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
Edited by Bob Ducsay
John Wright
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • January 30, 1998 (1998-01-30)
Running time
106 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45 million[citation needed]
Box office $11.2 million (USA)[1]

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.


Amidst a storm and the darkness of night, a sophisticated charter boat, piloted by John Finnegan (Treat Williams), is transporting a group of mercenaries, led by a man named Hanover (Wes Studi), to an undisclosed location in the South China Sea. With him are his crew, Leila (Una Damon) and Joey "Tooch" Pantucci (Kevin J. O'Connor).

Meanwhile, the luxury cruise ship Argonautica is on its maiden voyage. Simon Canton (Anthony Heald), the owner of the ship, announces to the wealthy passengers that it is the most luxurious passenger vessel ever built. Canton and the ship's captain, Atherton (Derrick O'Connor), discover a woman named Trillian (Famke Janssen) in the act of stealing from the ship's vault. They lock her up in a storeroom. Soon after, in the computer room, a saboteur disables the ship's navigation and communication systems. Just then, on the mostly-disabled bridge, the sonar detects a large object rising from beneath the ship. The ship suffers a crippling impact, and unseen creatures begin to attack the panicking passengers.

Soon afterwards, Finnegan's boat suffers severe damage when it collides with debris from the Argonautica, now visible in the rain. It limps to the cruiseship, which the mercenaries reveal is their target - they intend to rob it and sink it with torpedoes.

Leila and mercenary Billy (Clint Curtis) remain on Finnegan's boat, while the rest board and explore the cruiseship. They hear ominous screeches and find blood and heavy damage but no people or bodies.

On Finnegan's boat, an unseen thing seizes Leila and pulls her overboard. Billy is also taken.

Finnegan and Joey, under guard of T-Ray (Trevor Goddard) and Mamooli (Cliff Curtis), go to the cruiseship's engineroom to scavenge the parts they need to repair their boat. Still-unseen water creatures kill the two mercenaries; Finnegan and Joey escape. They run into Trillian. The three are then captured by the mercenaries, on their way to the ship's vault, who disbelieve their talk of monsters. Vivo (Djimon Hounsou) opens the vault room. Canton, hiding there, kills him with an axe, and mercenary Mulligan (Jason Flemyng) machine-guns three others in the room.

Captain Atherton and Canton survive this series of events and tell the mercenaries about creatures attacking the ship and killing almost everyone. The group explore and discover human skeletons stripped clean of flesh, and a powerful creature crushes walls near them. They flee to a safe place, where Canton reveals that he is responsible for the sabotage of the Argonautica, which is debt-ridden and unprofitable, and that he hired the mercenaries to sink it so he could collect the insurance. This place is attacked by creatures that have giant tentacles. One is shot open, releasing an almost-dead and half-digested Billy - he quickly dies. A creature kills Captain Atherton. Canton theorizes that the creatures are giant specimens of deep-sea worms, which digest their prey and then eject the carcass.

The group has to swim through a flooded hallway; Mason (Clifton Powell), the last man, is attacked and kills himself with a grenade to avoid being taken. Mulligan stands alone against the creatures, giving the others a chance to escape, and is killed. The group realize the creatures are herding them to the bow of the cruiseship, where they find a "feeding room" full of human remains. More creatures break through the hull and the lower decks flood - the group, fleeing, become separated. Hanover wounds Joey in an attempt to save himself, but Joey eludes the creature and Hanover is taken by the creature. In a gesture of compassion Joey tosses the gun to Hanover so he will die quickly and not have to endure being eaten and digested alive; Hanover first shoots at Joey then turns the gun on himself, only to discover he just used the last of the bullets and is condemned to being eaten alive. Finnegan and Trillian make a pact and save each other's lives. Canton realizes the ship is sinking, and thinks all the witnesses will die and that he will collect the insurance money after all. He decides to use a jet-ski to get to an island visible in the distance.

Finnegan, Joey and Trillian also spot the island, and Trillian is sent to make ready a couple jet-skis. But she is captured by Canton.

Finnegan and Joey make it to Finnegan's boat, where they find that Leila has been killed. They discover they can't make permanent repairs, so the boat can't be used to travel anywhere, even to the island. Finnegan programs its autopilot to crash into the Argonautica to detonate the mercenaries' torpedoes, and thus destroy the cruiseship and the creatures. Leaving Joey there, Finnegan goes to help Trillian with the jet-skis but instead has to rescue her from Canton, who flees. A huge tentacled creature appears and attacks Finnegan and Trillian. They barely escape. Trillian returns to the jet-ski shop. Finnegan goes to his boat, on which, instead of finding Joey, he finds sea-creature slime. Finnegan starts the boat on its loop and goes to meet a very-tightly-wound, well-armed Trillian.

Canton, seeing Finnegan's boat start to leave, jumps into it. Sadly for him, he is unable to stop it from its death-ride.

Riding a jet-ski, Finnegan and Trillian elude a creature that chases them through flooded hallways, and leave the cruiseship as it explodes.

The sun has come up. Finnegan and Trillian are on the beach of a deserted island. Joey, who had abandoned Finnegan's boat under attack, swims ashore, to a joyous reunion. A loud roar is heard. The camera pans out to reveal that the island has active volcanoes and that there is something huge crashing through a jungle toward the three on the beach. Finnegan asks, "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 did not get the part because the producers felt she was too recognizable[citation needed] 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.[2]

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.


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.[1]


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.[3] In his own words, "Deep Rising is essentially an Alien clone with a fresh paint job".[4] 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."[5]

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." [6] while Bloody Disgusting stated that "Excellent cast, State-of-art special effects, and terrific acting, this is a movie that should not be missed."[7]

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.[8]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]