Down Periscope was one of those goofy comedies from back in the 1990s. The film starred a bevy of the decade’s mainstays, including “Frasier” star Kelsey Grammer, Lauren Holly and Rob Schnieder. The cast even included classic character actors like Harry Dean Stanton, Bruce Dern and Rip Torn. It also marked early roles for some of today’s popular actors like Patton Oswalt and Toby Huss. With all the stars involved in the film, it’s no wonder film fans seek out the film and give it a second look.
Down Periscope follows a US Navy Lieutenant Commander, Thomas Dodge (Kelsey Grammer), who has been sent to a wrecked old submarine with a crew of crazed misfits to take part in a war game orchestrated by Dodge’s nemesis (Bruce Dern). would. in an attempt to tarnish his reputation. The film parodies popular submarine movies like The Hunt for Red October and its title is a nod to the classic submarine drama Up Periscope.
Released in spring 1996, the ensemble-led spoof was a box office flop, despite opening at No. 2 on its first weekend of release. Critics didn’t really like the film either. It currently has an 11% Rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Like many of the forgotten box-office clothes of yesteryear, the internet has rediscovered it, it sees merit in its hijinks and thinks it’s worth revisiting.