Quarantine Post #64: Deep Blue Sea

Since I have been seeing a lot of talk about it on Twitter, I decided to rewatch Deep Blue Sea. I remember watching with with my family as a kid back when it came out in 1999. All of my siblings and I laugh about it to this day… So I figured… why not give it another go. Head over to Netflix to check it out. I thought I remembered much more of the movie than I did… I do remember not liking the main doctor chick… because she did not see anything wrong with how many lives were lost in the name of her research. But let’s get the rundown of the movie for those that don’t know…

Deep Blue Sea is a 1999 American science fiction horror film. It stars Saffron Burrows, Thomas Jane, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Rapaport, and LL Cool J. Set in an isolated underwater facility, the film follows a team of scientists and their research on mako sharks to help fight Alzheimer’s disease. The situation plunges into chaos when multiple genetically engineered sharks go on a rampage and flood the facility because what else could have happened here…. It was a classic B movie… Something to watch when it came on television on the weekend. But in this pandemic… it has had a resurgence thanks to streaming services. So let’s do my reactions to a rewatch of this film. If you haven’t seen this film.. I mean… it have been over 20 years…but nonetheless spoiler alert.

  • So we start the movie with a shark attacking teenagers on a boat… because why not? They all make it out alive because Carter manages to get back the escaped shark… In a remote underwater facility, doctors Susan McCallister and Jim Whitlock are conducting research on mako sharks to help in the re-activation of dormant human brain cells like those found in Alzheimer’s disease patients. Does that make any sense to you? No? Me either but hell I have heard stranger things. After the shark escapes the facility financial backers send corporate executive Russell Franklin to investigate the facility. Why not pull the plug? Because that would be too easy. Gotta love Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Susan wants 48 hours to prove that this research is viable. None of the researchers seem to like that Russell is there poking around. The underground facility is a maze and maybe it is just me…. what made them think they could keep the sharks from escaping in the first place? They put fences in the middle of the ocean…. *shrug* sure.
  • LL Cool J and this parrot are killing me… but not for the reason you think. This man is preparing meals with a bird in the kitchen? I have questions… actually nevermind… I don’t. I also don’t want any of that food. Pets/animals don’t go in the kitchen while you’re cooking. They have a birthday celebration for Susan… and of course there is a storm rolling in as if being trapped in the middle of the ocean with genetically enhanced sharks wasn’t bad enough.
  • Here is where shit really hits the fan. Let me tell you, you can usually gauge who is going to go first in movies like this… there is always a person with a God Complex… I knew when Samuel L. Jackson said something about “What in God’s creation…?” And the smug doctor responds with “Not his creation, mine.” Insert eyeroll. The doctor gets his arm bitten off for his trouble. Can’t say I felt bad about it.

  • Susan is not a likeable at all. (She was warned about her experiment by Carter… She pushes on because they will all be out of work otherwise. No matter that kids were almost killed by a problem you created.) The thing on her mind when Jim’s bleeding out is that the shark is not killed solidifying the idea that she is definitely okay with sacrificing people if it means that she gets what she wants in the end. They are trying to get Jim emergency assistance while a storm is rolling in…. and it is a disaster… it just left me wondering… was this the only plan they had in case of emergencies? Brenda Kerns, the tower’s operator, calls a helicopter that braves heavy rain and strong winds to evacuate Jim, but as he is being lifted, the cable jams, dropping Jim and his stretcher into the shark pen. The largest shark grabs the stretcher and pulls the helicopter into the tower, killing Brenda and the pilots, as well as causing massive explosions that severely damage the facility. I did not have shark pulls helicopter out of the air on my bingo card. Maybe it was too long ago for me… but I did not remember that at all.

  • In the laboratory, Susan, Russell, wrangler Carter, marine biologist Janice Higgins, and engineer Tom Scoggins witness the shark smash the stretcher against the laboratory’s main window, which then shatters, drowning Jim and flooding the facility. Sharks out for revenge? I mean… what did Jim do to them anyway. Took the guy while still on the stretcher attached to the helicopter and then trying to give him back to the crew in dramatic fashion. But no one watches these movies because they make sense.

