Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Creature Feature

Deep Rising (1998)

As a general rule, I don't watch monster movies. There are exceptions of course: Godzilla, the original King Kong, Jaws, Alien (all of them), even Tremors (I'll get to that Tim Forston, I promise...). But lately the creature features are just ridiculous - they're either mutated monsters or combinations of creatures (Mega-Shark VS. Giant Octopus? Really? Mega-Python VS. Gatoroid? Debbie Gibson - you need a new agent.). The Sy Fy channel thrives on these mashups as part of their regular (read heavily rotated) movie line-ups and I just can't see it. My problem I guess. So when this movie came up I was... meh. But I like Treat Williams, Famke Janssen and Kevin J. O'Connor (great in Clive Barker's Lord Of Illusion) so I decided to give it a shot. Kind of glad I did - this movie was actually not half bad.

John Finnegan (Treat Williams) and his crew work on a boat for hire, willing to do anything for the money without asking questions. Finnegan has been hired to lead a group of  mercenaries to 'the middle of nowhere' for an unknown reason, but hey, they don't ask questions so off they go, even when his friend 'Tooch' (Kevin J. O'Connor) discovers that the 'cargo' are warheads, armed and ready to go.

Also in the middle of nowhere is the most expensive cruise ship ever built for the rich and spoiled rotten, the Argonautica, on its maiden voyage. One of their passengers has another idea instead of free shrimp and champagne. Trillian (Famke Janssen) is caught attempting to steal from the vault (one continuity error - after she steals the Captain's wallet she grabs a champagne bottle and goes outside to pick the wallet - then walks away but the champagne bottle she set on the deck rail has disappeared). They lock her in a storeroom. She gets all the free food and drink anyway. Soon after an unknown saboteur disables the ship's navigation and communication systems. A large object is then detected by the sonar, headed towards the ship very quickly. The object collides with the ship, flooding the ship and making it dead in the water.

When Finnegan sees the ship up ahead, he realizes the mercenaries plan to rob and sink the ship. Finnegan's boat unexpectedly then crashes into a speedboat which detached from the cruise ship during the collision, causing damage to the boat's engines. Everyone boards the cruise ship, leaving one bad guy and one of the crew on Finnegan's boat. On board, they prepare to take everyone hostage (with those magical automatic weapons that fire hundreds of rounds but never run out), but there's no one to take. All they can find is blood everywhere. They search all levels but nothing. Finnegan and Tooch go to the engine room to get parts to fix the boat's engine. Two of the mercenaries guard them, but are attacked and killed by an unseen creature. On Finnegan's boat both crew member and bad guy get dragged under by the still unseen creature. Finnegan and Tooch then find Trillian, who being locked in the storeroom was unaware of what happened. The mercenaries catch up and keep them all hostage while they open the vault, thanks to the security pass Trillian had stolen. The one who opens the vault is met with an axe to the head by ship's owner Canton and Captain Atherton, who were in hiding. So much for the Captain going down with the ship.

Canton and Atherton start screaming 'They're everywhere!' and tell how these things came on the ship and killed everyone. We then find out that this super expensive cruise ship can't find enough rich people to make it pay off, so the owner Canton had sabotaged the ship's computers himself and hired the mercenaries to sink the ship for the insurance money, excusing himself by claiming he was going to make sure everyone was off safely first (yeah sure, lots of witnesses are going to be left alive). He explains that something attacked the ship and killed everyone else on board and the group soon discovers the bloody remains of human skeletons stripped clean of their flesh. Then comes the 'creature' which are actually 'creatures' - nasty tentacle looking things that can get in anywhere, with large mouths and teeth. Captain Atherton is killed during the attack. The remaining survivors agree to work together to get off the cruise ship. Canton theorizes (because millionaires are so knowledgeable about sea life) that the tentacles are evolved members of the Ottoia family of deep-sea worms which strip their prey of all body liquids and then eject the carcass.

The group is forced to swim under a collapsed section of the ship to reach an exit point (Hmm... Poseidon Adventure rip-off?) - all make it except for the last in line, who gets snagged, bagged and tagged. One of the bad guys goes Rambo on the monsters, allowing the others to escape as he meets his demise. The remaining survivors are separated, trying to stay away from the tentacles that seem to be leading them somewhere. One bad guy and Tooch are barely staying a step ahead, the bad guy says they need 'bait' - when Tooch starts to ask where from, the bad guy, in The Walking Dead style, 'Shane's' him by shooting him in the knee so he can get away. That backfires though and Tooch gets away, the 'Shane'r' getting eaten.

Canton realizes the ship is sinking, meaning he would collect the insurance money after all. Finnegan and Tooch make it back to his boat but in the struggle with the monster, Finnegan dropped the bag with the engine parts. They see an island not far away, but still too far for the boat to travel to. Finnegan tells Tooch to set the boat on autopilot to crash into the Argonautica and destroy the creature with the warheads still primed and ready on board. Finnegan returns to the cruise ship to find Trillian and get a jet ski from the cargo bay. They see what the monsters were leading them to - a gigantic almost octopus-like creature that grabs Finnegan, but he gets away by shooting out one of its eyes. Finnegan returns to his boat and not finding Tooch, himself sets the boat's autopilot in motion. Canton makes it to the boat, but cannot control it, and the boat crashes in to the Argonautica and explodes, in grand style with lots of Michael Bay worthy explosions rocking the whole cruise ship, also of course killing the creature. 

Finnegan and Trillian jet ski their way off the ship (which probably had all kinds of continuity errors - they ski around the lower deck which is flooded forever trying to get up enough speed to clear the ramp out the hull as the tentacles chase them, but as much as they twist and turn, if you could keep track I doubt they were going the right way and no way on earth got enough  speed to vault over - he's also using a shotgun like a pistol - cool looking but nope, not gonna happen) and to the nearby island. Tooch, remarkably still alive, shows up the next morning on Finnegan's surfboard. They wonder how long they're going to be on the island (start finding coconuts Gilligan). Suddenly, a loud roar echoes across the island and something crashes through the nearby forest, knocking over bundles of trees as it passes. Finnegan says "Now what?" (probably setting up a sequel that never happens).