This one is perhaps a bit of a deep cut, but it’s well worth including here. Fair warning: there’s some seriously creepy body horror in this 1989 film.
Leviathan opens with a team of undersea miners. The crew uncovers a scuttled Soviet ship, the Leviathan. They manage to recover a safe from the wreck, which houses a video log, details surrounding the deaths of numerous crew members, and a flask of vodka. Two of the miners, Sixpack and Bowman, share the vodka.
Now, as fans of the genre, we instantly know that even the strongest Russian vodka isn’t going to be enough to destroy whatever terrible infection is housed in that booze. As much as you may want a shot at that moment in time, let Leviathan be a lesson in circumspection.
Eventually, the crew discovers that the Russians were experimenting with mutagenic substances. The Russian sailors were being dosed by their superiors via – yep, you guessed it – the vodka.
Sure enough, Sixpack quickly falls ill. The ship’s doctor finds numerous lesions on his skin, and the poor man eventually dies. Bowman, also feeling ill, stumbles upon Sixpack’s corpse. The body of her former crewmate has begun to mutate – she soon realizes that the same will happen to her. Of course, it does. In fact, the mutagenic being grows and infects the other crewmembers, nearly decimating the survivors.
Leviathan isn’t exactly high cinema, but its special effects, designed by Academy Award-winner Stan Winston, more than make up for a wonky story. The creatures in the film are so strange and eerie that it’s hard to forget them.