It was only a matter of time…

The B Action Movie Thread has been a gargantuan mainstay of this site for several years. So, in our continued efforts to dominate the internet in every conceivable way, here is a weekly column. A digest, if you will. Dig in and we’ll see you in the thread!





Mike here with all of the essential knowledge you need to know about the B Action Movie Thread this week from page 1442 to 1446.

Special thanks to The Perfect Weapon for this opening image, a hilariously arbitrary (and not faked) juxtaposition of three very diverse legends. Dig Clint’s Pee-wee Herman bow tie.

He also graced us with this not moments later:



Moving along, Jon M. Chu, the director of G.I. Joe 2 who also made that Justin Bieber documentary and the Step Up sequels (real encouraging credentials), is all about “grittiness” in the sequel, according to Moltisanti’s article post late last Thursday:

There’s a reality to Joe, there’s like a grittiness to Joe; when I would burn them and their arm would fall off, the story would revolve around the guy whose arm fell off. It was about how each figurine had their own special accessory that was a part of their identity… It was always that detail, that grittiness that I feel like if Joe had it in there, it would be a totally different movie and have a totally different feel. So I approached them about what that would be like, and they loved the idea. And they had a script that was close, and we’re going now in and making it the way it should be. And the script they have is really good, actually, so we now want to build in a few more things that will make it even better.

Moltisanti on the matter: “Channing Tatum returning might be a little easier to accept if the opening scene features Duke’s burnt arm falling off.” If you remember our proposals for Randy Couture to die a ridiculous death at the beginning of The Expendables 2 from the first podcast, this is pretty similar and honest ground.

Speaking of The Expendables, we’re sad to learn Sly definitely won’t be directing this time, but Gabe T broke news that the always reliable Thomas Jane would be teaming up with Sly for Headshot, Walter Hill’s big return to the big screen.

Better yet, Tyler Foster broke news that Warner Bros. would be unleashing four Stallone titles on Blu-ray August 16—Demolition Man, The Specialist, Assassins, and last week’s wondrous featured film, Cobra, and surely “Angel of the City” will never sound better, and the Stallone/Stone sex scene will never look more atrociously grotesque as erotica. Apologies to the three Driven fans in the world that didn’t get their satisfaction.

Jane on Headshot: “He’s a hitman, I’m a cop, and we’re just opposite in every f*cking way, and we need each other to get this job done. And of course I’m like, ‘As soon as this job’s over, I’m going to take you to jail, you know, you’re a killer.”

Moltisanti also provides us with the cover for the French graphic novel it’s based on:



The American translation, Bullet in the Head, is due in trade paperback form next month.

Back on track, Jon M. Chu’s G.I. Joe 2 comments were met with cynicism from other posters:

wadew1: John Chu seems like a really deep dude. I can’t wait to sit through 90 nerve wracking minutes of GI JOE 2: PHANTOM LIMB SYNDROME.

felix: A GI JOE sequel without hot babes? That’s a nonstarter for me as well.

Barkatthemoon: if Sienna Miller and Rachel Nichols are out, my interest is very low.

duke fleed: Barkatthemoon, felix, Well, maybe Jon Chu will cast…New, hot babes as Joes and Cobras.  How about…Rachel Weisz as Lady Jaye?  Maybe…Milla Jovovich, could be the…New Baroness!  However it happens, I would not be surprised to see attractive gals along with the male G.I. Joes.






Wadew1 breaks a new image of Baraka in the Mortal Kombat web series, who seems to resemble a GWAR reject:


Get a load of Baraka from the GRIM N’ GRITTY Mortal Kombat web series. His face looks like a slightly modified  “scary old lady” halloween mask.


Tyler was also kind enough to turn me onto Slash and Dine, a new online column over at Brutal as Hell, where the lovely Nicole and Megan cook up genre-related dishes based around certain films, and they just highlighted They Live, which I very much encourage checking out.

The Perfect Weapon, among other patrons, got to spend a special night with Edward James Olmos:

It turns out that he’s a really loquacious person, to say the least. The Q&A he did lasted for a little more than an hour and a half! That’s why the later movie I wanted to see went out the window when the Q&A lasted until like 11:15 PM. I got back a little after midnight and had a quick bite to eat before dicking around online… then I finally logged onto here.

But I don’t mind. I pretty much made an extra 10 dollar donation to the FFF (which I don’t mind doing) and it was great listening to him talk for that long.

He spoke to the sold out crowd at the Enzian for a few minutes before the film started. That joint is a place where you order food and they serve it to you while the movie takes place, and some of the seats are comfy chairs, so it’s nice to watch movies there. As for Stand and Deliver, I hadn’t seen it before, but it’s a quality biopic about the late teacher Jaime Escalante, who through some wacky methods was able to teach complex math such as calculus to inner-city kids in L.A. I enjoyed the movie and it was a great performance from Edward James Olmos.

Afterwards was the long Q&A. He talked about a variety of things, from more info about Stand and Deliver to his background and life in L.A. to his social activism and he stated that, among other things:

* Selena was the most difficult film he worked on.

* He really enjoyed Zoot Suit (I don’t remember if it was here or on another board I frequent, but I remember someone really pimping that once)

* He briefly mentioned Wolfen, but sad to say he didn’t mention Talent for the Game, the movie where the now iconic image people sometimes post in this thread came from.

* His Blade Runner talk mainly was about his character and the language he spoke. According to him, one of the phrases he stated in the movie was Hungarian for “big horse dick!”

* He ended it by talking about Battlestar Galactica. That’s a show I’ve never watched, but I know it has many hardcore fans. He was proud of the show and how it was intelligent instead of being all about creatures.

* One of the questions asked from the crowd was rather interesting. The chick sitting next to me (no, it wasn’t anyone I knew) got on her iPhone during the Q&A and asked Lou Diamond Phillips on Twitter a question to ask. No bullshit. By the way, I think it’s great Lou Diamond Phillips is on Twitter. It turns out that the two recently did another film together, a low-budget movie still in post-production called Filly Brown.

Oh yeah, and the best for last… his experience with Miami Vice. He mentioned how it took a lot of effort from Michael Mann to even get him on the show, as he wanted creative control over his character and he wanted to take off time whenever to work on various projects. Finally, Mann agreed to those terms. He mentioned that recently he met up Philip Michael Thomas for the first time since the show ended. No kidding. Then, he finished by talking about how in his first day on set, he and Don Johnson had a big blowup over their first scene together over a minor thing. Also, I’m sure it’s been noted before somewhere but in the first ten episodes he appeared on, he never looked Crockett or Tubbs in the eye. That’s a thing to look out for.

