I was cleaning up the other day and found a small stack of old comics I bought years ago for 50 cents each. The best part of old comics isn't the stories (in this particular case, Batman takes 4 pages to heroically beat up a blind man), but the ads. Take the specimen on the left for example - a full page ad inviting all comers to Join the World of Steven Seagal.
Back in 1991, this might have seemed an attractive proposition. But like comics, action stars do not age well, and Seagal's stock has sunk somewhat in the intervening years. From his breakthrough movie, Under Siege, it has been a long slide from dizzying heights of mediocrity into the pits of straight-to-DVD hell.
I do not know what The World of Steven Seagal looks like these days, or whether entry to it is still worth $24:95; but judging from it's founder I would bet it contains a few too many fast food outlets and not nearly enough hairdressers. The following table displays the breadth and extreme depths of Seagal's movie career to date:
|Title||Year||Antagonists||IMDB Rating||Weighted Average|
|Under Siege||1992||Ruthless Terrorists||6.1||5.2|
|On Deadly Ground||1994||Ruthless Oil Corporation||3.5||4.5|
|Under Siege 2:Dark Territory||1995||Ruthless Terrorists||4.8||4.8|
|Executive Decision1||1996||Ruthless Terrorists||6.2||5.5|
|The Glimmer Man||1996||Ruthless Serial Killer||4.7||4.9|
|Fire Down Bellow||1997||Corporation Dumping Toxic Waste, Ruthlessly||4.2||4.2|
|The Patriot||1998||Ruthless Militia with Ruthless Virus||3.9||4.3|
|Exit Wounds||2001||Drug Dealers/Corrupt Cops/Terrible Rap Music (all Ruthless)||5.1||4.3|
|Half Past Dead||2002||Ruthless Terrorists||4.1||3.4|
|The Foreigner||2003||Ruthless Assassins hired by Industrialist Who Is Also Ruthless||2.6||3.0|
|Out for a Kill||2003||Chinese Mafia, Inscrutable yet Ruthless||2.7||3.1|
|Belly of the Beast||2003||Ruthless Terrorists||4.3||3.7|
|Clementine2||2004||Ruthless Gang Kingpin||3.4||3.7|
|Out of Reach||2004||Ruthless Human Traffickers||3.6||3.7|
|Into the Sun||2005||Japanese Mafia, Ruthless yet Incsrutable||4.1||3.9|
|Today You Die||2005||Criminals who Ruthlessly framed him||3.9||3.8|
|Black Dawn||2005||Ruthless Terrorists||3.7||3.9|
|Mercenary for Justice||2006||Ruthless Mercenaries, the old-fashioned kind who a Not For Justice||4.2||4.1|
|Shadow Man||2006||Ruthless Russian Gangsters||4.3||3.9|
|Attack Force||2006||Drug Dealers/Corrupt Military Types, both very Ruthless||2.5||3.1|
|Flight of Fury||2007||Its not clear from the plot summary, but the smart money says it's Terrorists, possibly even Ruthless ones||3.4||3.1|
1: This would be a typical Seagal movie except that he gets unexpectedly killed about 25 minutes into it. This only improves the movie marginally..
2: Here Seagal is more of a special guest star, playing the comparatively minor role as the bad guy's unbeatable fighter.