27 February 2011

OMENS: DeepStar Six

DeepStar Six

Starring Taurean Blacque, Nancy Everhard, Cindy Pickett, Miguel Ferrer, Matt McCoy.
Written by Lewis Abernathy, Geof Miller
Directed by Sean S. Cunningham
Release: 13 January 1989
TriStar, 99 mins., Rated R

Plot: Underwater scientific station DeepStar Six is under siege by a giant monster.

Sounds a lot more exciting than what it ends up being. I love monster movies, I bloody well love them, and I dug the atmosphere director Sean S. Cunningham displayed in the original FRIDAY THE 13TH. Here, that works against him, making DEEPSTAR SIX a absolute bore from beginning to end. Initially the model work was impressive enough to keep my interest, and I tried my hardest to find myself invested in at least one of the characters, but as the time wore on, and the hour marking was coming upon us, I admit I was really, really losing interest. Aside from a blip on the radar, no monster had yet appeared, and nor would it for another ten minutes. I'm usually all for placing character and atmosphere ahead of the scares, but in this instance, I just wanted my motherfrakking monster fix, ladies and gents. However you feel about Renny Harlin's DEEP BLUE SEA over a decade ago, that movie did a great job at balancing the human drama with the flesh-eating Mako sharks. At least I thought so. Cunningham and Co. epically failed here.

When the monster does appear, the overall design of the creature is very impressive. It definitely had the feeling of being a beasty you don't want to cross, and was most definitely threatening. Sometimes I got a little confused concerning the size of the monster, as it goes from room to room in such tight spaces it really shouldn't. One scene it looks like a big ass monster, the other times, small and slender enough to fit through the doors the writer and director proposes is plausible. No matter the huge lack of screentime, I still liked the design, had a very Stan Winston-vibe to it, and my only other complaint concerning it is that I wish we had a better, larger shot to gain a proper image of it (and, of course, for it to appear earlier in the film).

In the end, DEEPSEA SIX does not succeed as a entertaining monster movie, although it had the makings to be such. Ultimately what I'm sure the writers and director felt were the wise choices - staying close to the characters, allowing them room to be, er, 'established' - ended up being the wrong ones. None of the actors have the caliber to keep us entertained until the big showdown, and when the monster finally does arrive, it's a welcome distraction of the permeating 'blah'ness of the rest of the movie. Still, I give you all props for trying.

Netflix Rating: Didn't Like It

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