The all time greatest diving movies

On a liveaboard, after the diving and after the food, there’s often time to squeeze in a film before bed. We’re  off to the Red Sea again this August in search of sharks, do join us if you can:

But what are the best films to watch? Well, because it’s never ever been done before, I thought it was about time to put together a definitive all time list of the all time greatest diving movies of all time. Of all time.

Here’s DLL’s guide to the very best:

The Abyss

The Abyss

No list would be complete without James Cameron’s 1989 underwater classic. Much has been made of the hardships endured by both cast and crew during the grueling filming schedule but what many don’t know is the story that inspired the film. Before finding Hollywood fame a young Cameron made his living directing soap opera episodes and it was whilst on the set of the popular Antipodean soap Neighbours that Cameron was inspired to create the story of the Abyss. In one particular episode Stefan Dennis, Harold Bishop, Madge, the twins, Todd Landers, Toadfish and the girl who got shot by a duck hunter are trapped inside the Lassiters compound cut off from outside communication. Over the course of the 20 min episode the very safety of Ramsey St is thrown into doubt by the discovery of a mysterious group of flaming galas. During an accident Helen Daniels is killed but is brought back to life by being repeatedly struck in the face. At the end of the episode the cast strap a nuclear device to Bouncer who then carries the weapon to the underground fortress of the galas whilst wearing a liquid filled breathing helmet. In stark contrast to the end of the Abyss, however, Harold Bishop detonates the bomb turning the whole of the Ramsey St area into a toxic, radioactive wasteland where no actor or storyline can survive and the show is picked up by Channel 5.

The Silent World

The Silent World

‘Sometime it is necessary to use dynamite.’ When exactly is that Jacques? Oh I see, when you want to have a look at the nice fishies on the reef. ‘Underwater, it is a tragedy’. Well it certainly is in this rip roaring adventure caper on the high seas! Follow crazy Cap’n Jacques and his wiry team of budgie smuggling frogmen as they lay waste to the animal life from the Caribbean to the Red Sea and back again. The Silent World harks back to a simpler time when if you wanted to blow up a whale then you could just bloody well get on with it and there’d be no EU do-gooders coming round to tell you off and stop you from selling a pound of bent bananas. I remember when I was a boy and there was no swearing and everyone knew their neighbours and there was no equality for women, foreigners or homosexuals (although they didn’t exist back then) and the local bobby would give you a clip round the ear for scrumping apples. Now it’s all women with no clothes on and women in burkhas and I’m confused over which enrages me more.

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Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

 Mega Shark vs Giant Octopu

Already one of the most lauded films of the last decade and the overall prize winner at both Cannes and Sundance, Megashark Vs Giant octopus tells the story of what happens when a megashark and a giant octopus have a fight. The film is notable for a harrowing sequence where the megashark  jumps out of the water and eats a plane. Many viewers found the scene incredibly distresssing to watch but few can doubt both it’s power and relevance to the uncertain times in which we live. The lead roles of the scientist tasked to find a way to stop the megashark and the giant octopus from having a fight and the government official with slicked back hair in a pony tail are sensitively played by multi award winning Debbie Gibson from the 1980s and Lorenzo Lamas who played the interchangeably named Reno Raines in early 90s essential, after-pub viewing ‘Renegade’. Does anyone else remember Renegade? It was really brilliant. Reno had a

Dunston Checks in

Dunston Checks in

sidekick who wore one of those bootlace ties and had an amazing mullet. Plus he was called Bobby Sixkiller. It used to be shown at about 11 pm and Reno used to drive around on a big harley without wearing a helmet solving mysteries. In the credit sequence it was explained in an awkward and long winded fashion that Reno had testified against crooked cops, been framed for his wife’s murder and was now a renegade ‘prowling the badlands’. This was followed by a montage of shots including ones of a revolver’s chamber being spun and Reno pointlessly emptying a bottle of water over himself whilst stripped to the waist.

My mate Ben and I used to love watching Renegade but it did eventually jump the shark in a couple of notable episodes, one which failed to sell the idea that a man with long hair and a leather waistcoat could single-handedly end the LA gang warfare between the Crips and the Bloods and another one in which it implies that Reno meets Elvis. At that point it all started getting a bit silly and I think I was probably about to head to University and somehow as all these things happen Renegade slipped from my life.

The Big Blue

The Big Blue

The Big Blue, or the Very Big Blue as the directors cut is known, is famous not only for telling the story of a boring, uncharismatic man who mystifyingly becomes the love object of Rosanna Arquette before unceremoniously dumping her to become a dolphin man but also because despite being only about 3hrs in length it actually takes an entire day to watch.

Other films that have Blue in the title are Betty Blue which, when I was young, seemed to be the answer to every teenage boy’s prayers before savagely wrong footing you half way through when she gouges out one of her own eyes. Troi Coleur Bleu, which is another one of those french sort of films and Blue by Derek Jarman which is about AIDS not Scuba Diving

Look Who’s Talking Now!


That’s enough top scuba films please- Jen.


2 responses to “The all time greatest diving movies

  1. What about: The Deep and Into The Blue? Now I will admit the story and acting for ITTB could be a bit light, but Jessica Alba diving in a bikini through the whole movie… The Deep, same story line but a better movie and Jacqueline Bissette swimming around in a white t-shirt with nothing else…

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