Up from the Depths (1979)

  • Year: 1979
  • Released: 30 Aug 1984
  • Country: United States
  • Adwords: N/A
  • IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080066/
  • Rotten Tomatoes: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/up_from_the_depths
  • Metacritics:
  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: English
  • MPA Rating: R
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
  • Runtime: 85 min
  • Writer: Alfred M. Sweeney, Anne Dyer
  • Director: Charles B. Griffith
  • Cast: Sam Bottoms, Susanne Reed, Virgil Frye
  • Keywords: hawaii, shark attack, tourist, shark, tourists in peril,
9% – Critics
9% – Audience

Up from the Depths Storyline

A series of mysterious aquatic attacks indicate the presence of some huge, previously unknown giant species of shark that has risen to the surface and is preying on tourists, fishermen, researchers, etc. A local beachcomber and scam artist, Sullivan, will have to put out to sea to defeat it.—

Up from the Depths Photos

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Up from the Depths Movie Reviews

Fish don’t walk! Fish don’t run, either!

The price we paid for the success of “Jaws” was a heavy one, with so many other aquatic killer animal features released in the subsequent years. The “Jaws” spoof “Piranha” is one of the better ones, by far. This is one of the lesser ones. It’s a crude, ineffective, even boring “thriller” about a prehistoric monster fish released from imprisonment in the sea after an underwater earthquake. It proceeds to feast upon locals and visitors in the area, including patrons of a resort. Ultimately, many expeditions are launched to find and destroy the fishy menace.

It’s hard to care much about this trite story, especially when the presentation, and characters, are so lacking in interesting features. Granted, it does get a shade more amusing once the frequency of fish attacks increases. Special effects are as crude as you could imagine – the more you see of the predator, the more unconvincing and laughable it looks. Attack scenes feature a lot of fake blood in the water, and splashing, but choppy editing where you really don’t see very much. Voyeurs will appreciate the amount of female flesh displayed.

Fortunately, the atmosphere and flavor of the location (although set in Hawaii, it was shot in the Philippines) help to make it tolerable. Unfortunately, a lot of the acting is incredibly amateurish. Susanne Reed (‘Code R’) is a gorgeous, sexy leading lady, but the less said about her performance, the better. However, she’s not the worst offender. That dishonor belongs to Kedric Wolfe (“Forbidden Zone”), who’s utterly annoying as the high strung resort manager. Familiar faces Sam Bottoms (“Apocalypse Now”), as the young hero, and Virgil Frye (“Revenge of the Ninja”), as his scruffy, surly uncle, do what they can; Frye tends to steal the show.

Only recommended to people who just CAN’T get enough of this genre.

Four out of 10.

It was worse than you know

I played the photographer in this torpid screecher. One reason the dialog is so stilted, is that somehow the sound track and the written script were lost. Weeks after we’d finished shooting, some of us “actors” assembled in a theater to watch silent clips, try to remember what we’d said, and dub that in. It’s ad libbed, and the reason some people sound like others is that we dubbed for more than ourselves. The underwater scenes (I was shooting a topless babe named “Iris Lee” when the monster ate her, then ate me) were filmed in about 25′ of water over a South China Sea reef, but the budget did not provide breathing apparatus for me. They gave me a mask and the 2nd stage of a SCUBA regulator with a red garden hose taped to it, told me to “act like I was breathing.” At -15′, with the most horrendous hangover I ever had. Then, the underwater camera not having been tested, the cinematographer shot everything off frame. When that was discovered, they inserted the red dye in an aquarium “death scene” from “Pirhana” and made do. There are shots of the ominous fin cruising cross-scene; you can see the wake of the outrigger canoe pulling it. There was a guy sitting inside the “fish” guiding it with a joystick; one afternoon he hit the reef, fell out the open side, and put his arm on a lionfish. VERY bad thing, the arm swelled to the size of his thighs and turned black but the Batangas Provincial hospital saved his life. Next day they moved him to a cheaper hospital! There was a lot more stuff, as you’d expect from a movie that opens with a pig intestine draped over someone’s shoulders. I rated it 10 because as terrible movies go, it excels. It is so bad I think it deserves to be right down there with the Bush presidency. Chuck Griffiths and most of the actors in the film were great people. Chuck is far more talented than this movie allows him to show, and I’d like to visit with Suzanne Reed and Kedric Wolfe again some day, see how they’ve gotten along. Joe Cantrell

stupid and aggravating

Griffith, Corman’s muse on masterpieces like “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Bucket of Blood”, tries his hand at directing for a change at the behest of Cirio “Vampie Hookers” Santiago. Guess what, it’s a Jaws ripoff, and it’s set in Hawaii. Instead of Roy Scheider we get one rather gorgeous woman romping around and clashing with, not the corrupt mayor, but the fershlugginer resort manager, a mind-boggling, thrashing and mincing performance by some guy (Virgil Frye?) Every once in a while there are incomprehensible quick-cut sequences of crap happening underwater including this inflatable fish with Dorito teeth. The climax involves blowing the fish up by completing a circuit by reaching into the giant fish’s mouth and connecting two wires. Just like in real life! Don’t ask for an explanation. Stupid, yes, and amusing as such, but also kind of aggravating.