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Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Reviews

Page 1 of 4
Phil H

Super Reviewer

September 30, 2013
The film that kick started the long long long TV series that was basically Star Trek under the sea. So the success of this film of course lead to the TV show which in turn was a big success and encouraged the creator Irwin Allen to go ahead and make other sci-fi TV series that all had a similar look and feel about them...'Lost In Space' 'Land of the Giants' and 'The Time Tunnel'. So this original film was the spark that ignited a whole genre of classic TV.

Yet despite all that...holy crapenstein this film was errrr...crap!. Now I've seen a lot of these old fantasy flicks from the 60's but this has to be the most boring sci-fi I've ever seen I kid you not. The plot is nuts, something about a meteor shower that is on fire threatening the Earth with an extreme rise in heat temperatures. So the Captain of this fancy ass submarine comes up with a plan to extinguish these flaming meteors by firing a nuke at them on a certain day and at a certain time. It has to be this exact time and day so the nuke will put out the flames and blast the meteors back into space. Wut?? say again? repeat all after the plot is nuts.

The 'excitement' comes from the fact that this plan is rejected (really?) and only the US President can authorise it. So the devious Captain ignores this, gets his sub into position and tries to get in contact with El Presidente before the time slot is missed, of course there is a saboteur on board which makes things even more exciting!.

I mean seriously there is nothing happening in this film! the plot is too stupid for words and makes no sense. When you watch the film you do agree with UN that the main plan is nuts and its probably best to leave the meteors alone. So you spend the entire film thinking this bunch of sailors on this fancy sub are doing something really really dangerous and stupid...without permission!. Of course we all know it will work but you still know its utterly stupid.

There are various issues the subs crew must battle against to try and complete their illegal mission, typical stuff like under sea mines, debris, a mutiny, equipment being damaged blah blah blah, oh and a giant squid attack too. Yep that's right, you can't have an underwater adventure without a giant sea beast of some sort attacking the main vessel. So right away that compromises the films semi realistic approach, at first I thought it was sort of serious, outlandish sci-fi but kinda serious with sensible elements. The giant squid kinda turns the whole thing into complete fantasy and ruins that feel, I mean what next? mermaids saving the crew?.

I think one of the main issues for me was the fact the film just looks totally dull, the action is lifeless and visually its just bland and plain. All the sets are clearly sets (they used the same sets for the TV show), the colours are stale, the costumes are drab, the sub model looks like something you'd see in 'Flesh Gordon' (a dildo with a windscreen) and most of the film is set within this monochrome tin can. I get the feeling the sub has been designed like a spacecraft, sleek, smooth and intimidating like a shark, as apposed to the steampunk-like design of the classic 'Nautilus'. A wondrous and fantastical craft ready to set sail into unknown deep sea what happened?.

There are a few scenes outside the sub but nothing much inspiring goes on, the only sequence with some life is the squid attack naturally...but don't go expecting anything of Disney standards now.

Imagine the original Star Trek show but without any planet hopping or alien encounters, just the crew on the ship having mechanical issues and chats...constantly. Yep well this is pretty much this film to a tee, a tonne of blokes on a sub with the obligatory blonde female sidekick doing virtually nothing but talk, with the odd shaky cam action sequence for good measure (with obligatory red flashing emergency light). I don't think any of this film cast star in the TV show, but it really doesn't matter as even the likes of Peter Lorre can't make this film any better.

The films title sounds awesome and thrilling, how wrong could it be!. I was straining to get through this, I do recall the TV show being pretty boring when I was a kid but I hoped this would be much better seeing as it was the acorn that spawned the oak tree. I can't see how this was popular I really can't, there were so many other better fantasy/sci-fi films out around this time and this film totally pales in comparison.

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2010
Yes, there's a cool cast, but the story is stupid and it's a boring submarine movie too. As much as I enjoyed seeing Lorre, Fontaine, Eden, Pidgeon, Sterling, and Avalon in a movie together, the movie itself wasn't worthy of having them in it. I don't recommend this movie.
Henrik S

Super Reviewer

October 8, 2008
A colourpuking and bizarre mash up of Vernesian ideas and Hollywood mainstream, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea never really takes of as a movie and introduces many ideas while not developing the old ones. The character's motivations are utterly one-dimensional and taken out of the help-yourself stereotype box (foreign villain or German scientist anyone ?). The cast is made up of B-movie stars and type casts such as grumpy woodman Walter Pidgeon, whose performance is so stiff, I almost ripped my silverscreen apart. I did not enjyo the movie, as much as the technicolour fest and fight with the Kraken (Camp !) made me cbuckle. To ambitious and bloated for a b-movie, and far from being an A-movie.


