by Scott Weinberg
OK, I like monster movies. Granted, they're not as imaginative and brilliant as in the 50's, when stuff like The Giant Mantis, I Married a Texan, or Ladybug! was challenging audiences with dialogue like "Look, a giant aphid! Run!", but a big slimy monster and a body count of 8 or 10 suits me just fine.A sense of humor is integral to corny-ass monster movies. If you play it too straight, the audience wakes the small iota of intelligence they ususally reserve for road-rage exclamations and fingernail chewing, and they get angry: "Oh, yeah, like I'm supposed to believe he could still crack wise while he's being swallowed from the waist down by some gooey monster." or "That completely fictional and non-existent monster looks so fake, doesn't it? Doesn't it?" Deep Rising recognizes it's own familiarity and cliches. It offers a few good peformances, and more than its share of jolts and real bloody mayhem.
"So utterly familiar, yet it works more than most of its kind"
Seems this fancy-shmancy luxury liner is experiencing some technical difficulties (see plot keyword: sabotage) when it's attacked by some huge wet and green thing that's been hibernating in some deep freshwater blahblahblah. Anyway, we see a small amount of freaking out rich idiots, then we get to meet our heroes. Scrappy captain Treat Williams (in full-on pseudo-Indy mode here) and his racially and stereotype-balanced crew show up at the ship. They go on board with some aggressive treasure-hunting nutbags, and they all systematically get eaten in some particularly nasty scenes.
Our hero finds the only hot and sexy survivor, sticks to her like white on rice, they escape some of the ick, and make a split-second escape/slaying of the creature. Strictly by the numbers here, kids, but it worked for most of the time. Adequate and well-timed comic relief helped, and some especially nasty villains always raise the blood a little, and it's that much sweeter when they get turned into reverse sushi. Widely despised, but pretty darn cool for monster fans.Delivers the goods pretty accurately, with a good amount of sexy babes, brutal killings, and a neato-looking monster. This one makes me feel like I'm 12 again when and watching some horror movie that my parents would ground me for watching, and what's wrong with that? Nothing. It's dumb, loud, bloody and silly, but in a cool way.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=108&reviewer=128
originally posted: 10/19/99 20:47:25