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The Bermuda Depths

28 years ago today a movie aired on television that would impact me in a huge way. Hindsight being 20/20 I now know that it had more to do with my relating to the plight of the young boy at the films start than of any desire to conquer a giant turtle at sea a la Quint, Hooper, and Brody. THE BERMUDA DEPTHS is hardly what I would consider a horror film in the Horror Express sense of the word, but ever since I saw this hypnotic sci-fi/fantasy film at the extremely impressionable age of nine it has appeared in my dreams every seven or nine years. Ive spoken to other people who have been equally touched by the film and Im writing about it to bring it to your attention if you have not already heard of it.

Broadcasted on Friday, January 27, 1978 on the ABC Friday Night Movie, THE BERMUDA DEPTHS is an American made-for-TV movie that was released theatrically in some foreign countries soon afterwards. Often sought out as the giant turtle movie or that movie with the girl with glowing green eyes by IMDB.com and Ebay searchers who cannot remember the films title, its rarely seen anywhere anymore, and this is a great shame because it is unlike other films.

It begins with a relaxing underwater opening credit sequence to the tune of Jennie sung by Claude Carmichael, which is about a lost love. This sets the tone for much of the rest of the film. As the credits end, the frame is suffused with a bright image of Bermudas Natural Arches towering over 22 year-old Magnus Dens (Leigh McCloskey) sleeping on the beach. Peering through the Arches we can see a distant Mystery Woman who slowly approaches him. As she comes closer, we see that it is a ravishing Connie Sellecca in her pre-Hotel days. As she touches Magnuss face, Antonio Vivaldi's elegiac "Largo" from his "Concerto for Lute (Guitar), Two Violins and Basso Continuo in D Major" plays over the soundtrack, a theme that will re-appear throughout the film. In a flashback sequence, we see a young boy and girl, presumably little Magnus and the Mystery Woman as children. Little Magnus calls to his friend Jennie to show her what he has found: a large white bubble on the beach. Eventually, it is born into a large turtle, and we flash forward five years to see an older Magnus and Jennie inscribing their initials J+M into the now extremely large turtles shell in the shape of a heart in a sweet gesture of puppy love. As young Magnus relaxes on the beach, he sees Jennie riding on the back of the turtle out to sea. He chases and calls out to her, but she goes further and further out to the ocean, and never responds to his calls. Later that evening, we hear the cries of a creature near Magnuss house near the ocean as a storm begins brewing. Magnuss father, Lionel Dens, puts him to bed for the evening. Dr. Dens then retreats to his scientific underground laboratory which is housed in a cavern of stalactites. Working on his scientific experiment, a seemingly supernatural force overcomes him and partially destroys his lab, sending him into the water to a certain death. Magnus is also awakened, and part of his bedroom collapses onto his bed.

Suddenly, the adult Magnus wakes from this horrific recollection from his childhood. He collects his things and looks out to the ocean and sees a woman swimming in the water. We then see the remnants of his childhood home overlooking the rocks.

Magnus rides his moped into town. Once there, he recognizes his old childhood friend Eric (Carl Weathers) who is stunned to see him. Eric is climbing aboard the fishing trawler the Panulirus, and asks Magnus where hes been for the last few years. Magnus explains that he traveled around a lot, read all of Erics letters, but just drifted.

Eric introduces Magnus to Dr. Paulus (Burl Ives), the man Eric works for as he finishes his Masters in Marine Biology. Dr. Paulus knew and worked with Magnuss father and welcomes him on board. Suddenly the boat is rocked violently, and Eric retrieves his net from the water its torn wide open, the first indication that all is not right with the ocean.

After introducing Magnus to his wife Doshan (Julie Woodson, Playboy Magazines Miss April 1973), Magnus joins Eric, Doshan, and Dr. Paulus at the doctors home. Prior to dinner, Dr. Paulus explains to Magnus that Teratology, the branch of biology concerned with the development of malformations or serious deviations from a normal type of organism, is his current field of study, and that he and Eric are currently looking for evidence of monstrous creatures living 20,000 to 30,000 feet deep in the ocean. According to Eric, scientifically, the deeper an animal exists, the larger it grows. HOW they hope to accomplish this is another matter altogether. Eric hands Magnus a cut-out from the Bermuda Sun with the headline TRAWLER SNARES GIANT SEA CREATURE OFF NEW ZEALAND and tells him about their plans to capture a specimen.

Delia (Ruth Attaway), who apparently takes care of the doctors house, cooks dinner for them. Magnus cant help but notice the necklace shes wearing it bears a resemblance to his young friend Jennies. Just before leaving for the evening, Doshan picks up on Magnuss emotional instability and mildly opposes Erics offer to let Magnus stay at their apartment. Eric later scolds her and professes his desire to help Magnus after all hes been through. Magnus lost his mother and father when very young, and was shuffled from psychiatrist to psychiatrist. Dr. Paulus allows Magnus to stay with him.

