Onward with the pervasive trends of the 80’s, ‘DeepStar Six’ is Carolco’s twiddling, extremely slow-burn installment in the abyss-spelunking subgenre. The dry-for-wet technique for marine-biology authenticity that was so palpable in ‘Leviathan’ is a facsimile of matte composites and miniatures here. The sea floor collapse beneath a trawler is aesthetically apocryphal.
The interoffice dalliance between Joyce (Nancy Everhard) and pilot McBride (Greg Evigan) is tainted by the fact that they’ve been sequestered below for months and the carnal throes might be a recreational activity to avert ennui. Among the electrotypes, Elya Baskin is the diplomatic Russian, Matt McCoy is the dapper comic relief and Marius Weyers is the anal-retentive doctor.
The early scenes are the perfunctory science-vs- blue-collar-workers animosity with Miguel Ferrer fretting about scrutinizing a cavern. Kudos should be applauded for the biosphere set design (specifically the rotary globe control room). To that extent, the first half-hour is an artlessly wheezing naval soap opera. It’s even equipped with the primordial, hoary pregnancy twist.
The eurypterid is seldom on screen and as gnashing creatures are concerned, it is a cumbersome letdown. As per Spielberg’s directives on puppetry, the eyes are nonexistent and therefore it is a nondescript, crustacean entity that is assaultive like a battering ram. Ferrer’s rabid desperation doesn’t amortize the suspense deficit.
In lieu of a rantipole critter, the illusory, low-budget alternative is the cast valiantly toppling inside of capsules with panel sparks. Of course, the minorities perish prematurely with the African-American captain insultingly deluging the compartment in order for his Caucasian counterparts to be salvaged.