Monday, March 23, 2020

DEEP RISING (1998) Blu-ray Review

Deep Rising (1998) d. Stephen Sommers (USA) (106 min)

A group of terrorists looking to hijack Simon Canton’s (Anthony Heald) luxury ocean liner find the vessel almost completely deserted, with something big, dark and slippery lurking in the shadows. Skipper John Finnegan (Treat Williams, doing his best Harrison Ford impression), sassy jewel thief Trillian St. James (Famke Janssen, doing her best Julia Roberts impression), and kooky mechanic Joey Pantucci (Kevin J. O’Connor, doing his best Bobcat Goldthwait impression) are the good guys matching wits against the thugs, while the bloodthirsty sea monster grabs and devours whoever is closest to its multitude of lethal tentacles.

Before he became the man who remade The Mummy (and the hack behind Van Helsing), writer/director Sommers cut his genre teeth on this surprisingly thrill-packed monster yarn set on the high seas. Combining the best elements of Aliens, Die Hard, Titanic, and It Came from Beneath the Sea, Deep Rising manages to entertain despite its derivative nature.

Providing the same slick, glib filmmaking style he would bring to his Mummy redux, Sommers provides snappy dialogue for his characters to rattle off as well as imaginative means by which they are eliminated one by one. There are really no surprises in who will survive and who will be “suckered” away (there’s reason for all of Wes Studi’s expendable bad guys), but there is an infectious enthusiasm on display here that harkens back to the best of the ’50s B-monster movies.

Everyone in the cast appears to be enjoying themselves mightily in their various good guy/bad guy roles, and even the computer-generated effects are well executed here, bringing designer Rob Bottin’s uber-tentacled monstrosity to armchair-gripping life.

Hats off to Kino Lorber for their overloaded 20th Anniversary Edition (released in 2018), packed to the gills (get it?) with tons of supplements for the film’s many fans.


Audio Commentary featuring director Stephen Sommers and editor Bob Ducsay.

Kevin J. O'Connor Interview (14 min)

Wes Studi Interview (8 min)

Anthony Heald Interview (13 min)

Cinematographer Howard Atherton Interview (14 min)

Second Unit Director Dean Cundey Interview (12 min)

The Visual Effects of Deep Rising (17 min)

The Practical Effects of Deep Rising (9 min)

ILM Effects Demos:
Animatic Final Sequence (8 min)
Creature One (19 min)
Creature Two (4 min)
DR Tests (2 min)
DR16 Breakdown (2 min)
Mason (3 min)

Still Gallery (2:30)

Theatrical Trailer (1:25)

The Puppet Masters Trailer (1:45)

Rawhead Rex Trailer (1:05)

Deep Rising is available now on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber and can be ordered HERE:


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