Unashamed in its ripping off of Jaws, Up from the Depths feels like a spoof horror but it is not. It’s just really, really bad.
Directed by Charles B. Griffith, this is a movie that could be the star attraction in a ‘so bad it’s good’ horror themed night. It’s hilarious for all the wrong reasons and doesn’t even pretend like it’s not trying to capitalise on the shark craze that followed Jaws in 1975.
To try and distance itself slightly, the ‘shark’ in question here is actually a prehistoric monster shark that rises from the depths after an underwater earthquake. It’s not long before the staff and holidaymakers enjoying the resort on the island of Maui come under attack from the beast.
That’s about all the plot you’re going to get. There really isn’t much to this film as it plays out in very predictable fashion. The characters are cut and copy models with only the resort owner (Kedrick Wolfe) making any kind of splash with his campy portrayal.
A lot of the cinematography tries to ape Jaws too such as underwater cameras to give the impression of a shark-point of view. These are actually fairly well done but Up from the Depths doesn’t provide tension with these scenes at all.
Then there is the dialogue. Oh, the dialogue. It is this that will make you believe you’re watching a parody and not a serious monster horror movie. It’s ridiculous stuff that constantly stops you from drifting off. Something that is really easy to do as it reaches the climax and what a disappointment that is too. In fact, it’s kind of abrupt and just as you’re waiting for some impact the screen freezes and the credits start rolling!
Up from the Depths is bad, really bad but not unwatchable and not to be taken seriously at all even if the movie wants you too.
Up from the Depths