So yeah, I really enjoyed the night.

Oh wait, I almost forgot. After I left the auditorium I really had to pee. I mean, I had to since the Q&A started, to be honest. It must have been the obscure hard cider I had while watching the movie. So I go into the men’s room and the nearest urinal. I look over into a stall and via recognizing his nice shoes, I knew that Admiral Adama also had to really relieve himself. You see, for the movie and the Q&A, I was lucky in that I sat almost dead center in the auditorium, first row, only like 10 feet away from The Olmos. That was pretty great.

We also, unfortunately, got some life-imitating-art news that Nicolas Cage was arrested in New Orleans for “one count of domestic abuse, one count of public drunkenness and one count of disturbing the peace.” In other words, overacting.

Fat Elvis persists with the parade of crazy obscure movies, like Bruce Dern in Tattoo:

TATTOO is kind of a TAXIDRIVER by way of MISERY (or more aptly THE COLLECTOR).  Bruce Dern is a Vietnam vet with a troubled past who becomes obsessed with tattoos while overseas.  When he returns home, he becomes respectable enough at his craft as a tattoo artist  to be hired to paint fake tattoos on models for a fashion photo shoot. (This offends his sensibilities, but he agrees)  It is here that he meets supermodel Maud Adams, and she finds herself drawn to his strength, ignoring his oddness and his overbearing relationship ideals.  However, we the audience see that he is more than just an odd duck.  He has a dark side, walking the streets of Times Square at night, going all TIGHTROPE, immersing himself in the sleaze and debauchery.  Soon the dual lives that he’s leading becomes blurred, and, after she pulls a Cybil Shepherd and tries to break it off and get the hell away from him, he ends up kidnapping her. Determined to show his love to her the only way he knows how, by creating his ultimate masterpiece–turning her body into a canvas, covering her completely in tattoos.

It’s an unusual movie, to  say the least. Creepy and uncomfortable. And it contains what might be Bruce Dern’s best performance. He’s playing another psycho, but his brilliance here, is never completely losing our sympathies, even while showing himself to be completely disturbed and reprehensible.

I don’t wanna say I needed a shower afterwards, but the movie does give us the special treat of a Bruce Dern masturbation scene. Yikes, indeed!


And James Brolin getting his Dirty Harry on in Night of the Juggler, which Twitch Reflex had raves about earlier this week:

Drop what you’re doing and find a copy of Night of the Juggler.

It’s a shotgun blast of the Bad Good Old Days of NYC that would have made a killer B feature paired with Taking of Pelham 123.

James Brolin IS a truck drivin’ ex cop who wants nothing more than to surprise his daughter with hotdogs in lieu of cake for her birthday. Too bad his daughter is kidnapped in broad daylight in Central Park, or they would of had a nice birthday night at the ballet.

Dan Hadaya IS a detective with a major axe to grind with Brolin. How big a grudge? Hadaya doesn’t care at all about the kidnapping, he’s busy unload a shotgun into busy, skeezy 42nd street at Brolin and not give a fuck. He just wants Brolin dead or at least wrecked.

Richard Castellano IS pretty much playing his Godfather role of Peter Clemenza with a badge. He’s a Major Crimes guy who takes the time to investigate what hell yogurt is with a backlog of cases. This kidnapping is just another layer of annoyance for him.

Mandy Patinkin IS a motormouth cabbie who probably has more lines in his 2 minutes than most of the major characters.

What’s great about the film is how NYC jams Brolin up every step of the way to the point that he’ll have to outrun or fight cops, bouncers at peep shows, or entire street gangs! Brolin steps off the train in the Bronx and boom, he’s already on a gang’s shitlist. It also has probably the best foot-to-car chase I never knew about.

Elvis’s take:

One Hell of a rollercoaster ride! A movie where New York City is a character itself: sleazy and scary; a decaying Babylon full of darkness that’ ll kill you and swallow your soul.  James Brolin (never better) is an everyman swept into a nightmare of  urban terror where not only is his daughter kidnapped in broad daylight, but he is chased by a shotgun-blasting, cop with a grudge (Dan Hedaya in super scuzzbucket mode) and a swarming gang straight out of THE WARRIORS. This movie is unrelenting and suspenseful from the opening manic car chase to the desperate in the sewers foot pursuit finale. Whether lost amongst the rubble of the Bronx or getting beat up in a Times Square peep show, the movie doesn’t let you catch your breath.

Moltisanti stumbles across this automatic winner of a yukfest at “a local retail establishment,” left anonymous probably because no store would be proud to stock it:


“Also features Taylor ‘Milo’ Negron,” he wryly adds.


Jox has news on the new Dolph Lundgren fitness book, Dolph Lundgren: Fit Forever, hitting in August…but you’ll have to get it through a Swedish merchant as there’s no international release announced yet.



Moltisanti pays another visit to a B Action classic, No Escape:

Hadn’t seen it in a good 15 years and I liked it a lot more now than I did back then, though I can’t really think of why I didn’t like it much back then to begin with.

Liotta was a credible action lead here, but it’s Stuart Wilson who really is a hoot to watch. Totally makes up for his not so memorable bad guy in LETHAL WEAPON 3.

Forgot how savage this flick was. The big beheading scene I remembered but there’s tons of brutal demises all over the film, my favorite being the “insider” that gets a flaming arrow in the mouth.

Hope it comes to Blu-ray, read a little about the DVD and by all counts it’s an atrocious transfer.

S.D. Bob Plissken backs Moltisanti up that he revisited as well and loved, so check it out if you already haven’t.

Rene sparks a discussion on Body Heat, only for Duke Fleed to declare this as “not [his] cup of…Tea!”

Nathan posts some crazy (awesome) Hong Kong action trailers:


Jason Statham has scored a side job in anticipation of The Expendables 2 as Donald Westlake’s (Richard Stark) PARKER, following in the footsteps of Marvin, Gibson, and Duvall, under the direction of Taylor Hackford.

Rene posts word that Arnold Schwarzenegger, even with his movie career looking at its big return, is sad to be getting old.


