Deep Evil (2004) – By Timothy Martinez

I am a big fan of monsters and it is always interesting to me how writers and producers come up with new and zany ways of putting a monster-spin on something. Whether it be a regular animal mutating into a monster version of itself, various types of aliens coming into contact with mankind in disastrous first contact scenarios, previously unknown earth species making their appearance known to us ignorant Humans or the spooky manifestations of evil spirits and/or ghosts; I enjoy seeing all manner of critters, creatures, beasts and boogeymen. However, just because I enjoy seeing new monsters does not automatically translate into an appreciation for them all. Case in point, the monster in Deep Evil. This has to be the first time water was utilized as the monster itself.

Yes, you heard me…water. And not just any kind of water, mind you, but water of extraterrestrial origin that carries an alien intelligence. It seems that the Russians were the first to discover the strange water, when they found it inside a meteorite that impacted in the 1950’s. After that, and following a convoluted chain of events, it ended up in the hands of the U.S. government, which decided to study it, clone it, and hopefully train it as a possible weapon. What are they gonna do, infiltrate water coolers in enemy nations? Alas, things go wrong (you knew they would) in the facility where the water is being studied, which is located deep in an abandoned mine at the heart of some Alaskan mountain. The feds send in a team to check things out and the predictable chaos ensues. Well, wait…that isn’t exactly right. See, the movie begins with the mountain facility being nuked and a lone survivor picked up in the wilderness. Under the third degree he reveals the events of the film in flashback. If you’ve already concluded that this guy represents a “twist” for the film’s end, then go directly to the head of the class. Better yet, excuse yourself from having to watch this movie.

This film is one hundred percent predictable. It is as if the script was churned out by one of those online story generators that spit out a quickie outline with just a click of a mouse button, as it doesn’t exhibit any more complexity that one would find in such a gizmo. Basically cross Aliens and the The Thing with a c-level budget and this is what you get. The characters show all the depth of one of the puddles they frequently step in and are all morons (they’re in a facility with who knows what kind of deadly biological agents in the air and one chick takes her glove off to check the pulse of a team mate…trouble rapidly follows), the CGI FX are limited but obvious in their execution, the set design is claustrophobic in the extreme and the dark lighting makes for a lot of squinting at times. However, the worst thing is the monster! For the first portion of the film, the alien water just sits there and does nothing as the team members tromp over it. Occasionally a CG effect will show it move, but only long enough to remind the audience that there is something creepy afoot (pun intended). Later the alien water morphs into an army of silver CG spiders that attack the gang en masse. But the worst is saved for last. Having decided that it is time to put some serious work into conquering the planet, the alien water transforms into dozens of monsters that look like midgets in a Creature From the Black Lagoon costume. Sheesh.

There are a few moments that offer up a few unintentional laughs, such as an early exposition scene in a men’s bathroom where one guy ends up taking a leak that lasts darn near three minutes or the sequence in a cave when the fleeing survivors are set upon by those midget gillmen, but in the end, this movie is the type to watch when “turning your brain off” is highly advised. I’d also like to recommend turning the TV off and getting some sleep instead.

Final Grade: 2 out of 5