1989 had multiple underwater horror/sci-fi movies come out, the most popular of which was The Abyss. I’ve always been partial to the movie Leviathan, which isn’t as good but sports Peter Weller, Daniel Stern, and Meg Foster. DeepStar Six is probably middle-of-the-pack for this set of movies; while it’s an obviously cheaper production with less star power than the likes of The Abyss and cheesier effects, it’s still a serviceable production that I found myself enjoying. Plus it has Miguel Ferrer. Yep, two RoboCop alums ended up in separate underwater horror films. Of course I’m going to watch both.
The general premise of DeepStar Six is a bunch of Navy personnel and researchers are living in a small underwater facility to do research and construct a missile platform. They cut corners to get said missile platform built and accidentally release some sort of giant primordial crustacean, which then proceeds to mess them and their facility up. What follows is people getting crushed, eaten, drowned, and popped. Yes, popped. Ocean pressure is a bitch.
What does it have going for it? Well, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is perfect for a low budget title like this. Miguel Ferrer is believable as a low-rating Navy sailor who is steadily losing his shit, and while he doesn’t start cutting himself like certain folks in The Abyss, he definitely starts making bad decisions that compound and compound and compound; he’s not the main reason everything goes to shit, but he’s definitely what keeps it going to shit.
I liked it. It’s not great. It’s not even good. But I was entertained, and that’s what counts. Ferrer was definitely the highlight for me, but I also want to point out Nia Peeples appears. Genre fans should note she’s popped up in low-budget titles ranging from the Seagal movie Half Past Dead to the low budget Lavalantula. Meanwhile, star Nancy Everhard was in the likes of The Trial of the Incredible Hulk and the Dolph Lundgren The Punisher flick. That’s some great pedigree for us schlock fans. And we’re not even getting into the filmography of director Sean S. Cunningham.
Now I need to track down the other underwater movies from 1989: The Evil Below, Lords of the Deep, and The Rift. And you should too.