Despite nearly being asleep at the dinner table, Dr. Paulus is pressed by Magnus regarding the details surrounding his fathers death. Magnus walks outside to the beach and sees a woman swimming far out in the ocean. He swims after her, only to almost drown and be saved by her. When he awakens, the woman, who is clearly his young friend Jennie, is saddened that he doesnt know who she is. She finally tells him her name and swims off. Magnus returns to Dr. Pauluss house and tells him he met a beautiful girl on the beach named Jennie Haniver. Dr. Paulus laughs and claims theres no such person. He shows Magnus a trinket shaped like a sea monster fashioned out of cured and dried sealife, called a Jennie Haniver that has magic powers and is sold to superstitious people and souvenir collectors. Magnus is offended and storms out to the beach wherein Delia tells him that Jennie Haniver lives out in the Bermuda Triangle, where He lives (He being the Other Devil in this case, the turtle) and has lived there for almost 200 years. Jennie appears to some people as a little girl, and as to others as a young woman. Delia says that Jennies parents were wealthy ship owners in the 18th Century and never wanted her to marry. Jennie spurned the affections of men, was proud and had enormous vanity. Sometime later she met a rich and handsome man from the mainland who showered her with gifts and affection. She agreed to marry him, and prepared to meet his parents. Jennies father built a sailing ship for her and named it after her. A month later, Jennie was traveling without her fianc over the Bermuda Triangle with a crew on her ship. They encountered a terrible storm. She fell to her knees and prayed to the One Below, begging that she be preserved and to let the rest drown. The One Below called out her to come to him and her beauty and youth would be preserved. Magnus writes this off as a stupid kids ghost story and runs off. Delia warns him that Jennie is rumored to appear before men who are about to drown.

The next day the local police call Eric to the scene of an enormous and unnatural formation in the sand. Its 40 feet across and shows evidence of 10-foot flippers. Meanwhile, Magnus runs to the beach and meets Jennie. He now remembers that shes his former childhood friend. He takes her up to the ruins of his childhood home and reminisces about his family. Likewise, Jennie talks of the quadrilles that her father used to host, which might be the first clue about her actually being an 18th Century resident.

Magnus is called away by Eric. They both meet Dr. Paulus on the Panulirus who confirms that the shape of the beach impressions that Eric measured were characteristic of a giant turtle. But right now, they can only speculate that such a creature exists. This is followed up by another attack against the boat that results in Eric having to cut the cable.

Later that evening, Magnus returns to the beach to hear the sounds of a sea creature and sees something moving about in the ocean. As he runs closer, Jennie emerges from the water and they swim together to the grotto of his fathers underground lab where they briefly make love. Jennie swims off and Magnus hears Dr. Paulus calling to him. At this point, Magnus presses Paulus for the details surrounding his fathers death and discovers that Dr. Dens was eaten by sea life. Magnus then tells Dr. Paulus how he carved his initials into the turtle as a child and that his friends name was Jennie Haniver. Dr. Pauluss face drops.

The next day Dr. Paulus argues with Eric regarding Erics plans to capture the creature using whatever means necessary. Eric wants to use the Hora, a bazooka gun-driven weapon that would ensure certain death to its recipient. Paulus withdraws from the expedition citing the use of the Hora as a moral issue, and accuses Eric of being a cowboy. Eric and Magnus set out on their own to capture the turtle. Eric ventures into the water with a handgun-sized harpoon and fires into something which turns out to be Jennie Haniver. At this point Magnus brings up Jennie in the conversation, the woman he meets on the beach, and tells Eric that he used to play with her as a child. Eric drops a bombshell: there was no little girl. Magnuss parents used to laugh and kid each other about how Magnus had an imaginary friend. Magnus refuses to accept this.

Just then, their boat is attacked, forcing Eric to use the Hora. The boat then loses power, and the compass goes haywire they are in the midst of the Bermuda Triangle. Back on land, Doshan and Dr. Paulus try unsuccessfully to contact the Panulirus by radio.

As Eric takes a nap, Magnus goes out to Starboard and sees Jennie who has climbed onboard to persuade Magnus to free the turtle.

Doshan urges Dr. Paulus to go out to help Eric and Magnus, which he does by helicopter. He gets too close to the waters surface, however, and the turtle rises up and sends the helicopter crashing into the ocean. Eric runs outside and comes face to face with Jennie Haniver (Shes said to appear only before drowning men!), and the turtle capsizes the Panulirus, which drags Eric to his death. Magnus once again washes up on the beach, and Jennie is there by his side. She returns to the ocean, destined to regrettably spend eternity young, beautiful, and forever alone.

Magnus visits his parents graves in the local cemetery. Doshan walks up to him and asks what hell do now. He has decided to leave, and says goodbye to a heartbroken Doshan. Upon leaving by boat, Magnus removes the necklace he received from Jennie when he was a child, and throws it into the ocean, effectively closing the door on this tragedy and his childhood.

If THE BERMUDA DEPTHS is about anything that we can be absolutely sure of, its proof positive that highly successful films inevitably spurn imitations. This was certainly the case during the mid 1970s when everyone and his brother was scrambling to make the next JAWS success. Films like JAWS OF DEATH (1976), ORCA: THE KILLER WHALE (1977), and PIRANHA (1978) to name just a few made the same mistake that all the slasher films which came after PSYCHO became a huge hit made: they jettisoned interesting characters and groundbreaking cinematic storytelling techniques in favor of in-your-face theatrics that essentially reduced themselves to much less than the sum of their own parts. THE BERMUDA DEPTHS, JAWS being the obvious primogenitor of this supernatural tale, takes the unusual step of adding a supernatural love story into the mix and successfully creates a tragic tale of love and doom. Leigh McCloskey (Magnus Dens) was a successful television actor by this point, best known for the Rich Man, Poor Man mini-series, and possessed the natural Southern California good looks that make Magnus appealing to young women. Carl Weathers of ROCKY fame plays Eric with terrific zeal, and Julie Woodson is also very good as Doshan. Burl Ives is wonderful as Dr. Paulus, the elder who tries his best to get Magnus to look at the situation through scientific eyes. Ruth Attaway, who played the nurse in THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123, is mysterious and eerie as Delia as she tells Magnus about the Legend of Jennie Haniver. Connie Sellecca, in her first film role, does an exceptional turn as Jennie Haniver. She possesses a magical, ethereal quality and is achingly beautiful.

