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By RORI and POP-CULTURE! No Comments


Bloody Disgusting wrote, “Excellent cast, State-of-art special effects, and terrific acting, this is a movie that should not be missed.”

Not sure I agree with that bold statement of, “State-of-the-art SPFX” But I do agree that if you love creature features with that 90s stamp on it, the 1998 cult classic Deep Rising “should not be missed”! Originally titled Tentacle and written and directed by Stephen Sommers (who caught my attention with his version, and the fun-ride movie of ’99, The Mummy).

I embarrassingly only finished watching it properly for the first time this morning. But I don’t think if I saw DR on its release I would favour it as much as I do now. (I was obsessed with Leviathan which was released a decade earlier in 1989. Maybe cause the horror dial was turned up way higher.) Watching DR today, it successfully captures a sentimental feeling that throws back to those annual Aliens 1986 rip-off’s that were a-given in the late 80s and through-out the 90s. It’s a thrill a minute fun ride like the 1988 remake of The Blob, never taking itself or wanting to, seriously. I wouldn’t have got the irony back then as I do now. Its brilliance shines through its nostalgia.

Instead of a plot summery I’ll insert the trailer HERE . However, I will draw your attention to the fact that every main character in this film is a bad guy/girl. And though the film is way too simple for character arch’s we end up rooting for them by about quarter way through. Achieving role reversals like that does take some amount of talent, if not the writing then either the directing or actor’s charisma.

They cast Trent Williams when they couldn’t get Harrison (And subsequently a good budget.) Ford. But I struggle to see how easily they would have convinced Ford to say, “I have a bad feeling about this.” (Or maybe Stephen fanboy wrote it for Ford) Even Trent mumbles it like he’s embarrassed. But that’s the only time he’s not 100% committed to his character. Famke Janssen replaced, Claire Forlane, and thankfully so, as I couldn’t see Claire giving as great a tongue-in-cheek performance as Famke, (Faculty ’98) who shines in every moment she’s on screen.

The (must be there) comic relief is Kevin J. O’Connor who falls into those voice comics like, Pauly Shore and Bob Goldthwait. Wes Studi, the reliable token Indian character from any film from the 90s (Dances with Wolves ’90, Last of the Mohicans ’92) plays the leader of the goon squad. We have the up-and-coming actors, Cliff Curtis and Djimon Hounson, and the hot-right-now British actor, Jason Flemyng. Or did I just think he was hot right then?

The entire time I was watching the film I kept thinking I’ve never seen Nick Nolte give such a great animated performance till the credits rolled and I realised it was Anthony Heald and not Nolte at all! Then there was the distractingly Colin Farrell look-a-like, Trevor Goddard (Kano in the ‘95 Mortal Kombat).

I might skip talking about the terrible CGI monster, which is essential a massively juiced up octopus due to the depth it emerges from. Deep Rising, get it! For its time the SPFX wasn’t slated but it definitely doesn’t hold up with time. Apart from the one particularly gruesome sequence of a ‘half-digested Billy’ scene (Played by the model-good-looking, Clint, don’t try and find him anything else, Curtis.) which remains impressive today. However, this doesn’t take away anything from the films attraction. Even at the time, the lack of horror and gore only made the films entertainment rely purely on the actors fun performances of the stereo-type but colourful characters.

If you can by-pass the obvious rip off scenes from Alien Resseruction ’97 – which I couldn’t believe was released a year prior! But that just emphasises why I think DR is awesome. Even at its time of release in ’98 it was already dated, staying true to being a film that looked and felt exactly like the Aliens ’86 film it was ripping off! and Titanic ’97, – Which is stated for the reason DR sunk at the box office along with any movie released during the Titanic’s 15 week run at number one! you are left with a fun-by-the-min rollercoaster ride of a film!

The next similar film I wanna talk about, that was misunderstood when released and its sheer brilliance at being a 90s’ throw-back is, AVP2!!

Stay tuned…