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! --Geof Miller
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, True Lies) faces a new, unstoppable terror in this science fiction chiller from the producer of Aliens, Terminator 2 and Tremors. Curtis plays the navigator of a tugboat crew which loses its cargo during a hurricane. In the calm eye of the storm, they come across a Russian research ship floating dead on the water. Boarding the vessel, they initially believe it to be deserted - but they soon realize they're not alone. First, they discover a terrified survivor (Joanna Pacula, Tombstone), and then they find that the ship has been taken over by a ruthless alien intelligence. Now, the small band must fight for their lives against a force that has come to claim Earth for its own, and creates bio-mechanical monstrosities with one goal: eliminating the virus called humans. Donald Sutherland (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and William Baldwin (Backdraft) also star in a film featuring horrific special effects by the artist behind the Jurassic Park films, Species and Starship Troopers!