Introducing: Death Ship (1980)

DeathShip

Long week, needed something scary to loosen up my nerves a bit. As I have said on many occasions, I have chosen several movies based only based on the fact that I remembered the movie poster from my younger days. This week’s fare, was no different. I decided to watch the movie “Ghost Ship” solely because I remembered thinking that the poem was really cool when I was a kid. That picture of this big ship looking like is was going to eat a bunch of people on a raft was a great image. As I started watching, I’m starting to believe that I need to quit choosing films with this criteria in mind. Because as it turns out, the poster was much more intriguing than the film itself.

Streaming on: www.Bmovies.com

Directed by: Alvin Rakoff

Starring: Richard Crenna, George Kennedy, Sally Ann Howes

 

Rated: R

Tagline: Those who Survive the Ghost Ship are Better off Dead.

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 20%

Number of times Ben has to take a leak: 3

A cruise ship is sunk by an old German ship that is run by the spirit of a ghostly captain. A small group of survivors board the ship thinking that they have been saved only to find out that the German vessel is completely empty. They are unaware that the ship is actually a former Nazi torture chamber for POWs which is possessed with the spirit of the former captain that tries killing them off one by one.

What you don’t want to miss:

  • Two ships sailing through open waters to start the credits with creepy Scooby Doo music in the background.
  • Masquerade Ball on a cruise ship has some of the stupidest costumes imaginable.
  • The German ship can’t make up it’s mind about what it wants to do.
  • Geico caveman really knows how to pick up the hot gypsy babes.
  • Mel Diamond and the Boys aren’t the most upbeat party cruise ship bands you’ll ever meet.
  • Leave the kid alone, when you got to go, you’ve got to go.
  • Since when does a cruise ship have built-in sandbox that are perfect for floating?
  • How convenient was it that the whole family survived while in totally different parts of the ship? Not as convenient that the captain washes up to the small sandbox in the middle of the ocean.
  • Like I said before, when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.
  • Rusty old stairs, they sure don’t make them like they used to.
  • Que really bad music please!
  • Ever had a ghost ship take a dump in your face?
  • Great, all these ship captains on board and not a single one knows  how to stop the winch. Ghost ship waterboarding?
  • From the looks of that bathroom, I can see why the kid pissed on the deck instead.
  • The boat still looks like crap even if it’s filmed upside down. Makes one a bit dizzy to watch actually.
  • Hey Ben, nice argyle pajamas!
  • Oh god, the record is playing  more Mel Diamond and the Boys, it IS hell.
  • Can you hear me now? Damn.
  • Did the Germans make it a habit of watching American movies on their ships?
  • Well since you can’t brush your teeth, one might as well eat a mint or two.
  • Hey captain, I’m afraid that’s not the way you perform the Heimlich.
  • You know that possession is 9/10 of the law right?
  • Damn kid must have a bladder control problem. And he hasn’t washed his hands yet.
  • Nice butt!
  • Shirtless or shitless? What is it?
  • Hey Carrie, they’re all going to laugh at you, Carrie.
  • Boobs!
  • Hapless lady, does she not know how to turn the shower off?
  • Don’t scare the poor boy, you know he’s just going to have to pee again.
  • Mannequin or human, you decide. Slut overboard!!!
  • Look at all those gold teeth. Little Wayne, eat your heart out.
  • I’m betting all the people who paid to see this movie feel like ripping down the screen and trashing the projector too.
  • Anyone else get lost somewhere between the movie room and the captain’s cabin?
  • Meat locker full of soldiers is always a good place for supplies.
  • For god sakes Nick, it’s just a bunch of skeletons, don’t be such a diva.
  • Someone might want to tell Captain Ashland,  that’s not the way you play bloody knuckles.
  • Where can I get some of those pants that lace up in the back Capt. Trevor?
  • Captain Crazy apparently doesn’t know anything about the riccocheting of bullets.
  • Nice stunt work. Not the most graceful of falls by the captain, but impressive non-the-less. Let’s give him a hand…wait for it.
  • And we end the same way we started.

Dreadful Dialogue:

“It’s as if it’s deliberately trying to ram us.”

“What is it with this ship? It’s like it’s running itself.”

“Is this Hitler?” – “Not quite, the King of England?”

“This damn ship!” – “It’s like it’s alive trying to kill us!”

“Would you like to steer her?”

“Where do you plan to sail her?” – “Eternity, Marshall…eternity.”

“I’m scared.” – “You’re scared? I’m scared shirtless.” – “It’s shitless…oops.”

The Final Word:

For the fact that this film has two pretty big stars in Richard Crenna and George Kennedy, I wasn’t all that terrible. The problem with the movie was that it tried to make itself too scary. What do I mean by that? Well between all the dialogue and long drawn out scenes with characters rummaging around for supplies, there were strange camera angles and sudden sounds to try to make a viewer jump with fright. With the popularity of the The Shining at the time this film was made, the director threw in some “flash forward” sequences that were meant to be for a scare as well. All of these ended up making the film look cheesy and dumb.  The plot was kind of disjointed at times and the whole Nazi torture ship really was a pointless reveal at the end of the film. Despite being a horror film, any real violence was only implied and other than a blood shower scene, there was no gore. Not your typical horror film.

Some film buffs might enjoy this, but there were just too many slow and droll scenes for my liking. And as far as horror/thriller films goes, this one is not one of the better films in the genre. For that reason, I’m only giving this film 2.5 turds.

death-ship-3

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