horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi, thriller

March 10th, 2019 Movie – Lords Of The Deep

lords of the deep

There are times, that I hate Daylight Savings Time. Mainly it is in the spring, where we “jump forward an hour”, as it really tends to throw me off my day. Anyways, I have decided to continue reviewing some of the movies offered on Shout Factory TV that I do not own. I chose today’s movie because it happened to also be featured on the latest season of MST3K, so you know it is most likely to be ridiculously bad. In the late 80’s, there seemed to be a ton of movies that focused on alien life forms at the bottom of the ocean. I mean, we had The Abyss, Leviathan, and Deepstar Six to name a few. So it makes sense that Roger Corman would produce his own movie on the subject. So let’s see what is in store for us with today’s movie, Lords Of The Deep.

The plot: In the near future, large corporations have begun developing undersea habitats in the hope of conquering and developing a new frontier under the oceans. As a submersible vehicle heads towards a habitat, it’s crew discuss how one of the scientists at the habitat has discovered something that has frightened one of the company backers, who wants her dealt with. At the habitat, Claire, the biologist in question, is studying the strange gelatinous mass she discovered when she suddenly decides to touch it with her bare hands, resulting in her receiving strange, psychic visions. Meanwhile, Commander Dobler is talking with a corporate executive about the replacement sub’s failure to arrive yet and the crews’ mixed reactions to being replaced. Later, Dopler makes contact with the sub and is talking with the sub’s commander when a quake occurs and the sub loses contact with the habitat as it’s systems go down. Inside the habitat, Claire had been talking with her lover, Jack O’Neill, when the quake happened and as she heads back to her lab to protect her work, the beaker with the substance falls and breaks, cutting her arm in the process and the substance gets into her bloodstream, resulting in more visions. When the quake subsides, Dopler asks for a status report and after hearing of the damages to the station, has a repairman, Chadwick, head out to make repairs. Dobler then tells the rest of the crew about losing contact with the replacement sub and Fernandez goes out in a sub to see if he can find them. Fernandez locates the sub and tells Dobler that it’s hatches are blown open and there is no sign of the crew and Dobler orders him to come back. Meanwhile, Chadwick continues making repairs when he is attacked by something and he makes his way back into the dive pool. When medical officer Barbara goes to examine him, she discovers that he has mutated into something that resembles the sample that Claire had been studying. Claire and Barbara have the “body” taken to the lab so they can run some tests to try and figure out what has happened to Chadwick, overriding Dobler’s orders to destroy it, and Dobler tries to deal with the crews’ reactions to learning that the replacement crew has vanished. Dobler tells his second in command, Engel, to make sure Fernandez is ok before sending him back out to retrieve the other sub so they can all escape the station, then uses the intercom system to listen in to Claire and Barbara’s discussions on the creature. Later, Claire goes to speak with Dobler about the creature, which has changed shape into a stingray like appearance, and tells Dobler that the creature is intelligent but he is skeptical about it. That night, Claire has some more visions and hears a voice telling her that she has to trust them and she will understand. When another quake hits the station, Dobler checks to make sure everyone is ok and finds them all in the lab staring at the specimen tank, where the creature has changed into a more humanoid/ray appearance. Dobler orders Fernandez to retrieve the other sub so they can all leave but Fernandez finds himself attacked by more of the ray-like creatures and disappears. Back at the station, Dobler orders the computer, Trilby, to terminate the creature while he tries to get the rest of the crew to sign a non-disclosure agreement but Engel is the only one to sign the form, as Claire and the others say the discovery is too big to keep quiet. When they discover the creature has escaped the tank, Dobler has Trilby try and track the creature so they can destroy it, then heads to the control room so he can monitor the situation. As Claire and Seaver search the station, Trilby tells Claire to head to the specimen room, as movement was detected there, but Seaver chooses to go there in her place. When Seaver gets there, the doors shut behind him and he is unable to get them open; while inside the control room, Dobler watches the computer screen as the dot he believes is Claire expires. Meanwhile, Claire continues checking the washroom, where she discovers the creature hiding in the drains, and she begins having the visions again. Trilby orders the crew to head to the specimen room, where they all discover Seaver’s body inside while Claire is missing. Jack and Engel go to try and find Claire while Barbara moves to start an autopsy on Seaver’s body but Dobler tells her not to, as he doesn’t want her to discover the truth on how he died, and says they need to find Claire. Meanwhile, Jack finds Claire and the two lovers embrace before he tells her about Seaver’s death. Claire tells him that the creatures have established a colony on the ocean floor and she has to go there and asks for his help, with Jack agreeing so long as she comes back. Claire leaves, and Jack fakes being attacked by the creature to cause a distraction for her to leave unnoticed. Jack is carried to his room and Barbara watches over him, knowing he was faking, and once they are alone, she asks what is going on. Jack tells her to examine Seaver’s body, as they have to know what happened to him, then meet him in the computer annex, as he is going to try and unlock a secret file that he and Claire had discovered earlier. The two go their separate ways but Dobler, back in the control room, notices their movement on the monitor and gets suspicious. Meanwhile, Claire makes her way in the sub, escorted by the creatures that had attacked Fernandez, and discovers the alien colony, where she is shocked to find Chadwick is there and still alive. Chadwick explains that the aliens are all one being and are there to teach them balance but warns that a massive quake is about to occur which will destroy the lab, and Claire has to go back and get everyone out of there. Back at the station, Barbara discovers that Seaver died of asphyxiation and that Dobler had ordered the room to be sealed and the oxygen from the room removed, only to have Dobler to do the same thing to her. Meanwhile, Jack discovers the truth about what is going on there only to have Dobler confront him and as they struggle, Dobler knocks Jack out. Dobler then tells Engel to go out and locate Claire and Engel reluctantly does so but ends up being attacked by the creatures. Dobler then contacts the executive, who chastises Dobler for his actions and tells him that he is being replaced. Claire arrives back at the station and tells Dobler about the colony and how the quake will destroy the lab and they have to escape. Claire goes to look for the others, finding Barbara’s dead body and and injured Jack but as she tries to help Jack back to the sub, Dobler has the corridor sealed and begins removing the air. Jack manages to knock the cover off the air duct and goes to shut down Trilby but Claire passes out due to lack of oxygen and is saved by the creature. As the quake hits the lab, Jack and Claire reunite and make their way to the sub, but Dobler tries to stop them. Jack and Dobler struggle, with Dobler getting the upper hand over the injured Jack, but Claire helps Jack and they manage to escape, leaving Dobler to die in the lab. As they make their way back to the colony, they experience a vision that explains what happened to the alien’s planet and how it came to it’s end. The voice then tells about how they traveled to Earth, whose habitat was similar to theirs, and as they saw humans going down the same path they did, they said they want to help the humans avoid making the same mistake. Claire and Jack arrive at the colony and Jack is surprised to see not just Chadwick, but Fernandez, Engel, and the replacement crew their as well.

