Death Ship - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Death Ship Reviews

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July 22, 2016
Though the film is eerie with atmosphere, it's just not entertaining enough, particularly because I think it tries to take itself to seriously.
June 18, 2016
This is a modern-era ghost ship movie, and it has to deal with all the limitations this setting imply. It is more suspense than horror. There are a few interesting twists.
½ May 2, 2016
I was expecting to like this but it mostly fell flat for me. The plot was good in general and the acting wasn't bad but in some respects it was just too kooky - especially with the captain and the storyline involving him. The ending was also flat and fairly predictable.
September 6, 2015
Not so bad it's good and there are a few good death scenes but one of those unintentional laughing horror movies....you could do worse.
April 5, 2015
A fairly decent horror/suspense movie about a cruise ship that sinks due to a ghost tanker ship and they board the tanker to find no crew and strange things.
It is a slow burn movie that is very interesting and creepy.
George Kennedy and Richard Crenna are good, with Kennedy being a little creepy.
October 21, 2014
A movie I feel very guilty about liking. Complete cheese, a haunted holocaust nazi ship adrift in the ocean. I'm a sucker for haunted ship movies though.
June 6, 2014
This actually is much, better than you might think, mainly thanks to a cast of surprisingly high level actors (what they are doing in this I can't imagine). It's fairly coherent and I dare say, original but it's incredibly boring. The scares are minimal and the death scenes are a bit weak/odd. Also there are a number of anachronisms that are easy to spot. But it's dark and brooding and with just a little more 'pizazz' it could have been really good. A full star goes to the cover art which is awesome and scarier than the entire film.
May 4, 2014
Everyone in this looks pretty bored. There is an excessive amount of shots of pistons, steam, and rust.
½ June 10, 2013
Under appreciated classic horror film was one of the last to put mood before blood--Creepy and very atmospheric!!
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.
½ April 23, 2013
It's an odd blend of unintentionally goofball 80s cheese and some really unsettling horror but this was a nice surprise.
½ April 16, 2013
Defo worth watching. Pretty creepy film.
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.
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 2, 2013
Much better than expected. Decent little shocker with only a few shocks, but much better than what you've heard.
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?
½ December 26, 2012
Death Ship is another one of those movies that I saw the VHS box all the time at the video store when I was young and never got around to watching, but I was always intrigued by it because of that. Now I'm finally getting around to watching it, and unfortunately, it doesn't live up to its great cover art. You have George Kennedy as basically a mad captain, becoming a very good villain, but you also have Richard Crenna and Nick Mancuso, neither of whom really contribute all that much. The film seems to start out like it's a disaster movie, but the disaster happens early on when the Death Ship crashes into the ship that everyone's on and they "find" the Death Ship after being at sea for days. Once they're on board, all sorts of nonsense happens, including the infamous bloody shower scene, as well non-translated German ghosts talking. It sounds intriguing, but it's hampered by a slow pace, nothing ever being explained about the ship other than "it needs blood" and a lack of killings. In fact, the ship kills more people by crashing into the boat in the beginning than later on. It's a pretty tame affair, but it does have some unintentional comedy to it, so if you're interested in seeing it for that, I'd say check it out. It's worth a rental, at least. Not much else.
Super Reviewer
½ 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!
October 27, 2012
A Nazi torture ship that needs blood to survive circles the Atlantic in search of new victims. Those who survive the Death Ship are better off dead. Proof that the Canadian government's funding of the film industry at the time was money well spent.
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