Next up in the Summer Movie Monster series is 1998’s Deep Rising. Off the beaten path this this flick certainly meets my criteria and sticks with the theme of fun. Deep Rising takes us away from the traditional “Big Fish” monster and into the world of the sea creature. Further, we are introduced to the point of view of the monster at the outset. The opening titles roll over a backdrop of submerged caverns.
Deep Rising also features Treat Williams of Hair fame in one of his few big budget Hollywood roles. Treat sets a fun tone early with his wisecracking captain for hire character. Following along with the late 90s casting we have Famke Janssen fresh off Goldeneye. She plays an arch criminal looking to rip-off the vault of the cruise ship she has boarded. Kevin O’Conner adds the comic relief. Just for flavor there is a young Djimon Hounsou continuing his rise after the success for Amistad.
Instead of military testing or abandon laboratories we start our voyage with a group of mercenaries. Their unknown purpose is the fodder for Kevin and Treat’s jokes. Flashing between the mercenary boat and the cruise ship we see hundreds gambling and dancing while Famke lurks. The ruse is short lived as her efforts are thwarted by the crushing blow of our monster against the hull. Here is where the first bit of ridiculousness occurs. The creature is large enough and powerful enough to completely stop a ship of that size. Given this halting, a moment later scuffling and shimmying through the pipes leads to a poor woman being sucked through the toilet. Odd but interesting.
The mercenaries board the vessel and it is revealed they are in cahoots with the owner of the cruise ship. It seems there is a bit of an insurance swindle going on here. The hired guns are supposed to blow the ship after the owner convinces everyone to bail out through a fake emergency. Our monster makes his fake emergency unnecessary. You might be expecting there to be hundreds of extras to fill up the passenger cruiser but this creature feature does away with them quickly. Treat and co. enter the ship to find it with only the owner and Famke aboard. They tell of these tentacles emerging from nowhere and snatching people and depositing them who knows where.
After some close calls and personnel loses the group stumbles into the feeding room. Here we are treated to an amazing scene of the corpses digested by our monster. Locked in a room with hatches battened down we are given the much-needed fish lecture. Treat Williams informs the survivors that they cannot stay in the room it is not safe. He tells of man who placed a fish in a jar and tossed the jar in the octopus “tentacles” tank. After a few moments the octopus opened the jar and ate the fish.
Moving quickly, now down to Famke and Treat the beast is revealed to be what can only be dubbed the Kraken. Again, this is late 90s the CGI isn’t fantastic but damn it’s a cool scene. Treat survives an entanglement by pumping a shotgun shell into the Kraken’s eye. Angered and thrashing the monster’s tentacles chase our survivors down the flooded corridors till they happen on a jet ski. Now with some speed they gun it for an opening in the hull to the open ocean.
Watch and see how it ends.
This is another home run for anyone looking to have a good time with a loose cast that knows why they are there. The situation is contrived but fades out of your mind when the thrill sets in.
I give it 3 Screens!
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