Ok, this wasn’t the greatest movie ever but it actually wasn’t that bad of a movie. The acting was fairly decent, with Priscilla Barnes doing a good job as Claire, while Bradford Dillman was equally good as Dobler. I also liked Mey Rayne (Barbara) but the rest of the cast really felt too wooden, especially Daryl Haney (Jack). As far as the plot goes, it really didn’t feel all that original. I mean, yes there were a lot of aspects that made it seem like nothing more than a ripoff of The Abyss, but then you throw in the whole social commentary about humanity destroying the world by over-exploiting the planet’s resources, which has also been done plenty of times before this movie came out. Adding those two aspects together did not exactly make a unique story telling experience. The special effects in the movie were honestly a mix of being good and bad. I did like the aliens design and at times they were done very well. However, some of the camera work felt extremely shaky at times which didn’t help with the movie any. All in all, it’s a decent time killer of a sci-fi movie but it is not one that will be especially memorable.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

adventure, drama, movie, movie review

Flashback Review: May 8th, 2014 Movie – Black Water Gold

black water gold

Years ago, while on a family vacation, I remember seeing some sort of movie about a people searching for treasure and being chased by pirates or something. Unfortunately, I never found out the name of the movie so I could watch it again later. So any time I see a movie about people diving for treasure and bad guys trying to get it for themselves, I always watch it to see if it is the movie I saw but so far, no luck. Now I had bought the Creature Features collection for some other movies but when I read the description for Black Water Gold, I thought that maybe I had lucked out and finally found the movie. Alas, that was not the case so the search must continue.

