“Deep Rising (1998)”
Music By Jerry Goldsmith
Intrada Special Collection Vol. 280
35 Tracks/Disc Time: 67:43
Originally intended to be a Summer film for 1997, “Deep Rising” was pushed way back to the dead zone of January films. The film was mercilessly panned despite the fact that it was surprisingly entertaining for what it is and that is a lean mean effects monster movie. The film which was directed by Stephen Sommers, who would go on to direct the blockbuster hit, “The Mummy” after his film, revolves around a soldier of fortune styled named Finnegan (the excellent Treat Williams, “Everwood”) and his nervous mechanic (Kevin J.O’Connor, “The Mummy”) and his girlfriend are transporting a group of mercinaries led by Wes Studi, “Geronimo: An American Legend” to rendevousz with a luxury ship way out in the ocean built by shady fiancier Simon Canton (Anthony Heald, “The Client”). Their agenda goes up in smoke when underwater octopuses run rampid around the ship including the “big one” pretty much digesting everything in its’ path. Finnegan and crew have to find a way to fix their damaged sea vessel and escape the terror inside the luxary liner before they too become the next meal.
The film has garnered somewhat of a cult following over the years and it’s a film for me that is very enjoyable for what it is and it has some nice tongue n’ cheek touches throughout that make it one of the better ones of the genre. The film was also made fun by the work of the late Academy Award winner Jerry Goldsmith who was really at a resurgence late in his career after returning to his full orchestrial roots on the well received and acclaimed score to “First Knight” which followed with exceptionally strong efforts in “Executive Decision”, “Chain Reaction”, “The Ghost And The Darkness”, “Star Trek First Contact”, “City Hall”, “L.A. Confidential”, “The Edge” and an miraculous last minute brilliant rescoring of the Harrison Ford action thriller, “Air Force One.” “Deep Rising” despite being the very least popular or favorite of these scores that would kick off a pretty strong year in 1998 garnering one final Oscar nomination for the Disney animated film, “Mulan”.
The score to “Deep Rising” was recorded between the memorable scores to “Air Force One” and “The Edge” isn’t one that would immediately stick out Goldsmith’s great discography, but I will absolutely say that this score is a throw back to his 80’s work with a deliciously enjoyable modern 90’s edge to it. Mixing in (purposely I would assume) some throw back drum machine calypso styled rhythms with the full power of the orchestra which really makes the film that much better. Goldsmith really hand fun with the project and you can tell by the professionalism displayed here and it’s a score full of colorful layers, upon layers of both pure adrenaline and terror.
Starting with the opening track “Underwater Grave/The Saipan” which starts out with the scores main theme with a repeated thumping electronic sound mixed with full brass motif that is what you call the stinger for the mutated octopus that appears late in the film in full glory with full range orchestrial terror highlighted in the tracks “Free Fall/Muscles”, “Last Meal”, and “Not Every Day” (which is the full reveal of the massive CGI creature) that is perfectly matched with Goldsmith’s trademark suspense material that also feature this nasty, fun theme in “Empty Ship”, “Stay Close”, “The Ottoto”, “I’m Outta Here”, and “A Fish Story/The Shadow” which are very enjoyable tracks. The majority of the score features some really kick ass action material culminated by a memorable theme featuring a calypso styled electronic sound with focus on percussion and a full over the top sounding orchestra that really matches the film exceptionally well. The major highlights of the excellent action material include the excellent “The Screen/The Ship”, “The Creates”, “Boarding The Ship”, “On The Road” “Wall Of Water”, “The Flare Gun”, and “E Ride” which feature some really stellar action material that is really muscular and full of Goldsmith’s grandiose action flare that was in keeping with the action style that he readapted to in the mid 90’s. “Hang On/End Title” ends the score with one last propulsive reprise of the main theme before a more tranquil and peaceful bit of relaxing Goldsmith material takes shape until…another reprise of the awesome main theme finishes the score as the film fades to black.
Intrada’s Special Collection release expands the original Hollywood Records release by over thirty minutes and a very important thirty plus minutes that make one huge difference that concentrates on the naunces and exciting energy the score truly displays and finally gets its’ rightful expansion like many other Goldsmith scores that have gotten their just due in recent years. Kudos to Intrada for unleashing this beast which is a real treat for fans of the film, but also shows how Jerry Goldsmith’s work is still very much with us day by day. Strong thumbs up!