Directed By: Tsugunobu Kotani
Starring: Leigh McCloskey, Carl Weathers, Burt Ives, Connie Sellecca, Ruth Attaway
Disclaimer: Warner Archive has provided me with a copy of this film free of charge for the purposes of review. All opinions contained within are my own honest reflections.
Rankin and Bass are no doubt fondly remembered for their timeless and kinda strange stop-motion animation. Here they produced this live-action late '70s creature-feature. A young man named Magnus (Leigh McCloskey) is struggling with trauma from his youth and returns the Bermuda's to discover the truth behind his fathers death. A lovely spirit, a giant turtle and Burt Ives abound in this ultra-crazy '70s outing.
So, The Bermuda Depths is a film that I had often read about but never had a chance to 'dive' into until WA re-released it. It carried around a pretty hefty reputation for being a strange movie and, oh boy, I was not disappointed on that front. The movie has the typical trappings of a 'so-bad its-enjoyable' with overacting, cheesy special effects and the material is way too overwrought for its own good. Furthermore, the dialogue is kind of hokey and the pacing has its issues. But, you know what? The movie is actually a lot of fun and whether its seeing Burt Ives being attacked by a giant turtle or Carl Weathers overacting in his little white short shorts, this movie has a little something for everybody.
Japanese director Tsugunobu Kotani, credited as Tom Kotani is no stranger to low-budget action/adventure movies. He previous to Bermuda helmed The Last Dinosaur (1977) and in Depths you can see his love for kaiju action when the giant turtle lets loose. Taking this craziness a step further is his sort of supernatural element which I think kept things interesting even though it only raises more questions. I think you really have to have a fondness for cheesy melodrama and monster attacks to truly gloss over the fact that this movie is all over the place in story, tone and acting.
Picture: Bermuda Depths is another stunning triumph for WA. From the opening beach shots this new 4k scan dazzles with crystal clear clarity. Seriously, it certainly does not look like a movie that is over forty-years old at this point. Artifacts and scratches are not present and grain is not heavy and smoothed out. Yet, it doesn't have an over-processed look with a nice balance of color. As I said the outdoor locale scenes especially look incredible.
Sound: Bermuda also sounds great with a strong DTS 2.0 track. Dialogue comes through nicely with sound design and music that is robust for a 2.0. Overall, this is a really great sound presentation.
Extras: Bermuda features a Brand-New commentary by Author/Historian Amanda Reyes and Kindertrauma co-founder Lance Vaughan
It also features two versions of the film: The 1:33:1 US Broadcast Version and the 1:85:1 International Theatrical Version.