From The Vault: Leviathan (1989) Simon Fitzjohn March 4, 2020 Editor's Choice, From The Vault 5457 Very often during the course of my movie watching existence, I will find myself sitting through a film that I am pretty convinced I have seen before. That isn’t actually the case – it is just that it resembles so many other films that you pretty much know exactly what the film is going to do and when it is going to do it. Step forward Leviathan, a movie that quite happily rips off Alien, The Abyss, The Thing and even Deepstar Six (although as both were released in 1989 it is tough to say who stole from whom there). The plot is fairly basic enough – a group of underwater deep-sea miners are happily getting on with their business, and nearing the end of their 90-day stint beneath the waves. An accidental fall by one of the divers though leads to the discovery of a sunken Soviet wreck – the Leviathan. Even stranger, a bit of digging around on their computer systems reveal that the Leviathan is still listed as part of the Soviet fleet, on duty in the Baltic Sea. The miners happily plunder the wreck, retrieving a safe which they bring back on board their underwater station. Before you can say creature carnage though, the various crew are being hunted down and devoured by a series of evil looking critters who seem pretty annoyed at having been disturbed. And that is pretty much about it – although I would say that is comfortably all you would need to know before deciding whether to watch this. The big plus as far as the film is concerned, for me anyway, is the cast. Not only do you get Peter Weller as the crew captain, but you also get Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson, Richard Crenna, Hector Elizondo and some glamour in the shape of Brit actress Amanda Pays. Heck, you even get a pre ‘Home Alone’ Daniel Stern. Now I know none of those names particularly scream ‘A list’, but they are still recognisable faces and, to be fair, they work pretty well as a group. The other pluses, or so I thought would be the case, was the involvement of Stan Winston on the creature effects and Jerry Goldsmith on soundtrack duties. Goldsmith adds his usual polish but, to be honest though, this must have been a bad day at the office for Stan, as not only are the creatures pretty ropy to look at, there is often so many quick cutaways and the like that you rarely get a good look at them. The film also takes a long while to get going – I know director George P Cosmatos and the writers were obviously thinking let’s build up the characters before we unleash the beast (like Alien for example) – but this is a far cry from Ridley Scott’s epic. There is some fun to be had here, and the claustrophobic corridors of the underwater station make a nice setting, but Leviathan is too instantly forgettable to be anything other than a casual watch.