The story was written by Arthur Rankin, Jr., and the film was produced by the Rankin Bass team, so notable for their wonderful collaborations in the Sixties and Seventies on the Christmas holiday television show specials. There is a certain Rankin Bass feel to the film, especially in the special effects which, today, look quite amateurish: the helicopter crash sequence near the films end looks similar to the end of the MAD MONSTER PARTY explosion on the island, and close-up shots of the Panuliruss propeller and the trawler crashing against the ocean waves in slo-mo look like they was filmed in a bathtub. A few other minor annoyances: the slight but unmistakable hand cue of a crew member to the extreme right of the frame instructing Leigh McCloskey to run towards the beach; Dr. Pauluss throwaway line about needing a bigger boat; Erics decision to pursue the turtle on the Fourth of July of all days; Delias unexplained disappearance from the second half of the film (was she silenced by Jennie or the One Below?); Magnuss inquiry with Dr. Paulus into his fathers death mirrors Luke Skywalker asking the same of Obi-Wan Kenobi, whom Dr. Paulus slightly resembles; and Erics desire to explore the deepest depths. Even in James Camerons THE ABYSS, made 11 years after this film with far more advanced computers and ROVs, it was almost impossible for a human being to be submerged in 13,000 plus feet of water, let alone 20,000 to 30,000! Yet for all of it, these bete-noires are just that, and are by no means confined to this film alone. Even the ski resort town in SNOWBEAST (1977) was willing to look the other way because it needed tourist dollars to stay open.

The low-budget effects add a certain charm to the film, a reminder of filmmaking from days gone by when less money and more ingenuity was considered an asset. Despite the obvious JAWS references, the beach scenes actually predate THE BLUE LAGOON by two years, and composer Maury Laws provides a beautiful score which I always wished would appear somewhere on a soundtrack album.

While the film does appear somewhat corny after all these years it possesses an innocent quality about it that is sadly lacking in most entertainment product of late. The slow and languid dreamlike images of Magnus and Jennie on the beach and in the cave recall a time in American filmmaking, presumably inspired by the great and occasionally pretentious European art films of the Sixties and Seventies, when the audience wasnt used to hyper-fast computer editing and could actually digest the images presented to them. Indubitably there are those who would complain about the films slow pace, there are plenty of treasures in this film to make it one that deserves a new generation of admirers: the eerie day-for-night photography; Maury Laws soothing title tune "Jennie"; the use of Vivaldi's music as the lovers theme"; and 22 year-old Connie Sellecca's astonishing beauty.

The special effects laden ending almost ruins the intriguing supernatural and romantic mystery that precedes it. This is a case where the film's style almost outweighs its substance. Still, the film holds a special place in the minds of those who saw it when they were very young.

The film was released on NTSC VHS cassette some years ago but it is long out-of-print. It can be purchased on Ebay, but ideally the film needs to be released on DVD. I created a petition online in the hopes of expediting the film's release on DVD format. Please go to http://www.thebermudadepths.com for a link to the petition and please sign it. The film is reported to have scored the highest made-for-TV movie ratings for ABC-TV up to that point, so a DVD release should be a no-brainer.

All in all, THE BERMUDA DEPTHS is a wonderful little film and deserves a new generation of admirers.

