That `80's Guy Who Misses Video Stores
Movie #4: Death Ship (1980)
Drifting in the ocean is a forgotten German battleship. Since WW2, it has become a demonic ghost ship. When it senses a luxury liner close by, its engine runs on its own and sets a collision course. The small group of survivors from the sunken luxury liner find themselves drifting toward the ancient battleship, and they are unaware of the nightmare it has already begun and is hellbent on continuing.
This is a really cool and radically different horror film. A haunted and demonic ship! Not only that, a twisted and sick Nazi ship! When was the last time they made something like this? Since "Death Ship," there are have been similar movies such as "Deep Rising," "Virus" and probably countless other movies in the straight-to-video market and on the crappy Syfy channel. That's right. I have not forgotten about how low the once-great Syfy channel has sunk.
Among the survivors to board the battleship are George Kennedy, Richard Crenna, Nick Mancuso and Saul Rubinek. Kennedy should not fly airplanes and has no right operating a ship. Crenna gets to swap Vietnam stories with John Rambo for World War II stories with ghosts. As for Mancuso and Rubinek, this is an earlier project on both of their resumes. I can't imagine anybody not hearing Mancuso's name thrown around, but who is Rubinek? He is a character-actor you must have seen in a number of movies and don't know it. I know him well as the asshole director from "Sweet Liberty."
This film is no classic, but it delivers what it promises. First, a genuinely creepy ship. And after that, inventive enough death scenes and action. In particular, a shower that turns into a bloodbath. It may very well be the mother of shower scenes. The ship takes possession of Kennedy. And as the characters investigate the disturbing bowels of the ship, the true nature of this Nazi vessel gets to their heads. What they discover is not pretty. On top of that, there are a lot of shots of the engine's pistons running on their own, and I found them rather cool. This ship means business.
Is the movie great? No. But it is a fun ride and doesn't fall short in any department. For a movie about a demonic ship, it offers a little bit of everything and is an underrated gem.
*** out of 4
Recommended as a rental or purchase.
Seriously, you can get this on DVD through - www.vhsps.com