4.9/10
352
15 user 8 critic

What Waits Below (1984)

The U.S. government has been using deep caves in Central America as bases for a special type of radio transmitter used for communicating with submaries. When the signal from one of these ... See full summary »

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(story by) (as Ken Barnett), (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Maj. Elbert Stevens
...
...
...
Frieda Shelley
A.C. Weary ...
Lt. George Barwell
Jackson Bostwick ...
Hunter Prime
Richard Beauchamp ...
Santos Arias
William Gribble ...
Sgt. Neumann
Carl Spurlock ...
Major Castillo
Jason Laskay ...
Hunter Second
...
Lemurian Elder
...
Hector Lopez (as Carlos Cervantes)
...
Jim White
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Avery ...
American soldier
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Storyline

The U.S. government has been using deep caves in Central America as bases for a special type of radio transmitter used for communicating with submaries. When the signal from one of these transmitters suddenly disappears, a team of soldiers and cave specialists is sent in to find out what happened. After some exploring deep underground, they stumble upon a tribe of albino cave dwellers who have been isolated from the rest of the world for thousands of years. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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Underground, no one can see you die! See more »

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Action | Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

4 February 1985 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Secrets of the Phantom Caverns  »

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1.85 : 1
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Trivia

The computer shown in use for the army's transmitter was actually an 80s home computer, manufactured by Commodore. It's either the C64 or VC20. They shared an almost identical casing design in the early 80s. The branding of the device used in the movie was taped over. See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Descent, 80s B-movie style.
17 September 2014 | by See all my reviews

In terms of plot, mid '80s subterranean horror/adventure What Waits Below is a lot like Neil Marshall's The Descent (2005), both films revolving around a group of speleologists running into trouble when the cavern that they are exploring turns out to be home to a race of savage underground humanoids. In execution, however, the two films couldn't be more different...

Where The Descent is an expertly crafted white-knuckle thrill ride that delivers cool cannibalistic creatures guaranteed to scare the bejeezuz out of the viewer, What Waits Below is a plodding cheeze-fest that offers up slimy hand-puppet snake monsters and laughable albinos with silly haircuts.

Robert Powell, who is most renowned for his titular role in Jesus of Nazareth, makes for an extremely lacklustre hero (could this guy really find work as a mercenary? He looks more like a hairdresser to me) and Lisa Blount is bland as the token babe with a brain. The real stars of the film are the stunning underground locations, but as awe inspiring as the spectacular caverns and colourful rock formations undoubtedly are, they cannot possibly adequately compensate for the stodgy direction, weak acting, cruddy props and terrible dialogue ("In a cave, the only predictable element is the unpredictable").

3.5/10, generously rounded up to 4 for the surprisingly gory shot of a dead soldier with his face all messed up.


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