In this fast-paced, sci-fi/horror shoot-'em-up based on the Dark Horse comic book, Jamie Lee Curtis
plays the navigator of an ocean-going tug. When a typhoon cripples their boat, the crew sails into the eye of the storm, where they discover a high-tech Russian communications and research vessel adrift. Only one Russian crewmember is still alive, raving about "intelligent lightning." They soon discover that an alien life form has taken over the ship's computers and is churning out biomechanical warriors. With their own boat destroyed, the crew must battle the creature as the ship reenters the storm. If the basic story and characters all sound familiar, it may not surprise you that producer Gale Anne Hurd's other films include The Terminator
This movie and its derivative screenplay aren't nearly as good as those were, and director John Bruno (who won an Oscar for best visual effects for The Abyss
) seems more skilled at action choreography and special effects than character and story. Curtis plays another variation on her "scream queen" persona, while Donald Sutherland
gives a deliciously hammy performance as the tug captain (in his words, "the dominant life form") who smells salvage money if he can claim the Russian ship for his own. For all the picture's flaws, the effects are good (and gory) and it moves at top speed for a brisk 100 minutes. A trivia factoid: at one point on this troubled production, film footage was seized at the airport because the shipping box was prominently marked with the film's title! --Geoff Miller
A ghostly ship looms silently ahead as the crippled, ocean-going, salvage tug Sea Star approaches. The Sea Star crew, their ship slowly sinking, has sought refuge in the eerie calm of the eye of a typhoon to make repairs and hopefully avert disaster. But something's terribly wrong. The ship, a Russian science vessel bristling with high-tech radar, electronics and other wonders, appears to be deserted. Unfortunately for the crew of the Sea Star, nothing could be further from the truth. Shelter from the storm turns into terror on board as they find themselves stalked by a mutating alien life form that has travelled across time and space - an energy force unlike any in the universe. It is powerful. Intelligent. And it has found the perfect planet to inhabit. Now, in order to survive, it must destroy the one threat to its existence: a virus called man.