-- Dr. Diane Norris (Cindy Pickett)
In my relative youth, I can remember the excitement of rushing to the theaters to view practically anything that looked even remotely interesting in the realm of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I'm sure many of you -- who are like me -- agree that there are times in your personal history that you'd take in anything -- and I do mean anything -- with the hope of being rewarded for doing your part as a loyal fan and supporting every project you possibly could, even when that mean doing something as simple as buying a ticket. We learned how to expect a bit a schlock because if we did then maybe studios would throw a few more bucks into the next project -- the one currently in production or percolating on a studio's back burner -- and this would lead to bigger and better films. The ultimate hope here was that, eventually, there would be so much money in them that how could they go wrong?
As we learned over time (and with some maturity), more money doesn't necessarily equate to better films. As a consequence, we were really only rewarding the studios for giving us the original schlock to begin with, and this only meant we were going to receive more-of-the-same in the years ahead.
DeepStar Six is exactly the kind of film I'm talking about. While it may not be a particularly good film, it also isn't particularly bad. It was likely intended to capitalize on what competing studios thought was going to be a demand for underwater action pictures -- resulting from James Cameron's The Abyss hitting screens in or around the same timeframe -- and I'm not sure that legitimate demand ever really materialized. Yes, The Abyss did solid business. Yes, Cameron's film was groundbreaking, in its own right. Who knows? Perhaps audiences were -- like in the words of Steven Spielberg's Jaws -- afraid to go back into the water ... and the business for DeepStar Six dried up real quick.
Genre director Sean S. Cunningham (House and House II: The Second Story) did what he could with a script from Lewis Abernathy and Geof Miller. (Interestingly enough, I have read that Abernathy and Cameron were industry acquaintences, and apparently Cameron was even aware that the screenwriter had crafted and was working to fast-track DeepStar to production, maybe to even capitalize on the underwater market before The Abyss.) Greg Evigan -- not exactly a big screen name at the time -- headlined the adventure, with a cast that included the fetching Nancy Everhard, Nia Peeples, and the dynamic Miguel Ferrer. Here's the plot summary as provided by our friends at IMDB.com:
"A team of navy personnel stationed at a temporary base at the bottom of the ocean and tasked with setting up nuclear missiles discovers a huge underwater cavern which houses a giant prehistoric creature."
As fate would have it, DeepStar never really amounted to all that much at the box office. A quick search on Google.com suggests that -- while budgeted in the vacinity of $8 million -- the flick earned back about that much in worldwide receipts. Breaking even is, I suspect, a nice proposition for some; but that's not going to be viewed all that favorably in Hollywood circles, meaning that DeepStar would go on -- as many films of its day did -- to find a bit more success in the home video market.
As always, thanks for reading ... and live long and prosper!