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Death Ship Reviews

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Super Reviewer

June 9, 2010
Death Ship is a terrific, low-budget cheesy supernatural tale that should definitely appeal to midnight movie horror fans. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and I feel that this is one of the most underrated films in the genre. The cast do a good job in their roles, even though some of the actors go over the top in some respects (George Kennedy). If you love obscured horror titles, check this film out. I think that this is an underrated film that works well if you end up not caring about how flawed the plot is. The concept is really terrific and it's what makes the film work. Death Ship is a film that is made for a specific audience in the horror genre, and if you're not used to B movies, or cheesy horror yarns, you may want to pass up on this one. However for those who enjoy these types of films, and then definitely seek out this title. The film has enough good things going for it to satisfy the most diehard midnight film fan. The film is an ultimate guilty pleasure, and it's mindless fun, entertainment. As far as obscured horror titles are concerned, Death Ship is definitely one worth checking out. With good gore effects, a decent cast and pretty eerie atmosphere, this is a film that really doesn't deserve all the flack it has received. Ghost Ship is similar in its ideas, but as far as I'm concerned, this is a far better film. This is a film that relies on its atmosphere to create its horror, and in there's some pretty effective horror bits despite the fact that the film won't win any prizes any time soon.
Lafe F

Super Reviewer

July 24, 2007
A great movie about a group of people trapped on a haunted Nazi ship. They are killed in various scary and creative ways. The ship itself is a great menacing location, with each section being a chamber of horrors. George Kennedy is awesome as the captain gone insane. Some scenes were genuinely creepy, like the old radios with the Nazi voices on it, the pool of bodies, and the Nazi marching film projector which won't stop. It's a great ride on the "Death Ship"!
David S

Super Reviewer

December 15, 2012
A haunted house horror set on a boat this film doesn't really live up to its fun premise, probably down to a limited budget and some dull performances. The idea of a possessed liner sounds cool, especially one that used to be a Nazi torture ship, but the film doesn't help itself by presenting a rather dull group of characters in peril. Also it doesn't really know what it's trying to do. The boat seems to want the new passengers off (within minutes one character is lassoed and literally thrown to his death) but Kennedy (as a possessed Captain) seems determined to keep some on board and deliberately prevents them from leaving. It would have been more fun to see the ghosts but instead we get a lot of doors and windows opening and closing and a rather gratuious blood shower scene that seems to go on forever! It's clear who will survive and even though this was banned during the video nasty campaign there really isn't much gore. Not a classic!

Super Reviewer

September 25, 2008
Very very silly but some great gorey bits....70 pulp
April 8, 2013
Film buffs of a certain age range probably remember the wonderfully eerie box artwork to the obscure Candadian Nazi ghost film "Death Ship" lurking on a shelf at their old mom-and-pop video store. This artwork burned its way into my memory and for years I have been dying to hunt a copy down. More recent horror flicks like "Ghost Ship" that blatantly ripped off the poster artwork and even storyline only wetted my appetite to lay my eyes upon this highly sought after Candadian "classic". Thanks to Scorpion Releasing, one of the leaders in unleashing highly sought after cult classics on DVD and Blu-Ray, I finally have it in my hands and able to see if the film lives up to its amazing poster artwork.

The film opens with a luxury cruise liner packed to the brim with rich snobs getting rammed by a ghostly black vessel in the middle of the ocean (though all the sediment in the water proves it was close to the shore). After the vessel sinks only eight people remain alive and are forced to take refuge on the ghastly ship that is ominously overlooking their life raft. It doesn't take long for them to discover that the old ship is completely deserted yet it seemingly runs by itself. To top it off a series of bizarre events start occur as if the ship wants its new crew to stay with it forever... and ever... and ever.

