Just try to See the Sea Monster in this Sci-Fi/Horror Yarn From Friday the 13th Director Sean S. Cunningham.
DIRECTED BY SEAN S. CUNNINGHAM/1989
BLU-RAY STREET DATE: OCTOBER 13, 2020/KL STUDIO CLASSICS
Emerging from the depths of every video rental store’s ubiquitous horror section comes Sean S. Cunningham’s DeepStar Six. More known for its poster than anything in the film itself, DeepStar Six (aka Deep Star Six) has spent most of its existence indiscriminately lumped in with a handful of other underwater creature features such as George P. Cosmatos’s Leviathan and even James Cameron’s The Abyss– all released in the same year, 1989.
Now, the film arrives to Blu-ray in an extras-packed special edition sporting cardboard slipcover and everything- a treatment that’s sure to finally separate it from the pack of other waterlogged horror that no one cares about. Although Friday the 13th originator Cunningham did direct this movie, it is, in fact, not badly made. In fact, one could say without fear of critical retribution that DeepStar Six, on its surface, is reasonably not stupid- both in execution and in plot/character motivations. Perhaps that’s because it sticks so close to Alien, what with its workaday blue-collar crew grousing their way around a remote
spaceship deep-sea missile base, until an unknown and barely seen clam creature arrives and begins killing everyone off one by one. But then again, there’s barely any surface in DeepStar Six…
Not since its crazy-deluxe edition Blu-ray release of Cabin Boy has KL Studio Classics gone this all-out in creating great new bonus features and curating old ones. Not only are there several newly created fully produced recent interviews, but two of the three optional audio commentaries are also new. (The track with Cunningham and Visual Effects Supervisor James Isaac is recycled from a previous release. It’s also a total snooze, obviously recorded back in the days when studio’s legal departments walked on eggshells over what was said in audio commentaries).
These new tracks are where it’s plainly detailed just how actually stupid DeepStar Six really is. Screenwriters Lewis Abernathy and Geof Miller insult and yuk their way through their thirty-one-year-old movie, much of which is genuinely amusing to listen to. Maybe they’re inebriated, maybe they’re not, but they are all too enthusiastic to point out every contrivance, every b.s. detail, every adlibbed line, and just how cheaply-constructed the sets were.
Indeed, no one in the mix, current or vintage, ever denies that DeepStar Six is the lowest budgeted sci-fi/horror movie of 1989. But, it’s still the most lavish film directed by Sean S. Cunningham. No expense was spared on blinking light control room consoles. What is the plot? At the bottom of the sea within some sort of network of ocean-floor nuclear missile silos, workaday drudgery is brutally interrupted when a large elusive carnivorous prehistoric sea beast is awakened. More Godzilla than Jason Voorhees, the monster does nonetheless have an incredible knack for killing people who’ve just longingly detailed the first thing they’re going to do once they return to the surface.
Who’s in it? Greg Evigan (TV’s B.J. and the Bear), Miguel Ferrer (RoboCop), Nia Peeples (TV’s The Party Machine with Nia Peeples), Cindy Pickett (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), and Nancy Everhard (DeepStar Six). There are many more, per the film’s necessity to have a lot of people to kill. But then again, the facility in which this tale unfolds would likely require a bevy of uninteresting and expendable personnel to simply function. In real life, no one would expect a fourteen-foot water monster that has the ability to hide (and hide well) in four feet of water to infiltrate the base and kill most of the crew. But, you never know what’s down there.
KL Studio Classics’s new release of DeepStar Six is nothing if not definitive. Horror fans will have a hard time resisting the urge to add it to their physical media library. Thankfully, it boasts a terrific HD transfer that really shows off all the fun model work and a lively audio mix, meaning that there’s little reason to pass it up. Factor in all the extras, and deep six-ing a few bucks for DeepStar Six becomes almost the no-brainer that the movie itself is: soggy and silly but not cold and damp. But clammy. Biiiiiig-time clammy.
Here is the official list of the special features:
– Audio Commentary with Director Sean S. Cunningham and Visual Effects Supervisor James Isaac
– Audio Commentary with Screenwriters Lewis Abernathy and Geof Miller
– Isolated Score Selections and Audio Interview with Composer Harry Manfredini
– From the Deep – Interviews with Creature Effects & Special Make-up Designer Mark Shostrom, Creature Supervisor Greg Nicotero and Creature Artist Robert Kurtzman
– The Survivors – Interviews with Actors Greg Evigan and Nancy Everhard
– Water Damage – An Interview with Stunt Coordinator Kane Hodder
– Original EPK
– Extended Vintage Interview Clips
– Behind-the-Scenes Footage
– Theatrical Trailer
– TV Spot
– Image Gallery
– Limited Edition O-Card
– Reversible Art
– Dual-Layered BD50 Disc
– Optional English Subtitles