OCTOBER 26, 2007
Few titles are as grossly inaccurate as Phantom From 10,000 Leagues. There’s no phantom, only a very silly looking Black Lagoon wannabe, and he’s about 100 feet under the surface or so. Plus, the movie is barely about him anyway, as the monster has maybe 3 minutes of screentime in the entire film.
No, instead, the filmmakers thought it would be much more interesting to watch a bunch of folks standing around talking about the ocean and science, and occasionally doing some scuba diving as they investigate a few murders. It’s sort of like that horrendous Jessica Alba movie Into the Blue – nothing happens, ever, just people diving and talking about diving. The monster scenes are mostly limited to the monster appearing behind some folks as they swim (never in the same shot) and then not actually killing them. At one point I began to wonder if he was even going to bother showing up in the climax.
Like just about every 50s movie, there’s a cop who bickers with another male character for no real reason, only to team up with him as the film progresses. Their animosity is made clear at the beginning, when the non-cop says, as icily as possible: “I’m an oceanographer... the ocean’s my business, day or night.” Which brought memories of a never filmed Jerry Bruckheimer movie called Tsunami, which was said to be about a “Maverick Oceanographer” (!!!) who tries to stop a giant tidal wave from destroying whatever town it took place in. Why the Bruck never made this film is beyond me, but the idea of a “maverick oceanographer” has been stuck in my mind since; a ridiculous character description that was only topped by Nathan Fillion’s character in FOX’s short lived show Drive, in which he played a “Rogue Landscaper”. GOD I love this town!
Still, that line is nothing compared to this gem. The obvious bad guy doctor talks to his secretary, and then suddenly says “I consider you an intelligent woman... a bit bitter perhaps, and no great lover of mankind, but still intelligent!” What the fuck kind of thing is that to say to someone? The fact that we have seen no evidence of her alleged disdain for the human race notwithstanding, it’s just an unnecessarily mean-spirited backhanded compliment.
And if anyone knows why, at the end of the film, the camera suddenly jerk pans away from the main characters as they walk off into the sunset in order to show the ocean (in which nothing is going on), feel free to explain here.
Mill Creek dubs this as a “classic”. I can only assume they were being sarcastic (they didn’t use quotes, like I did).
What say you?