Up from the Depths

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Up From the Depths
Directed by Charles B. Griffith
Produced by Jack Atienza
Cirio H. Santiago
Written by Anne Dyer
Alfred Sweeney
Starring Sam Bottoms
Suzanne Reed
Virgil Frye
Kedric Wolfe
Oscar Forbes
R. Lee Ermey
Music by Russell O'Malley
Edited by G. V. Bass
Distributed by New World Pictures
Shout Factory (DVD)
Release dates
  • June 29, 1979 (1979-06-29)
Running time
75 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Up From the Depths is a 1979 horror film directed by Charles B. Griffith. The film, along with many monster movies of the 1970s and 1980s is very similar to Jaws (1975).


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!”[1]

I was hired by Corman's production company after the film was returned from the Philippines 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).


The film was released theatrically in the United States by New World Pictures in June 1979.

The film was released on VHS by Vestron Video in the 1980s.

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray by Shout Factory in 2011 as a double feature alongside the similar Demon of Paradise.


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