Death Ship

release year: 1980
genre: bad horror
viewing setting: home VHS, 9/23/98
what I expected: horror
what I got: bizarre convoluted crap

synopsis: Haunted ship rams boats, lets their survivors board, then kills them one by one.

impressions: The premise was good, but the execution wasn't. There were glaring inconsistencies and stupidities (right before ramming, the haunted ship was in daylight, the prey was in nighttime; the liner sunk in about 4 seconds; a guy floated up from underwater without being detected even though the people in the lifeboat had been watching the water for survivors for five minutes, etc.) Also, the pacing and mood, while occasionally creepy, reminded me of a TV movie, which this obviously wasn't since it had some nudity. Still, it was tough to watch. Half the time, I wasn't even remotely sure what was going on, or why. Kinda like the characters in the movie. It was clear that the death ship had the power to kill these morons right from the get-go, so why didn't it? Come to think of it, why did it take the morons more than an hour to figure out that animating winches and self-operating anchors are not, in fact, normal behavior for a crewless ship?

acting: Pitiful. Some (Richard Crenna, Nick Mancuso) were at least trying. Others...well, George Kennedy was his usual bloated, ambling self. What's wrong with this guy?

final word: Bad horror, not really worth seeing.

rating: D

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