Walker discovers Sydney Pollack’s best film, The Yakuza:

My crab sushi just got delievered to my door, and I just popped this movie in my DVD player. I think it’s pretty fitting and might make a good double feature with thread favorite Black Rain, eh?


I saw Sea of Love for the first time and got this hilarious screenshot of Al Pacino and Richard Jenkins in a slapping fight:


And some thoughts on its director, Harold Becker:

Erix: City Hall is fucking boring. Malice is half of a very good potboiler and half terrible.

There is one reason you should see Mercury Rising. But only for that one reason.

Domestic Disturbance is really silly but it has this old fashioned 1950s WB programmer quality to it that some might find endearing.

Overall, Harold Becker has had a strange career. He started out making these serious films and then, in the 90s, something just…happened. Can’t put my finger on it but those 4 films you listed don’t seem to be the work of the director of The Onion Field or even Sea Of Love.

Well… Mercury Rising does. But only for one reason.

(Editor’s note – The “reason” in question involves a rather intriguing ‘director’s trademark’ for Becker. I don’t really want to spoil it and would instead recommend that readers partake in a little double feature of Sea Of Love and Mercury Rising – don’t worry… it’s not THAT bad and it has Bruce Willis and some action – watching those two films back-to-back will make evident what I am talking about. …. One hint – it has something to do with awnings.)

Walker: The Onion Field is a bitter piece of medicine to watch, but it’s damn good medicine. Funny how Rene says Sea of Love doesn’t go the “Cop says V For Vendetta to avenge partner’s murder” because The Onion Field is how shit really does down when that sadness happens for real.

Poor George Dzunda ? (and yeah, it’s fucked up but…)

Poor Ted Danson AND poor John Savage.

The Onion Field is the only Wambaugh I’ve ever read, but it’s a strong contender for best true crime book against In Cold Blood. I hold Capote’s novel in high regard, and I’m saying this easily.

Brandon Routh fights a rubbery demon, courtesy of wadew1:



The Perfect Weapon pays tribute to Sidney Lumet and watches Serpico for the first time:

Well, tonight I finally watched the movie Serpico. I recorded it off of TCM sometime last year, and I pretty much stumbled on it, so I figured this month would be appropriate to have a viewing of it.

Needless to say, it’s a quality piece of filmmaking that I greatly enjoyed. I don’t need to brag about the movie in these circles, but I am glad I finally sat my ass down and watched the movie. It was interesting to have a serious take on the sort of corruption issues with the NYPD that were brought up in a more comedic movie in the Fat Elvis favorite The Super Cops.

I was amused by some of things I saw in Serpico. I appreciated that blonde and I didn’t complain about her appearing topless. But, I got a huge laugh out* of the scene about a half hour in involving Serpico and that other officer playing peeping tom in the bathroom at the police station, lights off, when James Tolkan (looking pretty much the same as he did in the 80’s) walked in and accused him of being a homosexual in a hilarious way, unleashing such lines as, “In the shithouse, in the dark! Were you going down on him?”, “Were you sucking his COCK?”, and “Last week, I found a pair of shorts with SEMEN on them!”

I truly was not expecting to experience that scene.

Relative newcomer BlabedAboutMars sparks a hilarious talk on funny faces by character actors, lots of them are very amusing. But we get the most mileage out of the legendary Ric Young.


I need to see every role of his just for the evolution of his face, or in most cases the de evolution of his face ,” he says of his passion to him.


wadew1: He’s Hollywood’s go-to “creepy evil Asian pervert”.



There’s also more faces of Ric Young, like holding a big gun (courtesy of Rene):


Rene: The B-Action Movie Thread: The only place where you will find a serious discussion about Asian character actor Ric Young, accompanied by pictures of him.

Moltisanti provides a choice shot of him in American Gangster:


…and Erix reveals he had his own trading card:


Moltisanti remembers one of Young’s most memorable turns:

Apparently Ric Young was also in BOOTY CALL. I don’t remember him in that at all, though all I really remember about BOOTY CALL is when Tommy Davidson fights with that dog over the condom. Hilarious, man.

The Young discussion also sparks a discussion of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom:

Rene: I’ve never understood the hate for Temple Of Doom. My Dad (being the supreme genius he is at Fathering) turned what should have been frightening (The heart ripping scene) into something funny, when he would tickle me and say “Indy, cover your heart!” I never got frightened by it ever again. Though it was years until I could see the “Wrath Of God” scene from Raiders in it’s entirety. The SS Nazi’s face melt was so unsettling to me. I could deal with the Belloq’s head explosion, and the other Nazi’s face melt, but the slow looking melting, coupled with the glasses falling off always made me turn away.

Tyler: Earlier this year I revisited TEMPLE OF DOOM, and, for the first time, really appreciated how good some of it is. I don’t think it’s perfect — it achieves overall high marks but is still a major case of high peaks outweighing deep valleys (the valleys being the “annoying” factor of Short Round and Willie Scott) — but I liked it more than I ever have before.

S.D. Bob Plissken: Short Round is the greatest child sidekick of all time and I would kill for them to bring the character back if they make another one.  Who needs Shia when you already had a perfectly awesome “son” to begin with?  The dude even still looks and sounds the same, though he is mostly a fight choreographer these days.  I love the hell out of Temple of Doom.  Raiders is a classic.  That said, Temple and Crusade are excellent sequels in my book and all form an amazing trilogy.  Kingdom was beyond subpar though.  I really hope that if Indy V happens, that it is closer in quality to the first two sequels.  I’m not expecting another Raiders.  I just want something on par with the other two.

Bluelouboyle has seen Van Damme’s latest reality-TV antics:

Not sure if anyone is still watching JCVD behind closed doors. News to me, but just before Christmas he filmed SNAKEYES for John Hyams. It looks like a cross between UNDISPUTED and KICKBOXER, with Van Damme as the prison martial arts guru training a young noble Asian inmate who gets beat up a lot.

Other highlights include a Drunk Van Damme singing ‘My Way’ at a Christmas eve party, breaking down while proclaiming he has to fight again and be a warrior and partying in Dubai with dodgy Kasakh oil barons. Plus a look at his plans to build a house for all the dogs he has collected over the years.

He also visits a hip specialist who tells him not to include roundhouses in his training for the fight as they are bad for him. Not suprised, he is still very flexible but his knees crunch loudly when he squats.

Apart from these titbits the show is a bit dull though. I fast-forward anything with his wife and kids.

