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Unexplainable Movie Trivia and Facts: “The Leviathan” (1989)

Coming in line with the slew of underwater films to appear during the late 80s and early 90s, “The Leviathan” emerged around the same time as ‘Alien,’ The Abyss,’ and ‘Deep Star Six.’ In this article, you will encounter some of the trivia and facts concerning the movie that involves the exploits of deep-sea miners that come in contact with a Soviet wreck.

The Plot

With orders to bring back ‘dangerous’ cargo, a group of deep-sea divers have received a mission to reach the ocean floor and complete an assignment that could place their lives in danger. The movie shows the crew as they fight to survive, fighting against a genetic mutation that is adept at hunting down its prey. Who will live in this underwater drama?  

Actors and actresses appearing in the film include Peter Weller (as Steven Beck); Richard Crenna (as Dr. Glen Thompson); Daniel Stern (as Buzz ‘Sixpack’ Parrish); Hector Elizondo (as G. P. Cobb); Meg Foster (as Martin); and Ernie Hudson (as Justin Jones).

“The Leviathan” Movie Trivia and Facts

The director of the “Leviathan” was George P. Cosmatos, who was also responsible for “Tombstone” (1993); “Cobra” (1986); and “Rambo: First Blood Part II” (1985).

The Leviathan was classified as a horror, thriller, and science fiction piece.

When it came to the design of the creature shown in the film, Stan Winston and George P. Cosmatos browsed a small library of marine life pictures and medical reference books to gain inspiration. By using details from the physiology of the natural world, they were able to come up with a plan to blend human body parts and elements of deep-sea marine life to establish one of the most unnatural-looking creatures to appear on film.

It took 50 to 60 spec drawings for the director to agree upon a final look for the creature. In the end, bits and pieces of all the drawings were combined to create the Leviathan. The result was a beast with the head of a fish, possessing dagger-like teeth. It then had the capacity to ‘borrow’ some of the features of its victims.

Filming locations for the movie took place in Malta, Adriatic Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico.

When shooting some of the underwater sequences, chicken feathers were used at one point to give the illusion that objects were floating around in the water. However, the idea did not work because the floating feathers did not give the effects that production wished to achieve.

At the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival, the movie took home an award for Best Special Effects.

Taglines used to market the film included “Welcome to your worst nightmare, welcome to Leviathan;” “It will leave you gasping for air…” and “The true meaning of fear.”

The film was released on March 17th, 1989.