Death Ship (1980)
Imagine being on a cruise ship in 1980 – it’s full of elderly ladies wearing sequin dresses with necklines that test your gag reflex just a little too much and men that are wearing outfits that would not be out of place in a Village people theme night. It could be the Love Boat. There’s a band leader/annoying host type with a mono brow that would make the Gallagher brothers weep with jealousy – the music is questionable at best (after five minutes I guarantee you’d be requesting Celine Dion covers on panpipes). Oh yes, heady and wonderful times – so wonderful that a shipwreck would be more welcome than an iceberg heading towards James Cameron’s version of the Titanic.
What? You didn’t want the iceberg to hit James Cameron’s version of the Titanic? I’m not sure I understand …You wanted them all to live? But the acting? The storyline? The nauseating sentimentality? The xenophobic portrayal of the Irish? You found all this acceptable and didn’t feel like every second you endured of it was a violation of your human rights?
Erm .. OK, that’s your own preference I guess. I’m judging you as a person pretty harshly right now, but whatever.
So luckily (for some at least) a big old rusty looking ship hit’s the hell that was the cruise ship – there are very few survivors (conveniently the same ones that we’ve already been introduced to before the ship sunk) – the captain, his soon to be replacement, his wife and kids, the lost Gallagher brother, an old dear, some officer guy and the girl he was busy in the bedroom with when the proverbial hit the fan. They manage to board a life boat and row away – screw the hundreds of other folk on the ship, they were only extras anyway (and by the way there’s no explanation of how they all managed to do this, maybe the production team just couldn’t be bothered with silly old logistics – they really are an annoying factor in film making!).
After drifting for less than five minutes the group see a big old rusty ship and decide to call for its aid (nobody seems to wonder if is the same ship that caused there predicament in the first place, after all it is the only other vessel in the vast expanse of ocean, and that would be far too much of a stretch of the imagination right?). There is no response but the group manage to get aboard anyway and soon start to realise that this ship isn’t your ordinary unmanned spooky ship – its only a bloody Nazi ghost ship.
Talk about unlucky, eh folks?
The film is low budget, badly acted and shot, but that didn’t stop me from loving every minute of it. It’s ridiculous and cheesy trash, which in my opinion all the best horrors of the decade are. Unfortunately it’s out of print as far as I know, but if you can find a link for it on the internet or an old video copy, I highly recommend it for a watch. It isn’t scary or even a little risqué for us jaded modern horror connoisseurs, but it’s fun and let’s face it who doesn’t love a good old fashioned Nazi exploitation film? Except maybe the Nazis – and who cares about them because no one gives a crap about the Nazis – they’re dicks.