VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA Blu-ray Review
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea has arrived on Blu-ray for the first time from 20th Century Fox. Directed by Irwin Allen, the film stars Walter Pidgeon, Joan Fontaine, Barbara Eden, Peter Lorre, Robert Sterling, and Michael Ansara.
The story follows Admiral Nelson (Walter Pidgeon) who has finally helped to build the experimental submarine Seaview which is under speculation by Congress and the media. He is soon to embark on a voyage to prove to the government that the Seaview is capable of handling anything that is thrown at it.
The sub and it’s crew is overseen by Captain, Lee Crane (Robert Sterling) standard sub drill turns into a doomsday scenario. The crew of the sub includes Lieutenant Danny Romano (a young Frankie Avalon), Nelson’s secretary and romantic interest, Lt. Cathy Connors (Barbara Eden), the ship’s medical officer, Dr. Jamieson (Regis Toomey). Retired Commodore Emery (Peter Lorre) is on board doing some crazy experiments with his “pet shark”.
The Seaview is in the midst of a mission and some visitors have been invited by Nelson to view the superiority of the sub in action. The guests include psychiatrist Dr. Susan Hiller (Joan Fontaine) and Congressman Llewellyn Parker (Howard McNear). The routine voyage through the Arctic gets a surprise when giant chunks of ice hit the sub. After the sub races to the surface to assess the damage they are overwhelmed by the intense heat and an eerie red light emanating from the clouds. The crew finds receives some devastating news. The Earth is on the brink of destruction. Meteors have crashed into the Van Allen Radiation Belt causing what could be considered as Global Warming. Our only hope is the government’s super submarine Seaview.
The film is quite old-fashioned, which is to be expected for a film of it’s age. The special effects are quite good for the time. The exterior scenes were filmed on a sound stage with backdrops, while the underwater scenes featured models. The Seaview itself was 18-feet long for above water scenes and a 9-foot model sub was used for underwater sequences. I found the interior of the sub to be quite funny. I doubt that the majority of the lights and swtiches actually did anything, which is quite humorous. If the film were remade with todays special effects and military advisors it would be pretty badass. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is Irwin Allen’s silliest and least ominous disaster movies. It is still a fun ride.
The Blu-ray features some special decent special features. The video quality makes the film look superior to some modern day movies. It features an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.36:1. The colors are eyepopping and many scenes feature some intricate details that are extremely clear. A lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0 track does justice to the original 4 track stereo mix. I am happy that 5.1 mixes are standard use now because some of the sound effects blend in through into scenes with dialogue.
- Science Fiction: Fantasy to Reality
- Barbara Eden Interview
- Isolated Score Track presented in Dolby Digital 2.0.
- Audio Commentary by Author Tim Colliver
- Theatrical Trailer
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is available now in stores.