On the plus side, his manservant Sheldon Lettich shows up and they discuss Belgian chocolates.



I woke up not long before I was supposed to pick up my girlfriend, as she had text me earlier that we should go see Hall Pass. So we saw it, and I have to say it was very entertaining, gents. Hilarious, and that Australian babe has a nice pair. …. It was worth the discount price.

Revisited the Halloween II remake earlier, and I still think it’s a solid remake, and MUCH better than the wet crap that was the remake of the first one. ….. Plus it’s got the awesome Richard Brake as an ambulance attendant with corpse fucking on the mind, Charlie Utter from Deadwood as the driver of the ambulance, and later on in the film, Duane Whitaker and Mark Boone Junior show up as brothers. If ever there was perfect casting, this was it.

Revisiting Dick Tracy right now. What else can I say about this movie? It’s perfect. I love it, and it will always be one of my favorite films. I still remember … begging my parents to take me to go see it. Which of course, they did.

Right now we’re watching a movie from The Asylum called MILF. It’s them putting out a teen comedy …. it’s been making me laugh for all the right reasons ….. Not bad. Not bad at all.

I’ve never seen Body Heat, but it’s really good.  ….. there’s Richard Crenna brandishing a pistol and only wearing white boxer shorts, so we can see his salt and pepper chest hair in all its glory.

I was scanning through the expiring movies on Netflix Instant, and came across A River Runs Through It. Decided to finally give it a spin. Not bad so far. Sheffer was on a roll in the early 90’s, then nothing. … Sheffer should have a comeback. I think he deserves it.

30 Days Of Night – That’s one of the only recent vampire movies that I can think of that’s actually good.


* * * *

And so, with the preliminaries out of the way, we continue giving some much deserved attention to the career of George P. Cosmatos – an unsung craftsman of great B Movie entertainment.




“The Greatest Movie About Undersea Horror Ever Made”

I’ve been a big fan of Leviathan since about 1994 when I saw it as the Saturday afternoon movie on CBS. It had Robocop, Winston Zeddemore, Marv, the girl from The Flash tv series, EviLyn from Masters Of The Universe, and Col. Trautman. I was instantly hooked. Not the least was a really weird promo that I saw before the movie started that cut in and out of broadcast, but if it was an error on the station’s part, or if that’s the way it was cut, I was already anticipating it. Even though it was a tv version, it still packed the visceral punch that I was expecting.

I got the vhs tape several years later, and caught it whenever it was on tv. Leviathan was a movie that had this special connection to me. It could probably be also that when I saw The Abyss it wasn’t Leviathan. In 1999 when I finally saw Deepstar Six, that that was certainly not Leviathan. Neither of those films could match this movie. Of the 3 movies that came out in 1989 that were underwater sci-fi/horror films, Leviathan is the clear winner for me. It’s very entertaining, and has nothing to do with a giant crustacean, or water angels. It’s about friggin’ monsters that come out of mutagen laced Vodka!

Around 2006, I got Leviathan on dvd, and it was this same dvd that years later I got autographed by Ernie Hudson. The movie does so much right. It’s plot is pretty straightforward with a bit of a minor twist (They put it in the Vodka!) and from there, it’s body horror on a Cronenberg level, delivered by George Pan Cosmatos.


Cosmatos reunites with the star of his first North American production, Peter Weller, along with Richard Crenna from Rambo: First Blood Part II. The rest of the cast is new, and I know I had forgotten to talk about Hector Elizondo, but his role is still one of importance, and his transformation is one of the scariest.

Weller plays a Geologist working for a mining company run by Meg Foster and her sexy haunting eyes. The crew in the underwater installation is only down to a few days, and the day before pick up, the colorful character named Six Pack (Daniel Stern sporting his Marv look, one year before he became famous for it) finds a wrecked ship aptly named Leviathan, and a safe that contains personal effects of the deceased crew, along with a video log of the captain, and a bottle, as well as a flask containing Vodka. Luckily the doctor in the crew, played by Crenna, can speak and read Russian, so he does the translating in the video and on the personal effects. Six Pack pockets the flask without anyone noticing, and that’s when things begin to change.


Apparently the Russians were experimenting with altering the genetic structure of man so man could live underwater. Instead of Aquaman, they became CATFISHFACES! Along with melting together in some H.P. Lovecraftesque monsters.

Leviathan is a really good time. I started a thread on it back in 2008 on the CHUD message board, and it became a lively thread with lots of people talking about it, but it also led to talk there and in The B-Action Thread about Leviathan vs. Deepstar Six. Leviathan is as recognizable in The B-Action Thread as The Rookie. In no small part because of neoolong’s one man support group for Deepstar Six. I still find that film to be boring, and Leviathan is the clear winner in that battle.

Everyone in the film seems to be having lots of fun with their roles. Stern plays Six Pack as a total sleazebag who has pictures of Penthouse Pets on his wall and says “SIT ON MAH FACE!” and shows up in the dining room wearing a bathrobe and his boxer shorts, smacks Hector Elizondo on the ass with his dirty magazine, and has Lisa Eilbacher say “WOO! Look at those white legs!” this is around the same time that she and Six Pack are working in one of the rooms, Eilbacher is standing on a chair, and fixing something, and Six Pack looks up and with a smile says “What a pair!” she asks him what he said, and he covers it up with “Us, what a pair, down here working.” then she says “I thought you were talking about my boobs.”


There’s plenty of honest to goodness character development here. Michael Carmine wants to go skiing in Switzerland when he gets out, Amanda Pays is training for the Astronaut Program, Crenna has a dark past and there’s a reason why he’s the doctor there in the underwater facility. Hector Elizondo likes living down there to get away from his fat wife and drug addicted kids. Stuff like that. Ernie Hudson has so many great moments, up to and including his “GONE? BITCH WE STILL HERE!” line that I can only imagine made the crowds in the theaters it was playing in go nuts and start laughing.

I’m trying to avoid major spoilers since some people reading this haven’t seen the movie yet, so I’ll just say, that one character that died, I really wish would have lived. He lives for so long, that it really just seems like cheap shock value, and sucks. Apparently there was some conflict between him and Peter Weller, and there’s pretty much been confirmation on that from Tyler Foster, and myself who have met the actor at conventions.


