El Buque Maldito (The Ghost Galleon)(Ship of Zombies)(Horror of the Zombies) Reviews
Our plot opens with a roommate of a model showing up at her roommates place of work demanding to know where she is as she seems to have disappeared. Her boss refused to talk until the bitchy blond roommate threatens to go the police. The boss agrees and takes our blond bitch to a remote ship yard to meet some asshole who tells her that her roommate and another model are doing a publicity stunt. What the publicity stunt entails it doesn't go into detail with but it moronically includes two models on a small motorboat in the middle of the ocean. What kind of plot point is this? Our models sudden become surrounded by fog and a ghost galleon appears. They of course board and become blood meals for our blind foes. Our "heroes" (heroes are in quotes because every character in this film is completely despicable) set out on a boat to search for them. They of course come across the ghost galleon themselves and come face to face with the blind dead!
The only thing that makes this film somewhat watchable is the blind dead still have a frightening, creepy image especially aboard a creaky ghost galleon. However the rest of the film is completely moronic. The plot point of having models doing a publicity stunt in the middle of the ocean is to serve no other reason than to get babes in bathing suits aboard the galleon. In typical Ossorio fashion there is also a completely pointless rape sequence that serves nothing to the plot other than to just be exploitative. Ossorio also decides to not offer the audience a flashback sequence showing how our blind dead were created. This would have been especially helpful as no information is given why the blind dead are on a galleon! On the plus side however there is no stock footage from the original Tombs of the Blind Dead. The film is also plum full of horrible miniature effects. The worst thing about these poor model effect shots is that they were not needed. If Ossorio used clever film-making and editing he could have done away with shitty model boats and just worked around them. These effects are so bad that they make the model effects in Beyond the Door III/Amok Train look decent in comparison and they induce complete laughter, totally killing any suspense or scares the film was building up. The film-making itself is also far below par complete with poor editing and production values. Ossorio sadly isn't able to assemble any true suspense and he seems to be asleep behind the camera as well.
This is a truly awful sequel to what started out to be an interesting series of films. It's a real shame because it had a really cool, creepy concept but Ossorio doesn't seem to know how to flesh it out to be an interesting horror film. His poor plotting, slow pace, sloppy editing, bad effects and shitty characters makes this film more of a target for the B-movie crowd looking for a film to make fun of instead of a euro-horror crowd looking for some atmospheric suspense and scares. Surprisingly this entry didn't kill off the series and our eyeless stalkers return one more time in The Night of the Sea Gulls.
I am convinced that the majority of the budget was spent on the model pirate ship and the boat set. Why am I convinced of this? Because there is only one bloody scene and the women do not have much to wear. So the red corn syrup and wardrobe budgets must have been minuscule.
One of the great mysteries of this movie, for me at least, is why a meteorologist from the weather bureau is an expert in the occult! Not only knowing how to drive the evil Templars back, but also knowing that the same fireball cross will not work again! HOW!?!
Once again, there is a lesbian couple, a forceful rape, jerks being jerky, and slow-moving victims who could easily get away if they just stepped a few feet out of the way. This time the Templars are blood thirsty and eat up their victims, I guess.
This one barely holds together. By the time, the heroes are dumping the coffins into the ocean, I was beyond amazed. How those three guys - a skirt wearing weakling, a coked out skinny, and a mildly cut muscle thug - could even lift one of these coffins, really is beyond belief.
I would recommend this one based on the horrible dubbing, particularly the scene in the captain's chamber where Coked Up and Thuggy Thug have their discussion. The Get Out, Don't Leave Me scene. And the stunning Blanca Estrada, even if she is not in it that much.
Still, that's not the issue, as I always say, when it comes to a movie like this. I'd understood that this was a lesser entry, or an unusual entry, or something of that sort in de Ossorio's Blind Dead "series," even heard it was toned down to make it more family friendly. I had my doubts by the first time I saw some blood, and those doubts came to fruition not long after. This isn't a family movie, unless your family is composed of the kind of losers who watch movies just to mock ambitious people who lack finances.
Noemi (Bárbara Rey) is a fashion model as we open, being photographed by Lillian (Maria Perschy), who she then asks about the disappearance of her friend and fellow model Kathy (Blanca Estrada). Lillian attempts to fend her off but finds her too determined and threatened by her offer to call the police, so she takes her to Howard Tucker (Jack Taylor) who reveals that Kathy was involved in a publicity stunt to advertise his company's new boat, being stranded in the middle of the ocean to be found by someone in a major shipping channel (OK, yes, this is a truly bizarre stunt, but what the hell, I don't mind that much). Tucker and his man Sergio (Manuel de Blas) are in radio contact with Kathy and her partner Lorena (Margarita Merino) and continue to question them about the status of their "mission." The two girls are seeing no one, finding themselves in a strange heat and fog with nothing around, until they spy a ghostly ship. It bumps into them and Lorena, frustrated with their wasted time decides to investigate it to find help.
But we know who's on THAT ship--yes, the undead satanic knights are back. I don't know if series is the right word for these movies as the only major element they all have in common is excommunicated knights who worshipped Satan, nothing else implies they are in any way connected, not even in the way Romero's dead movies are. Now, there's definitely some common threads that de Ossorio likes to ride--yes, another rape--and even some particular gags, his love for the skeletal hands prying their way out of coffins, crates and tombs being a clear favourite. It seemed, though, that the ghostly ship and its set design (simplistic but pretty effective) made for possibly the best setting for these costumes, this time letting us see the masks and so on in greater detail, which is actually not a bad thing as they're pretty good (methinks de Ossorio poured a lot of money into them in the beginning). It's nothing amazing, groundbreaking or particularly new, but it's always nice to see our (now not-so-blind) undead knight "friends" roaming around again, with a spirit a little more in line with the first film than the one immediately preceding this one.
And the toy ship! HYSTERICAL!
The third "Blind Dead" movie, "The Ghost Galleon" is notable for the fact that instead of taking this route it instead features over-the-top atmosphere. Ridiculously thick fog shrouds the ocean and the titular galleon in such a way that one is reminded of John Carpenter's superior "The Fog".
The atmosphere is definately creepy and mysterious and the Blind Dead look as good as ever, but that's about all this movie has going for it. The plot is really sketchy, there's nothing resembling characterization, it's remarkably restrained and it plods along at a horrible pace.
I'd give it a lower rank if it wasn't for the fact that the Blind Dead are still great horror villains, even when they are trapped on a ghost ship, and there's some sort of B movie charm to this that I can't really explain. Besides, you could do a lot worse as far as foreign horror films are concerned.
The absence of nudity and gore don't help the film but the fact that it no longer takes place at the village made no sense.
All I can say now is "Welcome aboard" for a cruise into another dimension... of TERROR!... with the 1974 Horror Of The Zombies.