The plot: Ray Sandage is scuba diving and attempting to poach some fish at a reserve to sell to a customer when he hears a commotion coming from the water’s surface. Looking up, he sees a large boat chasing down a smaller boat, with the men in the smaller boat jumping to safety before the larger boat runs into and destroys the smaller one. As the men begin trying to swim the safety, the larger boat circles around and the people on board begin shooting at the swimmers, killing them both, before leaving the area. Ray swims over to the wreckage of the smaller boat and after checking the name, pokes around and takes a dive bag from it before leaving the area himself. Swimming to shore, he makes his way to his dune buggy to get out of his gear but when he sees a police boat in the area, he quickly grabs his tanks from the beach, gets in the car, and leaves, as he is on a restricted beach. After managing to evade a cop that has harassed him before, Ray returns to his boat and examines what he had found on the wreckage, only to discover it is artifacts from a sunken ship called the Hidalgo. Knowing the significance of the discovery, and the riches it contains, Ray contacts his friend Christofer Perdeger to talk to him about helping in figuring out exactly where the wreckage is. Christofer says they will need to bring in Alejandro Zayas, a historian and diver who has been researching the Hidalgo in hopes of finding it himself and says that he will take the credit and 80% of the reward, leaving Ray with the remaining 20% and Ray reluctantly agrees. Elsewhere, Roger, the man that killed the others, heads to the boat owned by Lyle Fawcett and tells him and his female associate Thais about what happened and Lyle gets upset, as the men they killed were the only ones that knew where the Hidalgo was. Christofer goes to see Zayas, who is diving in a cave and shows him the gold piece that Ray gave him and Zayas excitedly agrees to help them. The three men, along with Christofer’s assistant Eagan Ryan, head to Nassau and while Christofer and Zayas begin trying to figure out where the Hidalgo might have sunk, Ray, using a fake name as the police are looking for him, attempts to rent a boat and supplies. As he speaks with Mr. Kefalos, who had rented the boat that had been destroyed, Ray tries to subtly find out where the men had been diving but Kefalos is suspicious of Ray and doesn’t reveal anything. Later, Kefalos goes to see Lyle and tells him that the man that killed his men is there, as he had received word from the police and was told to keep a look out for him. Lyle and Roger go to the cabin, under the guise of calling the police, and Lyle chastises Roger but says that this could work in their favor. Meanwhile, Christofer and Zayas are going over the letters from the survivors of the Hidalgo and have determined where it must have sunk. Getting their gear loaded onto the boat, they prepare to sail that night but, after a run in Ray had with the police and his getting Eagan involved, Christofer wants to delay sailing out and clear up the issue with the police. Zayas argues against it and when he refuses to budge, Ray knocks him out and then tells Zayas to head out. After Zayas and Ray put Christofer in the cabin, Eagan cares for him and explains how he had ruined his own diving career saving her when she had too much nitrogen in her system and had started going down too deep. In the morning, Lyle, Thais, and Roger are having breakfast while discussing Ray and the others with Kefalos, and Lyle is upset about the fact that the original information about the Hidalgo he had gotten from Kefalos appears to have been wrong. Ray and the others reach Black Key and as Ray and Zayas begin suiting up to go diving, Ray and Christofer end up arguing about their methods, with Christofer getting angry that he can’t go himself. Ray and Zayas don’t have much luck and Zayas says that he wants to check out an underwater cave that is close by. Ray and Zayas argue about his going to the cave, and later Christofer argues about his reasoning as well. When Zayas says that Christofer shouldn’t hate him because he can no longer dive and suggests sending Eagan down there with him, Christofer admits his mistake to Eagan and agrees to send her down. As Zayas and Eagan explore the cave, Ray dives down to search the surrounding sand for artifacts. On the surface, Lyle’s boat arrives and Roger and the crew begin firing at Christofer, the captain, and the young deck hand Jason, forcing them into the water. Hearing the shots, Ray, Zayas, and Eagan swim up to their friends and drag them underwater, sharing their own air supply from the scuba tanks, and take them into the cave for safety, which has an air bubble inside. On the surface, Lyle has Roger place some dynamite on the boat and they blow it up, planning to radio in a false claim about an accident, but Kefalos, who had accompanied them, is uncomfortable about the ordeal. After waiting for the boat to leave, Ray and the others swim to shore and Jason goes to look for some fresh water and supplies. Meanwhile, Christofer’s hearing has been severely damaged after being forced to dive down but he is able to tell them that he knows where the Hidalgo is and that the cave was the secret. Jason returns and says that there is a village nearby with boats that will help them so they ehad there. The next day, Ray asks the village chief to send one of his boats to Nassau to alert the authorities about what is going on when they get word of Lyle’s boat returning. Ray then has some of the fishermen head out and start chumming the water to fish for sharks, preventing any of Lyle’s men from being able to dive safely. Meanwhile, Ray, Eagan, and Zayas prepare to head out themselves to search for the compressor from their ship so they can recharge their scuba tanks. The three go in at night so there would be less chance of being spotted but unfortunately, Roger sees the torches they are using and alerts Lyle, who decides to head out there to deal with them. Ray, Eagan, and Zayas find the compressor and start using some of the remaining air from their tanks to fill up a balloon so they can float it to the surface. Meanwhile, Christofer, the captain, and Jason notice that Lyle’s boat had spotted the others and, grabbing a rifle, they start making their way out into the water to help their friends. When Lyle and Roger have spotlights directed down into the water, Ray and the others quickly put out their torches and split up to avoid Roger and Lyle, who go after them with spear guns. Ray manages to swim through a tunnel and uses the compressor to block the other entrance but as he swims back to the surface, he finds the Hidalgo. On the surface, he finds that Christofer and the others have taken over the ship and he tells him about the discovery. The next day, the police are arresting Lyle and Roger for the deaths and Thais tells Ray that she will testify on his behalf to clear up the matter. Christofer and Zayas agree to work as partners on researching the Hidalgo and the artifacts within while Ray decides to take his share of the money and leave the area.

This was a pretty disappointing movie to be honest. The acting was good, with Aron Kincaid (Ray), Ricardo Montalban (Zayas), Bradford Dillman (Lyle), and Keir Dullea (Christofer) all did good jobs in their roles. Lana Wood (Eagan) was ok but I thought that France Nuyen’s character of Thais was the most interesting one. The basic plot of the story was just that, basic. People find evidence of a sunken treasure and go to look for it while some other, more ruthless, people are after it as well. However, the story just kind of felt lazy and boring, without any real drama being felt throughout the movie. The special effects with the diving was ok but over all this was just boring as hell. So it wasn’t the movie I was looking for and wasn’t even that good of a movie as compensation.

Rating: 2 out of 5