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DeepStar Six
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by Jack Sommersby

"Not-Bad 'Alien' Clone"
3 stars

Came out the same year as the superior "Leviathan," and while it's not likely to make many wish lists it gets the job done adequately enough.

The derivative DeepStar Six is best described as an “underwater Alien,” and it’s surprisingly entertaining and suspenseful as far as these things go, and there wasn’t a minute when I wanted less of it. Set in the near-future and aboard a submersible facility miles down on the ocean floor that’s being funded by the Navy in the hope of proving a permanent human colony can exist at this depth, the movie does a commendable job of plausibly transporting the audience to another time and place, which is no small feat in that the spatial logistics are rather limited and the monster doesn’t make its physical presence known until after the one-hour mark. The crew is anxiously awaiting extraction after a six-month tour of duty, and the lead scientist is intent on finishing up on a nuclear-missile platform before departing; when a huge cavern is located below it, the order is given to rig explosives to blow it up so the platform is not placed above something of fragile stability. The oceanographer warns that this might not be the wisest course of action being that there have been historic recordings of disappearances of humans who’ve ventured into this area -- she maintains there are possible dangerous sea creatures within this cavern that are thousands and maybe millions of years old that are responsible. But the decision is made to go ahead, and after two men in a pod carry out the detonation, the ocean floor opens up and they barely escape with their lives only for a massive, fast-moving object detected on their sonar to descend upon their craft and destroy it. Thus far the director, Sean S. Cunningham, who was responsible for the box-office smash Friday the 13th and working in widescreen for the first time, cannily uses computer screens and hair-trigger editing in laying all this out. (We’re left to use our imaginations in filling out the unseen, and though a good deal of this was obviously because of the movie’s low budget and thus minimalist creature effects, this winds up being an asset in that we’re never given any more visual information than the crew members oblivious to the danger they find themselves in.) Eventually the creature does make its way into the facility, and from there the crew are in quite the predicament in that their decompression chamber is damaged so they can’t just detach and make their way to the surface, which means they have to take the fight to the enemy, and the overall result plays out a lot better than it has any right to. Oh, there are some quibbles: we’re told the creature is gigantic and swift when spotted outside, yet inside its scale has been considerably lessened and its speed compromised just so the story can progress (if it can crush a pod like a tin can, it can’t barge its way through a hatch?); and the brazen, machismo-fueled member of the bunch going to pieces under duress is a lift from Bill Paxton’s Hudson character in Aliens, as well as a projected nuclear meltdown in a few hours. Yet the majority of the movie delivers the goods. And it helps that the two lead actors, Greg Evigan, as the submarine pilot, and Nancy Everhand, as the first woman Navy SEAL and Evigan’s love interest, are both persuasive and appealing. For fanciers of horror who needn’t every morsel of information blatantly presented to them, DeepStar Six, despite its occasional lapses, is recommendable.

Perfect for undemanding viewing.

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originally posted: 05/30/15 09:12:24
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User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell bad alien clone with a cheesy looking monster 1 stars
10/30/16 morris campbell no bad alien clone with a fake looking monster 1 stars
6/04/15 Charles Tatum Meh. It's alright. 3 stars
5/31/15 Oyvind Brubaker I want to bugger Nia Peeples. 5 stars
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  13-Jan-1989 (R)



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