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Deep Space – 6

Director – Fred Olen Ray

Cast – Charles Napier, Ann Turkel, Ron Glass, Bo Svenson, Julie Newmar, James Booth, Norman Burton, Jesse Dabson, Elisabeth Brooks

Release Year – 1988

Reviewed by John of the Dead

I figured this film would suck after reading some bad reviews and knowing that I had never really heard of this film before for a good reason, but nonetheless I wanted a cheesy alien/creature fix and Deep Space was available so I took the opportunity in stride. Bad acting, poor lighting, cheap sets, none of those things meant anything to me at that moment, all I wanted was good gory live-action creature madness, and thankfully Deep Space delivered on that part. This is by no means a good film, nor is it worthy of a positive rating, but I did enjoy it enough to leave the experience with a smile on my face thanks to this piece focusing on the most important element there is…the horror.

When an American military satellite crash lands carrying a biological weapon in the form of a monstrous creature, the creature escapes the crash site and begins a city-wide massacre that can only be stopped by the only detective with the guts to find the creature despite government intervention, Det Ian McLemore.

Every now and then countless horror fans find themselves in need of a cheesy no-brainer fix, and Deep Space provided that for me thanks to its storyline and enjoyable execution from its filmmakers. The story takes off right away with the crash of the military satellite and the devouring of a few unsuspecting teens to come across the creature, and from then on out we are teamed up with Ian McLemore as he gets to the bottom of possibly the most bizarre and dangerous case he has seen. He receives the usual run-around at first by the military and federal agencies associated with the creature/weapon, but his desire for justice leads him and his partner, Jerry Merris, following the blood-soaked trail left by the behemoth killing machine. The creature was used positively and managed to provide some good kills that were spaced well and ensured good pacing, which I found to be true given I never once found myself bored or uninterested in what was going on. Unlike other low-budget creature flicks we are given a fair amount of creature action, which I ultimately found to be the deciding factor whether this piece could overcome its many other faults, and for the most part it did just that.

Director James Olen Wray did what he had to do with what little he had to work with to make this an enjoyable piece, which come as simple as not fooling around and doubling down on what was important: the execution of the horror/creature and keeping good cinematography throughout. I loved the look and usage of this heinous creature, which was definitely a ripoff of the one seen in the Alien series, but nonetheless this creature did provide its own unique qualities and used them to deliver some good kills and gore. For a low budget film we are given a good amount of creature action, and while the action was simple and mainly consisted of just the kills I still found this worthwhile enough to keep me pleased. The cinematography was another element that kept this film fun and Wray and the cinematographer managed to keep me engaged by shooting the film in engaging fashion, giving us good full-frontal shots of the action and horror. I also enjoyed Charles Napier’s performance as Det. Ian McLemore as he expertly sold his character as the usual broad-shouldered womanizing cop who can’t take no for an answer when it comes to an absence of justice, and naturally this brings him face to face with life or death scenarios that he passes with ease and just a few injuries here and there. His performance along with Ron Glass as his partner Jerry Merris provided for most of the fun going on when we are not being shown the creature doing his thing, rounding off this borderline-positive experience that has normally suffered very poor reviews, but not from me.

Overall, Deep Space is a fun and cheesy mess that manages to still provide good action and worthwhile horror from a sweet creature thanks to good writing and directing execution that made the most of what little the filmmakers had to work with.. This piece is not without its faults, but so long as you can forgive a little you can find this an OK creature feature fix in the end.

Rating: 6/10

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