Leviathan has some top notch effects from Stan Winston, and the movie just gets creepier and creepier with each transformation. The movie on Wikipedia has been mentioned as being like Alien and The Thing, and that’s a pretty spot on comparison. The creature is kept in the shadows for the most part until the end, and even I will admit that CATFISHFACE is pretty goofy looking when they finally show it, but it still is creepy and things like Stern developing scales and his skin melting away, along with a mouth forming on someone’s palm! Crazy stuff, that George Pan Cosmatos films in a great scary way, just as he did in Of Unknown Origin, and in Cobra.


I introduced Vanessa to the film last November, and she had never seen it before, and she loved it a lot, and she too was disappointed in that one character’s death. I’ve also seen the film many times with my parents, including when I got the VHS tape in Houston at a Half Price Books and saw it at my brother’s place with him and my Parents.


Leviathan is top flight entertainment and a really great movie to sit down and get scared by as well as have lots of laughs. It’s highly recommended, and a solid final entry to the 80’s portion of George Pan Cosmatos filmography. The beautiful Jerry Goldsmith score that incorporates whale sounds in it throughout the film, has a robust final track for the end of the movie that is a great end credits track for a fabulous movie.




Just as a personal note, Leviathan, like The Rookie, was one of the big films that Rene played up to me as some sort of unsung, misunderstood gem. I got around to both of them and ended up loving the living shit out of each, and many other films endorsed by the guy, that never seem to get love. Where The Rookie and Leviathan stand out, however, is that as I mentioned in our Rookie writeup, at my dorm room here at school, I own original posters for both of these films, where they hang majestically on the walls. In particular, Leviathan is the video release poster that proudly advertises that you can get the film on laser videodisc in addition to videocassette. It’s a great poster, too—a striking image and tagline, and if you look closer, the rendition of “Peter Weller” looks nothing like him, but the artist’s depiction of Amanda Pays’ ass is glorious. That’s how much I enjoy this movie. Anyway, on with my take.

Roger Ebert has famously said of evaluating a film’s merit, “It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it.” In a time of countless remakes and reboots, originality is consistently threatened by the omnipotence of these regurgitations, and bemoaning a lack of creativity in output would be unfair, as good films do come out of it because, to rephrase Ebert’s philosophy, the execution, not the originality of the film, is what its value relies on.


Leviathan is exactly the sort of film that true film fanatics will find effortless to deride for not reinventing the wheel. Its genetic structure (not a pun intended) culls elements from Alien, Aliens, The Thing, The Fly, Jaws, and hell, there’s even some China Syndrome and Das Boot thrown in for good measure. At 97 minutes, the film is extraordinarily well paced, never plunging the viewer head first into the graveness of the plight and when it reaches that point, it’s as exciting and entertaining as expected. Perhaps being sandwiched in between the abhorrent DeepStar Six and the painstaking marvel of The Abyss among the whole sea monster craze of ’891 was another strike against it, but what Leviathan lacks in a mentally unstable Michael Biehn rocking a serious pornstache, it more than makes up for in its pedigree.


Once again, Cosmatos is in full form here, returning to the stage-like trappings of Of Unknown Origin for the action here, set almost entirely in the underwater mining base and only leaves the area in the final ten minutes. His workmanlike craft is not the sort of distinguished style that Cameron or Carpenter have, where you can immediately detect that it’s his work. Nevertheless, his style is inconspicuous but smooth—sure, he calls the shots and knocks it out of the park, but it’s nuanced enough that he allows production designer Ron Cobb and cinematographer Alex Thomson to flourish in their roles.


Cobb himself had been a conceptual artist on Alien and Aliens (not to mention The Abyss) and done production-design duty on Conan the Barbarian and The Last Starfighter. Much like Alien, the interior of the Tri-Oceanic Corporation’s base is a bland, antiseptic station that turns into a hot zone for chaos when the shit hits the fan and FlaskBeast™ begins to tear the place apart, and the architecture becomes more evocative of the steely, dreading dystopia of LV-426. Thomson, whose numerous credits include Excalibur and The Keep, realistically conveys the harsh, fluorescent lights that govern the confines of the restless crew, and the underwater scenes captures the moody, ambient nature of the ocean floor.

Predictably, Stan Winston’s creature effects are solid and among his strongest. Leviathan was one of his first jobs after he had won the Oscar for Aliens, and the presence of the film’s Cronenberg-esque body horror elements amplify the notion of the big, bad, crustacean-like monster as a more unusual creature that commendably distances itself from just another man in a suit. The screenplay comes courtesy of Die Hard co-writer Jeb Stuart and Blade Runner and Unforgiven genius David Webb Peoples, which is already solid on principle2, and the snappy dialogue works gangbusters.


Where this film absolutely kills, however, is its eclectic all-star ensemble. There’s not one weak link here, from Peter Weller’s straight-shooting hero (between this and Shakedown, he solidified himself brilliantly as a leading man post-RoboCop) to the sexy, headstrong charm of Amanda Pays to Hector Elizondo’s vagina dentata hands to Richard Crenna’s selfish coward. However, beyond the late Michael Carmine and Lisa Eilbacher’s tragic fractured soul and tight-fit T-shirt pillows, there’s two guys that stand out among the cast: Daniel Stern and Ernie Hudson.


Hudson is a blast as Justin Jones, snagging all of the cool one-liners—gotta love when he yells “Bitch, we still here!” to Meg Foster over that late 80’s version of Skype. Some will probably pinpoint Hudson as being a classic example of the “token black guy.” However, Hudson has always been an actor who never adheres to stereotypes, and his turn as Jones feels less like, say, Lando Calrissian, than Ken Foree as Peter in Dawn of the Dead. He does get comedic moments, but complaining is masked by the fact that Hudson plays Jones as a genuinely nice guy who serves as the de facto conscience of the film.

Similarly, Daniel Stern steals every moment he gets as the misogynistic, beer-guzzling slacker Sixpack. Sixpack functions very much like Hudson did in Aliens, a hotheaded, wisecracking meathead whose thought process runs on two modes: tits and booze. Sixpack is an intriguingly conceived character in the film: in the middle of the prestigious doctors and scientists he works with, Sixpack is a manchild that has more in common with Jeff Spicoli than the crew of the Nostromo. The way he ogles over Lisa Eilbacher cleaning up with her cleavage compacted nicely in her shirt is hilarious, as is the way she mocks his lanky build later on, seductively marveling over “those white legs!” His reaction to discovering the Facehugger-like creature that entered his diving suit as a prank is hilarious, and even when he begins to begin suffering that case of hives that ends up killing him, we still find him likable because he breaks the escalation of tension so well. Thematically, however, his mischievous behavior makes him an enemy of Darwinism, so it’s only natural that his death comes first.


