Twenty-five years of crews vs. creatures

Coal mines, cruise ships, underwater nuclear bases, oil rigs. There are so many places burly men come to work and die thanks to the creatures in these features!

DEEPSTAR SIX (1989)

deepstar six cover

Deepstar Six came out at the height of the “crew trapped in isolated location with creature” craze, along with The Abyss, Leviathan, Aliens, etc. And it’s cliché to the extreme. It’s also wicked boring for the first hour as a crew working at an underwater nuclear base goes through major motions of doing tasks and dealing with problems. To make this all feel “exciting” and “thrilling,” the movie is bombarded by dramatic music.

Worst of all? This film is directed by Sean S. Cunningham, the man who brought us the original Friday the 13th. He should have stuck with Jason sequels.

deepstar six greg

On the bright side, Greg Evigan is the lead and he looks adorable (and wet) in a tank top throughout the film. But even better, my girl Nia Peeples of Fame is in it!

deepstar six nia

However, after an hour, when the underwater creature finally attacks, well let’s just say I really wish Nia had been cast as the character of Joyce, Greg Evigan’s girlfriend…. As I mourned for the last forty five minutes, I tried to enjoy the limited number of scenes with the monster as I predicted pretty much every single thing that was going to happen right up to the bitter end.

deepstar six monster

With such a generic storyline, Deepstar Six should have at least exploited the cool creature.

DEEP RISING (1998)

deep rising cover

Deep Rising flips a finger to serious creature feature crap and has wicked fun. It also comes from an era when CGI monsters were just being fine-tuned so the tentacle creature in this one has a fluid motion like Anaconda and The Faculty.

deep rising hunks

A band of modern day pirates, including hotties Djimon Hounsou of Amistad, Trevor Goddard of Mortal Kombat, and the always loveable Treat Williams, board a cruise liner only to discover it’s pretty damn deserted…until they find a small band of survivors, led by horror icon Famke Janssen.

deep rising cast

The groups band together grudgingly as they realize there’s something sinister in the water that is filling the cruise ship.

deep rising monster

Deep Rising gets right to it. Floods galore, explosions, loads of gunfire, cheeky humor…and the great big, relentless tentacle monster! Classic creature feature fun that would make SyFy originals jealous.

THE RIG (2010)

rig cover

You know the drill, so to speak. Isolated oil rig. Mostly male crew, which means fart and shit talk, girlie magazines, comic books, and other boy stuff. And a deadly creature on board.

The Rig is actually one of the better films in this formulaic genre. The characters are less grating and detestable than usual, there’s a brother/brother relationship explored, and there’s a father/daughter relationship. And things don’t drag out. Soon after the movie begins, a tentacle hits a window, and before long, what appears to be a main character is mutilated pretty good!

rig creature

Gory kills, good pacing, and a cool human-esque creature that gets plenty of screen time make this a fun one, complete with one-liner from our hero at the end.

BENEATH (2013)

beneath cover

This one is apparently based on true events but…that’s not much of a selling point. A gaggle of guys is working in a coal mine that collapses. Jeff Fahey leads the pack and he has brought along his daughter. Beneath is a mashup of The Thing and The Descent as the crew begins to lose oxygen and individual members become paranoid, having delusions of other members of the crew turning into creepy looking zombies, which then causes them to start turning on each other.

beneath zombie

SCRATCH ALL THAT. Actually, the chick is the only one who starts to lose her shit and totally unravel. The moral of this movie is pretty much that women can’t handle the kind of pressure men can. The occasional zombie suddenly appearing in a flashlight beam is creepy, but the movie is ultimately boring.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES.

I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.

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