I know you have been asking yourself, “What is the theme for this week at Screamzine?”. Well this week we take a look at Deep Sea Terrors! To get the reviews kicked off I check out Up from the Depths.
An earthquake off the coast of Hawaii forces some deep-sea creatures to shallow water. One of those is a giant fish that quickly acquires a taste for human beings. This fact eventually comes to the attention of a local fisherman and part time conman named Greg. With the help of his girl, who works at a nearby resort that is trying to cover the whole thing up (bad for business you know), they do battle with the monster fish.
Yeah so it should be pretty obvious that this was one of the many Jaws rip-offs that hit the drive-in circuit in the years following that movie. I’ve seen many of these and this has to be one of the worst of the bunch. You have a story that is terribly uneven and at times downright boring. It spends far too much time focusing on the uninteresting characters and gives us very little killer fish. It is really hard to follow what is going on with the characters, mainly because the narrative jumps around so much and there are too many to follow. The movie would have been better served to focus on one story line and flesh it out. Instead we have a mess that is difficult to follow and several stories that make no sense. Toss in the fact that most of the time no one really seems upset that anyone it dying and you that is frustrating to try and figure out.
Up from the Depths is also one of those movies that has an abrupt change in tone. It starts off pretty seriously with a character being killed (off screen and we aren’t sure of this until far later…) and the traumatic impact it has on one of her friends. We also get to see a couple of conmen plying their trade and scamming the tourists. Then without warning it changes into a comedy. You have characters making funny comments, and a Japanese man running around with a Samurai sword. At this point I was wondering what the hell happened.
The only reason that I can think of for the sudden change is that maybe someone was watching the dailies and realized after seeing the “monster” that they needed to make this a comedy. The creature is nothing more then a couple of quick shots of a rubber fish, some bits with double fins poking above the water, and well that is pretty much it. The attacks consist of the actor flailing around and someone tossing red food coloring in the water. I don’t mind cheesy creatures in these kinds of movies, but there isn’t really a creature in this one!
So there you have it, a monster movie without the monster. I don’t recommend that anyone waste there time on this one. If you wish to soldier on even after reading my review then I’ll let you know that this can be found on net for free. That is about what it is worth…