Honestly, there isn’t much more to say about Leviathan that already has not been said, other than the fact that the film really is an enthralling ride for both the protagonists and its audience.


1 – suggested further reading: The Volcano Craze of 1997; The Race to the OK Corral; The World Gets Blown the Fuck Up Trend of 1998; The Talking Bug Family Blockbuster Conflict of 1998; The Truman Show is a Hell of a Lot Better Than Edtv

2 – which reminds me, the Adult Swim crowd might laugh at this movie as it’s very much like a serious, gorier version of Sealab 2021, so much so that if they ever made a movie and Richard Crenna was still alive, he’d kill as Captain Murphy.



Yeah… George P. Cosmatos is a craftsman all right. Because it isn’t easy to do this. It isn’t easy to take something this cheesy and derivative and somehow pull it off as an entertaining film.

My compatriots have already said plenty regarding how, exactly, he goes about doing that. So I think I’ll focus on just one or two things.

I’d like to talk about Meg Foster.


She is a magnetic, fascinating actress with these tremendous feline eyes and an indescribably seductive voice.

In this movie, she plays a television.

From a dramatic point of view, the scenes involving her communicating with Weller and the crew are probably the most unique and interesting scenes in the movie. The “action” is nothing you haven’t seen before, albeit well staged by Cosmatos. But the Meg Foster scenes have this almost Kubrickian quality too them. The fact she’s in that monitor and completely out of their reach, simply issuing commands or notifications… It represents the void that exists between a corporation and the workers it exploits. And it also says a lot about the expanse between the ruling and working class. I don’t think it’s an arbitrary story decision that the crew’s destruction comes from a flask of vodka either. They look to their vices to find comfort. That close-up shot of Stern pouring vodka into Eilbacher’s cup is very specific. Is it an obvious signifier to the audience that this is important to the plot? Yes. But it also stands as a glaring reminder of the beverage’s “importance” to the blue collar individuals who are kept at arm’s length by Big Brother Meg Foster.

I know that sounds pretentious as fuck. That a George P. Cosmatos movie could actually aspire to some kind of deep sociological symbolism. But I don’t care. You see that David Peoples was involved in the screenplay and you have to at least give my observation some merit. It’s about how it’s about it, indeed. And it’s details like this that make Leviathan kind of special.


The rest of the movie could easily be dismissed as derivative nonsense. And it does beg the question of when, exactly, the script was written – as Peoples had been writing stuff since the 70s. And this really does seem like a Lovecraftian holdover from that period.

Derivative or not, there is a propulsive quality to the creepy shit you see on screen. I don’t know that it’s “the best underwater horror movie,” but the efficiency of the filmmaking, combined with the unexpected depth of the story itself, certainly makes it a fine entry in the genre. And it’s a pretty good deal to close the decade on.





Leviathan has always been a topic of heated discussion in the thread. Several of our regulars often chime in with praise or criticisms. And, like most things in life, it occasionally narrows down to a debate. In this case, which is the better movie? Leviathan or DeepStar Six? For some, the answer is obvious. But, as always, ‘B Thread’ regulars are passionate about the films they admire.

What follows is a selection of some of the most interesting chats we’ve had on this week’s movie.



Tyler Foster
Just watched this and it was pretty great. There are some serious “geography” problems on the ship during all the tunnel chases, and the movie kinda loses focus in the third act (oh no sharks??), but it was still creepy and entertaining. The quote on the back says “Alien under water” but there should be some Thing in there too.

Maybe I’ll get flamed for this but I found this concept of “science gone wrong” way creepier than Splice. We tried to create a weird underwater human and the result was this slimy, body-fusing mutating creature, and everyone it sucks up is still alive inside of it! “…kill me!” is not new, but the idea of what happens to your body after you die is something that always gets under my skin in horror movies, especially if there are mutations or whatnot involved. The idea that this used to be a perfectly average human being and somehow now it’s a bloody, inside-on-the-outside monster mass is very disturbing to me.

And the creature can barely be killed! I bet even Weller’s bomb was unsuccessful and there are millions of little murderous chunklets creeping around the ocean floor.

I agree with Rene that Ernie Hudson should have made it. It was cheap for him to die in the sense that it should have been this perfect big scare to end the movie and yet it was sort of poorly-shot and awkward. I imagine a great slow-motion shot of him climbing into the copter and this creature just rising out of the water behind him, kinda like Friday the 13th, but instead it’s these vague shots of him flailing in the water and then suddenly he’s sinking. I like Weller and “Say ‘ah’, motherfucker!” is great but I think I’d have preferred him getting chomped or maybe making a noble sacrifice. Hudson also looks a bit quiet and ill in the water, I almost wonder if they once considered a version where they take him back to the ocean post and he Hector Elizondos all over the place, which I would have also accepted.

I’m not saying they should, but if they remake Leviathan, Lizzy Caplan should be a lock for the Amanda Pays role. I was trying to think of others and the farthest I got was Wesley Snipes taking over for Hudson.

EDIT: Looking at a recent picture of his slimmer but still beefy self, I think: John Goodman as Crenna’s replacement?

Watched one of Eko’s favorites just now. The ’89 sea monster horror-adventure LEVIATHAN. It’s okay, coasts along thanks to a fun cast. The creature wasn’t up to Stan Winston’s usual pedigree and there weren’t enough creative deaths. Best one was the guy who basically is impaled by the creature. Other than that not too much, unless you count the creature’s demise.

I didn’t know it was a Winston creature going in so when I saw his name in the credits I was excited. Just turned out being an underwhelming monster. But the cast keeps it enjoyable.

Ernie Hudson had my favorite lines in the film. Best one was when Meg Foster tells them how sorry the company is that they can’t rescue the crew and says “I know you’ve gone through hell.” To which Hudson slyly replies with:

“Gone? Bitch, we still here.”

So a decent flick that probably could have been better. But you just can’t dislike a movie that ends with Peter Weller punching Meg Foster in the face.

Keith Fordyce
I just watched LEVIATHAN Friday night at a friend’s house. I hadn’t seen it since it’s original release on VHS. Thoughts are still pretty much the same, almost twenty years later: fun, great cast, sort of creepy, but severely hampered by the final moments. That beyond goofy looking creature that attacks them is almost enough to sink the whole thing for me.

