Friday, August 4, 2017

Leviathan




**
After watching Leviathan (1989) again after some time (it was just a couple years ago I revisited Deep StarSix (1989) as well), I revisited the review below and feel rather similar if slightly even less impressed. If that is possible. Besides a good score (from Jerry Goldsmith) that really actually stood out above everything else and my basic lust for Eilbacher, this experience with the movie was a rather underwhelming one. I have to say the cast is really incredible but they are shackled with subpar characters that function as victims to the marine "genetic abnormal" monster. Stern is a creep, really, and Crenna slums his way through his doc role. The effects have slimy eel-like mutations and there's even poor Elizondo (who has been abused in his career with a lot of junk parts he somehow circumnavigated his way through) has something protruding from his chest as this toothy mouth emerges in his hand. Carmine has the slimy eel appendage suck to his chest and insert itself inside him! The effects are designed to simply to make your skin crawl...success!!!

Poor Ernie. The guy gets out of the damn ocean floor compound and back to the surface only to bypass sharks and drowned by the damn monster that follows him, Weller, and Pays. Speaking of Weller, he is a robot. I like him a lot, but he couldn't care less. I can't say I blame him. Pays sure is pretty, though. Eilbacher is the most spirited and vivacious of the cast, but the movie can't obviously let her last too long.

"Leviathan" (1989) is yet another "genetic creature movie", with a unionized mining crew counting down the remaining three days left before they will be able to return topside after a long period inside a large underwater installation. When two of the crew encounter an old Russian vessel while working, one among them (Daniel Stern) brings an infection which causes a "genetic alteration" (essentially a flesh mutation) that starts to spread throughout the installation causing panic and bloodshed.



Director George P Cosmatos (Cobra (1986)) assembled quite a cast with Peter Weller as a geologist in charge of a bunch of blue collar miners (which includes the lovely Amanda Pays, wisecracking Daniel Stern always causing mischief, Ernie Hudson, Michael Carmine, Lisa Eilbacher and Hector Elizondo) and Richard Crenna as the doctor who understands several languages, his Russian coming in very handy.



The genetic mutations affecting certain crew members soon forms a large aquatic creature once they are dead, very similar to the alien lifeform in John Carpenter's The Thing. To be honest, "Leviathan" is just an assembly of clich├ęs and ideas plucked from lots of other—and better—sci-fi horror films. The mining crew in "Leviathan" is ripped right from Ridley Scott's Alien, and many of the underwater installation's interiors are similar to the inside of the Nostromo. I think the reason many will always seek "Leviathan" out is because of the cast, but the characters aren't really that interesting, except maybe Stern who plays a clown and Ernie Hudson as the vocal miner who assertively voices his opinion even when it isn't wanted. The various creatures (one cool scene has a severed appendage cocooning a worm-like monster with sharp teeth) are skin-crawlingly disgusting. I can see why this movie is often compared to Deep StarSix, directed by Sean Cunningham, as both deal with underwater facilities besieged by a giant creature dwindling numbers of a crew preparing for departure.



Some special effects are memorable such as a hand having formed a mouth with teeth and the aforementioned worm attacking a crew member, burrowing into his chest. "Leviathan" also features Meg Foster as the miners' boss who seems to be delaying their departure because of fears that they will bring up to the surface something that will cause the company to plummet in the stock market, with Weller and company plotting a different strategy to get out of their predicament.






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