Director Mike Mendez praises the Treat Williams-starring aquatic horror film

By Clark Collis
January 21, 2019 at 11:19 AM EST

For sheer unadulterated creature feature fun it’s hard to beat 1998’s Treat Williams-starring Deep Rising. But don’t take my word for it. Take, instead, the word of Trailers from Hell “guru” Mike Mendez who, as the director of both Big Ass Spider! and Lavalantula, knows of what he speaks creature feature-wise.

“Before writer-director Stephen Sommers rose to great success with The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, he wrote and directed [this] very cool monster movie that was a high energy blend of action, comedy, and horror,” says Mendez in the latest clip-offering from the TFH website. “Treat Williams stars in the film as Finnegan, a lovable rogue who along with his crew have been hired to escort a group of heavily-armed mercenaries to hijack a brand new luxury cruiser. The ship is the most expensive ship ever built and is loaded with treasures galore. Unfortunately for the hijackers, they have been left alone with several large man-eating tentacles.

“I think there is a lot that makes this movie very special. For one thing, it’s the type of film we don’t see very often — an A-list B-movie. Meaning, it has all the accoutrements of a big Hollywood film, lavish sets, top-notch stunt work, state-of-the-art special effects, and big Hollywood movie stars. However, it’s still an unapologetic monster movie through and through. It earns its R-rating with some pretty graphic and juicy kills and does not skimp on the blood and gore. The movie features some pretty solid state-of-the-art CG effects for its time but since it was still in the relatively early days of computer graphics there are still a healthy amount of practical effects that really balance out the film nicely. It also has a host of legends working behind the scenes. Let’s start with a fantastic score by the great Jerry Goldsmith. The creature design was brought to us by Rob Bottin, who did… the makeup effects for movies like The Thing and RoboCop and visual effects by Industrial Light & Magic.

“Now, the film was not well-reviewed at the time. Roger Ebert put it on his Most Hated of the Year. Now, with the 4K Blu-ray release [by] Kino Lorber, I’m hoping this movie will find the love it so richly deserves.”

Hear Mendez’s full commentary, above.

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