Wednesday, March 12, 2014

1PanelReview DeepStar Six

In 1989, 5 (no less!) horror films taking place underwater and seeing a crew face some supernatural danger while testing the strength of their teams were released simultaneously, one after the other.

These films were in theatrical release order: DeepStar Six, Leviathan, Lords of the Deep, The Evil Below and finally The Abyss.

This is one of them.

What it is: DeepStar Six 

Which is: A scifi/horror film
Directed by: Sean S. Cunningham 
Year: 1989

DeepStar Six, released in January '89, is a science-fiction/horror film directed by Friday the 13th series creator Sean S. Cunningham. It follows a crew of both military and civilians working in an underwater outpost as they awake a prehistoric monster creature. Death ensues. The films starts a cast of relatively unknown but decent actors, including RoboCop's Miguel Ferrer and also Matt McCoy.

What's Good about it: Well, to be honest, it's such a fun, but simple, scifi horror classic.
The story is about this Deep Sea Colony prototype where people are living and conducting some underwater experiments. Long story short, they wake a mysterious creature who then starts attacking their Sea Track observation pod - by ACCIDENT!
Most death are actually cause by Snyder (Miguel Ferrer), the facility technician who starts to panic right away, while pretending to be a badass. 
The crew gets picked off one by one. The cast of characters is pretty good.
The monster presented here is almost innocent as he attacks to either feed himself or simply because he was attracted to lights.
At the end of the day, the monster is responsible for very little deaths.
DeepStar Six is often compared to the superior Abyss to its detriment, but it's actually a genuinely fun lil' horror flick.
With a great creepy score courtesy from Harry Manfredini.
The film also has a great ending. Sean S. Cunningham's film never lose a beat in the final act, and like Jason Voorhees in the original Friday, the monster jumps from the water as the last sequence begins. When you thought it was all over. Only here, compared to Friday the 13th, there's an actual final epic scene!
I also like the fact this film's poster & DVD cover is yet another Jaw-esque parody. Only here in this context compared to a lot of these, it actually makes sense.

What's Bad about it: Well..
I'm going to write this in almost all of these reviews, but like Leviathan, DeepStar Six is another of these countless Alien ripoffs from the 1980s.
Also it's strange how as we get to know the background characters or their motivations they actually get killed the next scene...
Finally, let it be said, we never get to see much of the monster... Was it a giant lobster? An alien? An octopus? A dinosaur? No idea, it's really difficult to get a clear shot of its entire body.

Overall: DeepStar Six is a great horror/scifi flick, if a bit cliché.

It adheres to the genre to the letter, and some characters death seem a bit useless and random (why did the Captain sacrify himself?).

Nonetheless, it's a pretty fun and decent film for the genre, with some original ideas here and there.

A lot of time is spent with the crew, establishing all these different character only to get killed off one by one later on. There's maybe not much for the monster, he doesn't really do much in terms of killing.

Anyway, it's a solid horror film, with a slow but deliberate pacing. They tried to achieve some believability and took some extra care of the whole underwater scenario. 

A monster film with a nice script and some great gruesome effects (Miguel Ferrer's death!! woah!).

What's more to ask?
I give it: 2.5 / 3 Quacks!
[How does my Rating System work?]

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