#TBT: Deep Blue Sea (1999)

This summer has given us aquatic, shark attack-loving horror fans a lot to be excited about. With the release of The Shallows, there’s been a resurgence in the shark-inspired horror subgenre.

This week, we got a bit of news to keep killer shark fanatics eagerly awaiting their next bite of underwater terror. 47 Meters Down (also known as In the Deep) is a film starring Mandy Moore about 2 divers who find themselves trapped in a dive cage at the bottom of the ocean surrounded by blood thirsty sharks. The film was originally acquired by Dimension Films in 2014 and planned for a home video release on August 2nd. However, news broke this week that Freestyle Media had acquired the film and plans to release it theatrically in 2017.

It’s events like this that get us in the mood to revisit some classic films with terror from the depths of the ocean. This week, we revisited one of our personal favorites, 1999’s Deep Blue Sea.


A lot of horror fans have mixed opinions on the quality of the film, but it’s undeniable that it’s a fun, action-packed movie about gigantic sea beasts wreaking havoc on a group of scientists in the middle of the ocean.

Reigning master of horror Stephen King even liked it. After suffering a near fatal accident, King went to see the film in theaters and said, “My first trip after being smacked by a van and almost killed was to the movies (Deep Blue Sea, as a matter of fact; I went in my wheelchair and loved every minute of it).”

In an attempt to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, a group of research scientists break the moral code and genetically modify the brain cells of captive sharks. Man plays God which makes the animals smarter, more aggressive, and extremely dangerous. “Probably not a good idea.”

Deep Blue Sea, Warner Bros.

The film may receive criticism from audiences because of the use of CG shark shots, but animatronic sharks were used in scenes where the sharks interacted with the cast. Thomas Jane even recalled swimming with real sharks to film certain scenes in the movie.

Unlike a lot of shark-attack films, this film isn’t a slow burn. There aren’t gliding fins slowly emerging from underwater, teasing the audience with what’s beneath. Renny Harlin’s Deep Blue Sea is in-your-face extreme with action-packed violence and graphic, up close shots of these larger than life sharks. CG or not, they look terrifying.

The cast includes Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, Michael Rapaport, LL Cool J, and the ultimate slayer of killer creatures, Samuel L. Jackson. From the beginning, we know these monsters are pissed and eager to take revenge on the group that’s been experimenting on them. Overall, the movie is a fast-paced aquatic disaster thriller sprinkled with enough comic relief and intriguing characters to keep audiences engaged and entertained throughout.

Rapper/actor LL Cool J quickly becomes the crowd favorite as the sympathetic and undeniably likable chef at the facility. He has all the makings of a beloved, heroic character. He’s got a spiritual side and has faith in a power greater than himself. He’s not meddling with the sharks like the scientists. He’s got a wisecracking parrot and some pretty iconic, badass lines. He’s the exact opposite of rapper/actor Busta Rhymes in  Halloween: Resurrection. I can’t think of a better compliment to his performance or character than that.

Plus, LL contributes the hip hop gem “Deepest, Bluest” to the soundtrack, effectively closing out the film.

So take a nostalgic dive back to the late 1990s, and enter the super intelligent shark-filled world of Aquatica with Deep Blue Sea.


Are you a fan of Deep Blue Sea? Share your favorite moments from the film with us below.

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0 thoughts on “#TBT: Deep Blue Sea (1999)

  1. I seriously adore this movie. It is so much fun. My fave scene would be a total spoiler so I won’t share but instead I’ll give a secondary…when LL is talking to himself about how every body knows the black man never survives this kind of situation. Hysterical. Ooh and when he’s making the video about his legacy…the perfect omelette has 2 eggs not three and if you add milk…

    1. Haha! Yes! “Amateurs often add milk for density; this is a mistake!” Love LL in this and Halloween: H20. So many great scenes had spoilers, so we had to refrain from sharing too much. Today is the 17th anniversary of Deep Blue Sea’s release, so we hope you get a chance to watch it again soon. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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