Subaqueous monstrosities

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nenslo

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Apr 8, 2004, 2:36:16 AM4/8/04
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Every time I see an underwater monster movie I think it's going to be
one of the half dozen I have already seen where people in some kind of
underwater laboratory have to fight off a superlobster or giant
devilfish, but it never is! It's always a DIFFERENT one of those which
is yet exactly like all the ones I have seen, like Deepstar 6 or Lords
of the Deep which unfortunately I never got to see much of but is
certainly one of Bradford Dillman's performances and very cheesy sets
and things. But so I got this movie Leviathan with Peter Weller and
that Night Stalker guy Darren McGavin in it which is about these people
in an underwater mining place where they go out in these big suits and
find this sunken russian ship with a genetic experiment on it, and when
it starts I see it is produced by, like, Guido and Aldo DeLaurentis and
I figure "Hmm." The other DeLaurentises. And I see on the box there
are only two quotes, one of which compares it favorably to The Abyss,
and the other simply saying "Alien underwater." So anyway it ends up
being this blobmonster that kind of melts people and fish together and
is about as scary as the Alien in the French one of the Alien movies,
Ripley's pink monkeyfaced half human alien baby, but at least there are
two of the important features of "good moviemaking" - a whirling
wireframe computer model and a countdown to destruction. And of course
they do get out the chainsaws and flamethrowers so frequently used in
underwater mining facilities, only these are "real cool looking" ones
like they make for movies, which are really big and unwieldy but look so
cool. Oddly, I noticed pretty early on that it must be an American
edit, because just when anything was really going to happen, like
somebody get good and chomped and there would be spurting stumps and
stuff, it would get right up to that point and then you'd just barely
not see it, where if it's actually made to be that way they don't quite
do it like that so it was pretty clear that the Continental edition had
the pure gore and dismemberment and biting off of things, and probably a
tit shot as well. And at the end when I see how it's all half totally
italian names in the credits and all the actually pretty good sets were
at Cinecitta in Rome I go well that figures. And to hell with your
spoiler space when I say it struck me as odd that though the thing could
grow from a chopped off hunk of a thing and could get its head crunched
up real bad in one scene but right away be all growed back in the next,
somehow Peter Weller yelling "Say AAH, MOTHER FUCKER" and throwing a
bomb in its mouth somehow is supposed to have killed it dead for keeps.
And you know when there is just the guy, the chick, and the colored
fellow like five feet from the rescue helicopter (which DID NOT blow up
in this movie) you know only one of them is going to get chomped and you
know which one of them it will be.

So after I saw that I thought I really ought to see that one movie where
they decide to make killer sharks really smart, Deep Blue Sea, which had
only one quote on the box, which was from USA Today, which is not as bad
as a quote from Jeffrey Lyons which if he liked it look out, but still.
So I just watched it tonight and there were two actual suprises, and I
don't mean it is surprising that they are so goddamn smart they somehow
don't realize that if they make a killer shark's brain four times bigger
to try to cure alzheimer's it isn't just a "side effect" that they also
get lots smarter, it's just what happens. No, it was Samuel L.
Jackson's demise that suprised me and had me LAFFIN AND LAFFIN for quite
a while, and the other suprise was that in this movie when it was just
the guy and the girl and the colored fellow left for once it was NOT the
colored fellow who gets chomped even though it was a really unfortunate
role for LL Cool J who is a genuinely intelligent person and not a good
enough actor to act dumb enough for this kind of crummy insulting
bug-eyed rastus role, a much worse part than that Anaconda movie where
he was fighting those giant really fast SCREAMING SNAKES. Though there
was unfortunately NOT a whirling wireframe computer model or a countdown
to destruction there was an exploding helicopter which is another
important feature of "good moviemaking." But pretty much you did just
have time to say "he's gonna get it" just before the big jaws suddenly
appear and chomp whichever guy, and it is odd how on like Nova the
science chicks are always pretty much like you'd expect them to be, but
in these movies these really hot chicks always want to be working in
undewater mines and shark brain growing labs. But you know, if anyone
ever asks my advice about which sharks to make super intelligent I will
say they ought to try Basking Sharks which are like big food tubes that
suck copepods and diatoms and do not chomp things. And furthermore if I
ever get into a situation like what was in this movie and everybody is
all yelling GO, GO, GO! MOVE, MOVE! all the time like they did, I would
take the first opportunity to tell them, Look, when there is a tidal
wave full of supergenius murder sharks coming at me down the hallway I
do not need to be told what to do like that okay? So shut up and climb
the damn ladder yourself and if I am not moving fast enough to suit you
just go on ahead and I will either catch up or not. Asshole.

Rev. Ivan Stang

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Apr 8, 2004, 9:46:41 AM4/8/04
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In article <4074F2DE...@yahoox.com>, nenslo <nen...@yahoox.com>
wrote:

> But so I got this movie Leviathan with Peter Weller and
> that Night Stalker guy Darren McGavin in it

Great reviews -- reminds me of that Hobbit Man reviewer, or the way I
wrote a few years ago when I was driving 14 year olds to and from
school every day, and you made fun of me.

But that movie Leviathan. I never saw the second half of it, but I
noticed the most wonderful game you can play with the underwater
scenes.

First, watch the underwater scenes normally. The actors are slowly
moving through this murky water, with the spooky music and echoey sound
effects like you always hear underwater, and there are fish and crabs
around.

Now, turn the sound all the way down and watch the same scene again,
mute.

Now what you're seeing are actors pretending to walk in slow motion on
a big dark set where somebody has blown PILLOW FEATHERS into the air to
simulate suspended murk, and WIND-UP FISH are puppetted past the lens
while land crabs creep over props aged to look all barnacly and crusty.
But the best part is the way the actors are PRETENDING to work against
the resistance of the water.

I later read an article about the fiming of this movie -- desperately
fast filming, as they HAD to beat THE ABYSS to market -- and the
cameraman was really happy when they figured out just the right pillow
feathers that would make for good murk.

--
4th Stangian Orthodox MegaFisTemple Lodge of the Wrath of Dobbs Yeti,
Resurrected (Rev. Ivan Stang, prop.)
P.O. Box 181417, Cleveland, OH 44118 (fax 216-320-9528)
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