Up from the Depths
|Up From the Depths|
|Directed by||Charles B. Griffith|
|Produced by||Jack Atienza
Cirio H. Santiago
|Written by||Anne Dyer
R. Lee Ermey
|Music by||Russell O'Malley|
|Edited by||G. V. Bass|
|Distributed by||New World Pictures
Shout Factory (DVD)
|June 29, 1979|
The staff and vacationers at a first-class resort on the island of Maui are beginning to mysteriously disappear. A biologist believes that an underwater earthquake has caused a giant and very hungry dormant prehistoric fish to be released from his slumber. Voraciously the fish helps himself to a tourist buffet. Now it's open season for the local fishermen to find the creature and kill it.
Charles B Griffith later called the film a "terrible experience".
We had it written by one of the typists or secretaries in the office who didn’t have any thoughts of becoming a writer. I think Roger did it to punish me, to send me out to The Philippines where I didn’t know what I was getting into. I was making an action picture, but The Philippines people were all so depressed, and they had made this goofy-looking fish with bug eyes. I told them that we’ll make it a comedy, and their eyes lit up! So I sent back a comedy on one plane, and I arrived on the next one. By the time I arrived, Roger had already cut 75 minutes out. As an editor would say, “That’s a set-up, that’s a payoff!”
I was hired by Corman's production company after the film was returned from the Phillipines to add a few additional scenes to help salvage the film. This included shooting some B-roll fake shark monster footage off Seal Beach, CA. I was in the camera boat just out of the shot with my stuntman scuba diver who had a dorsal fin strapped to his back- that looked like a giant fin from the camera position on shore. My diver had just entered the water when suddenly there was a great thrashing in the water near the "fake" dorsal fin, and I heard on the walkie-talkie from shore, "Keep it up that thrashing and splashing it looks great!!" Whooaa!, a REAL seven-foot Thresher shark had suddenly appeared near the boat and was raising havoc in a school of baitfish near us on the surface! I decided not to tell my diver after he surfaced. (Ted Boehler, 2nd unit cameraman).
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