Tropical Hot Spots (Large Format)
Volcanoes of the Deep Sea
Review by Ross Anthony

Volcanoes of the Deep Sea After an awkwardly lingering title screen, the film opens on a lovely misty day, tall grass waving in the wind, charming paleontologist reminiscing atop a cliff at the bubbling waters below. The director steadies into this sweet relaxing pace bringing us thousands of feet underwater to some of the hottest places this side of the earth's core.

Mostly concerned with the incredible life forms that thrive where every other average animal would boil alive, the scientists also seek out an ancient creature responsible for forming curious hexagonal patterns found off the shores of Spain. Fascinating and fun.

Though they stumble upon the shapes in the mud, the mysteriously peculiar being eludes them. But really, its escapability makes the film all the more endearing and in fact, like real science.

Volcanoes of the Deep Sea In additional to some impressively translucent and neon deep sea creatures, the film surfaces often to capture large IMAX aerial shots off the oceans. It's a nice mix of beauty and science -- and for those who find science beautiful anyway, you'll have twice the fun.

This well written script is pleasantly narrated by Ed Harris. Improvements? Personally, I wanted to know where in the world the opening scene was shot (later revealed). Also, I wanted to know the names of those translucent characters with the neon marquee like tentacles. Also, at first, I was frustrated because the film drifts in and out of CGI images and live action. Generally speaking, in a documentary I want to know when what I'm looking at is not real. However, as the film progressed, I enjoyed the interesting juxtaposition of the live and computer constructed ... and then, well, I just went with the flow (no pun intended).

This film opens at The CALSCI Center September 14, 2003 as part of it's OCEAN FEST 2003. See for more info.

  • Volcanoes of the Deep Sea. Copyright © 2003.
  • Narrated by Ed Harris.
  • Directed by Stephen Low.
  • Produced by Pietro L. Serapiglia, Alexander Low at S. Low Co.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:43:17 PDT