Film (1973; vt Conquest of the Deeps). Quadrant Films/20th Century Fox Film Corporation. Produced by Sandy Howard. Directed by Daniel Petrie. Written by Jack DeWitt. Cast includes Ernest Borgnine, Ben Gazzara, Yvette Mimieux and Walter Pidgeon. 98 minutes. Colour.
Oceanlab, a laboratory Under the Sea off the eastern coast of Canada, slides into a deep abyss after an earthquake, trapping its three-man crew with only a seven-day supply of oxygen. The crevice is both too deep and too narrow for normal submarines to reach: Admiral Blake (Gazzara) takes his mini-submersible, the Neptune II into the deeps to rescue them. Along for the ride are Dr Leah Jansen (Mimieux), chief diver Dan McKay (Borgnine) and Dr Samuel Andrews (Pidgeon). After encounters with aftershocks and giant fish, they reach the men just in time and return them to the surface.
The Neptune Factor is a rather tedious film whose special effects, poor even by 1973 standards, are confined to model-work and photographic enlargement of ordinary fish. A bigger budget might have helped. [GFi]
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