- Jonathan Stryker

Buy At Buy At Amazon for 14.99 for $14.99


#1 Posted by Mellowdeee on 14 October 2007 (19:48)
Thanks so much for posting this review. I was also only about 8 or 9 when I first saw this movie. I don't remember watching the whole thing, but enough to have been haunted by the idea of girl named Jennie with glowing green eyes, and a giant sea turtle. I have often thought of that movie, and wondered it I could ever find it. I am excited to have been able to find it tonight on ebay, and will enjoy watching it with my own children. I'm thrilled to know that there are others who were touched by this movie and has impacted them enough to have remembered it for almost 30 years as I have. I had wondered if perhaps I had dreamt the whole thing. Thanks again!:)
#2 Posted by CapnRon on 5 January 2008 (20:50)
Thanks for posting this movie! For years I thought I was crazy (and so did everyone else) when I brought up the subject of a giant turtle movie that starred Connie Selleca and Burl Ives! NOW I HAVE PROOF! Bwaaa Haaaa Haaaa!!!!!
#3 Posted by indymoviefinder on 22 January 2008 (9:37)
It was in 1978 when me and my family saw the TV movie "The Bermuda Depths". I was 10 years old at the time and remember it for the beautiful location(Bermuda), the beautiful girl(a lithe and wet Connie Sellacca) and the huge demonic loggerhead turtle!!! For a movie of the week it was good;elements of Jaws, the supernatural love story of Jennie and Magnus and Selleca's 17th Century tattered beachwear!!! AH...it was like a dream. However, I don't see why this movie was surounded by so much mystery. I recall it being replayed on ABC a year later and have saw it again on local channels. I am surprise that a remake aimed at theatrical release has not been made or attempted(I would love to see Jessica Alba or another star in the Jennie role and CGI would make "Snappy"-my nickname for the loggerhead-awesome) So people...listen up;we loved the movie but it could be better. Hollywood-if you are going to make rehashed movies from past offerings, think of the awesome Bermuda Depths-or BAD RONALD!!
#4 Posted by dloges on 30 April 2008 (21:18)
I, as most others, remember this movie and the haunting tale. I was only 10 at the time it came out and have always thought about it. I took some time finally to research it and although it took 2 hours I finally found the right title. There are some people on another website who have confused this movie with "The Lost Continent" a terrible film from the late 70's. I will definitely pass on my good fortune in finding your review. :teeth:
#5 Posted by notkrazynemore on 29 July 2008 (16:22)
thank you, thank you!! i honestly thought i dreamed this movie because i was so young when i saw it...but i must have been on video because i was born in 82 and my parents must have rented or it re-aired...i have always talked about the big turtle movie and everyone thought i was crazy, and i remember carl weathers being in it but i dont really remember any of the other faces...so i thank you endlessly!! so there everyone i am not crazy and i didnt have this elebrate dream where i created a mofo movie:)
#6 Posted by ZARCULA on 29 July 2008 (22:08)
QUOTE (indymoviefinder)
It was in 1978 when me and my family saw the TV movie "The Bermuda Depths". I was 10 years old at the time and remember it for the beautiful location(Bermuda), the beautiful girl(a lithe and wet Connie Sellacca) and the huge demonic loggerhead turtle!!! For a movie of the week it was good;elements of Jaws, the supernatural love story of Jennie and Magnus and Selleca's 17th Century tattered beachwear!!! AH...it was like a dream. However, I don't see why this movie was surounded by so much mystery. I recall it being replayed on ABC a year later and have saw it again on local channels. I am surprise that a remake aimed at theatrical release has not been made or attempted(I would love to see Jessica Alba or another star in the Jennie role and CGI would make "Snappy"-my nickname for the loggerhead-awesome) So people...listen up;we loved the movie but it could be better. Hollywood-if you are going to make rehashed movies from past offerings, think of the awesome Bermuda Depths-or BAD RONALD!!

....Hell If you want to remake a made for TV movies into a theatrical rerleases.start with Gargoyals...then When Michael Calls...and then maybe Sweet 16
#7 Posted by celefebvre on 30 August 2008 (16:50)
I just did a google search and came upon this site. I am laughing so hard right now.....I was 8 when this came out and it had the same impact as the above posters. I remember sitting in my kitchen watching a tiny little tv with my feet up on the counter. I remember the title, the turtles, and people swimming down in a body of water and popping up in another "world". It was the greatest thing I'd ever seen. I never want to see it because you know how that goes -- disappointment. Like the way you remember "The Land of the Lost" and the reality of how stupid it really was when you see it now. Or the pizza at the snack bar you got when your grandmother took you to Ann & Hope shopping for curtains. Memories of things like that shouldn't be ruined by the reality of them. I re-tried the ann & hope pizza and it sucked. I bought the Krofft Super Show DVD's and couldn't even get through any of the shows because they were so dumb. I am not ruining the Bermuda Depths! That memory is too good! :)
#8 Posted by Littlebit on 28 September 2008 (20:59)
I remember watching this movie when I was about 8 and my whole life since I have been asking everyone about it. No one else knew what movie I was talking about. They all said I was crazy, they never heard of a giant turtle movie or girl with glowing eyes... Only all of you that have been through what I have been through searching for this movie know what I'm talking about! I would love to see this movie again or even be able to get a copy.... If anyone at all knows how, please contact me at amdsuarez@aol.com (please subject the email The Bermuda Depths) with any information on how I can find a copy. There are so many people I would love to make sit and watch it. It is such a good movie and I recommend it to all that hasn't seen it to watch. Thank you soooo much for the memories! Now if I could get a hold of a copy, lol I will be doing great! :-)
#9 Posted by tinalouise on 29 September 2008 (0:36)
This is so very cool - I have also wondered and asked people about this movie. I was 6 when it first aired and know I was very young when I saw it. I have never forgotten the movie but only remember Connie Seleca's character jumping overboard a ship and meeting up with the turtle in the ocean, as well as the overall feel of the movie. After reading all of the other replies, I am able to remember more of the story. This was the first time I thought of trying to find the movie online and it came up as the first thing I searched (70's movie giant sea turtle). Awesome - I would love to see this again! Thanks everyone!:teeth:
#10 Posted by MaryCherry on 19 October 2008 (11:05)
Okay, forget Connie Selleca because Leigh McCloskey was some of that pretty.

I was never sure if I saw this movie. It was always like a half-remembered dream. Although who could forget that shot of Jennie with the hole in her side or Carl Weathers in those tight shorts?

The funny thing is, I knew what a Jennie Hanniver was because my brother had a sea monster book that included a description of a Jennie Hanniver.

Now, I've just watched it again and, despite its '70s loopiness, I still love it.

