As a part of several underwater movies all released within a few years, DeepStar Six is a fun timewaster with a distinct vibe. The focus of the story is clearly on the characters faced with a set of increasingly difficult and dangerous situations. If you’re looking for that sleazy B movie atmosphere, you won’t find it here. If, however, you’re looking for your daily fix of escapism deep at the bottom of an ocean, you’re in luck. As it was the case with the rest of these movies, the cinematography and underwater footage was great. Sure, sometimes you could see that they’re using miniatures but those scenes are compensated by stunningly beautiful and ethereal exploration shots just minutes later. Plus that fucking cave-in that looked real as shit.
One of the things they messed up with DeepStar Six are the practical effects when it comes to the creature. Their choice was excellent with Eurypterid or Sea Scorpion, but it looked too cheap and mechanical. Well, I guess there are those sleazy B movie vibes for ya. With a predictable story and okay character development, there’s not much excitement present here. The plot keeps chugging away at a steady pace with a few interesting scenes. I think this is all part of the charm of these movies and can hardly hold it against them. The cast was also solid with a couple of familiar faces. I especially liked beautiful Nia Peeples as spunky marine officer Scarpelli and Miguel Ferrer as Snyder. They brought to life pretty stereotypical characters and their committed performances really made a difference.
The crew of the experimental underwater base DeepStar Six is anxiously awaiting the end of their contract. They’ve been cooped up in close quarters for some time now researching underwater colonization and dealing with nuclear missile launch sites. However, an amazing discovery of a cave system will prompt our crew to stay just a little bit longer and explore it properly. This will prove to be a huge mistake.
I still can’t figure out why I like so much these movies set underwater in some research stations. It could my first brushes with science fiction reading Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea or the sheer reality of being so far away from the rest of humanity. I also vaguely recall reading Isaac Asimov’s short story with a similar setting and Arthur Clarke’s novel The Deep Range that I strongly recommend. And if you happen to know what’s that short story, leave a comment below. But enough of me sounding all cool and quirky.
In the end, DeepStar Six is an undemanding thriller that you should watch as part of the above-mentioned series of underwater movies. You can read all about them in a couple of reviews of The Rift and Leviathan. It’s strange that so many movies were released in such a short period of time with the rest of the eighties pretty underwater free. And if you’re looking for some more recent, similar movies check out Underwater and The Meg. Enjoy.
Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Writers: Lewis Abernathy, Geof Miller
Cast: Taurean Blacque, Nancy Everhard, Greg Evigan, Miguel Ferrer, Nia Peeples, Matt McCoy, Cindy Pickett, Marius Weyers
Fun Facts: Producer Sean S. Cunningham developed the idea in 1987 with the express purpose of being the first release on the slate of upcoming underwater action/sci-fi films.