A Movie A Day #287: Leviathan (1989, directed by George Pan Cosmatos)

A group of miners are sent into a dangerous environment by an evil corporation.  When they explore an abandoned ship, they unknowingly bring a hostile creature onto their own vessel.  One of the crewman is killed when the creature mutates inside of his body.  The rest of the crew includes a scientist, one strong woman, one woman who cries, and a strong, silent captain.

Sound familiar?

No, it’s not Alien.  

Instead, it’s Leviathan, which could best be described as being Alien underwater with a dash of The Thing tossed in.  The main difference between Leviathan and the films that inspired it is that people are still watching Alien and The Thing while Leviathan is one of the most forgettable films that I have ever seen.  Peter Weller is the captain.  Richard Crenna is the scientist.  Amanda Pays has the Ripley role and Ernie Hudson fills in for Yaphet Kotto.  Daniel Stern plays Sixpack, who turns into a monster after he drinks contaminated Russian vodka.  (It happens to the best of us.)  Meg Foster, with her translucent eyes, represents the corporation.

That’s a good cast and the script was written by David Peoples (who also wrote Blade Runner, Unforgiven, and 12 Monkeys) and Jeb Stuart (who wrote Die Hard and The Fugitive).  The above average special effects were designed by Stan Winston.  Why, with all of these talented people involved in the production, is Leviathan so by the numbers and forgettable?  It probably had something to do with the presence of George Pan Cosmatos in the directing chair.  Cosmatos is also credited with directing Rambo: First Blood II, Cobra, and Tombstone.  The first two films starred Sylvester Stallone, who was known for directing all of his 80s films in every way but name only and everyone knows that Kurt Russell was in charge on Tombstone.

If you want to see Alien underwater done right, watch Deepstar Six.

Scenes I Love: Tombstone


Weekend was busy, but still found time to catch a few favorite flicks on TV. One of these happened to be the classic early 90’s western Tombstone starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer. I already profiled my favorite scene from this film awhile back, but as I watched the film again I realized there was another sequence that totally made the film for me.

So, the latest “Scenes I Love’ once again comes from Tombstone and it does a great job in showing the darker and vengeful side of Wyatt Earp as played by Kurt Russell. The first scene I loved about this film was more about the cool, calm and badass Wyatt Earp who can spot a bullshitter, blowhard, coward from a miles away. This scene shows Earp in his scary, God’s Wrath mode as he begins his vendetta ride against the Clantons and the Cowboys.

Just love the look of fire and brimstone from Russell’s eyes as he confronts a cowed Ike Clanton and lets him know what he has planned for his clan and group. Better yet, in addition to Kilmer’s Doc Holliday, we also see a younger Michael Rooker aka Merle Dixon. He plays one of the members in Earp’s posse.