God bless you YouTube.
#11 Posted by jimpickens on 15 December 2008 (22:14)
Like so many others I watched this movie first run I was 11 ah yes back when TV movies were actually good.
#12 Posted by rgsiii on 25 January 2009 (13:26)
I was a little older, 16, when this aired. Yet still, I too have been haunted by this movie for all these years. Every few years I would dream of it yet again. I never could recall the title. I have received many concerning stares from people when I would ask, "do you know the love story movie about the super giant turtle in the bermuda triangle with the closing scene of the guy throwing his necklace into the ocean and it floating over the giant turtle?" Even 3 weeks ago, my wife threatened to have me committed for asking about the 'non-existen' movie again. Ahh, but now we live in the Internet age and FINALLY, I have found all my kindred haunted souls, and the name of the movie. I sure wish they would release this on DVD. The bootleg copies out there are pretty bad, but my soul is finally restful. I have watched it 3 times in 2 weeks now :)
#13 Posted by sumogorilla.com on 27 January 2009 (18:35)
awesome movie! haven't seen it in years!
#14 Posted by sumogorilla.com on 27 January 2009 (18:36)
wonder where u can get that movie?
#15 Posted by moviecon@hotmail.com on 1 February 2009 (10:17)
Ladies and gentlemen, FINALLY, I remember!!!!!! Had a dream/memory last night and I recalled that I used to have this dream/memory a lot when I was younger. Last time was maybe 15 to 20 years ago. I am 38 now. I recalled a man being dragged to the murky depths by a giant turtle? I wasn't sure maybe some type of giant sea creature. The face of the actor? Greg Evigan, minor 70's/80's tv star? No! David Carradine? No! Man this was really eating at me. I knew the face was someone I saw in maybe a few 70's movies. Just could not put my finger on it. Went to IMDB keywords and put in giant turtle, sea creature, underwater, obsession to no avail could not find the answer. Went to Yahoo Answers and typed in giant turtle movie and one of the results contained my salvation! It said "giant turtle fantasy movie with that actor from Action Jackson"! Bingo! That triggered it. Bermuda Depths! Carl Weathers he of the 70's movies that I saw when I was that age, Rocky and Force 10 from Navarone! Apollo Creed in a sea monster/fantasy movie, I have to see this, how cool is this! Anyway I now know that this was not a dream and my love for the movies is reinforced even more so now more than ever! If a movie that is now so obviously cheesy and corny and poorly made can have an impact on someone for so long that means the simple power of storytelling and wonder and fantasy and fear of the unknown in the movies is a truly magical and life altering experience. If someone watches this movie for the 1st time right now there is no way I can expect them to know how I feel about this movie. For those of you who saw it at that age when I first did, 7, then you are the only ones who truly now how I feel and that is a feeling that I cherish sharing with you all! The glowing eyes of the beautiful mysterious woman, the Ahab type character wrapped in cable being poetically dragged to his death to the depths by a giant sea turtle, watching these images as a young boy and remebering them now as a husband and father of 3, WHAT A JOYOUS FEELING, MAGICAL!

#16 Posted by Edward Timms on 28 February 2009 (20:10)
Wow! This is the first time I have visited this review, I am shocked that so many people felt the same way I did about this movie.... I guess I was at an impressionable age but the girl left a wonderful vision in my mind for years. The movie was cool but I am sure not any better than most others.....it seems wierd that it affected us that way. I would buy a copy if I could figure out where
#17 Posted by DeepC185 on 11 March 2009 (23:23)
This movie has haunted me since I first saw it when I was 6 or 7. I remember that I was deeply affected by it, and believe my first boyhood crush was on the girl/woman that was Jennie.
Over the years I tried to find this movie, but thought it was named the Devil's Triangle, or The Bermuda Triangle.
I honestly think that this movie, and Where Have All the People Gone? are two of the movies from my childhood that really stayed in my mind.
Thanks for the info! I would love to see this on dvd, but I'm afraid it might not live up to my memories of it.
#18 Posted by birchje1 on 31 March 2009 (20:38)
Wow. Tonight I decided to google giant sea turtle / made for tv movie. I found this thread and some answers on IMBD. I was 7 years old when I saw The Bermuda Depths (just learned the title tonight). For years, I had dreams about murky water and a giant turtle. The movie seemed very scary to me then and still haunts me to this day. All I remember are the children playing with the young turtle and the end with the necklace sinking past the turtle. Thank you so much for posting this thread. It's wonderful to know I'm not the only person strangely effected by this movie. I would love to see it again.
#19 Posted by andrew on 15 June 2009 (10:16)
Unbelievable! There must be something about the images in the movie that left such a deep impression in me too! I remember watching it on TV at a very young age (can't remember exactly when) - it must have been more than 20 years ago... but since then, throughout the years, once in a while, the memories of this movie would surface in my mind, haunting memories of a movie with a young couple in love carving a love inscription onto the shell of a turtle then later, the turtle returns having grown into a giant monstrous creature but with the same inscription on it's back, destroying a boat then sinking into the depths of the sea dragging someone with it... and of course the name - Jenny/Jennie being sung.

I never remembered this movie as being scary or a horror movie but I do remember it being somewhat a love story - I couldn't remember any of the plot nor the cast just the final scenes of the giant turtle.

I never did search for the movie all these years till now when I googled "jenny giant turtle" and to my amazement - found some links and this forum! I am so absolutely amazed that this movie that deeply affected me when I was so young had also affected so many people in the same way I believe all over the world! I'm from Singapore by the way! Is this some form of shared conciousness?