The plot is simple yet increasingly warped, very "Twlight Zone"-ish in its approach. As the film moves along it gets increasingly unsettling and grisly before coming to a climax that is literally, head on. Most of the film takes place on the rickety vessel and it is an unpleasant setting that feeds the ghostly atmosphere wonderfully. Director Alvin Rakoff, a new-comer to the horror genre, handles the genre well with his raw style utilizing hand held cameras and odd angles to add some well needed manic feel to the situation (especially during a memorable sequence involving a shower of blood).

The slow pacing of the plot however kills many of the scares. Lots of shots of pistons pumping in the engine room aren't scary; no matter how many times the filmmakers decide to show them in order to pad out the running time. Thankfully the film does eventually build up to an interesting reveal of what went on upon the vessel so many decades before. The film's obvious low budget shows its flaws when it comes to the ship crashes (consisting of off-putting editing mixed with stock footage) and some silted dialogue. I also was annoyed by the ghostly German voice speaking orders to George Kennedy but thanks to no subtitles the audience has no idea what the ghost is saying (though a special feature on the recent DVD release does reveal this).

"Death Ship" has had a dire reputation over the years but it doesn't deserve such a bad rap. Sure it has plenty of flaws but for a "haunted house on the ocean" plot it's not bad at all. The frenetic direction, professional cast (including the Marlon Brando's of B-movies Richard Crenna and George Kennedy) and dreadlike atmosphere makes "Death Ship" well worth seeing for horror nuts. A special thanks goes out to Scorpion Releasing for making this lost "classic" available for the first time in America on DVD and Blu-ray.
July 18, 2014
Don't listen to the reviews, this movie is worth to watch, very creepy, atmospheric and scary as hell
You will not be disappointed
May 29, 2013
A very 80's horror film. The special effects are a little cheesy. But it is creepy for its day and time.
April 16, 2013
Defo worth watching. Pretty creepy film.
January 14, 2013
A lightweight, cheesy late night guilty pleasure. The scariest thing this movie had was the poster. That's creepy, but the rest of this movie pretty much just sinks
January 1, 2013
Much better than expected. Decent little shocker with only a few shocks, but much better than what you've heard.
James T.
December 28, 2012
This may very well be the best in dripping-with-cheese B Movie horror films of all time. Once the viewer puts the fact that this film is well over three decades old, and was made on a shoestring budget into perspective, the film is enjoyable, and the entire concepts potentially disturbing.

At least this film has better acting and a stronger script of the knock off movie Ghost Ship.

Can we forgo the CGI and focus on the writing? M'Kay?
July 7, 2012
What on Earth did I just watch?
George Kennedy's willingness to participate in this baffles me, as does the purpose of the film. Feeling like The Poseidon Adventure and Ghost Ship (2002) simultaneously crapped their pants and the resulting mess served as the inspiration for a slow and logic-devoid forgotten piece of early 80's horror-schlock, this film will leave you with only two questions: 1. Why did I bother watching this?, and 2. Where can I get some of what the writers and directors were inhaling in order to get through this film's production?
Dull in most parts and stupid in all the others, Death Ship has become exactly what it should be; a mostly forgotten and obscure piece of 80's tripe with no real point to its existence and no real justification for it being remembered.
Sarfaraz Abbasi
June 10, 2012
Directed by Alvin Rakoff Starring George Kennedy. Ghost Ship doesn't win us beyond its horrible set-designing. It might have been a great film, had there been some solid script. It looked awkward most of the time, I never felt urge to watch it attentively.
May 12, 2012
The movie feels a decade order than it's age due to some flat characterizations where people cry for help and everyone stands around watching the event unfold instead. Some of the kills are inventive and huge potential is squandered as the plot stops making the most of the creepy environment and instead inexplicably focuses on the characters instead. A good watch for those who love to tear apart a movie for its faults but little value otherwise. Kennedy & Crenna stand out as class actors even as they phone in their lines.
April 17, 2011
Probably the worst film I've ever seen... It isn't any good, and it isn't any scary either - just dull and boring. The plot is inexistent, it is just an insult to intelligence.
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