Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Love Letter to Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Dearest Deep Blue Sea,

I love you. I just don't know how else to put it. I am hopelessly and completely in love with you. Nothing gets this little horror girl more excited than a movie about animals eating people, so you were kind of in my cool book before I even saw you. But then I finally did see you... and it was love at first sight.

I remember when I first saw you. Sitting in a dark theater, Cherry Coke in hand, I was giddy with excitement about a shark-eating-people movie. Super excited. And you starred Samuel L. Jackson, Thomas Jane, and freaking LL Cool J, which immediately made me think that you were going to be awesome. Then the lights dimmed, the titles floated onto the screen, and that kick ass music of yours started up. Suddenly, I became one with your awesomeness.

I mean, you are probably the best example of a typical B-type horror movie that is also pretty fucking great and more than a little enjoyable on repeated viewings. You have sharks... lots of big, mean, smart sharks and to be honest, who could not find enjoyment out of that? Even if someone is terrified of sharks, I bet they still like to watch them eat people on screen.

I love you more than Jaws. I KNOW, right? How do you stand up against such a classic, you ask? Because you are just so much damn FUN! Jaws is of course fantastic, but you've got something really special going for you and that is your sense of humor but also your sense of seriousness at the same time which is a hard thing to accomplish.

Your dialogue is mostly great but at other times fantastically cheesy. And I love cheese, the real kind and the horror-movie-bad-dialogue kind. You tried to be all cute with the water references and stuff, didn't you? Oh you naughty beast! Having your characters say things like "that's doesn't float" or "I don't make waves"... I dig that, I really do. I may initially scoff at the ridiculousness, but inside I secretly love it, I'm not ashamed to admit.

And I have to say, thank you so much for starring Thomas Jane. He was cute in The Sweetest Thing and all, but here you have him soaking wet for most of the movie (swoon!) and being a badass "shark wrangler" that is ultimately the hero of the whole piece. Sure, you have him falling down a lot (seriously, watch yourself and count how many times Thomas Jane falls down... what are you trying to do to this amazing man?) but he comes through time and again, helping the other people to safety and managing to avoid getting eaten the whole time.

Of course your most amazing part is when you have a shark jump out of the water and devour Samuel L. Jackson. Then two sharks are fighting over his body and his severed leg twitches for a second right in front of us. I mean, that was so amazing! You pretty much scored all the cool points in the world with that little bit. Although I think I saw that whole coming when he started making that speech... a cool movie like you would never let such serious speechifying go on for too long without someone getting bit in half.

And let's not forget the shark-o-vision. Movies with killer animals usually like to include some shots from the animal's point of view and you are no exception! The blurry-edged shark-o-vision swimming through the water, swimming through doors, seeking out Saffron Burrows or LL Cool J (or LL Cool J's bird), it's a bit cheesy like some of your dialogue but I can't blame you for not being able to resist the temptation.

Sure, you left me with some weird questions. Like, did Preacher really name his bird "Bird"? And how lame is that? After Tom Jane goes into the underwater tunnels and tranqs the shark, how did he get that big bitch onto the loading dock to the lab? Why would the fact that the sharks got smarter suddenly give them the ability to swim backwards? We've had this discussion before on my blog about Jaws 3 when the shark swims backwards out of the filtration pipe - it is physically impossible for them to do that, and their mental acuity would have no bearing on that. But honestly, that's all cool. It's all just little things that I've noticed about you over the 73849849 times I have watched you. It's not fair to nitpick, I know, and I hope you'll forgive me.

So, Deep Blue Sea, I hope this letter finds you well. I see you sitting there on my bookshelf, between Death Proof and The Departed, and I know I'll be pulling you down soon to once again bask in your glorious beauty. You are truly awesome and don't ever let anyone tell you different.



  1. haha, brilliant post about a brilliantly entertaining movie!
    One of very few movies that I watched 2 times in theater.

    Michele, seems like your mail account was hacked. I received several mails with weird and obscure links from you.

  2. Weird questions such as: Why does giving sharks bigger brains make them more intelligent? Oh yes, sorry, that is true; that's why Sperm Whales and Elephants are more intelligent than humans! Why use sharks at all when any normal scientist would clone the gene that encodes the "Parkinson's cure" protein into a cell line and just make shed-loads of the protein in the non shark-infested environment of a lab? (sorry #sciencegeek moment!).

    I do like your review though, and it is a very enjoyable film. On first viewing I remember thinking "Why does Sam L Jackson suddenly look a bit super-imposed? Oh! That's why!"

    Lives between Das Boot and Dirty Dancing on my shelf.

  3. @Maynard: Dude, I keep getting emails with obscure links from MYSELF. Quite annoying.

    @russ: Okay, you lost me somewhere at encoding the protein into a cell line... but yes, I'm sure there are plenty of science-geeky wrong things going on in this movie. But who really cares? Sharks eat people! That's all you need!

  4. @Michele:
    Dudette, I suggest you to change your password. This might stop the mail flood.

  5. Ha!
    I totally agree with you here, Michelle. Deep Blue See really IS a guilty pleasure.

    I remember it was the very last movie that ever played at a quaint little movie theater in a small town where I used to live. I saw it twice there, just because I was so sad to see that joint close down.

    After showing the movie for two straight weeks, they posted on their sign by the state highway the following words: "Closed FOR GOOD." It stayed that way for, like, 6 months.

    Anyway, awesome movie.

  6. Can I co-sign?

    I also adore everything about this movie. It never gets old.

  7. Hahahaha! This is awesome, and I really think I need to write a letter declaring my love for Children of the Corn and Freddy Krueger. P.s. Deep Blue Sea is rad :D

  8. Agreed! Best sharks-on-the-rampage movie since 'Jaws'.

  9. Love this post and I love Deep Blue Sea.

  10. @Andrew: Oh I love those quaint little movie theaters. There was one in the town I went to college in... was converted from a live theater to movie theater, only had two screens. One on the main stage and one in the balcony - saw Brokeback Mountain on the balcony screen and THAT was a creepy but fun experience.

    @The Mike: Indeed, all are welcome to co-sign. I know I'm not the only one who is completely in love with this movie - as the comments suggest!

    @Jenny: Write those letters! I'd love to read them.

    @Joel: I'd kinda prefer to watch it more than Jaws - am I a bad horror fan?

    @Jinx: Thanks girl! I've missed you, where ya been?

  11. OMG, I just love "Deep Blue Sea" and shark flicks in general. In fact, I re-watched recently and had as much fun with it as I had 12 years ago. :)

    TGHLH, you HAVE to see "The Reef" ASAP. In my book, it's the best shark movie since the first Jaws. Ask Maynard if you don't believe me. :)

  12. @Nebs: Shark flicks are indeed the best and to me, Deep Blue Sea reigns above them all. I did actually see The Reef recently and thought it was pretty good. It reminded me a little too much of Open Water which I didn't like all that much but Reef was much better executed than that film.

  13. I like the movie so much that I named a segment after it. It's ridiculous...but I love it.

    When in doubt, hide in a stove!