Death Ship (1980)

Article 3209 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-1-2010
Posting Date: 5-28-2010
Directed by Alvin Rakoff
Featuring George Kennedy, Richard Crenna, Nick Mancuso
Country: UK/Canada
What it is: Haunted ship movie

A cruise ship is purposefully rammed and sunk by another ship in the night. The survivors, initially in a lifeboat, climb aboard a deserted black ship anchored in the middle of nowhere. But the ship has a will of its own, and it wants blood…

Given that this movie was made right in the middle of the slasher craze, it had the potential to be real novelty item for the time, and as the movie starts to unfold, I was really hoping for something good. And, sporadically, it delivers; I especially love when the ship appears out of nowhere behind the lifeboat. It’s also graced with a decent, solid cast who gives it their all. Unfortunately, the script is inconsistent, and it gets more muddled, confusing, and illogical as the movie proceeds. It’s one of those movies that starts trying anything for a scare, whether it makes sense within the context of the story or not, and eventually it founders due to its lack of direction. It’s a real shame; this could have been so much better. Still, I do have one question; during the course of the movie, an old movie musical gets shown in a projection room where little people come out of the sheet music on a piano and dance; I’d love to know which movie this is from.

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