Under Siege (1992) The Cook, The Drag Queen And The Booby Cake

This weeks nostalgic look back is the action movie on the high seas Under Siege from 1992

Tagline –It’s not a job…It’s an Adventure!” Seriously! Whoever came up with that crappy tagline hopefully got fired out of a navel gun turret?

Who’s our hero today?
Quick fighting human avian hybrid Steven Seagull takes on a battleship full of baddies. “What’s that you say?” “It’s Seagal not seagull! Arr OK!” Note to self, don’t forget to scrub the avian hybrid bit in post production…….

Had I seen this one on VHS back in the day?
Yes this was quite an anticipated big budget, action packed, full of macho fun movie. Would of been rented in the same year as these flicks, Lethal Weapon 3, Universal Soldier and Passenger 57.

Quick plot run down.
With the Battleship USS Missouri ready to be decommissioned she is given one last send off before her weapons are dismantled. The battleship still carries a full armament of Tomahawk missiles armed with nuclear warheads. Part of the send off party is also to celebrate the Captain’s birthday. During this moment a group of home grown terrorists, lead by an ex-CIA operative, takeover and seize the USS Missouri. The small army kill and imprison the ships crew. Little did they know they had missed the Captain’s very own special cook. You know what? Things are gonna get hot and spicy in the kitchen. “Right Gunner, get the cannon ready, we’ve got another bad-line writer ready to be fired out to sea!”

Does the hero have a day job?
Casey Ryback (Steven Seagal) was a former US Navy SEAL and once decorated leader of SEAL Team Four. Due to poor intelligence his team was wiped out. After punching his Commanding Officer out on his return he loses his rank and security clearances. His old friend Captain Adams (Patrick O’Neal) lets Casey run out his time in the service as his personal cook aboard USS Missouri. And there ain’t nothing that Casey can’t prepare with his trusty knife.

What’s our heroes special skills?
Master chef skills, close combat, knife skills, top training in martial arts, explosives, special-weapons and all military tactics.

Heroes weapon of choice?
He manages to get his hands on a Colt Mk IV Series 70 Government Model alongside his trusty blade.

Heroes drink of choice?
Some say he loves Mountain Dew others say he’s always drinking Carlton Dry Lager. (Definitely worth checking the Mountain Dew one hehe)

Does hero have a sidekick?
Casey gets a hand from a good collection of helpers along the way. There’s Jordon Tate (see below), Tackman (Damian Chapa), my personal favourite Granger (Troy Evans), Flicker (David McKnight) and Casey’s cook friend Ramirez (Raymond Cruz).

Granger “I’m with you Case”

Hot girl? Damsel in distress or ass kicker?
Erika Eleniak former Baywatch babe literally pops out playing a fish out of water bit of eye candy among the sausage fest of the battleship crew. Lets listen in on Casey’s conversation with her to find out what babbling bullshit she comes up with?

Casey Ryback –Al right, who are you and what are you doing here?
Jordan Tate –My name is Jordan Tate. I’m Miss July ’89. I was hired to jump out of the cake, but I got really airsick on the way over here so this guy gave me these pills and I don’t know what happened, and I guess I fell asleep.”
Casey Ryback –What kind of babbling bullshit is this?
Jordan Tate –I am an ACTRESS, OKAY! I did a Hunter episode and a Wet ‘n Wild video. And my agents told me I was just gonna come and jump out of a cake.

Who’s the main baddie?
We get three for the price of one. They are like the Three Stooges or some other comedy trio but with added death! The three slap each other on the back and laugh at each others jokes, random actions and antics. William Strannix (Tommy Lee Jones) is the leader of the trio of mayhem. A rogue renegade ex-CIA agent. 2nd in command goes to Commander Peter Krill (Gary Busey) the executive officer and now psychopathic new captain of the ship. Which leaves the deranged, lead commando of the terrorists little army, Daumer (Colm Meaney)

Baddies special skills?
The three of them are just nasty pieces of work.

