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Lords of the Deep

Lords of the Deep (1989) Movie Poster
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  •  USA  •    •  77m  •    •  Directed by: Mary Ann Fisher.  •  Starring: Bradford Dillman, Priscilla Barnes, Daryl Haney, Mel Ryane, Eb Lottimer, Gregory Sobeck, Richard Young, Stephen Davies, John Lafayette, Michael Adams, Karen Winograd, Roger Corman.  •  Music by: Jim Berenholtz.
       Man has finally conquered the ocean. America's first self-contained undersea laboratory is the pride of the nation, and expectations are high for an elaborate undersea mining operation. What wasn't expected was the inhabitants of an undiscovered world.


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Image from: Lords of the Deep (1989)
Image from: Lords of the Deep (1989)
Image from: Lords of the Deep (1989)
Image from: Lords of the Deep (1989)
Image from: Lords of the Deep (1989)
Curiously, the experience that led me to this movie is almost exactly the same as that of another reviewer, Zorin-2, who sent his brother to buy a used copy from the video store. I did exactly the same thing (although I went to the video store myself) and even payed the same about ($5). However, I fully admit to walking into the trap of my own free will.

Let me explain.

The video store in my home town has been in business since the early 1980s (and even had Betamax tapes for awhile). Their VHS selection is comprised largely of arcane films that I had never heard of and, when I looked the titles up, found to be out of print. These were the films whose box cover art had been bleached down to blue and gray by a quarter century of sun exposure. They had "Solarbabies," "Dracula 3000" and "Warbus." And so, on that fateful day I found they were selling their videotapes, I knew it was time to move. And I picked up "Lords of the Deep."

They'd already sold "Warbus."

This movie is bad. This movie is so bad I'm honestly surprised it never got turned into an episode of "Mystery Science Theatre 3000." I mean, come on. When the aliens tell Claire that they've fled a dead planet only to end up on another world on the same condition, was anyone else thinking, "Sucks for you!" It all but writes itself! To call the acting here 'limited' would be an injustice to the actors, because they HAVE range, but have no control over it. Watch the deranged Commander Dobler shift from authoritarian puppetmaster to squawking manager to comforting paternal figure to obsequious lackey and then back to puppetmaster again! Watch Claire neglect lab protocol and then ignore her own personal safety! Watch everyone rock back and forth during the "earthquakes"! Oh, and let's not forget to credit the set and props people. The alien creatures look NOTHING AT ALL like they were carved out of Styrofoam, and the "weapons" that seem to shoot sparks or something would be excellent for lighting barbecues. Special credit to whoever designed the Martel jumpsuits all the characters wear. Never in a million years would I have thought to sew large flannel patches onto my shoulders to spice my clothing up.

So, yeah. This was a bad movie. It did indeed enter the zone of being so bad it's good, but it's not so awful it's hilarious. The film doesn't really leave much room for a sequel, but I think a prequel set five or six months earlier, in deep sea team training, would be interesting.

Review by litefantastic from the Internet Movie Database.