Abyss, The (1989)

the_abyssThis underwater epic features spectacular deep-sea special effects and elaborate high-tech hardware. But the story is bewildering and shallow.

The plot, which mainly involves a plucky oil-rig crew lurches from one crisis to another - A doomed submarine, a nuclear warhead, a deranged naval officer, submersible craft chases and an alien creature all become part of the overwrought action.

The crew of an experimental, high-tech submersible is called into action to investigate a mysterious nuclear submarine crash.

A series of strange encounters leads the crew to suspect the accident was caused by an extraterrestrial craft, and that they may be participating in an encounter with an alien species.

abyss

However, in order to make contact, they must not only brave the abyss, an exceedingly deep underwater canyon, but also deal with the violent actions of one of their own crew members, an increasingly paranoid Navy SEAL officer.

the_abyss-01Praised for its visual splendour and strong performances from Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, if not always for its plot, The Abyss was not quite the blockbuster it needed to be.

But the ground-breaking, Oscar-winning special effects (particularly the exploratory water node) set the stage for the explosion in CGI effects, beginning with Cameron's own molten-metal T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).

Despite The Abyss's warm message about marital bonds, director James Cameron and producer-wife Gale Anne Hurd split-up during production.

Bud Brigman
Ed Harris
Lindsey Brigman
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Lt. Coffey

Michael Biehn
Catfish De Vries

Leo Burmester
Alan "Hippy" Carnes

Todd Graff
"Jammer" Willis

John Bedford Lloyd
Lisa "One Night" Standing

Kimberly Scott
"Sonny" Dawson

J.C. Quinn
Wilhite

George Robert Klek
Seal Schoenick

Chris Murphy
Ensign Monk

Adam Nelson
Dwight Perry

Richard Warlock
Leland McBride

Jimmie Ray Weeks
DeMarco

J. Kenneth Campbell
Gerard Kirkhill

Ken Jenkins
Bill Tyler

William Wisher
Barnes

Michael Beach
Bendix

Chris Elliott

Director
James Cameron