Deepstar Six (1989)

R | 100 mins | Horror, Science fiction | 13 January 1989

Full page view
HISTORY

       An 11 May 1988 Var news item reported principal photography began 28 Mar 1988. According to a Feb 1989 AmCin article, the film had a twelve-week shooting schedule.
       According to a 23 May 1988 DV news item, all interior shots were filmed on sets constructed in a former Smart & Final warehouse in Santa Monica, CA, and a shuttered printing plant in Marina Del Rey, CA. The film’s budget was $8.5 million.
       AmCin reported that a forty-eight-foot diameter tank was constructed by B & H Tank Company for all the wet sets. Another six-foot diameter tank that held 2500 gallons was designed to supply the water for the flooding of the diving chamber set. During filming, all cameras were wrapped in plastic and placed in watersheds built of wood and Plexiglas to keep them dry. As the flooding scenes lasted for several minutes, and emptying the tank only took about forty seconds, the scenes had to be shot multiple times using different camera angles.
       The final scene was filmed at Universal Studio’s Fall Lake, a water tank created for Jaws IV, using two wave machines. A seventy-five by twenty-five-foot painted backdrop created the look of an open ocean.
       Director of photography, Marc Ahlberg, stated that the film was shot at twenty-two frames per second instead of twenty-four to keep the action lively. The only exceptions were scenes that showed computer screens or televisions, as they could not be synchronized correctly at that speed. Sound recording was harmonized by eight percent to make actors' voices sound normal. To create the claustrophobic atmosphere ... More Less

       An 11 May 1988 Var news item reported principal photography began 28 Mar 1988. According to a Feb 1989 AmCin article, the film had a twelve-week shooting schedule.
       According to a 23 May 1988 DV news item, all interior shots were filmed on sets constructed in a former Smart & Final warehouse in Santa Monica, CA, and a shuttered printing plant in Marina Del Rey, CA. The film’s budget was $8.5 million.
       AmCin reported that a forty-eight-foot diameter tank was constructed by B & H Tank Company for all the wet sets. Another six-foot diameter tank that held 2500 gallons was designed to supply the water for the flooding of the diving chamber set. During filming, all cameras were wrapped in plastic and placed in watersheds built of wood and Plexiglas to keep them dry. As the flooding scenes lasted for several minutes, and emptying the tank only took about forty seconds, the scenes had to be shot multiple times using different camera angles.
       The final scene was filmed at Universal Studio’s Fall Lake, a water tank created for Jaws IV, using two wave machines. A seventy-five by twenty-five-foot painted backdrop created the look of an open ocean.
       Director of photography, Marc Ahlberg, stated that the film was shot at twenty-two frames per second instead of twenty-four to keep the action lively. The only exceptions were scenes that showed computer screens or televisions, as they could not be synchronized correctly at that speed. Sound recording was harmonized by eight percent to make actors' voices sound normal. To create the claustrophobic atmosphere of a deep-water habitat, Ahlberg used fog filters and smoke, as well as low shooting angles to include the ceilings in wide shots. Lights were placed in overhead gratings and instrument panels.
       The creature was made from rubber, weighed 700 pounds, and was twenty-two feet long.
       Deepstar Six was not a critical or commercial success. As reported in a 19 Feb 1989 LAT news item, the film grossed only $7 million in its first two full weeks of distribution.

      The following thanks appear in end credits: “Nike, Switlick, Coca-Cola, Philips Consumer Electronics, O’Neill Sports, Heuer Watches, Bang and Olufsen, Commodore Business Machines.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Feb 1989
54-56.
Daily Variety
23 May 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jan 1989
p. 4, 32.
Los Angeles Times
13 Jan 1989
p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
19 Feb 1989.
---
New York Times
13 Jan 1989
p. 13.
Variety
18 Jan 1989
p. 20.
Variety
11 May 1988.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna present
A Sean S. Cunningham Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Addl cam op
2d cam asst
2d 2d cam asst
B-Cam op
Underwater dir photog
Addl underwater footage
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Best boy elec
Elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
Cranes and dollys by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir
Asst art dir
Illustrator/Video graphics
Graphics asst
Storyboard artist
Art dept mgr
Art dept asst
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser
Set dresser
Swing gang
Prop master
Prop master
Prop asst
Prop asst
Const coord
Foreman
Const asst
On-set carpenter
On-set carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Standby scenic
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Welder
Welder
COSTUMES
Cost des
Key costumer
Cost asst
MUSIC
Mus coord
Mus eng
Addl orch
Addl orch
Mus copyright
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Addl boom op
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
ADR/Foley mixer
ADR/Foley mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff supv
Main title des
Creature des, Creature crew
Creature eff, Creature crew
Creature supv, Creature crew
Animatronics supv, Creature crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Creature guy, Creature Crew
Floor eff supv
Asst to eff supv
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Opt spec eff
Opt eff supv
Opt eff supv
Opt eff supv
Opt crew
Opt crew
Opt crew
Opt crew
Opt crew
Opt crew
Opt crew
Opt crew
Model maker, Crawley Creatures Ltd.
Model maker, Crawley Creatures Ltd.
Model maker, Crawley Creatures Ltd.
Model maker, Crawley Creatures Ltd.
Model maker, Crawley Creatures Ltd.
Model maker, Crawley Creatures Ltd.
Model maker, Crawley Creatures Ltd.
Model maker, Crawley Creatures Ltd.
Miniature model supv
Miniature model supv
Set model maker
Set model maker
Set model maker
MAKEUP
Spec makeup, creature crew
Key makeup artist
Key hairstylist
Addl hair & makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod exec
Prod supv
Prod supv
Prod exec
Underwater op
Asst
Dive boat
Scr supv
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Carolco accountant
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst to Mr. Cunningham
Electronic specialist
Video coord
Unit pub
Asst studio mgr
Creature puppeteer
Creature puppeteer
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Casting asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Craft service
Security
First aid
Post-prod facilities furnished by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Body double
COLOR PERSONNEL
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 January 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 13 January 1989
Production Date:
began 28 March 1988
Copyright Claimant:
Carolco Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
6 March 1989
Copyright Number:
PA410590
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo®
Color
Lenses
Camera and lenses provided by Moviecam Super Rentals
Prints
Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
100
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29528
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