I think I may have found the movie again online too! Can't wait to watch this again!!
#20 Posted by billiem07 on 2 July 2009 (20:22)
This was a great thread to find. I was checking out Hulu for movies to watch and found "The Sentinel" which somehow immediately reminded me of the movie with the giant turtle that eats the house on the cliff and the woman who jumps off the old ship after making a deal to save herself. You all know the one.
So since I really want to see this movie again, no matter how bad it might be, I requested that it be added to Hulu. Maybe if there is enough support it might happen so I was hoping if I posted here I might conjure up some support.
If not no worries, I'm happy to have an old memory that stuck with me since I was 10, made clear. Thank you very very much Jonathan Stryker. :teeth:
#21 Posted by billiem07 on 2 July 2009 (20:36)
Here's a second post. Just wanted to say I signed the petition for the DVD release and I thought I would add a second post to 1-up the others who just made an account for the catharsis of posting to this memory :)
#22 Posted by Aramat on 19 July 2009 (0:12)
So glad I finally found out I'm not crazy. I was five when I saw this movie. I did not remember much but knew the turtle had initials on it and was giant . I also remember underwater scenes and a net. I often asked my parents if I had ever seen a movie about a giant turtle and they told me i must have dreamed it up. Just happened to mention it to my husband tonight and he said he vaguely recalled such a film so I googled to find this sight. Whenever anyone ever asked me id I could be any animal what would it be, I always said a sea turtle. I think it was because of the strange impact of this movie. I will be looking for it to watch it now that I am older and can remember it all.
#23 Posted by scrummie2 on 19 August 2009 (15:14)
Man, so glad I found this. Amazing to think that so many of us remembered this movie for so long. What always stuck with me was the last scene, with the necklace drifting down...that and remembering something about a pretty girl and liking the music. Never thought I'd find out the name of the movie. I was born in '74, and lived overseas through 1984 (and remember watching it in our house there), so I'm assuming my dad rented it from the local bootleg tape library.
#24 Posted by scrummie2 on 19 August 2009 (15:16)
Also, totally cool to see how many first time posters are in this thread...i.e. other people who all of a sudden remembered again, googled giant turtle movie, and got psyched enough to register to post...
#25 Posted by tntweber on 4 September 2009 (4:28)
THE BERMUDA DEPTHS - now available on DVD !!! This is a media-on-demand order from WarnerArchive - part of wbshop.com - Warner Brothers has made the film available for PC download or DVD-R - Now is the time to have your dream come true and re-experience this cult favorite which has stayed in our minds since childhood!


#26 Posted by marzaholic on 9 October 2009 (19:59)
I was (apparently) only eight when it aired, and I remember watching it at my grandparent's house... they were babysitting for my folks, and really didn't think I should be watching a "horror film"... I had to convince my parents to set them straight before they left for the evening.

And now, reading THIS....woah, you had me pegged-- the whole experience, right down to the dreams every few years. They've never actually gone away. It's why I sought this forum out and why I'm writing this now.

I forgot about her glowing eyes... but the memory of her ride off into the sea, set to that...that strange and hypnotic music. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this confirmation that I wasn't just dreaming the whole thing up.

I can't wait to find that DVD.
#27 Posted by rholmberg on 17 October 2009 (2:19)
Same as above. 8yrs. old. No one remembers the awesome movie except me, although I seem to recall the song was "Lady" by Kenny Rogers? IDK.
#28 Posted by kayceedee on 18 October 2009 (19:41)
I can't believe this! I have been thinking of this movie for 30 years or so. I, unlike most of you, had the bejesus scared out of me! I must have been 8 or so when I saw it. It has haunted me all these years..I have no desire to see it again, but nevertheless, am so glad to read of everyones experiences here. This movie was very scary to me, and was seared into my brain ever since. Does anyone remember whether there was an Andy Gibb song in it called "Love Is Thicker Than Water" or am I crazy? This movie stayed with me all this time, the giant turtle, the intials, the glowing eyes...shiver...for me it was not good in that it really frightened me!! If anyone else remembers an Andy Gibb song please post here.
#29 Posted by MystMoonstruck on 6 March 2010 (1:38)
I'm not at all surprised to find this thread because this is a movie frequently asked about at Yahoo!Answers Movies. I've identified it no less than a dozen times in the approximately two years I've been at Y!A. You see, I'm much older than the rest of you; I was in my late 20s when this aired, and I fell in love with it for so many reasons. The difference is: I vividly recalled the title and knew the actors, particularly Leigh McCloskey and Burl Ives, who was born and raised in a county neighboring mine. I recall watching the rerun of this film, which was supposed to have been a theatrical release, if I recall correctly. Then, it would be sometime later when it surfaced on USA. From that showing, I have a videotaped copy that is none too good but is better than nothing.

I should look into a DVD of this except, even if I found it, my laptop doesn't seem to want to play CDs or DVDs right now. *sigh* Even if I had it, I still couldn't watch it. I've been worried about what will happen if my taped copy fails.

Anyway... For me, the magic is there every time I watch this movie. Seeing it again does not diminish it in any way. The lovely song "Jennie" is as haunting as ever. Their starcrossed love is still bittersweet. The eerie scene of the drowned man being dragged into the depths is just as powerful.

I do not believe that a remake could capture the magic that his film has. I don't believe it's because many people were very young because it affected me the same way. There is a reason we all recall scenes from this 30+-year-old movie: It's a wonderful blend of fantasy, science fiction and horror, with a love story woven throughout. To me, it seems that everyone connected to the project must have felt that it was special because the performances truly come across as heartfelt, not "Let's just get through this and move on." I'd love to hear what the cast has to say about it. Perhaps I'm projecting how I feel about the movie onto it. For me, it has a sort of luminous glow about it, like Jennie's eyes~and the turtle's, of course.

I'm simply pleased that people remember it so fondly and so obsessively.

#30 Posted by johnausten on 22 March 2010 (0:22)
This movie is my Holy Grail. I have found every movie that affected me as I grew up but this one. I was 8 years old when I saw this movie and all I remember is the sound of the ocean and the haunting memory of a lovely phantom girl who waits for her childhood love. (Carl Weathers being dragged to the oceans depths on the back of a giant turtle is a bonus as well.) It's been so long that I don't recall how the special effects were but it's tone and moodiness have stuck with me to this day.

