Posted on Sunday, November 6th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
One of the best film books I’ve ever read is Vern’s Seagalogy, which takes an astonishing and in-depth look at the films of actor/martial artist/musician/energy drink impresario/Vladamir Putin stooge Steven Seagal. Although Seagal has only directed one film (1994’s fascinating trainwreck On Deadly Ground), the book argues that his personal perspective, life philosophies, and beliefs run through his larger body of work, making him an action movie auteur whose films reflect him as an artist and human being. You don’t have to like Seagal (he’s a fairly awful person) to find this fascinating – it just adds an interesting layer to a body of work that is mostly terrible. ScreenCrush’s Matt Singer even made a similar argument for Arnold Schwarzenegger, although his filmography is stronger in every possible way.
Unfortunately, Seagalogy is increasingly out of date. Since its 2008 publication, Seagal has appeared in 22 more films, most of them direct-to-DVD and most of them unwatchable. His latest movie, Contract to Kill, has unveiled a new trailer and it has everything you’d expect and dread from a late-era Seagal film.