Released in January 1989, DEEP STAR SIX was looked upon by many as being yet another Alien type clone. Instead of being set in deep space it was set deep in the ocean where a crew of Navy engineers are excavating and area of the sea floor, whilst doing this they accidently disturb a gigantic and highly aggressive sea monster who begins to set about their craft with a view to getting to them. I suppose it is a fair comment to say that this fairly low budget tale was in fact seen as an opportunity to cash in on the success and appeal of films such as ALIEN, but saying that didn’t ALIEN director James Cameron attempt to re-kindle the same sort of scenario four years later in 1989 when he made THE ABYSS? So, I suppose one could say that DEEP STAR SIX could have been the inspiration for that movie and others like it that moved the horror from outer space into the depths and darkness of the Oceans, LEVIATHAN for example which was released two months after DEEP STAR SIX. Although DEEP STAR SIX was a low budget affair, it was not in any way lacking in entertainment value, and recently I re-watched the movie and still enjoyed it, but I am as they say easily pleased. It’s tag line, NOT ALL ALIENS COME FROM SPACE, SAVE YOUR LAST BREATH TO SCREAM, which is also a different take on the ALIEN tag line, IN SPACE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM. Still sticks in my head. The music for DEEP STAR SIX is the work of composer Harry Manfredini, he is one of those composers who I believe is so talented but never seems to attain the status he so richly deserves, he worked on numerous movies during the 1980’s and also the 1990’s including the FRIDAY THE 13TH series of films, his scores are a fusion of symphonic and electronic, the composer fashioning effective and entertaining works that work both with and without the images on screen. In his career thus far the composer has scored some 100 movies and TV series.
His music for DEEP STAR SIX is in my opinion one of his best scores for film, the opening theme is wonderfully orchestrated, and although it does contain a handful of synthetic elements it is essentially a symphonic piece that is rich in harmonies and filled with melody. The style employed by the composer is verging upon the style of John Barry in places, with rich and sumptuous strings being punctuated and supported by faraway sounding horns that add a sense of the solitary to the proceedings, the theme also contains a magical and somewhat mystical foundation of delicate and fragile sounding chimes etc, on which the composer builds his haunting theme. In fact maybe it also has a gentle nod in there to Jerry Goldsmith at times. The soundtrack was released on INTRADA records (MAF7004D) back in 1989, and it was one of those soundtracks that seemed to disappear quickly, I was fortunate enough to get a copy in London and have treasured it ever since.
It is a score that contains a variety of styles and sounds, the composer pulling out highly dramatic and action fuelled cues as if from nowhere, at times evoking the style of the old B feature creature films that were so popular during the 1950’s and early 1960’s. But I have to say that for the most part it is the luxurious sounding core theme that attracts and entices the listener, I have to say that this is definitely a score that outshines the film it was written for.