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Not Rated
Copyright 1978 Rankin Bass Productions
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 31 October 2009

Capsule Review:    

Lots of people have hazy memories of a film with a little boy and a little girl who carve their initials into a baby sea turtle on the beach. Years later, the young man, whose name is Magnus, returns to the island to help a marine biologist catch a giant sea turtle that lurks in the deep waters of the Bermuda Triangle. He meets a mysterious woman named Jennie Haniver and discovers that she is the girl from his youth; but Jennie is not human, and their turtle is a monster created by the devil itself.

Magnus' turtle-chasing friend is Carl Weathers! Eventually, Carl gets tired of trying to catch the big turtle and shoots it with a harpoon bazooka. He gets tangled in the harpoon's cable, and is pulled into the Bermuda depths Captain Ahab style. The turtle takes out a helicopter with Burl Ives in it! In the end, Magnus is left with nothing. His lifelong friend is gone, drifting somewhere as a waterlogged corpse, and his one true love in life is a female sea demon who flirts with other men every chance she gets. Granted, Jennie plays with the men because she wants to drown them, not sleep with them, but it's still an awkward situation for Magnus.

"Hi honey, where have you been?"
"I went for a walk."
"Did you go to a club to meet some man and drown him?"
"What do you care? All you ever do is watch football on the television, and it's not even real football. It's that crap the Americans call football!"
"Listen here, you sailor suffocating strumpet!"
"Go to Hell!"

Yeah, that's not exactly what I'd call a healthy relationship.

Anyway, I last saw (as many of us did) this movie on network television sometime around the early 80s. Reviewing it now, the story is not nearly as haunting as I remembered, but that is the result of it being filtered through the brain of a ten-year-old boy. The film still does have its momements, especially when Carl is inexorably pulled to his watery death.


During October we are celebrating Monster Movie Mayhem!

Things I Learned From This Movie:  

Green Dot Colored play clay is made from sea turtles.
Green Dot Always, always, always, always buy the biggest boat that you can afford; then start saving money for an even bigger boat.
Green Dot If your helicopter runs into a turtle, then you were probably flying too low.
Green Dot The best gift that you can give a captain with an obsessive need for revenge is a pair of bolt cutters.

Stuff To Watch For:  

Green Dot 7 mins - Magnus, no more of this "the whales are keeping me awake" nonsense. Go to sleep.
Green Dot 41 mins - I've seen better special effects in my bathtub.
Green Dot 65 mins - You couldn't see what it was, so you shot at it anyway? You are every responsible deer hunter's worst nightmare.
Green Dot 66 mins - And another thing: how could you not see what it was? That water is almost crystal clear.
Green Dot 83 mins - Gamera, nooooooooooo!


Magnus: "Jennie Haniver."
Dr. Paulis: "My boy, you've been had."
Magnus: "What do you mean?"
Dr. Paulis: "Eh, somebody's been kidding you. This is a Jenny Haniver. It's a fraud. A sea monster made from cured and dried sea life. They've been selling them 'round here to the superstitious and the gullible for centuries."

Harpooned Turtle: **WAARRRRBBBBLLLLE**
Magnus: "The sound it's making sounds like a scream. It sounds like a woman screaming!"
Eric: "Probably just air escaping."

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2] 3
Re: The Bermuda Depths
Reply #9. Posted on November 03, 2009, 08:19:13 AM by King Kool
You forgot the worst scene of all, when the 100ft demon-turtle sneaks up on the scientist in the lab.  Classic. 
Re: The Bermuda Depths
Reply #10. Posted on November 03, 2009, 08:22:04 AM by Andrew
Weird... the first and fourth picture remind of The Blue Lagoon.

The part of the movie with the boy and girl playing on the beach and finding the turtle reminded me of that film as well.  Not so much later, which is due to Magnus' clothing and the scenery.  The shell necklace that Magnus wears probably helped you associate the other scene with "The Blue Lagoon."

Hey, a hybrid film that adds Gamera to "The Blue Lagoon" could be fun.  That or "The Blue Lagoon" crossed with "Shock Waves."

How did they get their boat way up on a rock like that?  They're going to have a hell of a time explaining it to the insurance company.

That's the turtle.  It's upset about having a helicopter kamikaze into it and being harpooned by Carl Weathers.  The scenes with the model boat vary from barely acceptable to completely silly, but the worst has to be when Carl Weathers shoots the turtle with his harpoon bazooka.   They used some split screen shots with a real Carl and a stop motion turtle; that looks generally OK.  For the rest of the shots they tried something else.  It looks like there is a huge bubbling tarp in the ocean near the (real) ship; that doesn't look so OK.

You forgot the worst scene of all, when the 100ft demon-turtle sneaks up on the scientist in the lab.  Classic. 

When it eats Magnus' father!  That is plain awful, and then most of the mansion slides down into the water since the scientists watery grotto of a laboratory is in a cave under his house.
Re: The Bermuda Depths
Reply #11. Posted on November 03, 2009, 10:11:02 AM by Tom E
Yes....Gamera once gave an interview about his "Hollywood" experience. He was kicked back in a Tokyo lounge and in his perfectly unaccented English described how his American director was a real ego-maniac.

Gamera was so discusted with the final product he drowned his sorrows in Canadian Whiskey and gained 50 tons eating most of the West Coast.

He also got an injunction to prevent the use of his name in the title or credits. As you may notice "The Turtle" was listed as played by Alan Smithee, a much used pseudonym.

After rehab and the Atkins diet he got back to his true form and went back to Japan, his wife and child.
Re: The Bermuda Depths
Reply #12. Posted on November 03, 2009, 04:17:26 PM by yannick
This movie could have been so much better, yes there is a giant turtle but you barely see it, and its near the end of the movie.

The special effects for the boats are ridiculous you can see they are miniature models. I always enjoy seeing Carl Weathers in a movie, is best was of course Action Jackson.

The movie drags on and on and on and on and has almost no action nothing. There are a few cool parts but thats it.

Instead of buying the dvd try to catch it on cable tv if it ever comes up.
Re: The Bermuda Depths
Reply #13. Posted on November 04, 2009, 01:40:38 PM by Paul Westbrook
Last year I finally got to tape this via camcorder off of You tube and while I agree it's not of a super good quality the picture is at most watchable, still Im just happy to finally have a copy of this movie.
Re: The Bermuda Depths
Reply #14. Posted on November 06, 2009, 11:25:58 AM by Flangepart
And I CAN"T get the name 'Gamera' out of my mind...
Re: The Bermuda Depths
Reply #15. Posted on November 11, 2009, 02:56:03 PM by StevenDee
Wow, I never even heard of this movie and I consider myself a giant monstermovie fan.. Lookingup Bought it at the local DVD store for €2,00. Thanks for the review!
Re: The Bermuda Depths
Reply #16. Posted on June 28, 2010, 05:50:00 PM by cj
Holy Sh*t,

This review nails it.  After years of small flashback memories I finally got the name of this movie I saw when I was about 7 or 8.  The last flashback I got was yesterday while at SeaWorld with the kids.  I saw a sea turtle sunning itself on a little beach.  When I got home I took advantage of our state of the art internet system and typed in the search window the bits and pieces I remembered.  Giant turtle, the name Jenny (Jennie), and a black man who couldn't swim or was drowning.  Wow!! I never knew until today this was a star studded cast (Connie Selleca and Apollo Creed/Action Jackson!!).  The past 32 years of my life since watching this movie was like having a song stuck in my head.  Hopefully, I can youtube some clips.  I'll probably now sleep better and finally have a sense of closure.
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