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Hard Target (1993)

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A woman hires a drifter as her guide through New Orleans in search of her father, who has gone missing. They discover a deadly game of cat and mouse behind his disappearance in the process.


John Woo


Chuck Pfarrer
3,553 ( 1,461)
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chuck Pfarrer ... Douglas Binder
Robert Apisa Robert Apisa ... Mr. Lopacki (as Bob Apisa)
Arnold Vosloo ... Pik van Cleef
Lance Henriksen ... Emil Fouchon
Douglas Rye Douglas Rye ... Frick (as Douglas Forsythe Rye)
Mike Leinert Mike Leinert ... Frack (as Michael D. Leinert)
Yancy Butler ... Natasha 'Nat' Binder
Lenore Banks ... Marie
Willie C. Carpenter ... Elijah Roper (as Willie Carpenter)
Jean-Claude Van Damme ... Chance Boudreaux
Barbara Tasker Barbara Tasker ... Waitress
Kasi Lemmons ... Det. Marie Mitchell
Randy Cheramie Randy Cheramie ... Shop Steward
Eliott Keener Eliott Keener ... Randal Poe
Robert Pavlovich ... Detective


Natasha Binder comes to New Orleans looking for her father, who has gone missing. In doing so, she meets a very hard man called Chance. He helps her find out that her father was killed by an organisation who sell the opportunity to hunt human prey. They are taking advantage of a police strike in New Orleans. Will the Muscles from Brussels win through? Written by John Hartnup <hartnupj@cs.aston.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Catch him if you can. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a great amount of strong violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | French

Release Date:

20 August 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hard Target See more »

Filming Locations:

White Castle, Louisiana, USA See more »


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,106,500, 20 August 1993

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (cut) | (unrated) | (Workprint Version)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)| DTS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Director Sam Raimi also worked on the film behind the scenes because Universal hired him to keep an eye out on John Woo and take over the production if he messes up, but Raimi never did anything like that and he was happy to work with Woo, even if it was unofficially due to certain reasons.

Sometime in early 90's before he got involved in Hard Target, Jean Claude Van Damme was going to be involved in another movie project with Raimi, who was gonna produce and maybe even direct the horror thriller titled Steel Donkeys based on the spec script by cult South African director and screenwriter Richard Stanley.

The story of the script, which was said to be very violent and gory, followed gang of thieves (Van Damme was going to play the leader of the gang) who break into some old bank in Amsterdam during Queen's day festival, and while they are stealing the diamonds from the bank the gang members accidentally release an alien shape-shifting demon (this would explain the Steel Donkeys title which is a term Jamaican yardies use for these kind of soul sucking demons) who was trapped inside the building since second World War, and after police shows up and put the building under siege, gang members have to find a way to survive and escape while at the same time fighting against the demon who starts possessing and killing them one by one. See more »


The plot of the movie requires the victims to try and reach the Mississippi River. In the opening scene, we see a desperate veteran running through the French Quarter (which is located in downtown New Orleans). Moments later, we see him running through a park towards the Mississippi River...with New Orleans visible in the background *across* the river. See more »


[first lines]
Douglas Binder: [trying to open a locked door] Please...
See more »

Alternate Versions

Despite the R-rating on the cover, the American blu-ray releases of the film contain the international unrated version, featuring the extended opening and ending sequences. See more »


Referenced in Killing Heat (2012) See more »


Walkin' Blues
Written by Son House (uncredited)
Performed by Eric Clapton
(Only in workprint version)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the greatest my personal favorite best action John Woo-Van-Damme action style movie!
1 January 2018 | by ivo-cobra8See all my reviews

Hard Target (1993) is one of the greatest and the best action packed movie in a John Woo-Van-Damme Style! Of all Van Damme movies this one of his, is the best of Van Damme ever and I absolutely love it to death. Like the title says Don't hunt what you can't kill. It is my John Woo's number 1 personal favorite action flick of all time, that I love to death. It is also one one of my personal favorite action films of all time.

"Don't hunt what you can't kill."

The thrill of the hunt. It's the ultimate drug, and the more intense the rush, the higher the price. International superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme teams up with world-famous action director John Woo for this electrifying thriller Van Damme is the target of an evil mercenary (Lance Henriksen) who recruits homeless combat veterans for the "amusement" of his clients - bored tycoons who will pay a half a million dollars to stalk and kill the most challenging prey of them all: Man. Laced with dark humor and slam-packed with electrifying action Hard Target is a must see for action fans.

Hard Target is not only my John Woo favorite film, it is also my Jean-Claude Van Damme favorite best action film from my favorite action star. I put this film over Die Hard, this is my Die Hard movie. I love that the stunts were realistic I think that John Woo didn't allow Van Damme to make his own stunts and it is a shame that Jean-Claude Van Damme *beep* up his chance with John Woo by making on another film. It is Van Damme's ego fault. Still they don't make movies like this.

I heard that there is Driector's cut somewhere on DVD that I have never saw, I own this film on Blu-ray in my John Woo collection and I still love it. The stunts are crazy, the action are spectacular. Van Damme catching a snake wow incredible. (at one point, a movie's typical crazy stuntman; firing the Beretta 92FS 9mm while standing on the seat of a motorcycle and crashes in to the car.) Still the motorcycle chase sequence is my favorite scene in the film.

Van Damme "launches thousands of bullets, slugs, and explosive projectiles into THIRTY of mercenary tycoons baddies." Arnold Vosloo is also underrated actor who plays Pik van Cleef he did a really pretty good job as the villain and Fouchon second mercenary henchman. Possibly best role for him. "I don't get angry. I'm a professional." I love this movie the action is delivered perfectly. Honestly I love Arnold Vosloo more in this movie than Lance Henriksen and I love his character Pik van Cleef.

The trill of the hunt. It's the ultimate drug and the more intense the rush, the higher the price. Hard target was the film is saw as a teen when I was 18, I couldn't saw it as a kid I really don't know, it was never on TV and I have never seen a VHS cover in a video store. I didn't even know that movie exists.

Hard Target is a 1993 action film that marked the US directorial debut of acclaimed Hong Kong director John Woo, who brought out his Asian style of action to Western cinema.

10/10 for me I love this movie to death, It is my number 1 favorite action film.

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