Action (Horror, Sci Fi)
Running Time: 106 minutes
Starring: Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, Djimon Hounsou, Kevin J. O’Connor
Directed By: Stephen Sommers
Rating: 1.5 out of 10
A group of Hijackers take over a luxury liner only to find out it has been infested with man eating sea monsters.
I have a hard time not liking these types of films as I had a special affinity to them growing up. Movies like Leviathan and DeepStar Six are just a couple of films that I loved as a kid. Don’t get me wrong, I know they are awful films, they just have a place in my heart. Now I watched this movie and my god it is setting the standard for awful monster movies. Deep Rising is the story of the world’s most expensive cruise ship. A bunch of hijackers commandeer the ship so they can loot it, only to find out they got there second. The boat is virtually abandoned and what’s worse is the evil sea creatures are still on board.
I am just going to reiterate, you didn’t just read the plot summary wrong. Man eating sea creatures have basically taken over the Titanic to feed. To top it all off, a group of mercenaries are en route to pull off one of the biggest heists of all time. I couldn’t make this up if I wanted to. Why they need two angles to this story is quite astounding really. They should have gone with either the monster angle or the heist angle. Combining the two themes just made a mess of the storylines. Obviously monster movies must be given a ton of leeway in terms of realism. Amphibious sea monsters that live 20000 feet below the surface that have a special hankering for human flesh is preposterous. If done well though then who really cares? The problem is the sea creatures were cheap and poorly designed, so the film never works. We are given quick introductions to the key players on the cruise ship, and on the hijacker’s team. It does not take a fancy degree to realize who lives and who is monster fodder in this one. The film really doesn’t build any suspense as there are lots of people to be killed off. So the hijackers climb aboard and the killing fun begins. The problem is the film is basically shot in two sequences. The first sequence is having everyone with a gun line up and fire their guns at the sea monsters. The second sequence is having a sea monster drag away an unsuspecting person, inevitably to see a bucket of blood to be tossed on a wall or floor. Most of this film is left to the imagination as the monsters and the people dying are largely doing it off camera.
The acting is the best thing about this movie. I don’t mean that in a good way either. It is so bad it actually makes this film easier to watch. The dialogue is atrocious and even with a large cast no one shines. The best part about the film (yes sarcasm) was John Finnegan played by Treat Williams. He comes off as this second rate Han Solo and was an odd choice for this film. He is ridiculously out of place on screen as a loveable smuggler for hire. He also spouts off things like “Jeez Louise” when he is scared, only adding to his performance. The next terrible performance was by cruise line passenger and petty crook Trillian played by Famke Janssen. Sure she is pretty and that’s about it. Her character is added for a love interest aspect, but fails miserably. Nothing says romance while seeing people eaten alive on a frequent basis. Lastly the hijackers are such clichéd bad guys, it is also quite funny.
So I haven’t looked into the motivations of this film that deeply. I can only assume they were going for a campy it is so bad it is good type of film. What came off was it was so bad it was bad type of film. I was shocked to find out this film was shot in 1998 as it has a late 80’s early 90’s look to it. The survivors basically run around this large boat trying to survive as they get picked off by the sea monsters. What makes this film so hard to watch is its hackneyed dialogue and misplaced humor. The film never chooses its spots well. Is it supposed to be horror or is it supposed to be comedy? I could never figure it out. As the film makes it way to its predictable ending, you will be treated with cheaply thought up creatures, a very high but mostly invisible body count, and lastly a chase around the inside of the luxury liner on a Sea-Doo that shook my patience to its very core. Overall this film was garbage.
This was director and writer Stephen Sommers first venture into the action genre. He failed miserably at every step of the way. He seems to have learned from his mistakes though as films like the Mummy and the Mummy Returns are not horrible watches. Sommers never chose one genre and stuck with it, so this film lacked all the key ingredients to make it good. The creatures were not scary, the characters were not interesting, and lastly, much of this film was implied. Horror and comedy can be done well together (Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland) it just needs a very tight script, and charismatic characters to pull off.
I cannot recommend this film and while its porn name title sounds intriguing, the only rising that will occur is your blood pressure due to time wasted anger.
T Factor + If you like C grade horrors this could score higher on your rating scale.
T Factor – If you like strong dialogue in your films this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Anaconda, The Cave.