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Theatrical released poster
|Directed by||Stephen Sommers|
|Produced by||John Baldecchi
|Written by||Stephen Sommers
Robert Mark Kamen
Kevin J. O'Connor
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Edited by||Bob Ducsay
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Budget||$45 million|
|Box office||$11.2 million (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.
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Amidst a storm, a boat is being piloted across 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 transport a group of mercenaries, led by a man named Hanover (Wes Studi), to an undisclosed location in the middle of the ocean. Meanwhile, the luxury cruise ship Argonautica, the brainchild of Simon Canton (Anthony Heald), is undertaking its maiden voyage. Canton and the ship's captain, Atherton (Derrick O'Connor), discover a woman named Trillian (Famke Janssen) attempting to steal from the ship's 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 on the sonar, rising from beneath and headed towards the ship. It collides with the vessel, bringing it to a violent stop and leaving it dead in the water, while the panicking passengers begin to be attacked by unseen creatures.
Soon afterwards, Finnegan's boat collides with a speedboat shaken loose from the Argonautica, causing severe damage. It is revealed the mercenaries intend to rob the ship's vault and its wealthy passengers, before sinking the vessel with their torpedoes. The majority of the group transfer over to the ship while Leila and mercenary Billy (Clint Curtis) remain on Finnegan's boat to conduct repairs. The others explore the ship, finding only blood and damaged superstructure. They also begin to hear screeches and ominous sounds on the ship. Back on Finnegan's boat, Leila is violently dragged overboard, while Billy also disappears. Finnegan and Joey go to the cruiseliner's engine room to scavenge parts to repair their vessel’s engines, under guard of T-Ray (Trevor Goddard) and Mamooli (Cliff Curtis). Though the creatures kill both mercenaries, Finnegan and Joey escape with the necessary parts. They run into Trillian, who has escaped from the storeroom, and are confronted by the remaining mercenaries, who still intend to break into the ship's vault before leaving. Vivo (Djimon Hounsou) opens the vault, but is axed by Canton, who was hiding inside with Captain Atherton, as well as three passengers who are then machine-gunned by Mulligan (Jason Flemyng).
Canton and Atherton explain that the ship was attacked by unknown creatures that 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 found to be responsible for sabotage of the Argonautica; having realised he created an unprofitable vessel, he hired the mercenaries to sink the ship so that he could collect on the insurance; the mercenaries' payment was to be by way of their robbery, while Canton insists the passengers would've been safely evacuated in the lifeboats. The group is suddenly attacked by the creatures, revealed to be giant tentacles, one of which is shot open, revealing a half-digested Billy. Captain Atherton is also killed, and the remaining survivors reluctantly agree to work together to escape. Canton theorises that the tentacles are an extreme evolution of smaller deep-sea worms which strip their prey of body fluids and then eject the carcass.
The group is forced to swim through a flooded section of the ship to reach an exit; Mason (Clifton Powell) is the last in line and is attacked, and he kills himself with a grenade. Once through, Mulligan goes insane and attempts to stand alone against the creatures, giving the others a chance to escape before he too is killed. It soon becomes apparent that the tentacles are herding the survivors to the bow, where they find a "feeding room" full of the passengers’ and crew’s carcasses. The tentacles then break through the hull and flood the lower decks, separating the survivors. Hanover tries to sacrifice Joey to save himself, but Joey escapes and Hanover is himself taken. Canton realises the ship is sinking and plans to abandon the others to their fate.
Finnegan and Joey spot an island in the distance and make it back to Finnegan's boat, but they have lost their engine parts, rendering it useless as a means of escape. They instead set the boat's autopilot to crash into the Argonautica and detonate the mercenaries' torpedoes. Finnegan returns to the ship to find jet skis they can use to reach the island, but is forced instead to rescue Trillian from Canton, who intends to eliminate her as she is a witness to his scheme. Canton escapes moments before the tentacles smash through the deck from below, revealing them to be part of a single giant creature, which attacks Finnegan and Trillian. Barely escaping, they return to Finnegan's boat, where they discover Joey gone amidst evidence of another attack. Finnegan sets the boat's autopilot and leaves the doomed cruiseliner on a jet ski with Trillian. Desperate to escape, Canton jumps aboard Finnegan's boat, but cannot disable the autopilot and dies after its collision with the Argonautica, the explosion destroying the entire ship and killing the creature.
Finnegan and Trillian reach the nearby jungle-filled island where they are reunited with Joey, who survived the ordeal and paddled ashore using Finnegan's surfboard. As the three relax, a loud roar echoes from the forest and something huge crashes toward them through the trees. The camera pans out to reveal multiple active volcanoes within the core of the island, while an exasperated Finnegan mutters, "Now what?"
- Treat Williams as John Finnegan
- Famke Janssen as Trillian St. James
- Anthony Heald as Simon Canton
- Kevin J. O'Connor as Joey "Tooch" Pantucci
- Wes Studi as Hanover
- Derrick O'Connor as Captain Atherton
- Jason Flemyng as Mulligan
- Cliff Curtis as Mamooli
- Clifton Powell as Mason
- Trevor Goddard as T-Ray Jones
- Djimon Hounsou as Vivo
- Una Damon as Leila
- Clint Curtis as Billy
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 did not 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.
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. Industrial Light and Magic was responsible for the film's special effects while Rob Bottin who had previously worked on John Carpenter's The Thing and on Paul Verhoeven's Robocop was hired as the special makeup effects designer.
The exterior shots of the cruise ship Argonautica was created by CGI, and is an original design not based on any existing vessel.
On its opening weekend the film made $4,737,793 (42% of its total gross), ranking #8. It ended with a total intake of $11.2 million.
Deep Rising received mostly negative reviews. At Rotten Tomatoes, it has a "Rotten" rating of 31%, based on 29 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". whereas Variety stated that ""Deep Rising" is an old-fashioned B movie with A-budget effects, but the quality sheen can't disguise the cheap-thrills hokum."
On the other hand, Entertainment Weekly gave "Deep rising" a positive review awarding it a B- and stating that it is " a tightly written, often howlingly funny Aliens knockoff that, in its portrayal of tough men and tougher women under pressure, favorably recalls the work of Howard Hawks."  while Bloody Disgusting stated that "Excellent cast, State-of-art special effects, and terrific acting, this is a movie that should not be missed."
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.
- "Ebert's Most Hated".
- "Deep Rising Movie Review & Film Summary (1998)". Chicago Sun-Times. January 30, 1998.
- Klady, Leonard (January 29, 1998). "Deep Rising". Variety.
- Burr, Ty (February 6, 1998). Entertainment Weekly http://www.ew.com/article/1998/02/06/deep-rising. Missing or empty