Still enjoy it.

Bitches Leave
Rented Leviathan yesterday and was surprised by some pretty impressive underwater set-pieces that I had forgotten about.

It must have been a rather expensive movie with all the hardware on display.

I really like the build-up and the first 50 minutes or so, but man does the movie shit itself once the monster is revealed in its full man-in-suit glory. They must have spend all the money on water and set building and then realized too late they had no more money for an actual monster.

Overall the movie is such a glaringly rip-off of Alien even down to a chest bursting monster, and also most likely a result of excessive espionage. The cast is awesome with Peter Weller, Richard Grenna, Hector Elizondo and Ernie Hudson among others.



Fat Elvis
Anyone want to take a shot at defending either LEVIATHAN or DEEP STAR SIX-the so-called Abyss rip-offs/cash-ins?

I think most of us will take LEVIATHAN over DEEP STAR SIX. It’s got Amanda Pays, Richard Crenna and a bottle of Monster mutating Vodka after all.

Judas Booth
I always preferred ‘Deepstar 6’, but it’s been YEARS since I’ve seen either of them.

I saw Deepstar Six once. In ’99. In May at the tail end of my freshman year of school. All I remember is Greg Evigan, and that Russian guy who plays Mr. Ditkovitch in the Spider-Man movies.

Judas Booth
One guy gets bitten in half in his diving suit. That moment right there is better than any of the scenes from ‘Leviathan’.

Bitches Leave
I remember quite liking one of the two (Deepstar Six vs Leviathan) and hating the other back in the day, but since I don’t remember anything about Deepstar I’m still not sure which one I liked in ’89. Who knows, back then Leviathan might have looked great to me, but I suspect my favorite was Deepstar. I liked the monster better in one of them and I sure as hell can’t imagine a worse monster than that of Leviathan.

The monsters never really been a problem for me. The faces on the sides are scary, but I agree that it seems like a big rubber suit, with some animatronics thrown in.

Probably why they keep it in the shadows until the end of the movie.

Judas Booth
‘The Abyss’ trumps all of them.

Bitches Leave

I would like to see a behind the scenes doc on Leviathan as some of the underwater stuff is pretty impressive and considering the enormous costs and hurdles that Cameron had to overcome, it could be interesting to see how this production fared.

Judas Booth
HBO did do one of those ‘First Looks’ for ‘Leviathan’ when it got released. It was about a half hour long and featured alot of interviews with the cast and crew.

Because of this First Look made me fall madly in love with James Cameron as a young buck. I still want to meet him and discuss a REAL DEAL sequel to TERMINATOR 2 and/or a kick-ass action epic like no other…

Fat Elvis
DEEP-STAR SIX is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Makes LEVIATHAN almost seem good.

I feel like my current calling is to settle this Leviathan/DeepStar Six argument for myself. (What’s the better underwater sci-fi/horror film from 1989?) Gotta see these two.



Just started Leviathan! Love the moody opening credits and Jerry Goldsmith’s score, also didn’t know Stan Winston did the creature FX on this. And with a cast featuring RoboCop, Col. Trautman, Marv of the Wet Bandits, Winston Zeddmore, Mr. Grey from the original Pelham, and the creepy-eyed bitch from They Live, I already like this. Plot seems very, VERY Alien-esque. Also awesome: the screenplay is by the writer of Unforgiven and Blade Runner and the co-writer of Die Hard, David Webb Peoples and Jeb Stuart! Quite the pedigree this one has.

Michael Shaver
If you look at the pedigree behind the camera, it’s kind of shocking that it’s not a better film.

Yeah, when I saw Jeb Stuart’s name on the script I was even more excited. Script-wise there weren’t any major problems. Story wasn’t groundbreaking but it went where it needed to go. Dialog was fairly snappy, though the cast helps that a bunch. A better creature and more memorable kills and I’d put in the same league with DEEP RISING, but as it stands it’s not quite at that level.

Keith Fordyce
I bet we can watch in real time as Hunter is disappointed by the end of LEVIATHAN.

Whatever it may be, it’s no match for Amanda Pays in a wet bra. I saw her nipples. Fucking A.

This movie automatically gets a good review for it being based around a FLASK OF DOOM filled with VODKA THAT CAUSES GENETIC MUTATION! This shit’s two handles ahead of Street Trash on the killer liquor movie market.

Nipples are always great to see. At least a woman’s anyway.

When you have a cast full of voices deeper than the ocean they’re in (Peter Weller, Amanda Pays, Ernie Hudson, Meg Foster), you’d think whales would show up in the vicinity of the ship in Leviathan.

Wait till you see Daniel Stern show up in a bathrobe saying “Fun? You talkin’ bout fun?”, Hunter. Lisa Eilbacher’s line after that is classic. Glad you’re already enjoying it. It’s definitely WAY better than DeepStarSix.

“Woo-woo! Look at those white legs!”


Love when Sixpack says “Nice pair!” to Lisa Eilbacher. Also the arbitrary issue of Penthouse he has stashed.

I love that white legs line, and when he smacks Hector Elizondo on the ass with the Penthouse and his face when he looks up is priceless.

Shit’s starting to hit the fan in Leviathan. The Stan Winston-enhanced Daniel Stern creature thing is marvelous, very Cronenberg-esque.

It’s amazing how quickly everything happens once they discover the mutagen laced Vodka.

Just finished up Leviathan. While it was sad seeing Winston having to sacrifice himself, the ending was ENTHRALLING! “SAY AHHHHHHH MOTHERFUCKARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!” might be one of the best monster-slaying battle cries of all time.

Just started DeepStar Six just to see how bad it is. Didn’t know this was produced by Carolco.

Keith Fordyce
I prefer Deepstar Six. It’s a cautionary tale. Never put Miguel Ferrer in a situation where lives are at stake.

DeepStar Six is dragging like RuPaul so far.

Keith Fordyce
Stay with it, Hunter. It gets better.

First order of business: DeepStar Six…more like DEEPSTAR SHIT! Keith, you don’t like The Rookie but you like this? It’s an hour of nothing and like a half-hour of cut-rate deep-sea terror. Advantage, Leviathan.

My thought was exactly that back in 1999 when I saw it, Hunter. Glad to hear it wasn’t just my 15 year old self and that it may improve with age. I can scratch that off the revisit list.

