"This is one of those movies that has MSTK written all over it. There is some tension generated, but the sheer rediculousness of the production really gets in the movie's way. The story starts out with an underwater sea lab getting caught in a seaquake, and it disappears down a deep ocean trench. The surface crew desperately tries to rescue the men trapped below, calling in divers and even a submarine, all to no avail. Then, with time running out, an experimental small super-sub is pressed into service. So far, so good. But as the crew of the super-sub begin their search, things begin to get laughable. The sub finds itself surrounded by gigantic tropical fish and other sea life! What the producers did was simply place their models in a large aquarium and expect us to believe the crew was really in danger of becoming guppy-food. True, Ernest Borgnine is good in his typical portrayal of the "the-hell-with-the-safety-protocols!" character. And the overall idea of the movie is pretty interesting. But that alone cannot save this sinker... er, stinker!Worst of all is the total waste of Walter Pigeon's character. In one of his last roles, Walter is reduced to merely looking concerned about events. This movie is really only good for those of us who enjoy bad sci-fi, and get a good laugh out of it. For a GOOD underwater picture along the same lines, I'd recommend "The Abyss". And for Walter Pigeon underwater and in sci-fi command, the original "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" is your best bet."
There's A Hole At The Bottom Of The Sea--And This Movie Fell
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 11/10/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I was completely unimpressed with THE NEPTUNE FACTOR when I, then all of twelve years old, saw the movie in its original 1973 theatrical release. When I discovered the film available on DVD, I decided to revisit it on the chance that it had simply been over my then-youthful head--and upon seeing it again realized that I was a pretty good judge of films even way back then. Simply put, THE NEPTUNE FACTOR bites a big one.
The plot was hackneyed even in 1973: an earthquake shakes up an undersea lab and a "special submarine" is dispatched to find out what has happened down there. They go down, down, down to the bottom of the sea, they look out the submarine window, and they see... some really big fish. Yep, that's about all there is to it. They look at some really big fish.
Now, the cast itself isn't bad at all. After all, it includes Walter Pigdeon, Ben Gazzara, Ernest Borgnine, Yvette Mimieux--and they are very capable players. And they give it their all, but they just can't get a lot of mileage out of it, particularly when the really big fish are just really big (and pretty grainy) close ups of little fish that you might find in somebody's home acquarium. And then there's the submarine itself, which is clearly a plastic model, and which seems to have filmed at the bottom of a kiddie wading pool with some plastic seaweed stuff thrown in.
If this sounds boring, well, it is. Now and then a really bad film can become accidentally entertaining. It may be so bad that it's astonishing, as in PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. It may be so bad that it's endearing, like ATTACK OF THE 50 WOMAN. But most bad films are just dull and boring, and when it comes to dull and boring THE NEPTUNE FACTOR is working hard to lead the pack. Give it a miss.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer"
"Undersea Odyssey" in Your Own Aquarium!!
Bob Eggleton | Providence, RI United States | 05/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This Canadian-made film had a huge ad campaign back in the day(1973) with a poster sporting more than was delivered. A seaquake sends a rather cheap-looking model "Oceanlab II" into an unknown abyss and only the high-tech "Neptune", piloted by Ben Gazzara can rescue(begrudgingly) any survivors. All-star cast, but sub(no pun!)par FX work that appears to have been shot in a large aquarium! The giant sea monsters are...gasp... sea bass, eels, sand sharks all filmed close-up and "giant" in very sandy bottomed aquariums with a toy-model of the Neptune occasionally buffeted about and attacked by them. One shot has some animatronic(for the time) sea monsters but they look incredibly badly done. At once point the sub gets caught in a "river of sand". Some bad continuity topside does not help the film(sunny from outside the ship, cloudy from inside). However, good performances salvage some of this and it's good for laughs and, 70's nostalgia. You know it's a "Sea" movie with Walter Pigeon and Ernest Borgnine in it!"
Gloriously awful! Swell DVD though...
M J Heilbron Jr. | Long Beach, CA United States | 02/02/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"MAN was this a bad movie! For some strange reason, I remember LOVING this movie whenever it aired on local TV. I remember always being excited when it showed up on either the big networks or the small local stations...it was almost like an event for me! I could have sworn this was awesome...
And the poster is super. Terrific illustration art, colorful, dynamic.
NONE of what you see in the poster is in the movie, by the way.
I'm not certain exactly what sugar-fried confection my brain was on, but seriously, this is stupendously awful from script to screen. The plot involves an undersea lab, an earthquake, a rescue op and giant fish. The OceanLab could have been made from Legos, and the movie was entirely filmed in an aquarium in some dentist's office in Canada. No, that's not correct. The movie would have been infinitely BETTER if it had used Legos and that dentist's aquarium... Nearly every line recited by an actor is a small, completely intact cliche. If you never saw this movie, you could still finish each actor's line before he or she finished it on screen. That could be a fun drinking game at a college somewhere.
Borgnine tries his best; Gazzara tries even harder. Mimieux doesn't have to try...she's the eye candy of the all-male cast. Walter Pidgeon looks befuddled. If you turn on the English subtitles, half of his lines are, and I quote, "(exhales)". That's it. A rush of air.
Now, this DVD is pretty swell, though. A contemporaneous short featurette, trailers, TV spots, promotional materials, posters...and the image is remarkably crisp and colorful for a film of its' age and "importance."
The scenes with the fish looks SO bad...it's a riot. The triggerfish ramming the sub? Come on...a triggerfish? Couldn't they have come up with another more scary fish, like, I dunno, a perch? Salmon?
No, it's because all Dr. Simon DDS had in his office that day was triggerfish!
Seriously...it's SO bad but I'm still laughing at myself for once liking this. My folks must have thought I was mental..."
Sinking to the Bottom Of The Sea
Robert Norman | Trumbull, CT USA | 06/21/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"...has all the earmarks of a classic 'good bad' movie but just doesn't pull it of. Simply not bad enough to be funny, but is rather dull. Poor, old Walter Pidgeon and his sad little neckerchief, looking best to be sincere. Professional cocky sourpuss Ben Gazzara stars as well, along with sweaty Ernest Borgnine. Expect little and maybe be mildly amused."