HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
McQueen
Ugly Duckling, The
Apostle
Distant Voices, Still Lives
Hereditary
Cup Fever
Peril for the Guy
3 Days in Quiberon
Club, The
Best F(r)iends: Volume 1
Pili
Suspect, The
Baxter!
Dead Night
Thoroughbreds
Ghost and the Darkness, The
Strike Commando
Molly
Full Alert
Up the Academy
Darling Lili
Tehran Taboo
Follow That Bird
I, Olga Hepnarová
Finders Keepers
Breadwinner, The
All About Steve
Bad Samaritan
Dangerous When Wet
Us and Them
   
 
Newest Articles
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
   
 
  Bermuda Depths, The Turtley DifferentBuy this film here.
Year: 1978
Director: Tsugunobu Kotani
Stars: Leigh McCloskey, Carl Weathers, Connie Sellecca, June Woodson, Ruth Attaway, Burl Ives, Elise Frick, Nicholas Ingham, Kevin Petty, Nicole Marsh, George Richards, John Instone, Jonathan Ingham, Patricia Rego, Doris Riley, Tracy Anne Sadler
Genre: Weirdo, Fantasy, Adventure, TV Movie
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: After years drifting across the United States, Magnus Dens (Leigh McCloskey) has returned to Bermuda where he was brought up until tragedy interrupted his life at a tender age. As he lies sleeping on the beach, a young woman calling herself Jennie Haniver (Connie Sellecca) who has been swimming through the sea wanders onto the shore and approaches him, stroking his head as he snoozes obliviously. In his dreams he recalls his upbringing when he knew Jennie as a little girl and they watched a turtle's egg hatch, then the creature made its way back to the water, but one day Jennie clmbed on the now-grown turtle's back and disappeared beneath the waves. It was soon after that a mysterious storm struck his home and killed his father...

But then there was a lot mysterious about The Bermuda Depths, including probably uppermost in the mind of anyone who saw it, what the hell was that all about? Broadcast on American television in the late seventies but a cinema release in other countries, it joined the ranks of half-recalled memories from childhood which would be made concrete by discovering someone else remembered it, that someone usually being a stranger on the internet, thus were people brought together by sharing their recollections. But some productions which make for strong if hard to grasp memories don't stand up to the scrutiny of actually revisiting, so would it be better to leave it in the past?

One of those Rankin/Bass efforts, the animators better known for their holiday specials and maybe Mad Monster Party? from the decade previous to The Bermuda Depths, this appeared to have been dreamt up by Arthur Rankin Jr after a double bill of Jaws and Moby Dick followed by a big plate of strong cheese before bedtime. In some scenes it comes across like a basic seafaring adventure as Magnus returns to his old pal Eric (Carl Weathers) who is now assisting in a ocean survey to track down huge creatures from the deep led by scientist Dr Paulis (Burl Ives), and they have a harpoon to ensure they drag these beasts in for further examination, which doesn't sound especially environmentally friendly, but does tie up with the whole Captain Ahab vibe.

Take note of that lack of conservation awareness, however, because there was a certain punishment doled out by Mother Nature by the final act, encapsulated by the introduction of the giant turtle which we have to assume is the grown up version of the one hatched from the egg at the beginning which we also have to assume was the one which Jennie swam away on the back of. Bearing in mind whatever deeper meaning Rankin had in mind was buried very deep indeed, the thought of all these people tuning in for yet another TV movie of the week to be greeted with something this baffling has an appeal, pondering over whether Jennie (named, as Ives points out, after one of those constructed figures supposedly representing a genuine mermaid) is of supernatural origin.

This was a co-production between Rankin/Bass and a Japanese company, so the special effects, all done with miniatures and camera tricks, had a definite flavour of a particular giant turtle of the sixties who had starred in his own franchise, except the creature in this case had no superpowers other than its accompanying size and strength. But is Jennie somehow connected to the turtle spiritually? Magnus pines for her and it is implied after the giant monster as well, but the mood is not one of grand spectacle and the resulting tension and awe that might bring about, it's more a slow, dreamlike trudge towards a conclusion that explains very little, but does deliver on the memorable imagery front. When something that could have been so banal aims for the mystical, it may reach that banality anyway, yet while The Bermuda Depths was as dramatically flat as it was visually ambitious there was an undoubted quality which made you think, yeah, I can see why this stayed with so many people, even if it was, as you may suspect, best left as an echo in the mind. Music by Maury Laws.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2085 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Shrimpton
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
   

 

Last Updated: