This might be the strangest concept to understand, DeepStar Six plot is very similar to Leviathan and it is also one of six creature feature underwater films to find itself dated 1989 through 1990, which doesn’t count any films involving sharks or those type of predators. In Hollywood and indie studios, trends start, and producers being hearing about other projects and hence everyone reviews the engines to flood the market with a tsunami of flicks. I know it’s incredible to understand that six movies on similar themes emerge in relatively short span of time, they were Leviathan (1989), Lord of the Deep (1989), The Evil Below (1989), The Abyss (1989) – these three each appear one month apart and then a year later emerges from the depths The Rift (1990).  However at the helm of this action horror production Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th [1980]) , that failed miserably at the box-office on a budget of $8-million it earned $8.1-million, while using a screenplay from Lewis Abernathy (his only horror film credit, is this film) and Geof Miller (Lovers Lane [1999]) did most of the actual writing for the script, and this film earned distribution from TriStar Pictures and beware this review will contain some spoilers.

When one thinks of the 80s they tend to recall the politically incorrect  humor, raunchy sexual jokes, T&A and slashers, however the decade brought monsters galore big and small, from outer space and undersea. It’s often stated we know more about the stars and solar system then our own planet namely the vast depths of the ocean. Strangely enough in that same decade the creatures emerge from the darkness awaiting to devour or cause chaos to the viewers lives as in Blood Beach (1980), Q: The Winged Serpent (1982), Gremlins (1984), Ghoulies (1985), Critters (1986),  and Pumpkinhead  (1988), quite frankly the list goes on and on, with so much to explore above the ocean surface.

For those who might have read the Leviathan (1989) review already, you already know how similar these films are to each other, and it does borrow elements from Alien (1979) but tries not to rip-off other films that much. The plot involves a group of unhappy employees at a module ocean base, upset with each other, aside from a few romances they are working on a project for the Navy involving setting missile sleds and anchoring on the sea floor for possible future attacks. While it might sound a far-fetched plot point, is actually considered a violation of the real Seabed Treaty that became effective on May 18, 1972 with 94 countries in agreement.

The crew onboard of DeepStar and located six-miles beneath the surface, working on a navy mission to install nuclear missiles on the ocean floor, in charge of the project is Dr. Van Gelder (Marius Weyers (Pure Blood [2001])) who considers his decisions the only one that counts, in addition he’s extremely dismissive to the women on the mission too, namely Scarpelli (Nia Peeples (Lavalantula [2015])). Instead of shifting the misses location or taking the proper protocols when locating a deep cavern he decides to destroy it all, and here lies the first of the errors and mistakes, as it unleashes an unfriendly creature. After a short and quick investigation goes wrong Obsorne (Ronn Carroll (House [1985])) and Hodges (Thom Bray (The Prowler [1981])) venture out in an attempt to recover their probe, but things get worse. When contact is lost with Collins (Nancy Everhard) and Burciaga (Elya Baskin (Silent Screams [2015])) two more crew venture out to the location. We, as experienced viewers, can already tell from the foreshadowing the body is rising as fast the ocean rushes in an open porthole into the destroyed vehicles, soon enough Captain Laidlaw (Taurean Blacque) exits the picture; too. Upon readying for an emergency exit Snyder (Miguel Ferrer (The Night Flier [1997])) incorrectly stores the missiles and instead blows them up because of shockwaves which rendered their escape into a pile of scrap metal. The story tries to seal off plot holes and keep the suspense fastened in tight, but starts mirroring some of Allen (1979) checklist namely motion tracking devices, close quarters, and limited weapons. There are few good moments of gore, but not enough for the splatter fans to get their jollies, though the body count clearly goes up waves, with McBride (Greg Evigan (Terror Birds [2016])) working to save day and battle the monster.

The overall visuals of the actual creature stay well-masked, now often this falls into two schools of thought either you want to hide the creature until that proper and precise moment unleashing it on the screen and audience, or that you know as a filmmaker know it’s not very good-looking and/or a mechanical problem lies within it. It seems it’s the latter choice with the production, the first half of the movie works to build-up characters and create tension among the different cast members. One of the standout acting performances comes from Ferrer, who really made his character to likely the most hated on the cast, all the whining, infuriates most viewers. The score doesn’t seem proper for the film, the segments seem misplaced per the action occurring on the screen, and the special effects have very few pluses, most blend into a cheap background. The one plus the film has over all the other 1989 undersea films, is the interesting movie poster.

DeepStar Six attempt to portray itself as a solid sci-fi meets horror, but results in more of b-movie with a sea creature which more akin to a giant crab, although the size of monster likely would have been better than that of Queen Crab (2015) one can only wonder if Roger Corman had control of the filming it would have filled with camp. One’s best bet is to see this feature before Leviathan and see how you could piece an actual film together from both, a sort of mash-up game of go-fish.

TAGLINES:

  • Not All Aliens Come From Space. Save Your Last Breath… To Scream.
  • Six miles below the surface of the ocean, something beyond your imagination will scare the hell out of you.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097179/

IMDb Rating: 5.3/10

Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10