If you want to experience being trapped in a bad movie about being trapped in a submarine, GRAY LADY DOWN is your ultimate seventies action flick.
Charlton Heston continued his run as king of the disaster movies, following Airport 1975 and Earthquake with this "thriller".
After colliding with a freighter, the submarine at Heston's command sinks 1400 feet down into the ocean, resting powerless on a ledge of a deep ocean trench.
Thank heavens that the sub is jam packed with standard stereotypes including the new captain about to take over the ship after Heston's last voyage (Ronny Cox, with mood swings that demand medication) a young radio operator that loses his composure (Caddyshack's Michael O'Keefe in one of his first roles) the Italian guy that speaks with a heavy accent, asks goofy questions and kisses his gold jewelry alot, you name it, those poor bastards are stuck in the sub,
Luckily, we have David Carradine and Ned Beatty as the creators of an experimental sub to head down and help save our cliched characters.
Carradine is the best thing in the movie, but we are not talking a high hurdle here.
In the opening credits, you can see the strings holding up the submarine, at that point, you kind of know what you are in for with this cheapie Universal flick.
Watch as the sub gets hit by the ship and Heston and crew have the top hatch open and are outside watching the ship approach, then the next shot shows them about 50 feet underwater, but Heston and company aren't even wet.
Later, everyone on the sub is remaining quiet and conserving energy as they have no power source to spare and yet a half dozen sailors are watching JAWS on a projector to pass the time in a shameless plug for another Universal movie.
Released in 1978, this was Christopher Reeve's movie debut in a small part just months before SUPERMAN hit the screens.
If he could have just busted out the cape and got this sub to the surface in the first ten minutes, it would have saved me from the 101 VERY long, soggy minutes that followed.
A waterlogged, cheap and boring D.