Death Ship (1980)

directed by alvin rakoff
bloodstar productions ltd./astral films limited

Confession time: It will in no way be possible for me to describe in mere words this incredible movie, and trust me, when I say “incredible,” I mean it. What we have here is one of the most completely batshit cinematic wonders ever concocted. Just about every time I was convinced nothing could top what I had just seen, well, you can probably guess where I’m going with this. How even to begin … Loath as I am to provide spoilers in these reviews (or indeed, as you may have noticed, much relevant information at all), let me relate to you this movie’s plot. A cruise ship is rammed by an unmanned Nazi vessel that pilots itself and is apparently sentient. It’s also bloodthirsty. No, really, the ship needs blood. We know this because after former cruise ship captain George Kennedy is taken over by the evil spirit of Death Ship, he informs his would-be successor Richard Crenna, when revealing his/its plans to kill said would-be successor and his family. (This is ¾ of the way through; almost everyone else who survived the initial calamitous event has already been bumped off by D. S.) Luckily for me, I was watching a version of this insanity that was helpfully subtitled, so as to highlight the ace dialogue, and treating me to captions such as [almighty crash], [explosion], and my personal favorite, [faint sounds of torture and suffering]. Although assuredly unintentional, this film is nonetheless a laugh riot.

why did i watch this movie?

DEATH. SHIP. Also, George Kennedy – guarantor of quality.

should you watch this movie?

Oh my, yes.

highlight and low point

Have I mentioned the stock footage? Or the children? Have a sampling of the drama:

“Where do you plan to sail her?”

“Eternity, Marshall. Eternity.”

rating from outer space: +/−

oh, no!


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