William Strannix –You’re a maniac. Drown your own crew.
Commander Krill –They never liked me anyway.
Doumer –I bet they fuckin’ love ya now, huh?”

Psycho baddies rating out of ten? 9/10
Considering there’s three of them and have a whole army. After the success of capturing a whole battleship they do start falling apart pretty quickly. But hey no one bet on the cook running around the ship!

Heroes balls of steel and anger ratings out of ten? 9/10
Casey is ready for a fight. No way he’s going let this terrorist action go down on his ship. Besides he’s got carrots to chop for a stew. Casey’s got the balls but he welcomes a helping hand.

Surely it features a training montage scene?
We get a little vegetable chopping going on at the beginning which includes some up-rocking break-dance moves to I’ve Got The Power by Snap!. Just a little aperitif before we get to watch Casey drill into grenades and missiles to make more explosives. Hang on a minute why didn’t he just use those explosives! Oh yes we wouldn’t have the montage question to answer.

Does it feature an impossible mission?
Well hell yeah it’s an impossible mission if you didn’t have a cook on-board

Does the hero get a chance to show off their muscles?
Our Steven doesn’t often rip off his clothes in his films if I remember right? He does go down to a vest for a little bomb making.

Will I be needing to pause the video player? AKA are there any boobies?
Well this is the part that gets very troubling for me! Yep I’m gonna have to see a shrink after writing this. As any guy of substance knows (ok sure ladies too before you all gang up on me). Lets start again, any person who’s seen this film knows they are going to encounter a jack in the box moment finishing with a fine set of hooters. As “Miss July 1989” Jordon Tate pops out the cake, I’m ready for my nostalgic free glimpse of the sweet delights of peeky and perky. Only for a wave of pure horror to rush over me as I suddenly realise Erika Eleniak looks like my blooming nephew! Yes nephew! He’s been ticked off the Christmas list!

Sex scene?
Praise the lord NO! Oh my god! Oh gosh! No thank you. Phew! (See above)

Any good totally random surprise scenes?
This can only go to one person. Step forward Commander Krill. Dressed in drag with giant fake breasts. Happy to flash a bum cheek to the roaring crowd. It’s not long before he’s chomping a giant cigar, his wig has fallen off to reveal a pair of pantyhose on his head. As he reads, perplexed, from the Captain’s personal log. “Do I look like I need a psychological evaluation?“. Hehe it’s a classic scene.

Films body count? Low/Medium/High
Gotta be in the hundreds! It’s pretty brutal at times.

Best death scene?
There’s lots to be honest. I liked the grenade behind the bulkhead door as it flew off the hinges with bad guy still attached. There’s a death by bandsaw too. However the falling giant upright steel girder falling from a far literally through bad guys body was intense to say the least!

Explosion ratio? Low/Medium/High?
Hand grenades, missiles and fire bombs are detached all over the battleship. A strong high medium’s worth I’d say.

How many stuntmen probably really died making this film?
Well if that guy behind the exploding door really was a stuntman (yeah of course it wasn’t) then that had probably stung a bit! A moment you don’t wanna be hearing “CUT! TAKE TWO!”

Best Lines

Jordan Tate –What’s that noise?
Casey Ryback –It’s morse code.
Jordan Tate –What are they saying?”
Casey Ryback –They’re saying, Get me the fuck out of here

Any other familiar faces and actors pop up?
There’s lots to be honest but I’ll pick three.

The great Patrick O’Neal plays Casey’s friend and captain of the USS Missouri Captain Adams. Unfortunately Under Siege would be his last feature film before he sadly died. A few films I’ve liked from him were In Harm’s Way (1965), King Rat (1965) and Castle Keep (1969). Also a sinister role in The Stepford Wives (1975).

I think Troy Evans is one of my favorite of the crew members that jump up to help Casey get their ship back. He pops up all over the place and more likely than not will be playing a detective or a military man. Especially in TV series like The Division, ER and in the recent series Bosch as Detective Johnson.

