The trusty old marketing exercise of hyping up a project by claiming it comes ‘from the director of…’ may work well in the main, but it is not always a great idea.

So when you pick up the DVD of Deepstar Six to see the cover screaming that it comes ‘from the director of (the original) Friday the 13th’, that may put off just as many people it entices.

I know which camp I sit in though, which is why I bought this slice of Sean S Cunningham underwater schlock in the first place.

That was a few years ago and I recently decided to dust it down and give the marine mayhem another watch.

Released in 1989, Deepstar Six is part The Abyss, part Jaws and part total crap.

What it most definitely is though is watchable, just not always in a good way.

To cut the plot down to size, the flick centres around a group of marine biologists who are toiling away on the ocean floor, looking to build a missile site.

The crew are the usual rag-tag bunch you get in this type of thing – with a bullish South African boss (Marius Weyers), a nerdy yet attractive female scientist (Nia Peeples) and the wisecracking but borderline-insane techy (Miguel Ferrer) just some of the gang.

They have seemingly all spent far too long down in the depths, leading to some tetchy confrontations as tempers flare.

Naturally we have to have some romance thrown in there as well, which comes in the shape of crew members Nancy Everhard and Taurean Blacque.

After an hour or so of dialogue and some pretty shoddy effects you may be wondering just where exactly the story is going.

But all becomes clear when the team decide to explode an underwater cavern to make their task easier, and wouldn’t you know that cavern just happens to house an enormous (and now pissed off) sea beast who sets about munching their way through the crew.

Suddenly it is effects carnage with torn limbs, plenty of bloodshed and a battle for survival as the crew both look to survive and find a way back to the surface.

There is not really anything particularly wrong with the film to be honest, but on the flipside there is nothing particularly good about it either.

The acting is decent and while the storyline may be cliché central, you really do not expect much else from something of this ilk.

Looking at it 22 years on, it is easy to slam the effects work (especially the models) but that is not really fair in my opinion.

Deepstar Six is a perfectly serviceable slice of entertainment, but if it is underwater horror thrills you are looking for I would suggest Deep Rising instead.

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.