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DeepStar Six – 5

Director – Sean S. Cunningham

Cast – Taurean Blacque, Nancy Everhard, Greg Evigan, Miguel Ferrer, Nia Peeples, Matt McCoy, Cindy Pickett, Marius Weyers, Elya Baskin

Release Year – 1989

Reviewed by John of the Dead

Seeing that this came directed by Friday the 13th director/creator Sean S. Cunningham and consisted of what appeared to be a fun story of horror/sci-fi action, I expected to enjoy this film going into it.  While I was given the elements that I wanted to see, Deep Star Six suffered many flaws at times that kept it from supreme awesomeness, most likely a result of a low-budget.  Nonetheless, while I was slightly disappointed I do applaud Cunningham for giving it a go with little to work with and giving me some awesome creature action that I only wish he gave more of. 

When a US Navy crew onboard the nuclear research vessel DeepStar Six incidentally releases a large prehistoric beast when they blow open an underwater cave system.  As the beast threatens to destroy their base and leave them assured of an underwater grave, the crew must put all differences and blame aside to fight off a behemoth that possesses every fathomable advantage in his native terrain.

I love storylines involving a crew onboard a vessel deep underwater or in space simply because it offers us a nowhere-to-run scenario given outside of their ship is an uninhabitable atmosphere, and the ship can only sustain itself for so long if it suffers damage.  Throw in a sweet prehistoric creature and you have my devout attention, as this flick did during its 99 minute runtime.  While I enjoyed the storyline overall, it did tend to slow down at times, and headed more in the direction of a character drama than anything else.  My belief is that the filmmakers did not have the budget to support a full onslaught of creature action and therefore settled on character-driven drama/horror to move the film.  While this character use worked out the way he intended it, the level of horror was fairly low in this watch and only came to light during the scenes with the creature doing its thing.

Cunningham did a positive job executing the high level of character play, although his highest selling point was the underused creature which I thought was incredible in its design and the horror it delivered.  He did much with what little he had to work with, and while the film can “feel” low-budget at times we get great sets that provide a high production value and are sure to please those looking for an Event Horizon-esque feel.  We get good tension numerous times during DeepStar Six, which came as a surprise to me given most of the time we did not see the creature during these scenes, it was simply Cunningham succeeding as a director.  So why only a 5 rating?  It has to do with the storyline suffering mediocre writing, Cunningham did what he could, and he did it well.

Overall, DeepStar Six is a fun watch with a cool story and good creature action when things get really going, but the story holds the awesomeness back too often for this to achieve more than a mediocre rating.

Rating: 5/10

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