Day 13 Leviathan from 1989
Tagline – “Aliens thrilled you… The Fly shocked you… Now experience real fear…“
Who’s our hero today?
Robocop himself Peter Weller plays geologist Steven Beck
Had I seen this one on VHS back in the day?
Hell yeah. An Alien rip-off inspired by The Fly and The Thing mutations set in the future! Leviathan wouldn’t of even touched the video shelve and I’d been out the door leaving a cloud of dust behind.
Quick plot run down.
A crew of deep-sea miners uncover a mysterious Soviet ship wreck on the ocean floor. With some of the crew salvaging items back to base camp it’s not long before a dark secret is revealed from a recorded message from the Russian Captain. Soon the mining crew will discover, with horrifying results, just why the ship called the Leviathan was scuttled and deliberately sunk to the bottom of the ocean floor.
Does the hero have a day job?
Steven Beck is a scientist and geologist. He’s like the captain of the group and also the maintenance guy.
What’s our heroes special skills?
Level headed and by the books but maverick when he needs to be. He’s also pretty handy with a futurist long screwdriver!
Heroes weapon of choice?
Whatever mining equipment that’s lying around that could make a good weapon. However he settles on one big mo-fo monster-frying flamethrower.
Heroes drink of choice?
Pepsi must’ve paid a whole heap of dollar on this movie. Jeez they went to town on product placement. Can’s, posters and even vending machines installed everywhere 16,000 feet deep in the ocean!
Does hero have a sidekick?
Beck’s got a whole crew of them stuck down in the underwater bloodshed and carnage prison cage. Here’s the mutant fish food, which one goes first?
Dr. Glen ‘Doc’ Thompson (Richard Crenna)
Elizabeth ‘Willie’ Williams (Amanda Pays)
Buzz ‘Sixpack’ Parrish (Daniel Stern)
Justin Jones (Ernie Hudson)
Tony ‘DeJesus’ Rodero (Michael Carmine)
Bridget Bowman (Lisa Eilbacher)
G.P. Cobb (Hector Elizondo)
Hot girl? Damsel in distress or ass kicker?
The whole crew become damsel’s in distress but as there’s only two ladies on the crew, Bridget and Elizabeth can take the hot girls spots. With Elizabeth getting more involved in the ass kicking department with, well, come on guys give the lady something a bit better than a blooming hedge trimmer to fight with?
Who’s the main baddie?
Some would say the sexy smoking headmistress looking Evil-Lyn (Meg Foster) from Masters of the Universe (1987) but then others might be inclined to say a mutant foot fish flesh leg thing is the real, ruin your day, baddie here.
Baddies special skills?
To never die, mutate and adapt to it’s new surroundings. To survive to infect and grow.
Psycho baddies rating out of ten? 10/10
It’s relentless, forever growing. Gaining intelligence and a hunger to expand further out.
Heroes balls of steel and anger ratings out of ten? 9/10
As Beck throws a stick of dynamite “‘Say hi’, motherfucker!”
Surely it features a training montage scene?
We do get treated to a quick “getting tooled up” montage. Raiding the tool cupboard for mutant smashing, burning and chopping weapons. Those big ass flamethrowers, some kind of tungsten toothed rock cutting chainsaw and a, and a umm, what really? poor Elizabeth’s hedge-trimmer!!!
Does it feature an impossible mission?
16 thousand feet under the sea with bone crushing pressures, a breaking down air system, no emergency escape life pods and a crazy sea monster mutant on the rampage. The mission of survival is looking horribly impossible?
Does the hero get a chance to show off their muscles?
Peter Weller isn’t known for his ripping his shirt off to show his steroid induced bulging pectoral muscles is he?
Will I be needing to pause the video player? AKA are there any boobies?
Not on today’s film choice. You did get a fair few innuendos. Mainly from the mouth of Sixpack “Oh, mama! What a pair.“. Oh and we do get a little quick bra and pantie shower scene with Elizabeth which is a bonus.
