Have A Cold One



Peter Weller as Beck
Richard Crenna as Doctor "Doc" Thompson
Amanda Pays as Willy
Daniel Stern as Six-Pack
Hector Elizondo as Cobb
Lisa Eilbacher as Bowman
Ernie Hudson as Jones
Michael Carmine as DeJesus
Meg Foster as CEO Martin

“Gone? Bitch, we still here!” - Jones, when the CEO says “you must have been through hell”. I chuckled because that’s what I would have said.


For some reason in the late 80's there were a bunch of "undersea movies" made. The Abyss, Deep Star Six and this movie. I'm willing to bet there are a few more Direct-to-video ones I've never heard of, too. I'll have to look into that one day.

The crew of an undersea mining base "Shack 7", owned by the Tri- Oceanic Mining Corporation are 87 days into a 90 day shift when we first meet them. This movie was released in 1989, so you can be sure you're going to have the token characters that any "trapped someplace with a monster/demon/ghost/alien" movie has. You have Beck, the leader, Willy the love-interest-girl, Six-Pack, the resident jerk, Bowman, the saucy girl with a nice rack, Dr. Thompson the medical guy, and three expendable people, Cobb, DeJesus and Jones. (Ernie Hudson as the token black Guy)

It's amazing that they never noticed the sunken Russian ship that is basically right next to their base. It's not like they're zipping around in a little submarine or anything either. When they go out to mine, they pop out of their airlock (they call if a lift-lock, I have no idea if that's a real thing or not) and walk. The only reason they find the sunken ship is because Six-Pack falls over "the south ridge" and notices it. Again, this ridge can' be far from where the base is established and the ridge obviously isn't the Mariana trench....Six-Pack isn't even bruised from going over the edge. He's certainly unhurt enough to start looting immediately!

In Beck's defense, what they found doesn't raise eyebrows. Some medical records (that only Doc can read, they're in Russian), a videotaped log by the captain (that Doc and Beck watch…it suggests a contagion on board the Leviathan, but Beck still doesn't give a rats ass, even when Doc translates for him) and a bottle of vodka. There was also a flask of vodka, but no one but Bowman sees Six-Pack sneak it into his pocket. Sure, the crew tries to get into the safe later to get the vodka but Beck has poured it out. Since Bowman knows Six-Pack has the flask she confronts him later and they both share the contents of it.

That was a mistake. The vodka was mixed with some kind of soviet (Remember, this is 1989) genetic altering serum. The commies were using the crew of the Leviathan as an experiment in making fish-men! When the sailors began dying or turning into blood sucking icky octopus dudes the Russians scuttled the ship and covered it up. (Don't think about it…if you do, you'll wonder why they would do this kind of thing in an uncontrolled environment…just roll with it)

Having imbibed the evil serum with a vodka chaser, Six-Pack grows ill and dies. Bowman does too, but she discovers what happened to Six-Pack's mutated body and takes her own life. Beck and the Doc try to keep the deaths a secret having sussed it out from the captain's log and just plain freakin' in-your-face evidence. (Good luck with that...there's like EIGHT crewmembers. How do you hide the fact that 2 of them died suddenly from the other six for long?) They don't want to cause a panic with the others. But when they find that Six-Pack and Bowman's dead bodies have merged into a gross, slimy monster that is somehow alive, they figure its best to chuck the thing into the ocean floor. They succeed but a part of it gets cut off by the airlock door unnoticed and slimes away into their base. Beck contacts his boss, CEO Martin (Foster) requesting an emergency evacuation, but Martin informs him that a hurricane is headed their way so they'll have to wait a bit….with the monster. You can guess what happens from there.

Yes, it is basically the movie "Alien" only underwater. That's not to slam the movie. How many times has that formula been used, and for entertaining (if not 'good') flicks? Our heroes must somehow survive in a contained space with something that wants to hunt and kill them. We've all seen it before, and heck, we will again.

The movies biggest fault is that it doesn't show the monster enough. There's a part where the creature almost eats Cobb, but you really only see a tentacle. But the tentacle is surprisingly well done. It looks slimy and gross and you can almost smell the fish-odor by looking at it. But you only get fleeting glimpses of the monster even though it's implied that the monster "absorbs" its victims. The faces of the people it's eaten are merged into his body and they're still conscious. (One of them even groans "kill me"). Even with the paint-by-numbers plot that's disturbing. They really should have played that aspect up a bit. It's not a bad movie to watch if you're in the mood for 80s style horror movie cheese. It'll probably put you off your fish….and vodka….for a while.


1.) You know how every monster movie has to have that one character that’s a total dick?  In this movie it’s the guy named “Six-Pack”. The only good thing about it is you know the total dick character always dies. Daniel Stern as “Six-Pack” is the worst kind of dick, too. The kind that can dish it out but can’t take it. He pranks Willy (Amanda Pays) early in the movie and when she pranks him back he physically threatens her as if she kicked his own mother in the tits.

2.) Beck hides the pilfered vodka in his office safe, but the others manage to find out his combination and get to it. (The combination was his social security number, and they got that by sneaking into his personnel records. Even one of the crew says "You don't think he'd be dumb enough to use his SSN"….apparently he IS that dumb.) But Beck anticipated them doing this and filled the bottle with water. Clever, huh? Um, no. Why didn't he just CHANGE THE COMBINATION in the first place if he knew they'd try to break into the safe?

