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Hard Target (1993)

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A woman hires a drifter as her guide through New Orleans in search of her father, who has gone missing. They discover a deadly game of cat and mouse behind his disappearance in the process.


John Woo


Chuck Pfarrer
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chuck Pfarrer ... Douglas Binder
Robert Apisa Robert Apisa ... Mr. Lopacki (as Bob Apisa)
Arnold Vosloo ... Pik van Cleef
Lance Henriksen ... Emil Fouchon
Douglas Rye Douglas Rye ... Frick (as Douglas Forsythe Rye)
Mike Leinert Mike Leinert ... Frack (as Michael D. Leinert)
Yancy Butler ... Natasha 'Nat' Binder
Lenore Banks ... Marie
Willie C. Carpenter Willie C. Carpenter ... Elijah Roper (as Willie Carpenter)
Jean-Claude Van Damme ... Chance Boudreaux
Barbara Tasker Barbara Tasker ... Waitress
Kasi Lemmons ... Det. Marie Mitchell
Randy Cheramie Randy Cheramie ... Shop Steward
Eliott Keener Eliott Keener ... Randal Poe
Robert Pavlovich ... Detective


Natasha Binder comes to New Orleans looking for her father, who has gone missing. In doing so, she meets a very hard man called Chance. He helps her find out that her father was killed by an organisation who sell the opportunity to hunt human prey. They are taking advantage of a police strike in New Orleans. Will the Muscles from Brussels win through? Written by John Hartnup <hartnupj@cs.aston.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Don't hunt what you can't kill. See more »


Action | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a great amount of strong violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | French

Release Date:

20 August 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hard Target: Operación cacería See more »

Filming Locations:

White Castle, Louisiana, USA See more »


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,106,500, 20 August 1993

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (cut) | (unrated) | (Workprint Version)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)| DTS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was inspired by The Most Dangerous Game (1932). See more »


The tire skid marks are already there as the police car parks "on the mark" for the shootout. See more »


[first lines]
Douglas Binder: [trying to open a locked door] Please...
See more »

Alternate Versions

A test screening version is 116 minutes long. Scenes included in the 116 minute version include:
  • Additional dialog at the beginning where Van Cleef tells Lopaki (the guy with the arrows) that he shoots like a buffoon and next time he will charge him double.
  • The ear cutting scene is intact.
  • A three minute scene of dialog between Natasha and Chance which takes place in Chance's apartment. She is patching him up after the beating he got while looking for dog tag, he puts the moves on her, she leaves then comes back saying she has changed her mind. A still from this scene appears on the liftout that comes with the American DVD release.
  • While Fouchon is playing the piano there are several shoots of news or documentary footage showing elephants, deer etc being shot down by hunters. This is probably the most disturbing scene in the film.
  • Before Fouchon drops the letter opener on the floor at the coroners house he has additional dialog that describes what happens when a hunter dies in Africa.
  • When Roper dies he is shot then gets up and is then hit with another volley of bullets.
  • In the motorcycle chase, before Chance takes out a second biker he takes out an oncoming car instead of another guy on a motorcycle, the car tumbles over and explodes.
  • Before Chance stops the motorcycle near the roadblock, another vehicle with Fouchon's men pass by and shoot his motorcycle.
  • Scene where Chance takes on a vehicle with his motorcycle is extended, he fires more shots at Fouchon's men.
  • When Chance and Natasha first meet up with Douvee and Chance jump around and start singing before Chance introduces Natasha.
  • Most of the deaths in the Mardi Gras Graveyard are longer and juicier (people being shot 30 times instead of 10 etc)
  • In the the final fight between Chance and Fouchon (in which Chance utters the line "hunting season is over") is missing. Instead Chance does the runnup as Fouchon shoots, kicks him into the garbage pile, throws the grenade and Fouchon is blown up.
See more »


Referenced in Bad Eggs (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The best greatest bad-ass action film in the action genre number 1 personal favorite John Woo/Van Damme film
10 August 2018 | by rambofan4lifeSee all my reviews

Jean-Claude Van Damme is "Hard Target" one of my personal number 1 action favorite films of all time. Rambo movies and the original 87 Robocop, Cobra, Predator 1 and 2, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Terminator, John Wick 1 and 2 are my favorite action movies while Hard Target is at top of them and it is my favorite personal action film off all time. This is John Woo's best film in my opinion he made it in the USA. My favorite number 1 Jean-Claude Van Damme film his best one. I love the action scenes, the gory kills, Van Damme with two guns love his line: Give it a rest, pal and bang bang he shoots the bad guy in the motorcycle suite. "Hunting season... is over" and he launches grenade in to the bad guy. John Woo directed this film and he directed great.