Only Sixpack getting ready to go it alone in his bunk bed with a centerfold. He nearly got more digits added to his five knuckle shuffle!!!!
Any good totally random surprise scenes?
If you know the freak-show that horrified us in John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) then this will be a walk in the park! Well it’s still pretty darn terrifying! This time we encounter the combining of human body parts with a fusion of marine life creatures. To metamorphoses, dice and slice organic matter into each other. The fundamental human form is still there somewhere, buried deeply and freakishly mutated. The dead come back to life growing through into the DNA of what ever mutation would help it best to adapt to it’s new environment. Yeah you will be finding some totally random surprise scenes here.
Films body count? Low/Medium/High?
There’s only eight crew members for our psychotic porpoise. Is eight a high number in 80s action body count stats? Of course not. The meter can only, in good conscience, swing to low. However saying that, if it gets to the surface? That meter reader will smash through the roof. Humankind could be annihilated!
Innocent baddie death rate?
One might get a fat lip?
Explosion ratio? Low/Medium/High?
A few explosions here and there but it’s it the mega implosion that’s the money shot here.
How many stuntmen probably really died making this film?
Hopefully no stuntmen drowned of set as I read the “dry for wet” technique was used, where filters and camera tricks simulate the feeling of being underwater whereas in fact they are using a dry staged set.
Any cool car chases?
We deep on the ocean bed but yeah I know they still could’ve been some sort of underwater car chase! Nah it didn’t happen this time.
There’s a fair few great lines dotted about and I’m gonna pick these two as my favorite.
Jones – (to the doctor) “How come you are wearing those gloves? It ain’t bend-over time, is it?”
Sixpack – (wants to do on his downtime) “Drinking brews and eating pussy!”
Any other familiar faces and actors pop up?
Most the crew is recognizable so I’ll just add one thing next their names as I’d be writing for days.
Peter Weller is Murphy from Robocop (1987). Richard Crenna will always be Col. Trautman from Rambo (1985) and the sequels. Amanda Pays starred alongside Willem Dafoe and Gregory Hines in Off Limits (1988). Daniel Stern famously partnered with Joe Pesci in Home Alone (1990). Ernie Hudson is the forth Ghostbuster (1984) Winston. I don’t know Hector Elizondo myself from any films but I see he’s big on TV series. Lisa Eilbacher starred alongside Charles Bronson in 10 To Midnight (1983). Meg Foster only has a small role here but she’s a legend, I’ll go with They Live (1988) It’s sad to read that Michael Carmine died at the very young age of 30. He played a great part as Carlos in Batteries Not Included (1987)
Leviathan is directed by George P. Cosmatos who made the total awesome all-star cast assemble of Tombstone (1993) and also last weeks Cobra (1986) and Rambo First Blood Part II (1985).
The film is co-written by Jeb Stuart who did screenplays for Die Hard (1988) and The Fugitive (1993) and David Webb Peoples who is a sci-fi legend for working on Blade Runner (1982), 12 Monkeys (1995), Soldier (1998) and The Blood of Heroes (1989)
I would say this is low but man the “alien” style fishy parts are pretty damn cheesy. It’s hovering the meter right close to medium.
IMDB score rating – 5.8/10
Wolfman ACTION & FUN rating – 8/10
Wolfman over all film rating – 7/10
Yeah of course it’s riding on the waves of those big named science fiction films like Alien, The Thing etc and Leviathan isn’t in the same league at all. However it’s very well made. The underwater scenes are excellent, the deep sea diving suits have a great looking design to them. The crew all have their quirks and fit into place inside the base ready to fulfill their destiny to be mashed, smashed and pulverised. I very much enjoyed revisiting this submerged sci-fi action horror.
Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the films if you want but please don’t feel you need to as I know it’s pretty relentless this month. However, most important, have fun with the movies.
Keep it filmy…. Mikey Wolf.
PS Random Odd factoid – Amanda Pays is featured in the music video for Sade’s massive hit Smooth Operator in 1984. So with awesomely no relatedness at all to body morphing gore and freakishness I bring you Sade to sing us out!