STARRING: Peter Weller, Richard Crenna, Amanda Pays, Daniel Stern, Ernie Hudson, Michael Carmine, Lisa Eilbacher, Hector Elizondo, Meg Foster

1989, 98 Minutes, Directed by: George Pan Cosmatos

leviathan.jpg (13874 bytes)Description: The thirsty crew of an American deep-sea mining station investigates a mysteriously capsized, Russian wreck and brings back some experimental vodka that turns the unlucky imbiber into a plasma-craving fish creature.

If you look closely at the opening titles of Leviathan, you'll notice that some very well-known names in the sci-fi movie genre have worked on this particular movie. Examples? There are: composer Jerry Goldsmith (who did the music for Star Trek - the Motion Picture), production designer Ron Cobb (who did the interior of the alien mother ship for Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind - Special Edition) and make-up specialist Stan Winston (who did about 65% of all the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park). Take a good look at Leviathan's opening titles - they're the only indication that any talented people whatsoever worked on it . . .

An underwater mining crew discovers a sunken Russian ship. Upon investigation they discover that the ship's crew was used as live subjects for a "genetic alteration" experiment gone wrong.

"Generic alteration?" actress Meg (They Live) Foster, playing the underwater colony's bitch supervisor, asks.
"Genetic alteration," actor Peter (RoboCop) Weller as the manager of the mining operation corrects her. (In one scene he consults one of those management manuals on how he should discipline a member of his crew.)

"'Generic' is the operative word here . . ."

Whatever, yeah. Generic is the operative word here: soon Leviathan's small cast serves as little else than walking fish bait for the Thing-like monster one of the crew members has mutated into. One by one they are drearily picked off by said creature (which incidentally marks a low-point in special effects wizard Stan Winston's career) as audience members find their minds wandering to other topics - like what they'll have for dinner afterwards and whether they can maybe bamboozle the video shop into giving them a refund for the piece of dull crap they are busy watching.

You see, Leviathan is 1989's other low-budget underwater horror tale, the other one of course being DeepStar Six. Like DeepStar Six, Leviathan is a by-the-numbers Alien rip-off, no doubt inspired by the news that director James Cameron was filming The Abyss at the same time.

If there is anything scary about Leviathan it is the fact that David Webb Peoples (who wrote sci-fi classics Blade Runner and 12 Monkeys) not only shares a screenwriting credit but takes credit for thinking up the story as well!

Avoid . . .



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