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Blu-ray Shopping Bag: Leviathan

Don’t F@$K with mother nature

By Robert T. Trate     August 19, 2014
Source: Mania.com


Leviathan from Scream Factory
© Scream Factory
Every once in a while, a film comes into your life and it won’t leave, like a scar that you are ashamed of because you didn’t do anything cool to deserve it. We all have movies and scars like that. On occasion we do whip it out to either show off or take guilty pleasure in it. My movie scar is George P. Cosmatos’ Leviathan (1989), which today is being released by Scream Factory on Blu-ray (buy it HERE).  

“Did you trip on a tit?”
 
Leviathan came out during Hollywood’s under sea movie craziness The big boy in this lot was James Cameron’s The Abyss, followed by Leviathan and DeepStar Six. You might even want to throw in the real winner, The Little Mermaid. It, too, was released in 1989, took place under the sea, and featured a song with those words. Leviathan was a straight up horror movie that, in most respects, was The Thing underwater. Its plot is contrived and loaded with all the stereotypical cliches. It has minorities with no hope of survival, a smart hot chick, and a hero that has to rise to the challenge. You can run the Scream playbook on this film with no exception. However...

“It’s growing. It just had a meal.”
 
Leviathan does break convention outside of its monster’s pecking order. Outside of Daniel Stern’s Six Pack, the crew are decent hard working people. There is a Doctor who is a tad negligent, but outside of giving the would-be hero some time to shine, the Doctor makes some decent decisions. Can wanting to have a drink after nearly 90 days of hard work justify everyone’s horrific death? This is a reason to like and care about these people a little bit more. Another reason to care about this crew is that we have seen them all before. Six Pack is the voice of Kevin Arnold on “The Wonder Years”. Willie, Amanda Pays, was on “Max Headroom”. Our hero, Peter Weller, was RoboCop. Even the absentee Doctor fought beside Rambo as Col. Troutman. Hell, there is Ghostbuster here, too, in one Ernie Hudson. 

“Gone? Bitch, we still here!”
 
Leviathan didn’t do much at the box office and was lost in the sea of under water movies. Outside of The Little Mermaid, The Abyss is the only one with a cult following and only those people have sat through the extended cut. Each time Leviathan is on cable, I find myself leaving it on. I remember watching it for the first time in high school. I had recently started working at a video store and was using that free movie benefit to garner a film education. My mother came in and wanted to know what this ridiculous movie was. Having not seen it before, I told her that, so far, it was an underwater version of The Thing. She watched the whole film with me. I started to show off and predict who would die next and why. I even went so far as to tell my mom that all the minorities would die and only the hot British chick and RoboCop would make it. When Ernie Hudson’s Jones emerged at the top of the ocean, I got a stern look. I told her that maybe this one was different. Together, we cheered as Hudson met his inevitable doom. It was a moment I was particularly proud of, just not one that I share, like my scar from catching my arm on a fence.  

“Talk about having a bad day.”
 
Scream Factory supplied a fairly decent amount of special features for this almost forgotten horror film. Surprisingly, there is a 40 minute retrospective on the creature effects. They were done by Stan Winston and his studio. There are several interviews with crew and alumni from Winston’s company and they help explain many of the problems that Leviathan faced. Not having a memorable, defined creature being one of them. They also reveal how they did all the underwater effects. What is truly shocking is that James Cameron went off and did The Abyss without their boss, Stan Winston. The partnership was rekindled on Cameron’s next project, Terminator 2: Judgement Day. They believe that this might have only strengthened their relationship as Cameron worked with something else and didn’t want to go through that again. 

 
This is one for my collection and will get displayed for all to see. It’s about time to show off this scar. 

Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. Only Lovers Left Alive
2. Leviathan
3. 20 Million Miles To Earth / It Came From Beneath The Sea - Ray Harryhausen BD Double Feature
4. Sorceress 1982
5. Toy Story of Terror

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS
 
Absolute Killers
 
Alexander 2014

The Girl in a Swing
 
Good Man
 
Jarhead 2: Field of Fire - Unrated Edition
 
JOKER
 
Maneater
 
My Boy Jack

Rampage: Capital Punishment
 
Rear Window 1998

Redemption Trail
 
Silent Mountain
 
SWAT/Basic - BD Double Feature
 
ANIME
 
Cardcaptor Sakura the Movie

Cybersix Complete TV Series

Fatal Fury Complete Ova Series
 
Fatal Fury the Movie

Mayo Chiki: Complete Collection

CARTOONS
 
Certain Scientific Railgun S: Season 2, Part 2

Scooby-Doo: Frankencreepy

Toy Story of Terror

CRITERION COLLECTION
 
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
 
Y tu mamá también
 
HORROR
 
Croc 2007

FACE: A Frat Party Massacre
 
Legend of Hell House

Leviathan 1989
 
Neverlake

Only Lovers Left Alive
 
The Quiet Ones 2014
 
Rosemary's Baby (TV Series)
 
The Sacrament 2013
 
Septic Man

Zombie Wars: Battle of the Bone
 
MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY
 
Like Water for Chocolate

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

20 Million Miles To Earth / It Came From Beneath The Sea - Ray Harryhausen BD Double Feature
 
The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Final Days Of Planet Earth

The Flintstones 1994
 
P-51 Dragon Fighter

Sorceress 1982

TV LAND
 
Boardwalk Empire: Season 4
 
Churchill's First World War
 
The Good Wife: Season 5
 
Millers: Season 1
 
The Mindy Project: Season 2
 
Newhart: Season 4
 
NCIS: Los Angeles: Season 5

NCIS: Season 11
 
Once Upon A Time: Season 3

Parks & Recreation: Season 6
 
Parenthood: Season 5

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 8 of 8
1 
jppintar326 8/19/2014 9:16:33 AM

If you saw Deep Star Six before you saw Leviathan, Leviathan will be seen as a great improvement.  Deep Star Six was stupid and best left forgotten.  Leviathan is actually pretty good.  Haven't seen it in a while and it pales in comparison to The Abyss but I have wasted two hours of my life on much worse.

moviefan71 8/20/2014 11:59:54 AM

what jp said.  it's pretty good.  i remember is scaring the crap out of me.

moviefan71 8/20/2014 12:01:59 PM

only lovers left alive was horrible (imho).  will never look at loki the same again.

RobertTrate 8/20/2014 1:10:45 PM

 moviefan71, our review is coming soon on the film. 

TheMovieGuy28 8/21/2014 6:56:58 AM

Come now, Deep Star Six had one of My Two Dads, along with Miguel Ferriers' Snyder and his accidental exploding heart puncture, then subseuent meltdown and hop into a non depressured escape pod, only to have his veins start blowing out of his body. At 8 years old, I didn't know such things were possible.

 

I will say this though-both movies are utterly awesome 80's sci-fiction. Both are still awsome today. We just love Leviathan more because it has British chicks' booty in thong.

blankczech 8/21/2014 8:57:06 AM

I never apologize for liking a movie (a play, a book, a song, a painting).  The appreciation of art is a personal matter. You like what you like and I'll like what I like...Thank you. I'm not interested in synchronizing my tastes in movies with yours or your friends.  Whether a film is popular or not has no bearing on how I feel about it.

I thought Leviathan was a hoot.  I've seen it a few times.  I find it entertaining.  You may think it stinks. That's fine.

moviefan71 thought the movie Only Lovers Left Alive was horrible.  I assume that is a negative opinion, although it was a horror movie.  I, on the other hand liked Only Lovers Left Alive a lot (infinitely more than Thor 2 which put me to sleep).  I thought Tom Hiddleston's performance was excellent.  Trate says Mania will soon review the film.  The movie was released in April and has all ready been reviewed a thousand times on the internet.  A bad review by Mania could drop the consensus approval rating by one thousandth.  I suggest you see the movie and make up your own mind.

 

thezillaman 8/21/2014 7:59:22 PM

For me it's Deep Star Six, nuff said..

domino2008 10/5/2014 5:25:44 AM

Why does Hollywood make a same topic 2 film duel every few years , well this was one and DeepStar 6 was the other the winner ? Deep Star Six , Leviathan had a better cast , but was terrible.

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