I love John Woo's movies: Broken Arrow, Hard Boiled, Paycheck, The Killer those are my favorite action films. Hard Target is really my favorite of the 90's action films and they don't make em these days those kind of action movies today. This is my number 1 John Woo action personal favorite film don't get me wrong I like Hard Boiled but I don't love it like I love Hard Target to death!

I watched this movie on VHS, I used to had the film on a blank VHS tape and on Blank CD but the CD didn't work properly anymore. I have this film on Blu-ray disc. I watch it constantly and in 2015 it was my number 1 action film whenever someone asked me which was my favorite film it was Hard Target.

Hard Target stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lance Henriksen, Arnold Vosloo, Yancy Butler, Kasi Lemmons and Wilford Brimley.

Jean-Claude Van Damme is Chance Boudreaux "Hard Target" an ex US Marine Force Reconnaissance and an out-of-work Cajun. He is a bad-ass this is my comic book hero. My favorite action hero of all time, he ass kicking everywhere, shooting bad guys. Chance launches hundred of bullets and slugs in to thirty bad guys. The stuntman's are absolutely crazy insane ( Van Damme stands on a motorcycle while he races back towards in to one of the pursuing SUVs firing his gun at the bad guys, than crashes his bike in to SUV vehicle jumping off the bike, over the roof of the truck and landing safely behind it crazy bad-ass stunt the stuntman was absolutely insane crazy. He shoots behind with the gun igniting the gas tank and the truck explodes - bad ass scene in to the film.) Van Damme jumps with his leg and hit the motorcycle bad guy in to his helmet with his foot, the bad guy crashes off his bike, awesome. Bad-ass action film with balls if you ask me.

You see a heavy automatic machine guns, hand guns Beretta 92FS, great explosive weapons. One mercenary uses SWD/Cobray Street Sweeper a grenade launcher and when he fires on Uncle Douvee (Wilford Brimley) he hits and blows up an entire shed. Shotguns and automatic weapons are used well. Van Damme in his 90's never used two hand guns so well except in Double Impact but not like in this movie. You have motorcycle gunmen with their MP5s automatic guns chasing Chance all over the town. You have an Arrow Stealth with arrow that is been used in the film. A thug uses Arrow Stealth on his prey awesome. You have Uncle Douvee - with a bow and arrow which he kills one of the thugs when he fired an automatic weapon on him. These days action movies don't use bow and arrow in the movies anymore. You have incredible explosions in the movie, real fire power guns, real practical effects. Real shotguns, real weapons are used no CGI they are real stunts used in this film. I absolutely love the filming locations in the film.

The plot is about a mercenary Emil Fouchon (Lance Henriksen) who is recruiting a homeless combat veterans for the sports game to stalk and hunt people for the amusement of the rush and adrenalin on the streets of New Orleans. His clients are multi millionaire bored tycoons who pay a half of million dollars to stalk and kill the most challenging prey of them all. When Chance (Van Damme) is hired from Natasha Binder (Yancy Butler) to finding her missing father, he finds the game that Binder was killed and now Boudreaux becomes the next target. Boudreaux is an ex US Marine Force Reconnaissance expert in combats and martial artist and he is a "Hard Target" difficult to kill.

I love Emil Fouchon (Lance Henriksen) in this movie, Lance is the best in this movie and he is excellent in his role, his best acting ever, he is a professional. I love Arnold Vosloo as Pik Van Cleef his best character ever. "I know you didn't mean to... hurt... my feelings.", "Boudreaux, Boudreaux, Boudreaux. I've been looking all over for you. ", "I don't get angry, I'm a professional. " his best lines ever, he is a bad-ass bad guy. Emil Fouchon is a great bad guy, but I enjoy Pik Van Cleef more. I love also Wilford Brimley as Uncle Douvee in the film he is great us Chance's uncle.

10/10 my personal number 1 favorite action film of all time, I think it is at top of Rambo and RoboCop , Predator 1 and 2, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Terminator, John Wick 1 and 2 my films, this is my film from the 90's and I love it so so so much. I love this film to death, I amazingly love it. Also Hard Target 2 doesn't exist for me. I never liked the sequel to the film skip the sequel and watch this one. Highly recommend to the fans.

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