3.) You know, I spent nearly a year in the Middle East during Operation Desert Storm and man, I was hard up for a drink. But not enough to buy the moonshine the Arabs were shilling to the troops. Six-Pack and Bowman haven't been under the sea THAT long and they're willing to drink booze from a flask that was found in a scuttled Russian ship and been there for who knows how long. This movie has a drinking problem.

4.) It's funny that people thought in 1989 thought you could type "Take a guess" into a computer and get an answer.

5.) Bowman sure gives up fast. It took her all of five minutes to decide to kill herself.

6.) I understand why Doc didn't want to panic the others about a possible contagious disease, but when Six-Pack and Bowman die and their dead bodies are found merging into a very alive icky, slimy, genetically altered flesh-eating sea monster I'd think the whole secrecy shtick goes out of the window…err, airlock. Hell, he and Beck get the others to help dispose of the bodies, why not freakin' tell them? (Cobb even mentions that it's illegal for them to dispose of the bodies like this. If Beck and Doc had told the others he wouldn't have objected…in fact when the icky thing rips out of the body bag and scratches him, Cobb is the first one to yell "Get rid of the damned thing!")

7.) Cheatin' ass movie! A shower scene with Amanda Pays and she doesn't take off her bra.

8.) You might think that Doc sending a “Don’t come for us” message and jettisoning the Escape Modules is a selfless and heroic act, but it’s really a DICK MOVE. No one else is infected except for Cobb, and for all Doc Knows Cobb could be helped or cured with the proper medical facilities. (And it’s not clear if Doc even realizes that Cobb is infected at this point)

9.) Pay close attention to the scene after Beck, Jones and Willy discover that Doc has pretty much screwed them and Beck contacts CEO Martin for help. She assures them that they'll be able to retrieve them in 48 hours and cuts the call. Then they show her pick up a phone on her desk. She doesn't push a button or dial a number or anything. She picks it up and holds it to her ear for several long seconds, just to show she's EVIL. It's hilarious to me because we (as the audience) realized that that already. (Unless you are just completely genre-blind)

10.) They pushed it for tension at the end. Beck, Willy and surprisingly Jones make it to the surface and a shark attacks! WTF? Amazingly the monster surfaces right after for the final monster show down….everyone forgot about the shark. Maybe the shark ran off like "Funk Dat!"

11.) You also gotta love the fact that the Coast Guard guys in the rescue chopper are like "Holy Shit! A monster!" but do absolutely nothing to save Jones. They're all like "Save the hot chick. Screw that dude!"


♦ All of the others have their surnames on their high tech diving suits except Six-Pack. His nameplate says, well, "Six-Pack". Is that his last name or does the company have real lax standards?

♦ The high tech diving suits have a display in the helmet so the wearer can see their status. When Dejesus' suit malfunctions at the beginning of the movie there's a freaking skull and crossbones icon flashing on it. I just thought that was funny. I mean, if you're about to crap yourself because you think you're going to die why does the suit have to emphasize it?

♦ Who did the makeup for this flick and why did they have Amanda Pays wear that horrible "I'm a tramp" blue eye shadow?

♦ The survivors have some big-ass flame throwers as weapons. Which begs the question…why? Yeah, it looks cool, but why would you have them? They serve no useful purpose other than weapons. They can't be used in mining. (They're underwater) and fire burns oxygen, which is a problem in an undersea base.

Wait…how many monsters are there? Let's count: The first one was made of Six-Pack and Bowman. The heroes flushed it out of the airlock, but a part of it got cut off and wiggled away. Check. That chunk o' monster gets DeJesus. Unless it just ate him whole, bones and all, DeJesus is the monster the protagonists are scurrying from in the base. But Cobb got infected earlier in the movie and later turns into a monster. He attacks Doc and we see Doc afterward alone and supposedly beginning to change into a monster, too. (Indeed, Jones sees the monster with Doc's face imbedded in it for a split second) So we have THREE monsters on the inside of the base and possibly four….just because they flushed Six-Pack/Bowman outside doesn't mean it's dead. Its aquatic and it was alive when they tossed it out. Unless all of the monsters pulled a Voltron and combined into one beast there are four of the daggone things.


Well, you know the CEO, Martin is going to turn out to be evil. Especially when she's played by Meg Foster. Foster's unique eye color actually makes her perfect for playing ambiguously evil characters.

Ha! The movie fooled you! You thought Ernie Hudson was going to live! Silly Rabbit, this movie was released in 1989. That was when you could be assured that in any monster movie the Black Guy Always Dies. Heck, they even let him live up until the last freakin' five minutes of the movie! At least he didn't die first.


Out of all of the undersea movies released during that time I actually liked this one the most. Now, I could change my mind, as I haven't seen The Abyss or Deep-Star Six for years, but this movie had the proper amount of cheesiness. My only complaint is they really didn't show the monster enough. I suspect because it was cheap and fake looking up close. Still, it wasn't bad if you like a popcorn monster movie. Heck, it had Peter "Robocop" Weller and the gorgeous Amanda Pays too! This movie is a good five beers just for seeing Peter Weller punch Meg Foster in the face.

five beers

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