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On Deadly Ground
(1994)
Album Cover Art
1994 Varèse
2018 Varèse
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Greig McRitchie
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LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Varèse Sarabande
(March 15th, 1994)

Varèse Sarabande
(October 22nd, 2018)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The 1994 Varèse album was a regular U.S. release. The 2018 album is a "Deluxe Edition," part of the Varèse CD Club, limited to 2,000 copies and available initially for $20 through soundtrack specialty outlets.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on the 2018 expanded product if you are an avid Basil Poledouris collector and enjoy his trademark synthetic rhythms under raw brass themes.

Avoid it... if you agree that Poledouris' action writing style doesn't receive due treatment from undersized ensembles and poor mixing, both of which plague this score.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #997
WRITTEN 3/25/97, REVISED 1/4/19
Poledouris
Poledouris
On Deadly Ground: (Basil Poledouris) If somebody in the room with you starts laughing when he or she hears actor Michael Caine's voice in real-life commercials for petroleum companies, then that person will have watched On Deadly Ground. The wretched film marked the directorial debut of crotch-kicking martial arts specialist (and actor, though some wouldn't go that far) Steven Seagal, who saw the project as an opportunity to insert his liberal environmental ideologies into a film in which he could also be seen doing what he enjoys most in his spare time: punching and kicking other grown men in painful places. When not invading other peoples' personal bubble space with his fist or foot, he delivers dialogue that only the mother of the writer could love, and On Deadly Ground is filled to the brim with such banter. On the political front, Seagal delivers a short docudrama against oil companies at the end of the film that the studio forced him to cut in length dramatically. Scenes of explosions, death, and bar fights are interspersed between lengthy moments of religious mysticism and discovery, something also important to Seagal personally. But that leaves only the explosions (including a whopper at the end... miniatures have never been so abused) and Caine's pale, sweaty, and bloated portrayal of an evil oil tycoon as guilty pleasures for this late night usual on cable TV. Caine's scene filming a pro-oil commercial with live animals, and his vulgar, distasteful reaction to those animals ("Fuck! These animals stink!"), is a highlight of the man's career. It's not entirely clear what would attract veteran composer Basil Poledouris to Seagal's directorial debut, or even to Seagal's sequel to Under Siege thereafter. But Poledouris seemed content with these odd assignments, and in the shadow of his success with Free Willy comes the score for On Deadly Ground. In the end, he easily overdelivers for the film. In its basic construct, Poledouris' score espouses the same style as his other big action scores. Tonal melodies, all relying on similar three-note phrases, exist on sparse but striking brass tones while evolving into woodwind variants for the native Alaskan setting and peoples. Electronics are never far in the mix, either, producing a typical Poledouris environment with a hint of Native American mysticism in this case. The greatest weakness of the score is its lack of orchestrated depth, a request reportedly made by Seagal himself.



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VIEWER RATINGS
112 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.89 Stars
***** 17 5 Stars
**** 21 4 Stars
*** 28 3 Stars
** 25 2 Stars
* 21 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1994 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 29:37
• 1. Main Titles (2:19)
• 2. Aegis Flameout (1:43)
• 3. Forrest Found (1:35)
• 4. The Journey (7:57)
• 5. Forrest Decides/Horse Chase (3:54)
• 6. Jennings Goes Down (4:45)
• 7. The Warning/End Credits (7:18)
2018 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 79:09

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NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert of the 1994 album includes no extra information about the score or film. That of the 2018 CD Club album contains notes about both, as well as a list of performers.
Copyright © 1997-2019, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from On Deadly Ground are Copyright © 1994, 2018, Varèse Sarabande, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 3/25/97 and last updated 1/4/19.
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