#31 Posted by adna4f on 3 May 2010 (14:29)
I can't believe what I'm reading. I was also 8 when this movie came out, I, too, dream about it at least every 3 years or so and I've always been scared of giant turtles when I'm in or near the ocean. The movie scared me and intrigued me. I've gotta find a copy. Glad someone posted the name. Gotta wonder if there were some hidden messages in that movie that everyone seems to have had the same weird experience with it......hmmmmm.....
#32 Posted by stink14206 on 3 May 2010 (15:38)
Every time I hear Andy Gibb I think of this movie. I don't know whether the song was in the movie or if he made an appearance on a show following the movie but it broke my little 8 year old heart and still does. It is so bizarre that such an obscure movie has effected so many people the same way. I have been searching for it for years, thank you for finding it!!
#33 Posted by jesb7 on 13 May 2010 (23:38)
I was 8 years old when I saw this movie...just like many of you. I can picture where I was, how emotional I was, and think about this movie now and then when THAT SONG starts playing in my head. For some reason, tonight I googled "movie from the 70s with a giant sea turtle" and immediately a ton of results showed up with Bermuda Depths. I had a feeling I was on the right track, but didn't know for sure until I clicked on the youtube video for the song... ohmygoodness, that song!!! It sounds insane, but those feelings I had over 30 years ago just came rushing back... not trying to be overdramatic, but that movie/song/whatever totally haunted me back then and still can affect me now. I'm so glad (and a little disturbed) that so many others experienced the same thing - really gets me, though, that so many others were exactly the same age when they saw it...
#34 Posted by natalie on 14 May 2010 (0:01)
I was about 12 or 13 when I first saw this movie. I am another person that this movie really stuck with. I connected with the sci-fi love story and was amazed at the time that you could cross genres. I remember, over the years, telling people about the plot and trying to remember the title of the movie. Like another person posted, they thought I was nuts. I signed the petition and now I plan to visit youtube video. Thanks!
#35 Posted by usaussie42 on 1 June 2010 (21:35)
Finding this site is truly fascinating. I, like most, was quite young when I saw it (6 or 7?), yet I remember really loving it at the time and certain parts of it just sticking with me/affecting me deeply in ways I still do not fully recall or understand why. I remembered the title, the basic plot and certain scenes, the initials on the giant turtle, Jennie Haniver (and the grotesque statue), and also the Vivaldi music. In fact, I distinctly remembered the music despite not knowing it was Vivaldi. I would hum the tune to people, even sounded it out from memory on my piano, but nobody I asked knew who the composer was. About 15 years later, I finally heard it again on the radio, recognized it instantly, heard it identified as Vivaldi and tracked down the particular piece. All that from hearing it/seeing the film a couple times at a young age. I also recall having met a young (brunette) girl on the beach shortly after having seen the film, and thinking of her as "my Jennie" in a 7-year-old-fantasy kinda way. Don't know what happened to her since then, either...Maybe she is swimming just offshore somewhere (ha!)
I looked the film up last on the Internet a few years ago, only to become disheartened to learn that it was no longer in print. Now that I have seen these posts, it really makes me wonder what it was about this film that apparently was so moving to myself and others who have written here to still remember it fondly (albeit, somewhat vaguely), yet left the film obscure-enough for it to have fallen out of print and become extremely difficult to find. If I ever get the chance to see it again, I will take the chance that my adult sensibilities will not live up to my childhood memories of it, just so I can try to figure out what it was about it that was so compelling. Maybe I can have my son watch it now and see how he likes it...Thanks not only to the reviewer but to the rest of you for also sharing your memories.
#36 Posted by usaussie42 on 1 June 2010 (22:12)
(Just ordered it on DVD from Amazon. Can't believe it is now available. Will see if stands the test of time...)
#37 Posted by momoffive on 28 June 2010 (13:12)
I am releived, as everyone else that this movie exsits! I have one question that has been with me for years......when they were rolling the credits did they use the song Dream Weaver? Everytime I hear that song i picture the giant turtle swimming down to the depths of the sea with a man dragging behind it. Someone help me solve this. Thanks!!!!!!!
#38 Posted by blade21 on 1 November 2010 (16:26)
Friday 01/27/1978 The Bermuda Depths:
This Aired on my 12th Birthday And I was allowed to stay up since it was my birthday and it wasnt a school night.
I must say that this movie was a birthday present I always remember to this day. I recently got it for my 44th birthday by my wife who got tired of me asking her if she ever heard of it. Her researched directed her to the Warner Bros Archive site that have it on DVD!!! Wow.. Like finding a Lost Childhood All over again..
#39 Posted by tjax22 on 23 August 2011 (16:11)
I read all of these postings and cannot believe what I am reading. Like just about everybody else i saw this movie when i was 8 and has stuck with me and haunted me ever since. I don't remember it completely but the intense scenes have burned in my mind forever. I also have asked numerous people including my parents who didn't have a clue what I was talking about. I am amazed at how it effected so many of us Gen X'ers the way it did, i am sitting here at work and the movie popped in my head again so i decided to try to look it up and found this site. Great work and what a relief that this has been to get the answer to the question that has burned in me for over 30 years. Man what a crazy movies for a bunch of kids to be watching:teeth:
#40 Posted by arjames on 25 August 2011 (4:30)
I read the plot and I hope this is still available for download from the net. I haven't seen this one and I would love to watch it. Please help!!!
#41 Posted by JohnShaft on 25 August 2011 (12:14)
QUOTE (arjames)
I read the plot and I hope this is still available for download from the net. I haven't seen this one and I would love to watch it. Please help!!!
It's absolutely amazing how popular this movie is. There's definitely not been another movie that has dragged so many new posters in (albet to post once and then depart forvever!).