Super Reviewer

December 28, 2008
Have you ever seen something so horribly bad that you couldn't tear yourself away from it? Well...this would be one of those things.
August 24, 2008
This was an expensive pilot for a TV show. The special effects were all models shot in a tank of water. All the underwater life looks like rubber toys. The story is far fetched and has every cliche from every other Sci-Fi or submarine movie. The acting is over done and melodramatic. Some of the plot elements were done better in the Star Trek TV series. In the story the Van Allen Radiation belts have caught fire and are causing rapid global warming. Of coarse this is not possible. The Van Allen Radiation belts are just solar radiation trapped by the earth's magnetic field in the vacuum of space. When this movie was made the Van Allen Radiation belts had just been discovered by the U.S.'s first satellites and the USS Nautilus had also recently traveled under the Artic ice cap to the North Pole. The only reason to watch this movie is to see a young Barbara Eden in a pre I Dream of Jeannie role. The bad guy in the movie is played by Barbara Eden's real life husband at the time Michael Ansara who also played several characters on I Dream of Jeannie. He was most famous for playing Kang the Klingon in Star Trek. The TV show that came from this pilot was totally recast and was better written for the first few years. By the time the TV show ended it had become a monster of the week Sci-Fi series. However, without this movie and then TV show there may have been no Star Trek. The success of the TV show led NBC to look for a similar series that became Star Trek. The star of the movie was Walter Pidgeon who was also in Forbidden Planet which was also copied by Star Trek.
June 27, 2009
Typical over produced Irwin Allen spectacle, way overblown and melodramatic, a rather corny and unconvincing plot, but I sure was entertained anyway. The cast is great. Joan Fontaine sure took on a role like she has never done before. It is clear plenty of money went into the production. Technically it is quite good. Imaginative with good cinematography. A few years later it became a popular television series.
January 10, 2008
This is a fun movie to watch. It's very reminiscent of a "Twilight Zone" episode where the earth is being baked. Great science fiction writing in this. It's good to see the only two actresses in scenes together. Barbara Eden and Joan Fontaine are excellent and worked well with each other, too. I realize the producers were trying to create a super submarine for effect, but it was the roomiest submarine ever with high ceilings, broad staircases and wide rooms. Another hilarious aspect was the below-the-knee high railing to keep people from falling into the shark tank. Safety? Naw, it's over-rated.
My favorite scene is Barbara Eden's entrance: having her wiggling butt engulf the entire screen! Classic!
November 5, 2013
Sabotage might be just the beginning.

A group of scientists and men who specialize in the depths of the ocean go on an undersea voyage for science in a submarine. While in the depths of the ocean the Earth seems to erupt and human existence is put at risk. It is completely unsafe to return to the surface. The scientists onboard are split in terms of identifying a potential solution where they could bomb the core of the Earth and reverse the actions taking place on the surface. Some scientists feel these actions will make things worse. All of these events, including the arguing scientists, make the shipmates nervous and they don't know how to react. Can the scientists save the Earth before the shipmen mutiny and take over the sub and force them to return the officers to their families?

"What did you see out there?"
"Dead men on a dead ship."

Irwin Allen, director of The Lost World, The Poseidon Adventure, Five Weeks in a Balloon, City Beneath the Sea, and The Swarm, delivers Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. The storyline for this picture is interesting and reminded me of 20,000 League Under the Sea. The action scenes are far and few between but well executed when delivered. The acting is above average and the cast includes Peter Lorre, Joan Fontain, Walter Pidgeon, Robert Sterling, and Mark Slade.

"In her current condition she wouldn't even bite a congressman."
"Then she's the only one onboard who wouldn't."

I have always thought that Peter Lorre was a cool eccentric character that played interesting roles so I decided to DVR a couple of his films. I found this on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) this holiday season and decided to give it a shot. I will say the underwater scenes with the squid were cool as were the shots of the surface as the death toll mounted; however, the characters didn't really fascinate or keep my interest as intended. Overall, this is a fun science fiction picture that is above average but far from great.

"I'll remind you to keep your sniveling philosophies to yourself."

Grade: B-
January 21, 2013
Parece otra propuesta divertida de Allen como sus filmes de desastres, pero peca de algo, y ese algo es importane: Viaje al Fondo Del Mar es aburrida, aburrida, aburrida. La trama es floja y ni sus apabulantes efectos ni su supercast la logran salvar.
January 8, 2013
Not the most memorable film I have seen, however the constant saturation of sophisticated special effects (for the time) and the fads of the time that were haphazardly included in the screenplay seems to draw one in for the sheer kitsch value.

However, despite the esteemed cast, not one of the actors on this film could have rescued the abysmal script. The lines are stilted and unnatural for the dire situation the characters are in, and almost every character seems disinterested and bored. The impromptu trumpet dance scene with Barbara Eden and Frankie Avalon has no relevance or meaning whatsoever to the story.

Things became a tad off kilter in the underwater scene with the obviously fake sea creatures such as a propellor-propelled swordfish and a foam squid. Afterwards, people become ill and lenghty monologues about life and the end of the world ensue.

A somewhat forgettable sequence in an underwater minefield comes next, in which the most memorable thing aside from the blank, bored characters was when I spilt my can of soft drink.

However, like 'Mommie Dearest' or 'Giant Spider Invasion', I couldn't stop watching due to the unintentional humor and dreary plot twists. From that aspect it was watchable, even entertaining. Even the obvious scientific error of 'skyfire' in space posing a threat to earth became laughable after a while.

Despite the stilted acting, the dreary script, the factual errors, the laughable special effects and the irritating sound effects, the mediocrity of the movie makes it worth watching, however not repeatedly. No one should have to do that.
April 17, 2011
I've a grand appreciation for both retro disaster propaganda and campy underwater adventures but I had a very hard time sitting though this. Some greatness amongst a sea of boring-ness.
December 17, 2011
Even after all these years, and I saw this movie when it was new, this film stands up to the modern standards, without CGI, or any of the" modern" film technologies.
September 17, 2011
Great special effects and a lot a nostalgic moments make "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" a fun submarine flick.
September 28, 2008
March 6, 2010
68/100. Typical over produced Irwin Allen spectacle, way overblown and melodramatic, a rather corny and unconvincing plot, but I sure was entertained anyway. The cast is great. Joan Fontaine sure took on a role like she has never done before. It is clear plenty of money went into the production. Technically it is quite good. Imaginative with good cinematography. A few years later it became a popular television series.
mike a.
December 8, 2009
I just don't think the film or the effects have stood up very well.

A tough film to watch now.

The acting and plot are passable but nothing special
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