  • Russell asks Carter why the sharks are behaving like they have a vendetta. Short answer? Because they do. Long Answer… Carter tries to explain that the sharks are after them… and when Russell pushes Susan to reveal that she and Jim  genetically engineered the sharks to increase their brain size, as they were not large enough to harvest sufficient amounts of the protein complex; this had the side effect of making them smarter and more deadly. (No one else on the team was apparently knew anything about it… ) So this extremely dangerous situation they are in… is her fault… the other are too nice to her. I would have definitely punched her. Janice calling her a BITCH didn’t soothe me nearly enough. Susan was defiant in the face of questioning… as though all that matters is her research. Thank Goodness Carter told her about herself… I still think she deserved a punch or at least an open hand slap. I mean what kind of scientist doesn’t think… if we make something’s brain bigger… I may get smarter… I question her PH.D.
  • The group goes to the facility’s wet entry, where they plan to take a submersible to escape. When the group reaches the wet entry, they discover that the submersible has been damaged. These sharks are really playing with these people… Someone nutty suggests that they swim to the top… I think it was Carter… And I swear he was my favorite to that point. What would make you think that I could swim faster than a shark… especially one that you have altered. Scoggins proposes an alternative that Susan doesn’t like… but who cares what she likes… She didn’t care what anyone else thought either. There is a lot of in fighting as the group tries to figure out which escape route to take… Russell takes control of the room… only for him to be eaten the most hilarious and dramatic fashion. His speech is something that my siblings and I quote all the time.
  • LL Cool J on the other hand is having a tough time. That man just wanted to make breakfast but no… In the kitchen, it starts to flood… He was warned when the Parrot took the hell off. Why did he not go with? No clue. The sharks swim in the kitchen looking for food. And forced LL into to take refuge in an oven. But not before eating his shit talking parrot. Something about this is hilarious… reminds me of the show Frasier… when Nile’s bird was saying rude shit. You have to laugh at LL Cool J having to climb into the oven to keep from being eaten. The Shark ends up trying to bake him… but he manages to hack his way out of the oven… and exacts revenge on the shark that ate his bird. Large gratuitous explosion… It was the oddest thing to watch but let me tell you… I would have been a dead duck. There is no way that I would have been able to jump out over the damn shark that is trying to kill me. And I damn sure would not have been able to make it to the top.

  • The remaining group decides to go with Scoggins plan… to climb up the elevator shaft at the risk of destabilizing the pool. As they climb, explosive tremors cause the ladder to break, and Janice loses her grip and falls into the shark-infested water. Despite Carter’s attempt to save her, one of the two remaining sharks drags Janice under, killing and devouring her. Poor Janice… by this point I believe Susan has lasted too long. She caused all of this. LL Cool J then makes his way to the elevator shaft, where he encounters Carter, Tom, and Susan. Carter and Tom go to the flooded laboratory to activate a control panel that drains a stairway to the surface, while Susan heads to her room to collect her research material. (Because with all the people that died… the research is all that mattered to her.) Carter and Tom reach the control panel, but the largest shark storms in, killing and ripping Tom apart, and sabotaging the controls. In the other room, Susan encounters another shark, and electrocutes it with a power cable, destroying her research in the process.

  • Poor Scoggins died the way he didn’t want to with his leg still twitching. Now… I would like to point out that Susan seems more on board to kill the sharks… but she had the option to do so early on… After regrouping, Carter, Susan, and LL go to a decompression chamber and swim to the surface. LL gets caught by the shark… He had to help himself. (Apparently… he is called Preacher.) I should have known that… He had been talking to God all throughout the movie. Poetic Justice… is when he stabs the shark in the eye with his crucifix, though he escapes with injuries to his leg. (It was a pretty large crucifix.) Russell asked earlier in the movie what a Shark thinks about with no known predators. Carter puts it together towards the end. The Sharks want freedom. They purposely made the humans flood the facility so they try to escape through the weaker mesh fences at the surface. Carter comes up with a plan to kill the last shark but she is on the verge of escaping into open water. Susan actually steps up. I was surprised…. She essentially is jumping to her death… (Again… I want to point out she wouldn’t have had to do this… if she shot the sharks in the first place.) In an effort to distract the shark from escaping to the open sea, Susan deliberately cuts her hand and dives into the water. Although she manages to distract the shark with her blood, she is unable to get out of the water, and is devoured, despite Carter’s efforts to save her. (I am not sure I felt sad at her demise. It was nice that she tried to fix the issue she had a hand in creating… Would have been nice… before people started dropping like flies.)

  • That leaves Carter and LL… Carter is trying to dodge being eaten by the last shark… That leaves LL to try and harpoon the shark. While Carter is grabbing hold of the shark’s dorsal fin, Preacher shoots the shark with a harpoon, but also pierces Carter’s thigh. Poor Carter… He was harpooned… and was a bit too put together after that… As the shark breaks through the fence, Carter orders LL to connect the trailing wire to a battery, sending an electric current through the wire and to an explosive charge in the harpoon, killing the shark. This is a bit of a weird way to kill the shark. I know younger me that was impressed. In the end, Carter reveals that he had managed to free himself in time, and joins Preacher to see a workers’ boat en route on the horizon.

So all in all this was still good… a little more funny and goofy than I remember. Shoutout to LL for making to the end. He is still getting praised for that decades later… I mean that just does not happen for us. I love this movie like I love the Jurassic Park franchise. You know things are going to go wrong… you know people are going to be eaten… and you settle in with your popcorn anyway. Solid movie. Especially for a Saturday night on the couch.

If you have seen it… drop a comment. Let me know your thoughts. If you have not seen it… it is on Netflix… grab some popcorn and a drink and settle in.

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