It definitely must have something as a movie though, and I think there's nothing like seeing something in childhood that touches you. It just stays with you forever.

One day I might get around to seeing it myself.

As for watching it, the DVD is linked on our review page, or just plain here, where Amazon are selling it for .99.
#42 Posted by Azwar Nazli on 11 November 2011 (12:16)
Can't believe this movie had such a huge impact on people. I'm one of them, I saw the movie back in the 80's, I think was 7 or 8 at that time it was shown on those late night movie slots. The image of the scene of big turtle with initials of jennie and magnus on the shell stuck in my mind all these years. I could not remember the title of the movie until I took a gamble and googled the term "movie about about a turtle growing big" led me to this site. Reading the review was spot on ....Thank you.
#43 Posted by aquajames on 2 December 2011 (20:33)
I am surprised that so many people share the same exact feelings I felt watching this movie at such young age. Frankly, I don't even remember exactly how young I was, probably around 10, I think. The whole storyline and the mesmerizing music just puts in some kind of trance. Even those days, I knew the special effects of boats capsizing and the giant sea turtle surfacing over the water looked very fake, but it did not matter. When I watch this movie at much older age, I still manage to see beyond those cheesy special effects by today's standard.

Jennie is the ultimate girl in my fantasy world forever imbedded in my deep inner psyche. The pureness and the innocence of a little boy meeting a girl is something one can only realize in dream world. I never consider myself a romantic guy. I cannot even stand most romance movies or novels, but this movie just did it for me. It touched my soul and gave me something that I have kept deep inside me all these years, which I time to time tap into to realize the romance in me.

The melancholy mood of the movie sets the perfect background for me to feel and connect with the characters and help me experience the story with me being the Magnus. It's truly one of a kind movie.
#44 Posted by -JM- on 27 June 2012 (21:25)
I was ten years old when I saw this movie. At that time, it seems like the movie of the week was a big draw. I don't remember it being scary, but more haunting.
For almost thirty years, the Vivaldi - Largo song has stayed with me - still affects me when I hear it.
The main part that I remembered was when they found the turtle egg in the sand and Largo playing - carving the initials in the shell. I did remember parts of the end with the harpoon.
In the early nineties, when the internet was still pretty new, I was working at a college and posted my story online. Nothing ever came of it - no one seemed to know anything about it and those that saw it with me didn't remember it at all. A few years ago I threw out the original printout of the post I sent thinking I would never know anymore about this but a haunting memory.
I thought I would try searching once more and found this site and the clip on youtube - which was pretty great. I ordered the dvd off the wb web site and just finished watching it for the first time in almost thirty years - what an experience...
#45 Posted by sbren565 on 27 March 2014 (10:31)
I can only say.... OMG > I am not crazy nor did I simply dream it! I feel the exact same way that everyone does! I am not sure about a remake but would love to see this again. So glad I now know the name of it.:awe:
#46 Posted by MystMoonstruck on 2 April 2014 (21:23)
This is my second post about the film. As I stated before, I was much older than other posters; I was an adult, and it still affected me as deeply as it did the rest of you.

I have a fairly good network tape of it, and I watch it occasionally. For me, it holds up. I love every moment of it and still have seen nothing like this film. It IS magical, mystical, haunting and dreamlike.

Someday, I hope to have enough money ahead to be able to buy the DVD though I still prefer my good ol' VCR.

I agree, John, that it is like no other movie in how it draws people together. I still wonder if it's appeal extended to those who are my age. Maybe it's not a mystery for them; they might remember the title, so they aren't seekers.
#47 Posted by hema on 1 October 2014 (5:56)
Mr. Constant could not have chosen a better subject for communicating the romance of fashion, which is about self-invention. There is a significant scene in the film in which Ms. Roitfeld is amused to discover that the designer Joseph Altuzarra has many photos of her on his inspiration board. But it seems, from witnessing a slice of her life, that Ms. Roitfeld may prefer to inspire viewers own idiosyncrasies.
#48 Posted by BornIn1972 on 1 August 2015 (15:28)
I echo the sentiments of everyone above, crazy how an old movie especially this one can have such a haunting effect on someone let alone all of us, or should i say finding out deep into adulthood that it had the same effect and memory conundrum on others too, realizing it wasnt a dream or mistaken memory , etc. Perhaps it was the music and sounds, and first love nostalgia, and childhood objects lost but longed for...this movie had it all. I would love to see a modern day good budget remake please somebody! I love the performance of the original cast but I'm more in live with the story. Hell I even have a Jennie Haniver tattoo!
#49 Posted by BornIn1972 on 1 August 2015 (15:30)
I echo the sentiments of everyone above, crazy how an old movie especially this one can have such a haunting effect on someone let alone all of us, or should i say finding out deep into adulthood that it had the same effect and memory conundrum on others too, realizing it wasnt a dream or mistaken memory , etc. Perhaps it was the music and sounds, and first love nostalgia, and childhood objects lost but longed for...this movie had it all. I would love to see a modern day good budget remake please somebody! I love the performance of the original cast but I'm more in love with the story. Hell I even have a Jennie Haniver tattoo!
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