Are you ready to dive 16000 miles below the ocean waves and watch a group of deep sea miners fight for their very lives against an escaped biological monstrosity? Then our friends at Scream Factory have just the movie for you! Leviathan (1989)!
Leviathan was a film that hit theaters in 1989 during the middle of what seemed to be a tidal wave (Groan -Ed.) of films set at the bottom of the ocean. Deep-Star Six, They Abyss, and Lords of the Deep to name just a few.
Those other movies didn’t have quite the cast that Leviathan did though! Leviathan stars Peter Weller (Buckaroo Banzai, Robocop), Daniel Stern (Diner, Home Alone), Amanda Pays (Oxford Blues, The Flash), Richard Crenna (The Real McCoys, First Blood), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, The Crow), Hector Elizondo (American Gigolo, Pretty Woman), Lisa Eilbacher (Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Caller), Michael Carmine (Band of the Hand, *Batteries Not Included) and Meg Foster (Masters of the Universe, They Live).
The plot of the film finds a crew of a deep sea mining operation just days away from the end of their six month mission. In charge of this close-knit group of eccentrics is Steven Beck (Weller), a geologist that has been hired by the CEO of the Tri-Oceanic Group in the hopes that he’ll somehow be able to get a better haul out of what the miners are digging up, and it seems to be paying off.
Problems arise however when two of his crew, Williams (Pays) who is an Astronaut in training and the roughneck ‘Six-Pack’ (Stern) find a derelict Russian submarine named ‘Leviathan’. Which is something of an oddity as when Bowman (Eilbacher) does a search on the sub they find it’s not missing but in operation in the Baltic Sea. Meanwhile Williams has to search for Six-Pack when he decides to go exploring in the rusted hulk but he ends up finding a safe, after returning with his prize the crew open it up to find a Captain’s Log on VHS tape, a bottle of vodka, a drinking flask (which Six-Pack palms), and medical records for the submarine crew.
As Beck and Dr. Thompson (Crenna) watch the Captain’s Log, Thompson can read and speak Russian by the way, Six-Pack decides to share the alcohol in the flask with Bowman. On the Log the Russian Captain speaks of a troubling condition affecting his crew members, at first their Doctor had thought it was some kind of tropical disease but mentions that it’s not anything he has ever seen, in the video we can see the door behind him starting to open and the video cuts off. Beck doesn’t seem all that worried but Dr. Thompson finds it all too bizarre, why had the rusting sub never been reported as missing, why is it listed as being in operation with the Russian fleet at that very moment? Viewing the video taken of the outside of the Leviathan the good Doctor points out that it has been scuttled, there are signs it had been torpedoed. As if all of this isn’t creepy enough Beck and Dr. Thompson start to go through the medical records of the crew they found in the safe and each and everyone is labeled as deceased.
The next day Six-Pack isn’t looking so hot and when the Doctor examines a tissue sample he is shocked to learn that there is something horribly wrong…his cells are beginning to rapidly mutate. To make matters even worse, when Beck contacts Martin (Foster), the CEO of the Tri-Oceanic Group to request an emergency pick up for his team he is informed their is a tropical storm inbound so at the very least they can’t be evacuated safely for another twelve hours.
That was one of the key elements for these underwater films in 1989, a small problem would present itself, nothing major mind you but then another situation would arise and it would all stack up and create a wonderful amount of tension!
So what is happening to Six-Pack? Why was the Leviathan scuttled? Does the CEO know something she isn’t letting on? Well, you’ll just have to pick up Leviathan on Blu-Ray from Scream Factory later today to find out for yourself!
As usual Scream Factory has included extras on this release:
New Interviews with actors Hector Elizondo, Ernie Hudson and creature effects artists Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr.
Ernie Hudson on the Stan Winston creature effects. (Spoilers)