Dark Descent (2002)
Descent Into Darkness

Nomination Year: 2008
SYNOPSIS:  Another "classic" USA Network production, taking a few pages (give or take 45 minutes) from the classic Western High Noon. Story by Phillip Roth, but not that Phillip Roth.

Gum-smacking Marshall Will Murdack (Dean Cain) is the new law onboard a company deep-sea mining operation, and right away he goes about rousting the local crime boss (he and a couple of brothers are arrested, while another brother is killed in a low-tension shootout).

Four years later, Will is set to leave the underwater station -- just as soon as his replacement arrives -- but the criminal mastermind and his brothers are mysteriously released from prison and are heading for the station with some smuggled heavy artillery ... could this have something to do with the suicides that Will has been investigating?

The script makes a big deal of setting up Will's claustrophobia (which is why he chews gum), and then does nothing with it. Although I will admit that this film features possibly the best use of (contact lens) saline solution ever.

Smithee Award Winner!MegaMetaSmithee Award Winner! "Alas, Poor Yorick"

Death by Water Pressure.
There's a hole in the hull of the station. A door quickly closes to seal off that section. But it doesn't close normally -- it irises closed as water is pouring through it. Unfortunately for the guy in the hallway on the other side of that door, who discovers that a large volume of water times a small opening equals intense water pressure. Like God's own squirt gun.

Deus Ex Machina

What a Relief!
Will flooded the reactor with heavy water too late, and it's going to blow anyway (with a force approximately equal to one Hiroshima). He has changed into a pressure suit, and is scooting along the seafloor away from the station. But how will he escape the blast? Even accepting that this movie doesn't understand the principle of hydrostatic shock, the last escape pod left with barely enough time to outrun the blast. The station blows, and Will jumps down into the trench where the marinium is mined. Without a safety line. Did I mention this was the Marianas Trench? Things are looking bad for Will, when ... a submarine shows up! It grabs him with its claw! It's the new Marshal sent to relieve him! The credits roll! The audience, too, is relieved.

"Cutting Butter With A Chainsaw"

When Life Gives You Bullets, Make Bullet-ade.
The corrupt doc has been cornered in his office by the criminal mastermind and his brothers. "When life gives you lemons," he says. They use a machine gun to kill him (everybody just seems to magically know where it's safe to use guns and where it isn't). Frankly, they use way more machine gun to kill him than is necessary.

"Whoops!"

That'll Kill You on the Long Distance Charges.
Will is talking (via videophone) to his old buddy Marty ... and the time code on the video part keeps changing. And not in the "sequentially increasing" sense.

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
Dean Cain TV's "Superman" on Lois and Clark, he went on to host Ripley's Believe It or Not! (which I didn't) 
Maxim Gentchev  
Plamen Manassiev  
Vladimir Kolev  
Hristo Shopov "Pontius Pilate" in The Passion of the Christ 
Krisinda Cain half-sister of Dean Cain 
William Zabka "Johnny" the Cobra Kai from The Karate Kid and its first sequel ... from there to the first two Shootfighter movies to the first two Python movies and ever onward.... 
Director Claim to Fame
Daniel Knauf primarily an author, to date this is his only directing credit in imdb 

Kevin Hogan

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