The Abyss

Trivia: The dead sailor harbouring a live crab, spooking Jammer out of his wits in the sunk submarine, is director James Cameron's younger brother Mike. The scene had to be shot several times to get it right, forcing Mike to hold the live crabs in his mouth, until the cry for "action", before releasing them. At one point he had to crush one with his teeth, as it gave him quite a bit of grief. Brotherly love immortalized.

Trivia: The fictional company that owns and operates the undersea drilling rig is called Benthic Petroleum. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day (also directed by James Cameron) after the escape from the mental hospital, our heroes hide out at a gas station. The pumps at the station feature the Benthic Petroleum logo.


Trivia: The water tube that floats about was partially created with Adobe Photoshop, which was unheard of at that time. Adobe Photoshop had not been released to the public at that point.


Trivia: When Bud and Lindsay are trapped in the mini-sub, he remarks that all he needs is a Crescent wrench to fix the leak. Moments before, when trying to secure the underwater robot, he threw a Crescent wrench out of the way to get to a rope in a tool basket outside the sub. Did anyone else spot the irony? (01:47:46)

Trivia: Due to injuries he sustained during filming, Ed Harris had difficulty accepting a role in "State of Grace." Luckily, he was able to make that film.

Trivia: Director's cut: During a shot of many beach goers running from a tsunami, a man in the left foreground is pants-ed by another extra. His bare butt is out for a moment before he can yank his shorts up.

Trivia: The shoot was so torturous that the cast and crew came up with jokish terms such as "life's abyss, and then you dive", "son of abyss" and "The Abuse". There was even a mock movie poster made with the title "The Abuse".

Jedd Jong

Trivia: In some scenes, the occupants of the submersibles look like projections on a screen, because they were. Scenes filmed with miniature submersibles had images of the actors projected inside, to give the illusion that they were occupied.

Jedd Jong

Trivia: The breathing fluid used in the film was real and did work, but Ed Harris did not actually breath it. He later remarked that this was one of his least favourite parts of shooting.

Trivia: The shoot was notoriously rigorous and hard on actors and crew members. Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio stormed off the set after James Cameron told them to urinate in their wetsuits rather than take a bathroom break, and Ed Harris pulled over and broke down while driving home from the shoot.

Jedd Jong

Trivia: The outdoor set of the Deepcore rig wasn't dismantled for many years and inputting "The Abyss, United States" into Google Earth took you to a huge water tank which was part of a decommissioned nuclear power station in North Carolina. Sadly since its demolition Google Earth was updated accordingly.

Trivia: The crew obtained some of the actual fluid breathing system liquid from Duke University, and in the scene where Hippy's rat is submerged in the fluid, it is really breathing underwater. The rat, named Beany, survived for a year afterwards and died of natural causes.

Jedd Jong

The Abyss mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: During Bud and Coffey's fight in the lab, we see a lightbulb swinging from side to side between the two men. If you look closely, you can see a hand (belonging to a third person) pushing the lightbulb. The only people in the room are Bud and Coffey. (01:44:16)

More mistakes in The Abyss

Bud Brigman: The guy is on his own, he's cut off from his chain of command, he's showing signs of pressure-induced psychosis, and he has a nuclear weapon. So as a personal favour to me, could you put your tongue in neutral for a while?!

More quotes from The Abyss

Question: Is there any truth to the breathing fluid used in the high pressure suit? Is that a technology actually used and is it really possible to breath and survive like that?

Answer: The technology does exist, yes. Read for details.


More questions & answers from The Abyss

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