Deep Rising (1998)

Director: Stephen Sommers.
Starring. Treat Williams, Kevin J O’Connor, Wes Studi, Anthony Heald, Djimon Hounsou, Jason Flemyng, Cliff Curtis, Derek O;Connor, Famke Jassen. USA. 1h 46m.

The 90’s was a great era for cool action flicks with questionable levels of bravado and badassness , everyone was hot with a weapon, spitting corny one liners, and pulling hot chicks is nothing but a hobby. This era was owned by a few huge names, Arnie, Stallone and Gibson to name a few but at the back end of the 90’s there was a few toys to play with, the addition of advanced computer enhanced effects really ignited something in a lot of directors who tried to break through old limitations and create groundbreaking horror sci fi action flicks just like this and despite there being a few holes in the plot and physical side to story, Stephen Sommers was certainly building his craft into something quite spectacular, only a year later he returns with The Mummy (1999) and a host of other big popcorn titles were to follow.

Treat Williams plays the mega hero in this mega movie about a mega creature, with a meager crew who make their living from the sea, searching for salvage and on this particular fateful night, they are transporting a group of mercenaries to a secret location, meanwhile on a state of the art luxury liner run by the nervous Simon Canton (Anthony Heald) better known for his role as Hannible Lecter’s unfortunate doctor Chilton in Silence of the Lambs (1991), the guidance and security system are disabled while a porcelain pickpocket Trillian (Jassen) is caught right and just in time for the star of the show to make an appearance, a giant tentacled monster rams into the boat leaving it immobile and vulnerable.

Being half action film and part creature feature the pace of the movie is often blazing, it’s not something that will evoke much thought, it’s a pure popcorn flick and that’s what makes it so much fun. The creature is pretty mysterious, it feels that it’s ambiguity is used to enable the director to use it in any way possible, if we knew it was an octopus then we could start making assumptions but this creature is everything that is required to scare the audience and nothing more.

The crew dynamics is divide like Moon 44 (1990), technical team vs brute force mercenaries, and we all know who’s going to make it out, and the enjoyment is supposed to come from their epic adventure, Kevin J. O’Connor plays an unlikely hero, his character is often a sly old dog it’s weird seeing him both so young and on the winning team! Wes Studi is another odd character for an action movie, but as with all his roles he pulls off a convincing character and now I kinda feel that that maybe he should have been in Predator somewhere. Casting quirks aside, the most impressive feature of the movie isn’t the unusual story or expensive CGI but the amazing practical effects from the legendary Rob Bottin whose efforts out did anything a green screen and computer could knock up. Writhing partly digested bodies and buckets of blood were real highlights among the usual action antics

Right down to the ridiculous ending the film strangely still holds up for me as one of the better horror sci fi thrillers of the era, but there is a hint of a cringy Dough Maclure sequel in the ending but luckily that never happened, although with all of these abysmal Sharknado and Lavalantua movies, who knows this might one day continue.

Rating 5/10

RDeepStar Six (1989), Leviathan (1989),
L – Sinking Ships, Giant Creatures from the Deep
A – 18 Action/Horror Movies from 1998 Still Worth Talking about Vol 1.
5s – Treat Williams, Kevin J O’Connor, Wes Studi, Djimon Honsou, Jason Flemyng, Cliff Curtis,Famke Jessen.

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