THE BERMUDA DEPTHS (1978)
Article 3441 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-7-2010
Posting Date: 1-15-2011
Directed by Tsugunobu Kotani
Featuring Leigh McCloskey, Carl Weathers, Connie Sellecca
Country: USA / Japan
What it is: Lyrical “Moby Dick” pastiche
A young man returns home to learn the reason for his father’s death, and takes up with a scientist intent on catching a strange creature believed to live in the Bermuda Triangle. He also meets a woman who may or may not be a ghost.
I suspect this movie was originally made as one of the sea monster movies that came in the wake of JAWS, but it doesn’t use that as its model. Rather, it seems a curious cross between “Moby Dick”, NIGHT TIDE, and a Bermuda Triangle movie, which is such an interesting mishmash that I really found myself hoping I would like it. The movie mainly aspires to a sort of lyricism, and occasionally (such as in the opening sequence) it meets that goal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t know when to set aside the lyricism when necessary, so the movie starts to get tiresome. Also, for a movie which shows some real imagination in scenes with very little conversation, it makes the mistake of talking your head off in other scenes, often doing little more than rehashing facts that we’ve already encountered. In short, the movie ends up moving at a turtle’s pace, which makes the fact that the giant sea creature is a turtle an unfortunate coincidence. This is another one of those odd Rankin/Bass USA/Japanese co-productions.