Steven Seagal Gallery o’ Shame II

Urban Justice montage(From l to r: details from the covers to Urban Justice, Region 3 and Region 1  respectively.)

Watching a low budget action film is a lot like playing spot the difference. The game of spying the be-wigged stunt doubles when the camera cuts to a reverse angle; the mismatched profiles, the oblique body language of a man waiting to throw himself through a door. It’s brilliant. Seagal of course takes it to another level, with his unique stature he is an instantly recognisable action star who none the less doggedly refuses to do any actual action. Which makes life hard for the casting director, as there aren’t many stunt doubles taller than 6’4″ with pony tail and 7th Dan Aikido skills. That is after all what made Seagal unique in the first place. Maybe the contrast between him and stunt double is his way of underscoring just how bloody unique he is.

With Seagal this statement of identity continues on the covers of his neverending stream of direct-to-dvd output. The above comparison plays on a level of uncanniness, a certain unheimliche in being similar yet obliquely different. This isn’t just thanks to the ungodly sight of Danny (I’veseenhimbefore) Trejo winking between the two profiles. No, the image is mirrored in all but Seagal’s face. I know he almost transcends the fact that a human face cannot be completely symmetrical, but no, body mirrored, head the same. Or correction: body-mirrored, face and shirt-collar the same. Or is it? I have no idea what’s going on there…

Looking at the Mojo Priest’s crotch (steady now), I guess we could divine that the cover on the left is accurate as it has the fly stitched in a conventional fashion. Yet to my eyes then the cover on the right looks more normal. Maybe Seagal just flies in the face of ‘conventional fashion’ and gets his jeans stitched another way. The Mojo way perhaps.

But is he left or right handed? Can we determine which profile is accurate from that fact? The internet draws a blank on that one, maybe some other direct-to-dvd covers might hold an answer –

mercenary for justice montage1(From l to r: Mercenary For Justice, Czech cover and French cover respectively.)

Or maybe not.

Whatever his dexterity he sure knows one thing, and that’s how to punch, kick and elbow other men in the nuts.

EDIT: Comments on this post have revealed that Steve Seagal does in fact wears womens jeans, flying in the face of conventional fashion. Such are the ways of the Mojo Priest. [thanks to commentator ‘xyz’ for that]

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2 thoughts on “Steven Seagal Gallery o’ Shame II

  1. xyz says:

    Let me do this for you. Almost every semi-automatic handgun ever made ejected to the right. Thus the gun’s ejection port should almost always be on the right side of the gun. Hence, the bottom-left photo should be correct, since it shows the left side of the pistol without an ejection port. In addition, the slide release and safety also appears to be on the correct side, i.e. the left side, of the pistol (though it could be ambidextrous, of course).

    Now let’s look at the photos at the top. The pistol in the top-right picture appears to be correct because the ejection-port cutout is on the right side of the slide. So far so good. But that leaves us with two problems:

    1) The top-right photo (assumed to be correct) shows Seagal to be right-handed, whereas the bottom left (also assumed to be correct, for now) shows otherwise. So which is he?
    2) What’s wrong with those jeans in the top-right photo?

    To answer 1), we can assume that the question is irrelevant, and that both photos are correct. Steven Seagal could be one of those individuals to whom the use of both hands seems natural. In addition, he might just not give a shit. It’s a promo photo, it probably took all of 30 seconds to take. Looking at these photos, one can almost sense the petty annoyance in Seagal’s eyes. He doesn’t give a shit about how he holds the gun, he just wants you to take this goddamn photo so he can get on with his life and get back to making bad music, catching crooks and peddling energy drinks.

    As for 2), our prima facie assumption is that the jeans are wrong in the top-right photo, and the handgun in the top-left photo is wrong as well. But must both photos contain errors? Not necessarily. For one thing, we know that rubber or foam replicas of firearms are often used on movie sets, so as to minimise the risk of injuries. These replicas are often not accurate portrayals of real weapons, since they are almost always used in action shots where the audience cannot see the weapon clearly. Hence it is possible that the top-left photo is in fact the correct one, and the gun in this picture could be a replica, somehow made with the ejection port on the wrong side of the weapon.

    However, this theory does not hold up to further considerations. Why would the prop makers make a replica that’s a mirror image of real handguns? Would it not be easier to make replicas resembling the real thing (e.g. plaster cast of a real or airsoft weapon)? There seems to be no logical reason as to why the replica, if it is indeed one, should be wrong-handed.

    But by rejecting the top-left picture with its mirrored handgun, must we not accept the top-right photo with its strange mirrored jeans as the correct one? Surely the left-hand side of the trousers must always overlap the right-hand side? Yet the solution is deceptively simple.

    Normally, the buttons sit on the right-hand side of a garment, which is overlapped by the left-hand side with its button holes, UNLESS the garment in question is a piece of clothing for women, in which case the the whole thing may be reversed. One explanation given was that men usually buttoned their clothing themselves and preferred buttons on their right side, whereas women from privileged backgrounds (those most likely to affect fashion) had maids who did their buttoning for them, and the having buttons on the left made the task easier for the servants. Now women’s trousers are usually not affect by this rule, since trousers are a relatively late addition to the feminine wardrobe which were first adapted from men’s clothing. However, often enough, trousers for women have been made with buttons on the left, as a whimsical design element perhaps. For examples of this, take at a look at howies.co.uk, who has their entire lines of women’s jeans and trousers made with the buttons on the left-hand side instead of the right.

    So there you have it folks, Steven Seagal wears women’s jeans.

  2. Alonzo Riley says:

    The thing is, though, if you “don’t give a shit” you are going to pick up things in a way that is natural. You think that someone who is right handed is going to pick up a pencil with their left hand for a photo-op just because they are annoyed and above it all?

    Ambidextrous: maybe. Not giving a shit: I think not.

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