff wasn’t much of a ninja. Come to think of it, he wasn’t much of an actor either. But for a brief period during the mid-1980’s he became a hero to kids the world over, and he owes it all to American Ninja.

For me, American Ninja is the defining movie of the oft memorable Cannon Group, who churned out ultra-violent schlock by the bucket load. This was cheap production, nonsensical storytelling, and some of the stiffest, most unmemorable acting of a generation, but there was something there; there had to be…

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