What't the dope on all these lame Steven Seagal DTV movies?

After watching Youtube promos of his new reality show, I decided to brush up on my Steven Seagal bio info.

Aikido instructor. Check.
Martial arts movie star. Check.
Under Siege grosses nine figures. Check.
Martial arts movie craze ends, Seagal fails to cross over into a non-fight film actor, movie grosses plummet, he loses picture deal. Happens.
With notable exceptions, movies start going direct to video. Happens to the best of 'em.

Then . . . . on Wikipedia, I start learning on one DTV movie he got sued because he was accused of showing up late, leaving early . . . that on some of these DTV movies he isn’t even in the fight scenes
. Coincidentally, I got to catch about 20 minutes of one of his efforts, “Out for a Kill”, thinking, heh, how bad can this be?

Well, for 20 minutes Seagal shows up on ONE scene, his hair, if its his real hair looks like it was combed with static electricity, and his scene lasts 15 seconds. Then, no more Steven Seagal. I clicked to something else, because let’s be honest, you watch a Steven Seagal movie for . . . Steven Seagal, even an older, bloated hairy Steve Seagal. :slight_smile:

But my research gets even weirder. Here is a list of DTV movies Steven Seagal has been in since his last “hit”, and theatrically released movie, Exit Wounds:
Ticker (2001)
Half Past Dead (2002)
The Foreigner (2003)
Out for a Kill (2003)
Belly of the Beast (2003)
Out of Reach (2004)
Clementine (2004)
Into the Sun (2005)
Submerged (2005)
Today You Die (2005)
Black Dawn (2005)
Mercenary for Justice (2006)
Shadow Man (2006)
Attack Force (2006)
Flight of Fury (2007)
Urban Justice (2007)
Pistol Whipped (2008)
The Onion Movie (2008)
Kill Switch (2008)
Against The Dark (2009)
Driven To Kill (2009)
The Keeper (2009)
Machete (2010)
A Dangerous Man (2010)
Born to Raise Hell (2010)
Urban Justice 2 (2010)
Under Siege 3 (2011)
Here’s what I am getting at: Seagal is averaging about THREE of these bombs a year! Some of them cost $15 million to make, and there’s no way they are making their money back, even in the DTV market. Granted, The Onion Movie wasn’t really a “Steven Seagal” movie, but still. :slight_smile:

Or are they? Am, I missing something? At some point, wouldn’t the movie audience catch on that if they rent a Steven Seagal movie, he might be barely in it? Or even in the fight scenes???

Here is my theory:

  1. Steven Seagal somehow cons money mark after money mark to finance this drudge, then hardly shows up for the movie, but collects a cut convincing the producer they are financing the next “Exit Wounds”. Then, he uses his charm and charisma to find another idiot to finance his next turkey. Kinda similar to Axl Rose’s Chinese Democracy scam.

  2. Financing runs out for a movie. But the money has already been paid and shot. The producers, desperate, call Steve Seagal, write a few lines for him in the movie, shoot some extra scenes, and put him on the box so they at least try and sell a few copies.

Whats the Straight Dope with what has got to be Hollywood’s most prolific string of futility in the past several decades?

15 million isn’t really a lot of money. Are you sure they’re not turning some sort of profit?

I don’t know, but I can’t see how. But I am willing to be educated. :slight_smile:

As the polar bear says at the end of the joke, “You don’t come here for the hunting, do you?”

I cannot believe that someone would rent the latest direct-to-video Steven Seagal movie in the expectation that they will be watching the next Citizen Kane. One rents - or at least, I rent - an epic of that sort in hopes that it will suck badly enough to be amusing to mock.

He used to be a major star. Tempis fugit. I can hardly blame him for milking the last drops out of his name recognition.


I knew a guy in college who’d watch this crap. It’s the same sort of person that buys ninja stars and samurai swords from QVC.

Huge Unsympathetic Jerk: Check.

Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan, Jet Li? They regularly get their asses handed to them in their own movies and create sympathetic characters who you might actually want to be.

Steven Seagal? If he gets hit once in any given movie, it’s a miracle. I not only do not want to be him in any of his movies, I want one of the bad guys to shoot him in the head.

Rent Executive Decision. Do it now.

Come to see Seagal die in a fiery plane crash, stay for the awesome rest of the movie starring a real action hero, Kurt Russell

Steven Seagal only made two good movies: Above the Law and Under Seige. He’s been parlaying those for twenty years.

I like your theory that Seagal is basically parachuted in to add some kind of name recognition to otherwise completely generic films. That would actually make him a Hollywood asset. And about all he’s good for.

Another possibility is that somewhere after his last big movie, some studio made a mistake and gave him a big multi-picture deal, and these direct to video movies are the result of both sides going through the motions to fulfill the contract. If Seagal at least has a chance of helping a film recoup its modest investment, it might be cheaper for the studio to throw him these DTV bones than to buy him out of a contract.

Last I heard, bad movies with stupid action scenes and (probably) white girls with big breasts walking around topless are mostly marketed to Southeast Asia. It might be crap to us, but over there it’s no worse than what they’re making locally and the breasts are bigger. And there’s enough people that even at insanely low prices, you’re still able to rake in a good net.

I agree with Sam Stone that *Above the Law *and *Under Siege *were pretty enjoyable - at least if you go in with the mindset that what you’re watching is basically a low-rent version of every big 1980s/early 1990s action star.
But everything from *On Deadly Ground *onwards pretty much sucked big fat donkey balls.

Ever since he started doing that Jim Belushi impression professionally, it’s all been downhill.

They are big in Korea, although I didn’t notice whether these precise Steven Seagal films were among them. That has to be the target market, though.

Breasts are big in Korea? I guess that might explain your failing to notice if there were Steven Seagal films among them. For a couple of reasons.

My friend Kirk plays the bad guy in Urban Justice. I’m not sure if he has any insight into the machinations of the Steven Seagal conveyor belt of straight-to-dvd movies, but I’ll ask him next time I talk to him.

Whaddya mean? Seagal’s moobs are growing nicely…!

In case you haven’t come across it yourself, try “Seagalogy a study” in your favourite search engine. The book is hilarious. they’ve been showing some of the DTV ‘films’ quite regulary on late night tele here (UK) and the guy’s observations are spot on. Also since he points out the best (more accurately, the most notable) scenes so if you record the flick and read the relevant chapter first, you can skim through the crap and just get the most nutty bits.

My theory is that his movies are money laundering schemes for drug cartels. Or tax dodges for people who need big write-offs. Or both.