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Theatrical release poster
Directed by George Pan Cosmatos
Produced by Charles Gordon
Lawrence Gordon
Written by David Peoples
Jeb Stuart
Starring Peter Weller
Richard Crenna
Amanda Pays
Daniel Stern
Ernie Hudson
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography Alex Thomson
Editing by John F. Burnett
Roberto Silvi
Release date(s) United States:
March 17, 1989
September 22, 1989
Running time 98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Gross revenue $15,704,614[1]

Leviathan (1989) is a science fiction horror film about a hideous creature that stalks and kills a group of people in a sealed environment, in a similar vein to such films as Alien (1979) and The Thing (1982). It is one of many underwater-themed movies released around 1989, including The Abyss, DeepStar Six, The Evil Below, Lords of the Deep, and The Rift (Endless Descent).



Tri-Oceanic Corp has hired a crew of undersea miners to do a 90-day mining operation. Martin (CEO Tri-Oceanic Corp), hired Steven Beck, a geologist, to assist in mining operations as well as command the undersea mining station. While outside their vessel in a pressure suit, Sixpack trips and stumbles upon a wrecked ship. Because he doesn't respond to hails over his radio, Williams goes to look for him and finds him excited over "treasure." Dr. Thompson understands Russian and identifies the ship as the "Leviathan" from its markings. While checking on records of Leviathan, the crew discover that it is still marked as an active ship on duty in the Baltic Sea.

Meanwhile, Sixpack and the rest of the crew open a safe from The Leviathan and find several crew records relating to deceased crew members, as well as a video tape from the doctor of Leviathan. Among the materials, Sixpack finds a flask of Vodka. There being no alcohol on their own ship, he hides this for his own use later. Bowman figures out Sixpack has hidden away the Vodka and persuades him to share it.

That night the doctor and Beck review the video of the Russian doctor of Leviathan and believe his medical log was cryptic over the crew's poor health condition. They also go through the video tapes of Leviathan and notice the hull was possibly hit by a torpedo.

The following morning Sixpack awakes feeling sick, with lesions throughout his back. The doctor is unable to offer any explanation for why Sixpack has ended up like this. He asks the computer for an opinion, and it responds with a "guess", suggesting "genetic alteration." Sixpack dies eight hours after first feeling sick, but the doctor and Beck hide news of his death to avoid a panic amongst the crew. Dr. Thompson carries out routine medical checks to make sure no one else is sick, but doesn't have the chance to examine Bowman.

While Beck and Dr. Thompson have a video conference with Martin (on the surface), Bowman has already begun to feel the effects just like Sixpack. She becomes emotionally distraught when she begins losing hair. She accidentally stumbles upon Sixpack's corpse and witnesses it mutating right in front of her. Meanwhile Beck and Dr. Thompson don't want to take risks and ask Martin to execute an emergency medical evacuation. Martin makes the excuse that the evacuation will happen, but there is a possible severe storm on the surface which will hamper efforts, and may delay things for another 12 hours.

Dr. Thompson finds Bowman. Unable to cope with the idea of dying like Sixpack, she has committed suicide by slitting her wrists in the shower. Her body is taken to sickbay, where Beck and Thompson find Sixpack's body mutating. Later, her body finds its way to Sixpack and merges with Sixpacks's body. They decide to dump both bodies without the crew's knowledge. As they are about to "flush" the bodies, the crew try to open the bag as they see the mutating corpses writhing through the body bag, and believe someone was alive inside.

The creature that is forming inside attacks and claws Cobb before they succeed in ejecting the body. The surviving crew are finally informed of what has happened and realize that the Leviathan (ship) was experimenting with mutagens to the unknown crew. The mutagen was mixed with the vodka that the crew had drunk and later Sixpack and Bowman had drunk as well. The ship was scuttled when the experiment(s) went out of hand.

Despite the bodies being flushed, a piece of Sixpack's mutating leg remains on board and continues to mutate into a lamprey/leech-like creature. This attacks Dejesus in the kitchen. Jones tries to get help, but the creature assimilates Dejesus and begins growing tentacles that randomly attack the crew.

Later, Thompson ejects the escape pods so that no one can escape whilst there is a potentially dangerous mutagen on board. Meanwhile, Beck consults with Martin for emergency evacuation. Martin assures them that they won't be left behind, but that she cannot carry out the rescue yet because of a hurricane on the surface.

Cobb's injuries get worse and causes him to mutate as well and he infects Dr. Thompson. Williams escapes as Beck and Jones try to trap the creature. Williams joins them but is almost captured by the creature. They escape to another part of the station.

The crew tries to access weather information through the computer, but it is blocked. Williams is smart enough to not ask the computer for a weather report, but a financial one from the company itself. They discover that the Tri-Oceanic Corp has already declared them dead, labeling it an accident.

The creature damages vital systems that causes the pressure to drop and an implosion to occur in a short period of time. They make a run for the area called the swamp, where they suit up to enter the sea to mine, to see if they can stop the implosion. After many attacks by the creature and hatches closing on them, they make it to the swamp. Jones is unable to access the valves because of steam blasting them. They decide to use their special dive suits as a means to escape, leaving the creature behind.

The creature attacks them while they are escaping, but they make it to the surface where they are met by the Coast Guard. However, the mutant creature surfaces near them and attempts to drown Jones. Jones stalls it at the cost of his life and Beck uses the opportunity to end the creature's life by throwing a demolition charge into its mouth and causing it to explode.

After they are dropped off on a Tri-Oceanic Corp oil drilling platform, the two survivors are greeted by Martin. Martin tells them she believed they would make it, smiling insincerely, and asking if there was anything that would make Beck feel better. Without breaking stride or pausing as he walks past her, Beck punches Martin in the face, knocking her out, saying, "Better. A lot better."



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