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Deep Rising (1988) - Blu-ray Review

4 beers

“To the Argonautica!  May the good times last forever!”  It is with those words that we know the maiden voyage of this luxury cruise ship is doomed.  What starts as a swanky party turns right deadly.  The shindig barely starts before people get yanked down toilets.  Turns out there is something pretty vicious swimming deep below the south china sea. 

And this creature is all sorts of pissed off.

Good thing there’s a boat with a decent crew – Treat Williams as John Finnegan, Kevin J. O'Connor as Joey "Tooch" Pantucci, and Una Damon as Leila – headed their way.  Hired by Wes Studi as Hanover and his team of mercenaries to deliver them to middle of the ocean, Finnegan's crew have no idea that these men have high seas robbery on the brain.  And Finnegan, knowing something is up, just wants to get the transport job completed with no questions asked.

"everyone knows exactly what type of B-grade popcorn muncher flick they are in"

That’s not going to happen, though.  Not in this creature feature. 

What we do get are crackling one-liners and an over-the-top finale with a pissed off (and very toothy) mutated sea creature.   Deep Rising, smartly written and aptly directed by Stephen Sommers, makes its Blu-ray debut thanks to Kino Lorber, who celebrate its 20th anniversary with a loaded release of supplemental information about its creation and that infamous escape via a neon yellow jet ski. {googleads}

This creature feature, punctuated by a tops performance by Famke Janssen as Trillian St. James, who is wearing a snappy red dress through much of the salty seafaring, is not to be taken seriously.  Which means, especially in 1998, it had little chance to stay afloat at the box office.  But the movie – with O’Connor in full-on sidekick mode – is both action-picked and completely bonkers.

Sommers only loses a bit of control over the fun when the creature is revealed and the effects, glossy for the time period, take over.  At that point, with blood being splayed about thanks to some mutated sea monsters the survivors can only speculate about, the promise established in the beginning slips a bit.  One can tell, though, that Sommers was aiming for a bit of Spielbergian fun here.  It almost works – especially with the scene where the grates get uprooted as something unseen comes charging at Williams.

Deep Rising (1988) - Blu-ray Review

Deep Rising may have never had a chance to make a huge splash in January of ’98 but, thanks to a very strong script and a handful of solid character performances from Studi, Djimon Hounsou, Janssen, this B-movie succeeds where many copycats stumble.  We trade space for the sea, of course, but the disaster – here with a luxury liner being rammed by a sea creature - is worth the journey.

This Alien knockoff is all sorts of fun.  It has a great cast – with Treat Williams (who I am typically not a fan of) doing his best Harrison Ford impression and succeeding.  With Anthony Heald as Simon Canton, the owner of the luxury liner, in tow, everyone knows exactly what type of B-grade popcorn muncher flick they are in. 

Full scream ahead!


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Deep Rising (1988) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R for sci-fi violence and gore.
98 mins
: Stephen Sommers
Stephen Sommers
Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, Anthony Heald
: Horror
Full scream ahead.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Like a fine wine my ass. You look more like a keg of beer to me."
Theatrical Distributor:
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Official Site:
Release Date:
January 30, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 21, 2018
Synopsis: A band of ruthless hijackers seize the most luxurious cruise in the world only to find that all the passengers have mysteriously disappeared, but they are not alone. Something terrifying is lurking just out of sight – behind every deck and passageway: a deadly force from the unexplored depths of the ocean that begins to snatch the horrified intruders one by one.


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Deep Rising (1988) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray
- August 21, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Kino Lorber presents the newly minted 1080p transfer with a nice sheen.  The fun is textured and vibrant.  It is also rippled with fine detail.  As with most Kino Lorber releases, this Anniversary Edition release is a fantastic addition to any Horror Hounds bone collection.  The transfer – complete with a solid layer of grain – looks great.  The work from ILM looks pretty solid, too.  Black levels are strong and line keep their edges.  Colors are engaging and shadows run deep without a blur of lines.  The sound, with great surround effects, is presented in a solid choice of either 5.1 Surround and/or lossless 2.0 stereo audio.  All in all, this is a great celebration.



  • Fans of this flick get an audio commentary by director Stephen Sommers and editor Bob Ducsay.

Special Features:

On this loaded anniversary edition of Deep Rising, we are treated to interviews from the cast and the crew who talk about their time on board this downed luxury liner.  The release is punctuated with newly commissioned art by Jacob Phillips and a limited edition O-card.

  • Interview with actor Wes Studi
  • Interview with actor Kevin O'Connor
  • Interview with actor Anthony Heald
  • Interview with second unit director Dean Cundey
  • Interview with VFX John Berton (ILM)
  • Interview with VFX Van Ling (Banned from the Ranch Entertainment)
  • Interview with Brad Proctor (SFX/Make-Up)
  • Interview with Doug Morrow (SFX/Make-Up)
  • Interview with Cinematographer Howard Atherton
  • ILM Behind-the-Scenes Extras (Animatic Sequence/Creature/Tests/Etc.)
  • Theatrical Trailer


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Deep Rising (1988) - Blu-ray Review