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Deepstar Six Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
Written by Jay Creepy   
Wednesday, 13 June 2012

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AKA: DeepStar Six - Das Grauen in der Tiefe, Aliens apo to vytho, Creatura degli abissi, Deep Six, Deep Star Six, Denizin dehseti, Mélytengeri szörnyeteg, M.A.L., mutant aquatique en liberté, Oddzial, Podvodna zvezda sest, Podvodna zvezda sest, Syvyyksien peto, Terror nas Profundidades

Directed by: Sean S. Cunningham
Written by: Lewis Abernathy
Produced by: Sean S. Cunningham, Patrick Markey
Cinematography by: Mac Ahlberg
Editing by: David Handman
Music by: Harry Manfredini
Special Effects by: Mark Shostrum , Robert Kurtzman, Greg Nicotero
Cast: Taurean Blacque, Miguel Ferrer, Nancy Everhard, Nia Peeples, Greg Evigan
Year: 1989
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1 h 43 min

Sometimes I wish I was as good a reviewer as the late legend that is Chas Balun.  At school I was known as Weird Jay for bringing Gorezones and Deep Reds into our social area to read.  I was proud of that moniker.  That was one person that raised me the correct way with his books and magazine columns where he spoke the truth no matter how much critics liked a film.  Chas just threw it down and blatantly said what a good few hardcore horror fans were thinking at the time.

In the case of "Deepstar Six" I find myself as quite the reverse.  Critics and fans like it in a fond puppy dog sort of way (even Chas didn’t mind it either).  I remember seeing it upon its VHS release and thinking “Alien.”  That’s a good thing really to compare a film to something like that.  So with that in mind, my horror soulmate and I settled to watch this.  It took us three attempts to complete it!

"Deepstar Six" is set underwater and follows a small isolated crew with a mission to ready an area of the seabed for a permanent Navy base.  The first six or so minutes lazily introduce the primary cast members including a Tom Skerrett lookalike (funnily enough hmm?), Miguel Ferrer as a miserable character called Snyder, and other assorted moustache and beards.  There are also a few women on board to keep sexual moments in the film (like the very first scene which seems out of place really).

The exterior sets look weirdly like the Mysteron camps in "Captain Scarlett" before Captain Black screwed up by attacking them.  Then eight minutes in I’m sure I saw the side view of the Millennium Falcon sat there too!

Next we have a breakfast scene where you really do expect a chestburster to make an appearance at any moment.  Instead after some banal conversation, Snyder gets mad at having to leave his breakfast.

Hodges and Osbourne are sent out in the Sea Cat (a cool ocean land rover thing) to check on a possible cavern opening that needs sealing up with explosives.  These two are a typical young and old combo, like a more laid back stoner Frank and Freddy from "Return of the Living Dead."  The explosives set off a chain reaction which cave in quite a huge area.  Hodges and Osbourne are instructed to send a remote camera inside the huge cavern.  They lose it and have to drive in to look around.  Something big approaches and on their screen we have a brief shot of teeth and…… silence, communication is gone with the Sea Cat.

Another vehicle called the Sea Track is close by and they are also attacked.  One crew member survives.  Back on Deepstar Six a woman called Scarpelli (Nia Peeples) knows the area and has heard about various divers going missing.  Two crew members, McBride (Skerrett lookalike Greg Evigan) and Captain Laidlaw (played by "Hills St Blues’" Taurean Blacque) set out to investigate and manage to rescue the survivor.  However Laidlaw is nearly chopped in half by a short circuiting door and then drowned whilst trapped there.  Due to this, the mission is understandably abandoned but an accident brings the base to its knees in floodwaters, with explosions and sparks everywhere.  Then the creature gets inside and begins to eat anyone in the water.

Sean Cunningham of "Friday 13th" and "House" fame has effects men Mark Shostrum, Robert Kurtzman, Greg Nicotero and around thirty more miniature operators, at his side but they all flounder on this one.  Studio interference?  Budgets?  Maybe these two things played a part, but around that era a lot of studio-pulped low budget films were pulling off mini epics compared to this.

"Deepstar Six
" can be bad in parts and good in some others but my problem is there’s no involvement and no fun.  Dialogue is deadpan, scenes seem to be pointless and the false ending need not happen since the result is the same as if it hadn’t happened (if you’ve seen it you’ll know what I mean).

Miguel Ferrer’s much talked about death scene is the highpoint and doesn’t outstay its welcome either.  Heavily looking like the telepathic duel at the conclusion of "Scanners" it pulls off an effective gem in the dirt.

As for the prehistoric creature it appears to be a glued together cross between a crab with big rubber crocodile stitched to its back, having a head like "The Deadly Spawn" with googly eyes on top.  During early scenes it kind of hid in the shadows and sulked in shame.  Later scenes show way too much for its own good.

I think Chas Balun described it as a popcorn film you easily forget.  It’s not offensive and doesn’t have an extrovert nature, it just sort of exists and stares at you for no reason.

Deepstar Six Screenshot on Severed Cinema

Deepstar Six Screenshot on Severed Cinema

Deepstar Six Screenshot on Severed Cinema

Deepstar Six Screenshot on Severed Cinema

Deepstar Six Screenshot on Severed Cinema

Deepstar Six Screenshot on Severed Cinema

Deepstar Six Screenshot on Severed Cinema

Deepstar Six Screenshot on Severed Cinema

Deepstar Six Screenshot on Severed Cinema

Deepstar Six Screenshot on Severed Cinema

Deepstar Six Screenshot on Severed Cinema

Deepstar Six Screenshot on Severed Cinema

Deepstar Six (AKA: M.A.L) Screenshot on Severed Cinema

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