“Deepstar Six” is an underwater U.S. Navy installation that is attempting to build a nuclear missile site on the bottom of the ocean. One day McBride and Richardson pilot a small submarine from Deepstar to drop off Joyce Collins, McBride’s girl friend, Burciaga, an engineer of Russian descent, and Hodges, who operates the seacat, an underwater track vehicle, to an underwater platform. Once there, Van Gelder, a civilian engineer, informs Burciaga that he and his assistant, Snyder, moved the missiles onto the site overnight. Burciaga protests they must take soundings to determine if the site is stable. Van Gelder is reluctant, but gives Burgiaga permission before leaving in the submarine. After returning to Deepstar, Richardson, Snyder and Van Gelder join Captain Laidlaw, Diane Norris, the ship’s doctor, and Scarpelli, a petite female marine biologist, for breakfast. When Laidlaw catches Scarpelli working instead of eating, he orders her to take a day off. Richardson offers to spend the day with her, but Laidlaw tells him he has a slew of maintenance jobs waiting for him. Van Gelder orders Snyder to radio topside and Snyder yells that he never gets to finish a meal. Later, Joyce Collins radios Van Gelder to inform him that the soundings showed a huge cavern where the missile site is to go. Fearing more delays, Van Gelder orders her to collapse the cavern with explosives. When Scarpelli hears about the cave she asks Van Gelder to delay the explosion, explaining that there are reports from as early as the 1600s of sea monsters in the area and argues they may live in the cave. ... +


