WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE RAT?
The Abyss is one of the few flicks to fall foul of the BBFC’s ( sometimes) strict animal cruelty laws. The “liquid breathing” that Cameron illustrates in the movie actually does exist – and works ( not that we are lining up to try it) – but the sight of a terrified rat being plunged into a potion of oxygen- heavy fluid was too much for UK censors. All British release copies of The Abyss skip this sequence – although the curious can easily find it streaming on YouTube. However, given that actor Ed Harris claims that he almost drowned making The Abyss (“For a brief second, I thought, ‘ This is it,’” stated the actor in a 1989
interview with the
New York Times) perhaps our moral guardians should have also considered “cruelty to actors” when certifying Cameron’s marine- themed masterwork…