The third face I’ll go for is Damian Chapa. He’s still busy now turning out films but I’m ashamed to say I only remember him from one. One he might wanna forget but however rubbish it was, me and my brother Dan still had a great laugh with it. That film would be Street Fighter (1994) where he played the arcade character Ken. Going through his filmography I was stopped in my tracks by Blood In, Blood Out (1993). It gets high praise. Looks like an epic gangster film. Anyone seen it?

Production Credits
Under Siege is directed by Andrew Davis who had worked with Steven Seagal before when he starred alongside the beautiful Pam Grier in one I’ve reviewed before Above The Law (1988). No stranger to action movie genre Andrew Davis has made some great fun movies. From the likes of Chuck Norris and Code Of Silence (1985), The Package (1989) with Gene Hackman. Probably his biggest hit was the film adaptation of The Fugitive (1993) starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones.

A fun fact about the production is that the battleship is docked in a bay. So the illusion that the ship was in fact at sea had to be achieved by floating a giant blackout screen around the ship to block out the light of the near by city.

Cheese-O-Meter! Low/Medium/High?
Yeah of course it’s filled with a core of squeaky on the teeth processed cheese but that’s what we signed on for hey? A low medium cheese level.

IMDB score rating – 6.5/10

Wolfman ACTION & FUN rating – 9/10

Wolfman over all film rating – 7/10

Closing thoughts………………………………………….
This has to be up there at the top of Steven Seagal best films. It rocks along at a good pace. Casey is likable and down to earth. One of the lads. The three bad guys look like they are having a right blast though-out the film. Forever messing around and upping the crazy levels to the max. It’s hard not to enjoy. It does everything an action packed popcorn infused escapism film should do. Yep they had to try another! Under Siege 2 : Dark Territory (1995) now that was pretty bad. I kind of recall thinking it was OK-ish but that Jewish computer salesmen bad guy was terrible! Hehe.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the film if you want. But most importantly have fun with the movies.

Keep it filmy…. Mikey Wolf.

“I’ll whip you up a mean omelette if you want before you go?”

14 thoughts on “Under Siege (1992) The Cook, The Drag Queen And The Booby Cake

  1. I’ve seen a few Seagal films (and a few seagull films), but I cannot remember if I’ve seen this one…and since the image of your nephew jumping out of a cake bare-chested doesn’t seem to be lodged in my memory, I’ll have to say I missed it.

    Like you say, I can imagine this one being ‘action-packed, popcorn infused escapism’ (I guess maybe THAT should’ve been the film’s tagline), but lordy, do I ever have a hard time taking Steven Seagal seriously…he looks about as believable a cook as Denise Richards does a scientist! But if I happen across it somewhere, I promise I’ll be giving it a look, if only for the cake scene.

    And I’m sure your nephew is going to be AWFULLY pissed off if he reads this review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeah he’s the hardest one out of the action heroes of that generation to really like. He doesn’t ever really look comfortable in the roles. Like he’s a bit narky with all the production teams. Hehe. Though it does set him aside from the others.
      If you haven’t seen it Todd then I would very much recommend it. Mainly for how crazy town Busey and Lee Jones can go. And what with Meaney making up the trio, it’s far more fun watching them lark about.

      But it’s a nice touch that it’s not just Seagal going it alone and the little moments the crew help out adds to the action. And as an action film, it’s well worth your popcorn munching time. Especially for those fine puppies too. I really hope he doesn’t read this too. LOL….

      “about as believable a cook as Denise Richards does a scientist!” But “Sweet Christmas” she made a sexy Doctor.


