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
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 . . .