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Trivia / Half Past Dead

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  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $25 million. Box office, $19,233,280. Note however that its official budget was heavily padded out by Franchise Pictures as part of their embezzlement schemes; the film's actual production budget is estimated to have been closer to $14 million.
  • California Doubling: All indoor prison scenes were shot in an old STASI prison in Berlin.
  • The Cast Showoff: Nia Peeples performed all of her own stunts for the martial arts sequences.
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  • Fake Russian: Steven Seagal as Sascha, something Roger Ebert noted.
  • Star-Derailing Role: For everyone not named Morris Chestnut, it seems. Steven Seagal and Nia Peeples have rarely been seen on screen since this one and for Ja Rule, it severely hurt his street cred.
  • Troubled Production: The film had a very tumultuous production history:
    • It was first written in the mid-90s, but shelved when the near-identically plotted The Rock was released first. The script was put into production just after the turn of the decade, but on a much lower budget than writer-director Don Michael Paul had hoped for, and he was only able to get it off the ground thanks to the involvement of Franchise Pictures (of Battlefield Earth infamy). What's more, while the film's official budget was given as $25 million, reportedly the film only actually saw $15 million of that, making it likely that Franchise were employing the same embezzlement tricks they carried out on Battlefield Earth.
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    • During filming, Seagal would frequently walk off-set at the slightest provocation — including for no reason other than his spiritual advisor told him that his karma was low — forcing Paul to resort to the usage of Fake Shemps in order to get scenes in the can. The finished film credits no less than four stunt and body doubles for Seagal, one of whom was also injured mid-production and had to be replaced.
    • In addition to his frequent refusal to be on-set, Seagal also behaved like a major jerkass to his co-stars throughout filming, with Claudia Christian in particular recounting that he made her life a living hell, and Seagal also supposedly lecturing Linda Thorson on her acting at points, despite her having worked as an actor for two decades longer than him.
    • The film's meagre budget ultimately prevented Paul from being able to film all the scenes that he wanted to, and he ended up having to borrow stock footage from, of all things, The Rock in order to complete the film.
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    • Once filming had finished, Franchise announced that due to the 9/11 attacks and their belief that audiences no longer wanted to see violent films, all their future theatrically-released films would be restricted to a PG-13 rating. This resulted in the film, which was written with the expectation of being released with an R-rating, being butchered in editing in order to obtain the PG-13.
    • When it was released, the film was slaughtered by critics, and did poorly at the box-office (albeit well enough that it would have been mildly profitable had Franchise been honest about the budget). It proved the Star-Derailing Role for Seagal, whose subsequent output has been almost entirely in direct-to-DVD films.
  • Working Title: The film was at one stage known as Lockdown.


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