  2. Surely the biggest film of Seagal’s career. I mean all around. Easily his best and probably budget with studio support to back it before he fell on hard times of straight to Walmart bargain bins everywhere and a steady diet of McDonald’s chicken mcnuggets and a the super sized chocolate milk shake.
    Also notable is Tommy Lee Jones was on a steady run of high camp whacked out characters around this time. Two Face comes to mind and the bomber in Blown Away and the assassin in The Package. As for Gary…. thats just Busey being Busey. A true nut job if there ever was one. But dumb he can be entertaining. Sorry to hear about your nephew….. for more on Miss July 1989 check out cheesey comedy Chasers from director Dennis Hopper.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Busey being Busey is what everyone want’s and this has to be his most funny. Actually all three baddies look like they are having the best laugh on set ever.
      I completely forgotten all about the film Blown Away. It took me a few seconds to register it in the old memory banks! Then BANG (pun intended) his crazy performance came to mind. At first I was thinking Harrison Ford (Got me Patriot Games mixed up for a second) but no it was Jeff Bridges. Didn’t they both have dodgy Irish accents! Yes Jones was bonkers. Almost tempted to watch that again. Haha I think I would be way too traumatized if I watched Chasers going on the images I just scanned. LOL

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I spat my coffee out reading about your nephew looking like the girl! The “boob-o-meter” paragraphs are some of the best in your reviews and I have to make sure when I read them not to be drinking something at the same time.
    But classic…YOU’RE caught off guard by the look-alike thing so the NEPHEW has to suffer by getting thrown out of next Christmas LOL
    We saw this recently (meaning within the last five or six years) and it WAS a blast and a half.
    We were in a kind of whimsical mood and this movie fit our whimsicality to a T.
    Not a big Steven fan, but he WAS really good here.
    And I ADORE Tommy Lee Jones. I wrote about him in No Country for Old Men and that ending and that face of his as he recounts the dream and how superbly wonderful he is as an actor.
    Gary…ha ha. There are no words. I always wonder what point in time it was for him: before or after he fell off the motorcycle?
    I guess he didn’t do all that much AFTER he fell off, huh?
    But thanks for the excellent fun, as usual, and the rollicking super-loaded blast from the past,
    Mr. Wolf ! ! !

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh my goodness Stacey please except my apologies for the impromptu coffee shower! I do hope no electrical devises were harmed. Hehe. Yeah said Nephew wasn’t around the first time I saw this, so of course there was never a problem with the birthday surprise. So there I was all excited for the main event reveal and then!!! Well I might as well had the coffee shower wack me in the face! LOL.
      Hopefully he will never see this. Or someones gonna need counselling! Well after I’ve finished my session with the shrink.
      So good to hear you’ve enjoyed the review and even more so that you both also like the film. It’s hits all the right notes for a fun action packed no brainer bit of fun.
      Yep you so right, Tommy Lee Jones’s face in No Country for Old Men showed a life time of aging and told as deep a story as the film itself.
      I didn’t know about the motorbike accident that Gary Busey had! Wow sound’s like he was a very lucky man! What a duffus not wearing a helmet.
      So great you also get a good buzz out of these nostalgic reviews. I think the next one I have in mind will be another Gary Busey related film. I do so much enjoy doing those action movies from the video rental era.
      Thanks for the great comment 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Well, nice coffee shower every now and then is very refreshing, you know!
    At the time that Busey crashed, there were no helmet laws. He became quite a fanatic about it afterwards. I think he actually suffered some brain damage. It was bad!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sounds like he might of helped other people to start using their helmets too. Hope so. My good friend only came off his two nights a go. Out cold. Came round with the ambulance crew with him. He was very, very lucky. Bruised up, with black eyes and broken fingers but thankfully he had a helmet on and it no doubt save him.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Whoa, yeah. Holy cow! The helmet did its job, it sounds like. Motorcycles are so nifty and maneuverable. But SO dangerous………!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great review Wolfie 🙂 Along with Above the Law and Under Siege 2, Under Siege is one of Seagal’s best movies. I also agree with another person on here that Busey’s “psychological evaluation” line should become a GIF 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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