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Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Neptune Factor (1973)

An earthquake traps an underwater ocean laboratory and the three men in it. A miniature submarine is sent down to make a rescue attempt but the lab has sunk to such a great depth that it may be impossible. One would think that at its most basic level, even a derivative "B" undersea adventure would be mindless fun ... one would think. Wrong! It's near incredible how dull this VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA knock off is. There's zero characterization and the cast, all of whom have done good work in the past (Ben Gazzara, Ernest Borgnine, Yvette Mimieux, Walter Pidgeon), is left adrift spouting the most inane dialog. The special effects consist of a miniature toy submarine floating amongst exotic fish and sea horses giving the effect of giant sea creatures! The film has the feel of a television movie but even if it actually were made for TV, it still wouldn't cut the mustard. Not even Lalo Schifrin can whip up much excitement with his sluggish underscore. It's flabby without any real tension or suspense. Directed by Daniel Petrie (A RAISIN IN THE SUN). With Donnelly Rhodes and Michael J. Reynolds.

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