On August 23, 2005, a bunch of local cavers got together for the world premiere of the Sony Pictures presentation, “The Cave”. Yea, believe it or not, the Priest Theater in downtown High Springs was the location where crew, family and local cavers were invited to attend this special showing. The movie opened world wide on August 26th.
As far as I’m concerned, Wes Skiles and Jill Heinreth did an outstanding job with their part of the movie. It was great fun watching the movie with a lot of the folks that made it happen and worked so hard on it. Not often do you get a whole movie theater full of cavers, and I doubt you will ever see another movie premiere with the dress code so “relaxed”. Everything from nice suits to tank tops, shorts and sandals.
The movie itself is typical Hollywood monster fair, kind of a Sigourney Weaver goes caving, fights the aliens, etc, but there was plenty in this film that was far from typical Hollywood. The realism of the sets reflected the involvement of real cavers, and of course, the awesome underwater videography of the whole Karst Productions Team.
You just have to go see it for yourself, especially if you want to see the fabulous work of Wes and Jill, some of north Florida’s best cave divers, in some of the best underwater cave diving action ever to come out of Hollywood.
I won’t give the film away only to say this was certainly, “the sump trip from hell” Enjoy the film for what it is folks, and don’t get too wrapped up in the logistics of the trip…..or the flying hodags!
The Karst Productions Team once again proved why they are the best in the business when it comes to underwater videography. It was their direction that made the constructed cave sets and all the underwater action believable. Admittedly some of the main characters had a bit of an attitude problem that would not last 2 minutes on a real expedition, (they’d be beat to hell by the rest of the group). There were also a few lines of dialogue that had us all chuckling. At one point, when Piper Perabo’s character “Charley” goes underwater for the first time in the lake room of the cave, we see a stunning underwater vista as she quips, “Man, this blows away anything in the Yucatan”. Of course, the stunning vista we were seeing on the screen at the time was actually filmed in…the Yucatan!
There were a couple of gadgets that we would love to have in the real world of underwater exploration like the wonderfully simple handheld cave sonar mapper but for the most part, the gear was top of the line equipment available to most cavers (for the right price). Pay attention to the screen when they turn the sonar mapper on for the first time, it says “SkilesSonic” a little inside joke for cave divers. Other gear used included Dive Rite scooters as well as Megaladon rebreathers.
The best part was watching the credits roll and hear the crowd roar for a local bunch of cavers gone Hollywood! The last credits on the film included a line where the entire cast and crew thanked the cavers of North Florida for teaching them to appreciate caves, cave diving and the explorers who go there.
Maybe for the general public, this will do for caving what Jaws did for swimming in the ocean?
(Patty always told me there were cave monsters!)