Film / Leviathan (1989)

"Natura non confundenda est. Loosely translated: don't fuck with Mother Nature."
Dr. Thompson on the fate of the crew of Leviathan.

An underwater mining crew about to return to surface discovers a sunken Russian ship, the Leviathan. However, said ship is supposed to be currently operating in the Baltic Sea and suspicion arises. The captain left a video log saying that the entire crew has fallen to an unknown disease, but the log cuts short as someone enters the captains's quarters. A crewmember referred to as Sixpack keeps a bottle of liquor found in the ship but it makes him sick the next day, and everything goes horribly wrong.

Leviathan stole everything from Alien and The Thing (1982) and never tries to hide it. Special effects were done by Stan Winston, and the music was composed by Jerry Goldsmith, which only seems appropriate all things considered (see Trivia for an idea of what he thought of the movie).

Leviathan was released in 1989, the same year as (and in the US some months before) The Abyss, and was promptly forgotten. B-movies starring Peter Weller and Amanda Pays seem to have this as a recurring theme.

Not to be confused with the 2014 movie of the same name made by Andrey Zvyagintsev.


  • Action Survivor: Both Williams and Beck by the end. Not trained combatants, but still able to fight the creature off.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The video tapes the crew finds on the sunken Russian vessel turn into this as they watch them. The last entry is of a very nervous commanding officer saying something has gone wrong...and the door to his quarters slowly opening behind him...
  • Artistic License Biology
    • Apparently trying to give people gills will turn them into something out of The Thing (1982), complete with the ability to infect and absorb any lifeform they come in contact with.
  • Bio-Augmentation / Tested on Humans: This is what was attempted with the Leviathan crew. It did work but definitely not in the way that it was supposed to.
  • Black Dude Dies First: An extreme and cruel inversion. The very last death, about 100 seconds before the credits roll, after the survivors reach the surface and are already being rescued by a helicopter crew is Jones.
  • Body Horror: The mutation takes over the host body and makes it a creepy, eel-like mess of tentacles and teeth.
  • Body of Bodies: The dead/infected crewmembers eventually join together to form a mess that doesn't really look like anything.
  • Chainsaw Good: The cast arm themselves with saw-like mining tools when the monster attacks grow in intensity.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Martin sends the crew to the ship, fully aware of what will happen.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: For forty minutes.
  • Driven to Suicide: Bowman after seeing Sixpack's corpse and realizing what was happening to her.
  • Dull Surprise: Damn it Beck, if the base is falling apart and monsters are stalking through it, it means you should EMOTE SOME, PERHAPS!
  • Dwindling Party: As soon as Sixpack drinks the tainted vodka, it's all down hill from there
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: When the crew finally manages to get to the surface, they are briefly attacked by sharks.
  • Fan Disservice: We get Bowman in nothing but a towel but she's infected with an illness that has scales growing on her neck and her hair falling out. Then later on we get her naked in the shower after she's slit her wrists.
  • Fanservice: The movie manages to find an excuse to get Amanda Pays down to her underwear.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: The crew members who get infected throughout the movie are shown to retain their consciousness far into the physical transformation, even past merging with each other.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: What happened with the eponymous ship Leviathan and subsequently to the mining station. It's almost a textbook example.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: Cobb right before the inevitable.
  • LEGO Genetics
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Peter Weller gets a great one before putting a grenade in Leviathan's mouth, blowing it up.
    Steven Beck: SAY "AHH," MOTHERFUCKER!
  • Recycled In SPACE: Leviathan is basically The Thing set in an underwater mining base, with elements of Alien as well (particularly the eponymous ship, Leviathan).
  • Shower of Angst: Bowman kills herself while in the shower.
  • Soviet Superscience: The Leviathan was a Russian vessel, and the testing was done by the Soviets.
  • The Virus: The unintended result of the Leviathan experiment.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: The underwater version of this is attempted twice in the film and it still backfires both times.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Sixpack and Bowman drink liquor found on a sunken ship where the crew had mysteriously died from a contagious illness.
  • Town Girls: The three females in the movie. No-nonsense Olympic runner Williams is the butch, sexy secretary Bowman is the femme and Corrupt Corporate Executive Martin is the neither.
  • Two Girls to a Team: The crew of the mining station is two women to six men.
  • Underwater Base: The mining station.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Inverted. The more feminine Bowman dies, while the tomboyish Williams lives.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Secretly feeding a ship crew chemicals that will cause mutations doesn't sound like a good idea in any context.
  • Would Hit a Girl: And does - in the last shot of the film before the credits Beck lays out Corrupt Corporate Executive Martin, who's female, with one punch when she asks how he's feeling ("Better," he answers as she hits the ground. "A lot better").
  • Zombie Infectee: Cobb is a strange subversion. He's clearly infected and everyone is much aware of this but he keeps fighting the monster with the other remaining survivors until his transformation finally kicks in with full force.