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On Deadly Ground (1994)

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Mystical martial artist/environmental agent takes on a ruthless oil corporation.


1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shari Shattuck ...
Richard Hamilton ...
Chief Irvin Brink ...
Apanguluk Charlie Kairaiuak ...
Elsie Pistolhead ...
Otto (as Swen-Ole Thorsen)
Jules Desjarlais ...


Forrest Taft is an environmental agent who works for the Aegis Oil Company in Alaska. Aegis Oil's corrupt CEO, Michael Jennings, is the kind of person who doesn't care whether or not oil spills into the ocean or onto the land, just as long as it's making money for him. He even makes commercials that make him look like he cares about the environment. Jennings is almost finished with building his new state-of-the art oil rig: AEGIS-1. The problem is that if he doesn't finish building the rig in thirteen days, the land rights will be returned to the Eskimos and the Alaskan government. When Jennings finds out that Taft's best friend Hugh Palmer has a computer disk that contains information about defective equipment on AEGIS-1, he sends out his goons to murder Palmer. When Taft tries to interfere, Jennings tries to kill Taft. But an Eskimo woman named Masu, who introduces Taft to her father Silook, the chief of her tribe, rescues Taft. With Masu's help, Taft begins a trek through the ... Written by drayj65 <drayj65@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


His Battle To Save The Alaskan Wilderness And Protect Its People Can Only Be Won...

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

18 February 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rainbow Warrior  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)


$38,590,500 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


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. See more »


Shortly after blowing up the mercenaries' helicopter, Forrest is seen rummaging in a bag while wearing gloves. In the following shot, he's not wearing any. See more »


Michael Jennings: [about Forrest] He'd need a miracle to stop us now.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The first half of the end credits run over images of Alaska and its various wildlife, until we see Forrest Taft & Masu in a canoe, with Taft pointing out to Masu, a crow in front of them circling over the water (supposedly meant to be Silook in another form) See more »


References Broken Arrow (1956) See more »


Inuit Throat Singing
Performed by Qaunaq Mikkigak and Timangiak Petaulassie
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Grossly over-indulgent vanity piece
17 October 2000 | by (The Penumbra) – See all my reviews

At the height of his fame Seagal was allowed to direct this monstrosity about evil Texas oil Aegis company polluting Alaska. With no prior experience in directing Steve stampeded his way into this movie with as much subtlety as a brick in the face. Originally called 'Spirit Warrior' and hoping to cast loads of English baddies (among them Anthony Hopkins and Jeremy Irons) the film is a horrid example of far too much creative control given to one man too blinkered by his own agenda to bother giving us anything resembling decent storytelling.

There is nothing significant or exceptional about Seagal's direction. Nor is the action very well done. It's cut too lazily and not shot for maximum viewing clarity. But what reeks about the story is that some big oil magnate called Michael Jennings (a completely hammy Michael Caine) wants to build a really shoddy oil rig in Alaska made out of dodgy parts because the rights to the land are about to revert back to the Eskimos after 30 years of non-use. So why wait 30 years to build the bloody thing?

Seagal plays Forrest Taft, an oil rig fireman who suddenly develops a conscience and is promptly eliminated from the payroll by way of being blown up. Only he is rescue by the Eskimos and, this is where the film just goes insane, goes on a spiritual journey in which he wrestles bears and turns into eagles and stuff. I mean, what the hell is all that about??? Don't even get me started on the scene where he makes a fully-grown hard-ass redneck cry in a bar full of similar stereotypes when the philosophy touches his soul. Then he gets his old self back together and sets about righting all the wrongs of Aegis Oil and saving the environment by littering it with dead bad guys.

Jennings hires a bunch of mercenaries (including R. Lee Ermey and Billy Bob Thornton) to take out Taft but of course they all prove to be useless since Taft is revealed to be an ex-CIA Agent (oh dear God..)Nothing much really happens apart from shooting and dying and Seagal beating up nameless extras. We've seen all of this before and it's no different this time round.

I do appreciate his environmentally friendly attitude but it could have made it a little less obvious and campy. Seagal's tacked on speech at the end originally ran for 30 minutes (Jeezuz sufferin') but Warner finally stepped in and said a big no-no.

We could have had an Oliver Stone or Insider amount of paranoia and conspiracy but this just ends up as the worst of Seagal's Hollywood movies.

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