On Deadly Ground

On Deadly Ground is a 1994 American action adventure film directed, co-produced by and starring Steven Seagal, and co-starring Michael Caine, Joan Chen, John C. McGinley and R. Lee Ermey. It is Seagal's only directorial effort, and features a minor appearance by Billy Bob Thornton in one of his early roles. Seagal plays Forrest Taft, an expert firefighter who decides to fight back against the environmental destruction caused by his ruthless former boss.


Aegis Oil operates Aegis 1, an oil refinery and several oil rigs in Alaska. They purchased the oil rights from the local Alaskan Natives 20 years ago, but stand to lose them if the refinery isn't on-line by a certain deadline. With 13 days to go, and billions of dollars at stake, the company cuts corners and uses faulty equipment. Hugh Palmer, a rig foreman, is aware of this; as he predicts, his rig catches fire. It takes Forrest Taft, a specialist in dealing with oil drilling-related fires, to extinguish the fire. Taft refuses to believe Hugh's story of faulty equipment at first, but later discovers that it is true after accessing the company's computer records and finding that the next shipments of new, adequate equipment have been delayed way past the deadline. Michael Jennings, the ruthless CEO of Aegis, deludedly believes that Hugh's carelessness is to blame for the rig fire and, after discovering his efforts to alert the EPA about the use of substandard equipment, arranges for him to be ‘dealt with’ by his henchmen MacGruder and Otto.