Fishing boats seems to be really hard work. Especially when we are talking about really big fishing boats and the weather they have to struggle in. I don´t know if you have ever seen reality TV series Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel, but this show basically tell the stories of crab fishermen who works out in the Bering Sea. This show have been on air since 2005, that´s 15 years and still going. I can´t remember all the fishermen´s names, since i have not followed the show a lot. But i did find it interesting to see them try and get as many " snow crabs " as possible, and how difficult it seems to be in the weather conditions. A show worth a watch, if you are interested in fishing, and especially in extreme difficult work conditions. When it comes to films that takes place on a boat ( or a ship ), we have quite a lot of titles to choose between. Especially in the horror genre, where you can find both good ones, but also some bad ones as well. I decided to pick out one title that maybe a younger generation have not seen, but i guarantee that if you are around my age, you might have seen it on VHS back in the 90´s. I am of course talking about the 1998 sci fi horror classic Deep Rising with legendary actor Treat Williams. The story is very simple, Captain John Finnegan ( Treat Williams ) and his team are hired by mercenaries, to go on board a luxary cruise ship. But John is not told the real reason until later, to rob the passengers and get the content from a vault, as they are attacked by a mysterious creature. Deep Rising combines a fun mix of science fiction, with action and horror influences, and director Stephen Sommers ( who also directed The Mummy from 1998 ) proved that you can combine these genres, and deliver a fun B movie time with Deep Rising. The creature effects may look a bit cheesy today, but still works. It has been a while since i watched any horror films from Taiwan, so that is why i decided to Watch one film that looked interesting, a film called Abyssal Spider. Basically about a fishing boat crew being attacked by a giant spider, sounds like fun right? Is this the perfect Christmas Movie after all the presents have been given to the whole family, or should Abyssal Spider sink to the bottom of the sea for good?
AJie ( Sunny Wang ) is struggling to give his daughter Juan a good life. He is still suffering after an accident at sea, that he witnessed and can not forget. Since he is badly in need of money, he asks his father to get a job on his fishing ship. At first he is not welcome, but he finally accept his son to work, but demand that he will work really hard. AJie have no other choice, he really needs the money. The tensions between AJie and his father is still very deep, as they both try and handle this situation. But on board this ship there is a crew that will not forget that AJie is still blamed for the accident at sea, and they don´t want him on board. All AJie needs to do is focus on doing his job, and try to avoid conflicts with the crew. But during a successfull fishing night, they manage to bring something else up as well, that no one expected.
One of the things that make Abyssal Spider stand out from the ordinary insect horror film, is that this film actually have a bigger depth than most films in this genre. The plot is actually a lot deeper than you might think. You have a young father AJie ( played by actor Sunny Wang ), who will do anything for his young daughter, while he is still hated for an accident he is blamed for. And this is where the film become interesting, as AJie goes on board the ship, as not many people can´t stand him, not even his own father. Imagine being out on a big fishing ship where people hate you, and you know you still have to work hard to earn the money you need, not an easy situation. I like the fact that this film does not follow the same pattern that many insect horror films ususally does, and do something different instead. There is not a lot of fishing scenes, so we basically spend more time on the fishing ship hearing the crew discussing different subjects, until they finally get a big load of fishes. And this is where the fun finally begins, with the big spider attacking ( that grows within time, as it feeds on humans ). The spider design feels like a combination of spiders we have seen in the past, but it is still quite fun to see. I especially enjoy seeing the spider feed on humans, lifting them up on the top of the ship. Unfortunately, we don´t get to see a lot of attacking scenes, and if we could have had some more of that, i think this film could have been even more entertaining. There are a few scenes that feels drawn out with a bit too much dialogue, but as an insect horror film, Abyssal Spider definetely stands out in the genre, trying a different approach with a more serious plot. Director Joan Chien have made an insect horror that will not become a cult classic, but he have tried to go in a different direction with Abyssal Spider, and for that i have to respect him for trying something else in this genre. If you are a fan of insect horror films, you should probably check out Abyssal Spider. But don´t expect a lot of attacking scenes with the big spider, this film focus more on human issues than insect attacks. If you can accept that, then you should still find this film interesting.