Scifi Horror
Deep Star Six
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Dir: Sean S. Cunningham
Star: Greg Evigan, Nancy Everhard, Miguel Ferrer, Cindy Pickett
Cert / Year: 15 - R /1989
Format: DVD R1
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A group of navy engineers and civilian mining contractors are working on a project to place nuclear missile platforms on the ocean floor. Overdue and with the project facing cancellation the last thing they need is a problem, but unfortunately a cavern has just been found under the site. Using explosives in attempt to collapse the cavern all they manage to do is to release a deadly ancient sea creature. Now thanks to a series of mistakes and creature attacks the whole operation is at risk, and it has become a fight for survival.

This is another one of those underwater movies that all appeared around 1989. We had the body invading horror of Leviathan, the extraterrestrial visitors with an Eco message in The Abyss, and here we have an Alien by numbers horror. Compared to The Abyss and even Leviathan this one looks a bit cheap, but at least it takes a different viewpoint on the underwater genre.

If you think this is a monster movie you will be a little disappointed. It takes a long time for the creature to appear, and even then more people die from incompetence and happenstance rather than any direct creature attacks. This is unusual and I would like to think it was planned rather than a matter of budgetary necessity. However this does lead to the movie having a rather schizophrenic feel. It's neither a monster film nor a plain disaster movie more an uneasy mix of both. It would have been a more interesting film it they had concentrated a little less on the out of place horror and more on the disaster movie tension.

The budget also shows in the choice of cast, who are a bunch of American television actors. The best performance comes from Miguel Ferrer who as the realistically flawed Snyder is accidentally more lethal than the monster. Greg Evigan (yep BJ from BJ and the Bear) is ok in the lead role, only let down by his tragically eighties beard. Nancy Everhard is mildly more engaging in a Ripley sort of way. Other than that the rest are vaguely recognisable and adequate.

Sean S Cunningham directs the film in a lazy way, shoehorning gore and audience pleasing visuals in a way reminiscent of his earlier work (he is better known for the Friday the 13th films). The problem is the pacing of the film is very slow to get started and the story continuity is poorly handled. This is not helped by a script that is so full of farcical techno babble that I'm surprised the actors can say it without laughing. On the upside the effects are for the most part good (in a lower budget sort of way). The rig and submarine model effects being the best of the bunch, at the other end of things the camera wisely does not stay to long on the mediocre monster.

I have fond memories of Deepstar Six; it's not a bad film at all. It is a bit low budget, but it has enough action to keep you watching. Coming back to it after some time may lead to disappointment as the effects have dated a bit, and it is a bit more cheesy than you remembered. In comparison the Leviathan and The Abyss it is not totally humiliated, which considering its humble background is a compliment indeed. Not worth tracking down but if its on give it a look, it's a fun way to pass the time.

Rating: 2 out of 5

DVD
Picture 2.35:1 Anamorphic Not bad but not upto modern standards
Audio Dolby Surround Pretty good but cerainly not 5.1
Features Commentary By Sean Cunningham & Special Effects Co-ordinator James Isaacs
Making Of Featurette
Trailer
Photo Gallery
Verdict This is more like it an older film with good presentation and a number of extras. Overall a commendable effort.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Back Top Home