“Deepstar Six” is an underwater U.S. Navy installation that is attempting to build a nuclear missile site on the bottom of the ocean. One day McBride and Richardson pilot a small submarine from Deepstar to drop off Joyce Collins, McBride’s girl friend, Burciaga, an engineer of Russian descent, and Hodges, who operates the seacat, an underwater track vehicle, to an underwater platform. Once there, Van Gelder, a civilian engineer, informs Burciaga that he and his assistant, Snyder, moved the missiles onto the site overnight. Burciaga protests they must take soundings to determine if the site is stable. Van Gelder is reluctant, but gives Burgiaga permission before leaving in the submarine. After returning to Deepstar, Richardson, Snyder and Van Gelder join Captain Laidlaw, Diane Norris, the ship’s doctor, and Scarpelli, a petite female marine biologist, for breakfast. When Laidlaw catches Scarpelli working instead of eating, he orders her to take a day off. Richardson offers to spend the day with her, but Laidlaw tells him he has a slew of maintenance jobs waiting for him. Van Gelder orders Snyder to radio topside and Snyder yells that he never gets to finish a meal. Later, Joyce Collins radios Van Gelder to inform him that the soundings showed a huge cavern where the missile site is to go. Fearing more delays, Van Gelder orders her to collapse the cavern with explosives. When Scarpelli hears about the cave she asks Van Gelder to delay the explosion, explaining that there are reports from as early as the 1600s of sea monsters in the area and argues they may live in the cave. When Van Gelder dismisses the reports as fantasies, she pleads with Laidlaw, but he, too, denies her request. Frustrated, she takes a shower, but the water cuts off before she has finished washing her hair. Richardson steps in and offers to share his water ration with her and they embrace. Meanwhile, Hodges and Osborne use the seacat to set the explosives and withdraw to what they think is a safe distance. However, when Joyce fires the charges, the sea floor collapses and they have to rush back to avoid being sucked in. Joyce orders them to send a tethered probe to determine the cave’s size. After only a few minutes, they lose the probe. Hodges detaches their submersible from the seacat and goes after it. They soon find the probe, but before they can retrieve it, sonar picks up a fast approaching object. Osborne sends a “Mayday” distress call before his radio goes dead. Joyce struggles to reconnect with Osborne when Burciaga reports that their sonar is picking up a huge object heading their way. Joyce radios Deepstar, but before Capt. Laidlaw can get to the radio, the work platform is struck, breaks its moorings, and is pushed to the edge of the crater. Joyce is knocked unconscious and a collapsed steel beam pins Burciaga to the deck as water rushes in. Joyce comes to and, after unsuccessfully trying to move the steel beam, cradles Burciaga’s head in her arms and begs him to stay alive. Discovering the platform’s radio is dead, Laidlaw, Snyder and McBride take the submarine to investigate. Sonar detects a large object approaching. Laidlaw realizes it is a live creature when it changes directions and heads right toward them. He orders McBride to sink to the ocean floor and extinguish the lights until it passes overhead. Upon reaching the work platform, Laidlaw and McBride discover their docking hatch is not working. They use a manual winch to open the hatch as the work platform continues to slide toward the cave. Inside, they discover Burciaga has bled to death. As they climb back toward the submarine, the platform slides, causing the hatch to slam shut and trap Laidlaw. Disobeying orders to leave, Joyce and McBride struggle to open the hatch. Laidlaw presses a button that floods the compartment, forcing Joyce and McBride to rush into the submarine. As they float away, the work platform falls into the cave. Back at the Deepstar, Scarpelli theorizes that the lights attracted the creature, thinking it was a food source. As Diane Norris examines Joyce, she discovers two heartbeats. Joyce tells her and Diane that she is pregnant. There is little time for celebration before Snyder appears and reports they have been ordered to abandon Deepstar. Van Gelder insists they secure the missiles before leaving. Snyder announces he knows what to do and goes to the computer room. He turns on a computer program, which asks why the missiles are being abandoned and offers four possible answers. After radioing Joyce to ask if the creature was aggressive, Snyder presses, “Abandoning due to aggressive forces.” This detonates the missiles, creating shock waves that batter Deepstar. Fires break out and bulkheads rupture, causing flooding. Snyder reports that the air filtration system and the decompression chambers are off line, while Van Gelder announces the nuclear reactor has no coolant and will meltdown in four hours. Joyce determines that if they repair a leak, they can run an air hose from the sick bay to the decompression chambers. However, the leak can only be repaired from outside. Richardson volunteers, but as he finishes welding, he spots the creature. Diane radios Richardson to get to the airlock. When they drag him aboard they discover the lower half of his body is missing. Before they can seal the hatch, the creature, resembling a giant, deformed crab, bursts out of the hatch, partially flooding the room before eating Scarpelli. Snyder, Diane and Van Gelder get out and Snyder slams the hatch shut, trapping McBride and Joyce. Diane pushes Snyder out of the way, opens the hatch and slams it shut as the couple dive in. McBride punches Snyder in the face. Diane points out that they must go back in the room to finish bypassing the decompression line. The remaining crew find three shotguns and a bang stick with a CO2 cartridge and lower themselves into the flooded chamber. McBride finishes the repairs seconds before the creature attacks as Joyce, Diane and Van Gelder open fire with the shotguns. The recoil sends Van Gelder backwards into Snyder’s bang stick and the CO2 cartridge causes his chest to explode. Snyder runs away, but the others hold off the beast until they can get through the hatch. Snyder is so shaken up that Diane gives him a sedative. As the others gather supplies, Snyder hallucinates Van Gelder is coming at him with a bang stick, panics, gets in the escape pod and fires it to the surface. Halfway to the surface, his body explodes from the pressure change. Diane activates the decompression sequence, but realizes they will only have a few minutes after they decompress before the nuclear reactor blows and they have no other escape pod. McBride asks Joyce to marry him and she answers she will marry anyone who will get her off the base. McBride swims through the flooded tunnel to reach the submarine. Back at Deepstar, Diane hears tapping and opens a hatch thinking it must be McBride. When the hatch opens, water pours in along with the creature. It rushes toward Joyce, but Diane switches on a lamp, which causes the creature to change direction. McBride arrives with the submarine, but cannot open the diving chamber hatch due to the pressure difference, and watches the creature slaughter Diane. When the hatch opens, he grabs Joyce and they run to the submarine. The computer tells them decompression has occurred and they speed to the surface, minutes before the reactor explodes. Once topside, Joyce jumps into a life raft, but before McBride can join her, the creature surfaces and knocks him back into the submarine. McBride hits a valve that flushes fuel into the water before igniting it with a flare gun. Joyce drifts away as the submersible and the creature explode. McBride surfaces next to the raft, crawls in and they embrace. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.