Don’t revisit DeepStar Six, Rene. Don’t bow down to Keith.

You guys. Why you gotta hate on DEEPSTAR SIX?



I just finished my blog entry on DEEPSTAR SIX.

It doesn’t suck. Take that Team LEVIATHAN!

I respect your opinion in spite of my views, but know this: Leviathan fans easily offend, but they’ll soon be back, and in greater numbers.

Hey, Hunter, I’m really happy for you. I’mma let you finish, but DEEPSTAR SIX is the best sea monster movie that stars someone from ROBOCOP.

Good one.

I’ll have to do a Leviathan rebuttal blog, neo, because Leviathan will always get drunk on mutagen laced Vodka, bend over Deepstar Six, and have it’s way with it. Then it’ll fall asleep next to it due to the boring it brings about.

fuzzy dunlop
Leviathan is the better movie, but Deepstar Six had Miguel Ferrer exploding. You cant dismiss it completely.

It doesn’t even get to the nitty-gritty till the last 30-40 minutes of it.

fuzzy dunlop
Its also frustrating that in an underwater monster movie, the majority of the characters are not even killed by the monster. But then again, its got pressurized harpoons. I’m willing to take the good with the bad.

I’ve got Deepstar Six in my Netflix queue so I can revisit that travesty and renew my intense dislike of it 11 years later.

Judas Booth
Nothing beats the guy in the deep diving suit getting bitten in half.

Its been such a long time since I saw Deep Star Six. All I remember is Miguel Ferrer playing Multiple Choice on a computer and the look on his face when he accidentally sets off a nuclear explosion.

Leviathan is the slicker picture.

But let’s not forget that Deepstar Six brought us exploding Miguel Ferrer. And I don’t know why McFarlane Toys, or whoever the fuck makes those things now, never made an action figure of that particular movie moment.

It’s been so long that I completely forgot that Miguel Ferrer was in the movie.



Hans Gruber’s EYE CONDITION!
I found Leviathan to be a pleasure. For me, the favorite line is

Say AAAAAA motherfucker!

That’s a great capper, no doubt about it. But for some reason I was drawn to lots of Hudson’s dialog. Like his reaction when it’s down to Weller, Amanda Pays, and Hudson and Weller suggests they go to sleep while he keeps watch.

“I ain’t gonna be able to ever sleep again. In life. Ever!”

The fun cast is what really makes Leviathan work. Also the overall “Alien” like atmosphere. The creepiest scenes are the leech worm strapping itself to DeJesus in the lunchroom, and Hector Elizondo having mouths on the inside of his hands!

I wonder if Cosmastos actually directed Leviathan (his second flick with Peter Weller after the supremely excellent Of Unknown Origin which you all should see) or someone else directed it? Peter Weller perhaps?


I’m sure Cosmatos directed all of his films. It’s just when it came to stuff like COBRA, FIRST BLOOD 2, and TOMBSTONE his greatest asset was deferring to the star and doing exactly what they wanted.

I had a serious Hard-on for Amanda Pays when I was a kid. She should have had a bigger career but she disappeared after Max Headroom and Leviathan.

Classy lady.

Pays was in The Flash TV show after LEVIATHAN! Not to mention Jeff Fahey’s failed Joel Silver pilot-TV movie PARKER KANE.

Wonder if she’s still married to Corbin Bernsen.

Fat Elvis
Like to think L.L.’s DEEP BLUE SEA performance was an affectionate tribute to Hudson’s most unfairly under-appreciated work.

Classy lady indeed, felix!

Dave Jarvie
fucking Leviathan

walked in on my uncle watching it when i was 5…..I had the remote in my hand and i was crying my eyes out but when my aunt told me to turn it off i replyed ‘I can’t’

I think that was the first sign

Oh yeah, I liked all the shots in LEVIATHAN of Meg Foster clicking her remote control to end her transmissions with Weller and the crew.

Keith Fordyce
I love to, what’s it called, fanwank the thought of John Carpenter doing LEVIATHAN. I know he covered similar ground in THE THING, but I can dream.

A John Carpenter’s “Leviathan” would have been the TITS. Not little tits, but big, huge, Russ Meyer approved BREASTS!

I can only imagine his pulsating synth score, with Donald Pleasance as Doc, Keith David, Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, and why not throw in James Hong, Victor Wong, and Dennis Dun.


2 years ago I celebrated my birthday here at my house watching one of my favorite movies, LEVIATHAN for my birthday.

Dr. Dean Edell
You should have had a LEVIATHAN-themed birthday bash! When a friend cuts the birthday cake (decorated with the visage of Daniel Stern) and offers you a slice he or she could yell “Say AAAAHHHH, motherfucker!”

A LEVIATHAN themed party would have been awesome! I could have casually dressed in a bathrobe, and shorts with my white legs showing off, and I could have entered and had the cake as a pair of boobs so I could say “What a pair!”

Games could include pin the parasite on the person, and whack the sea spider!

Dr. Dean Edell
I’m sure if you threw a few hundred dollars her way you could have Meg Foster make an appearance at your party and punch her lights out at the end of the evening.

Does Ernie Hudson make it through the entire party though?

Oh yeah, if there’s one birthday present that I’d want, it would be for Ernie Hudson to make it through the entire party, just like he should have in the movie.

Personally, I think next year HunterTarantino should spare no expense to make sure his birthday bash goes exactly as you all suggested. My added suggestion is a piñata shaped like Richard Crenna. And fill it with Twizzlers.

Another thing to have at a Leviathan themed party is to have a bottle of vodka with a monster in it.

The “Vodka” could really be water to fake people out and get the appropriate reaction of “IT’S WATER?!”

Watching Leviathan right now. My first time after nearly 10 years.

Leviathan is pretty great so far. Music and shots very effective. Forgot that Richard Crenna and Hector Elizondo were in this. Real soothing to hear Amanda Pay’s British accent as well.

Glad to hear you’re checking out Leviathan, felix. Hope you enjoy it and become a part of Team Leviathan!

Hey now, don’t try to influence him. He should obviously be on Team DeepStar Six.

We’ll have a Leviathan themed birthday party for him if he’s on our team.

Dr. Dean Edell
A birthday party many have dreamed of…

Oh damn. That is actually way more creepy than I think you intend it to be.


That’s about the size of it, BUBBA! See you next week.