Deep Rising

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Deep Rising
Deep rising ver3.jpg
Theatrical released poster
Directed by Stephen Sommers
Produced by John Baldecchi
Mario Iscovich
Laurence Mark
Written by Stephen Sommers
Robert Mark Kamen
Starring Treat Williams
Famke Janssen
Kevin J. O'Connor
Anthony Heald
Wes Studi
Derrick O'Connor
Cliff Curtis
Una Damon
Djimon Hounsou
Jason Flemyng
Clifton Powell
Trevor Goddard
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography Howard Atherton
Editing by Bob Ducsay
John Wright
Studio Hollywood Pictures
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
(USA and Japan)
Cinergi Pictures
Release dates January 30, 1998
Running time 106 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45 million
Box office $11,203,026 (USA)

Deep Rising is a 1998 American action horror film directed by Stephen Sommers and starring Treat Williams, Famke Janssen and Anthony Heald. It was distributed by Hollywood Pictures and Cinergi Pictures and released on January 30, 1998.


The film opens with an explanation about deep water trenches with undiscovered sea life. A boat is being piloted through a storm on the South China Sea by John Finnegan (Treat Williams). With him are his crewmen Joey "Tooch" Pantucci (Kevin J. O'Connor), and Joey's girlfriend Leila (Una Damon). Finnegan has been hired to lead a group of mercenaries to an undisclosed location in the middle of the ocean. The mercenaries are: Hanover (Wes Studi), Vivo (Djimon Hounsou), Mason (Clifton Powell), Mulligan (Jason Flemyng), Billy (Clint Curtis), T-Ray (Trevor Goddard), and Mamooli (Cliff Curtis).

Meanwhile, the luxury cruise ship Argonautica embarks on its maiden voyage. The ship is the brainchild of Simon Canton (Anthony Heald) and led by Captain Atherton (Derrick O'Connor). Canton and Atherton discover a woman, Trillian (Famke Janssen), attempting to steal from the vault. They lock her in a storeroom as the brig is incomplete. Soon after, a saboteur disables the ship's navigation and communication systems. A large object is then detected by the sonar, headed towards the ship. They collide, flooding the ship and leaving it dead in the water.

Finnegan realizes their destination is the Argonautica. The mercenaries' plan is to rob the vault and torpedo the ship. Finnegan's boat suddenly hits a speedboat that had detached from the cruiseliner, causing damage to Finnigan's boat engines. Everyone transfers over to the liner, except for Leila and Billy. Finnegan, Joey, and the mercenaries explore the abandoned ship, finding only blood and damaged superstructure. Soon after, they begin to hear screeches and ominous sounds on the boat. Back on Finnegan's boat, Leila is dragged overboard by an unseen creature. Finnegan and Joey go to the cruiseliner's engine room to get parts to fix their boat. T-Ray and Mamooli go along to guard them, but are killed by an unseen creature. On Finnegan's boat Billy, too, disappears. Finnegan and Joey then find Trillian, still locked in the storeroom and unaware of what happened. They are captured by Hanover, Vivo, Mason, and Mulligan, who still want to get into the vault before leaving. Vivo opens the vault, but is killed with an axe by Canton and Atherton, who were hiding inside.

Canton and Atherton explain creatures attacked the ship and killed everyone else on board; the group soon discovers human skeletons stripped clean of flesh in the bottom of the ship. After questioning Canton is also revealed to be the saboteur; he hired the mercenaries to destroy the ship so he could collect on the insurance, due to badly misplaying with the market and having to pay 400 million dollars for the ship. The group is suddenly attacked by giant tentacles, and Captain Atherton is killed. The remaining survivors agree to work together to escape. Canton theorizes that the tentacles are from evolved deep-sea worms which strip their prey of body fluids and then eject the carcass.

The group is forced to swim under a collapsed section of the deck to reach an exit; Mason is the last in line and is eaten. Once through, Mulligan goes insane and attempts to stand alone against the creatures, giving the others a chance to escape before he is killed. It soon becomes apparent that the tentacles are herding them to the bow, where they find the carcasses of all the passengers and crew. Finnegan, Trillian, Joey, Hanover and Canton become separated. Hanover tries to sacrifice Joey to save himself, but Joey escapes and Hanover is instead killed. Canton realizes the ship is sinking, meaning he would collect the insurance money after all. Finnegan and Joey make it back to the boat but without the engine parts.

They see an island in the distance, but it is too far to travel without engines. Finnegan tells Joey to set the boat on autopilot and crash it into the Argonautica to detonate the mercenaries' torpedoes, which are still on his boat, and destroy the creature. Finnegan returns to the ship to find Trillian and get a jet ski from the cargo bay. Canton tries to kill Trillian so there are no witnesses to his scheme, but Finnegan saves her and Canton flees back into the ship. The creature pulls itself out of the water in full, revealing itself as a kraken and attacks the two, but they escape. Finnegan returns to his boat to find Joey gone with evidence of another attack. Finnegan sets the boat's autopilot and leaves on the jet ski with Trillian. Canton climbs on board, but cannot turn off the autopilot, so the boat rams the Argonautica and explodes, killing the creature and Canton.

Finnegan and Trillian use the jet ski to travel to the nearby island, where they are soon joined by Joey. He survived the attack and escaped to the island using Finnegan's surfboard. As the three relax, a loud roar echoes across the island and something crashes toward them through the nearby forest while the camera pans out to reveal multiple active volcanoes within the island. An exasperated Finnegan mutters, "Now what?"



Stephen Sommers began writing the script to Deep Rising, then called Tentacle, when he worked at Hollywood Pictures in the mid-1990s. Claire Forlani was originally cast as Trillian St. James, but dropped out after just three days, due to creative differences with Sommers, and Famke Janssen was subsequently cast. Janssen almost didn't get the part because the producers felt she was too recognizable from GoldenEye, but they relented. Harrison Ford turned down the role of John Finnegan, which later went to Treat Williams, and the film's budget was later downsized.[1]

Filming for Deep Rising began on June 12, 1996 and lasted until October 18 of that year. The film was originally set for release in the fall of 1997, but was delayed until the following January.


Deep Rising received mostly negative reviews. At Rotten Tomatoes it has a "Rotten" rating of 29% based on 28 reviews. It also made Roger Ebert's most hated films list. In his own words, "Deep Rising is essentially an Alien clone with a fresh paint job".[2]

On its opening weekend the film made $4,737,793 (42% of its total gross), ranking #8. It ended up being a box office bomb, with a total intake of a little over $11.2 million.[3]

Home Media[edit]

The movie was released on DVD and VHS on October 14, 1998, both of which are now out of print. It was released on Blu-ray as a double feature with The Puppet Masters from Mill Creek Entertainment on October 9, 2012.[4]


External links[edit]