Looking Back…Deep Blue Sea (1999)

To celebrate the release of The Meg, Cookie takes a look at her favourite shark film. 

Sharks, they are one of our favourite movie monsters. There is the original Jaws and then the masterpiece Sharktopus and let’s not forget the classic Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus. All legendary films have taught us about great tension, brilliant action, and horror.

Ok so only Jaws taught us that but B listed movies keep churning out Sharks as the great predator and suffice to say we all turn around and say this, “get the hell out of the water!” So when Deep Blue Sea in 1999 came out that submerged a facility underwater and surrounded them with modified sharks, we all groaned and repeatedly hit our heads on your desks. To celebrate the release of The Shallows, which will never reach the lofty heights of this nineties classic, we’re taking a look back at the cult classic.

Oh. And spoilers.

Before I go into Deep Blue Sea, I have to, nay, NEED to tell you about how script writer Duncan Kennedy came to the idea. After seeing the horrific effects of a shark attack victim on a beach, he had a recurring nightmare about a shark that could read his mind. Now you know what kind of mental state the writer was in, let me tell you that the actual movie doesn’t get any better. Set in a research facility secluded by gallons of ocean, Deep Blue Sea follows the lives and stories of genetically advanced sharks. While researching a cure for Alzheimer’s, Dr Susan McAlestor accidentally (or for pure evil, no one is sure) gives three sharks a larger brain capacity. Needless to say, all hell breaks loose when the sharks figure out how to escape…

Why is it Bad?

If that whole premise wasn’t a little heads up to how shockingly awful Deep Blue Sea is then you have clearly skimmed the article. Deep Blue Sea puts ridiculous in ridiculous clothing and prances it around to ridiculous music. That is an indication of how pointlessly ridiculous this movie is. I just used the same adjective four times. It is THAT ridiculous. I understand the whole point of doing a shark movie but avoiding being Jaws but if avoiding Jaws, you mean to run away from it as far as your legs can carry you…then no. Deep Blue Sea has an awful plot premise, the actors are loosely acting. and the special effects are shockingly bad. And don’t get me started on Dr Sue who is an British scientist experimenting on sharks and loves them enough not to have everyone murder them. We’re talking a movie villain so stereotypical, I’m surprised she doesn’t have a curly moustache and a top hat.

Deep Blue Sea is a holiday for your brain.

Why is it Good?

All you want from Deep Blue Sea is giant sharks killing people and that’s what you get. Put aside the plot and premise for one second, and you get a thrill ride like any other. There is blood and gore and death scenes that are high entertaining due to their over the top ways. Limbs are ripped off, people drown, and in one point a shark actually turns on an oven to kill the chef. Yes, I just said those words. But by far, the greatest and best Deep Blue Sea moment is when  corporate executive Russell Franklin, ready to shut down the facility, is attacked. He gives the most power speech about playing god, how to escape, and how to stop the all the fighting to survive and just as he is supposed to climax in all epic SLJ glory, a shark leaps out of the water, bites into him, and drags him into the water – obviously killing him. That moment, in a whole list of moments, is just perfect. Oh and did I mention that Russell Franklin is played by Samuel L Jackson? You know shit is going down when Samuel L Jackson is killed.

Thinking back, I first watched Deep Blue Sea when I was ten because my parents loved me enough to take me to watch it on the big screen. I remembering laughing and loving it so much that when I watched it back as an adult, I couldn’t help have my heart warmed. While it is, by no means, the greatest movie ever made and it still isn’t quite as epically awesome as guilty pleasures such as Snakes on a Plane. That being said though, it is still enough of a farce to give you a couple of hours entertainment.

Because hey, it’s sharks and if they aren’t being outrageous then what’s the point?

The Meg is out now!
Read our review!

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