Saturday, August 13, 2011

bad/awesome flixxx review: Death Ship (1980)

"Where do you plan to sail her?"- Trevor Marshall
"Into eternity, Marshall. Eternity."- Ashland

"What would a ship be doing anchored out here?"- Margaret Marshall

AHHHH, now this is refreshing. A lot of people would see this and think, wow that looks like horseshit. But I know a breath of fresh air when I see it. This movie has the film quality that I like. Something about it seems very old, even older than it should be, maybe its the film stock they used, maybe its because its so grainy. This is the perfect drive in flick. A very bad movie like this doesn't have to be bad at all with the right amount of weed and pizza around. George Kennedy and Richard Krenna star in a story about a ship that kills! Don't shit your pants! Its DEATH SHIP!!!!

Ok, so I don't know... here is one thing I would have done differently if it had been me who made Death Ship. The story begins with a bigtime cruise ship and its smug, smarmy, dickhead of a captain being forced into retirement. You can tell he isn't good with people right away. This has everything to do with stellar performance given by George Kennedy. You know, Cool Hand Luke's buddy. Ok, so the ship is changing hands to the new captain Richard Krenna (Rambo's boss) and Kennedy isn't happy about it. All of a sudden, during a dinner for his retirement, a huge black ship comes out of nowhere and full steam ahead rams the shit out of the cruise ship. And then BANG, a very BRIEF section where you have some POSEIDON ADVENTURE moments. Like the tables flying in the air, and people getting slung overboard. But really, this only happened for like a minute and a half. We have an hour and 25 or 30 minute movie here fellas! You could've spent a FEW more seconds showing us the despair on passengers faces who knew that they weren't going to make it out alive!!!

A very very very few of them did. After that minute and a half you have a small rubber raft with the old Captain, the new cap'n, his wife, their 2 kids, the first mate and his stripper girlfriend, one old lady and the dj. That's it! Out of a HUGE ship with probably at least 300 rooms on it. That's a lot of dead people, and this being a horror movie, you'd think they would've focused on that a BIT more. But that's just my thoughts, if I made a horror boat movie. OK, so, after a few hours at sea, the survivors come upon a even bigger black boat, anchored at sea. Its obviously the one that rammed them, but maybe none of them saw it. Magically it puts down a ladder for them. They go aboard, and it appears that no one is there. But within two minutes the boat hangs the dj by his feet, dunks him til he almost drowns, then jerks him up into the air to the top of the mast, and then slings him into the ocean to his death. The rest of them then start looking around. Fuck that. I would have bailed back onto the rubber raft. But when they eventually DO try that, it doesn't work so I guess it would have been to no avail. The old captain had a really rough time of it, and they had to carry his big ass up onto the boat. As soon as they get dried off and get him laid down, a film strip starts playing down the hall, and everyone bails to go see what's up except the old lady, she watches after the old captain. She eats some hard candy out of a jar that had to be years old and then there's flashes of blood so you know she's the next to go. So while everyone is watching the movie from the 30s, the old captain comes back to life and strangles the old lady. 2 down.

So then the old captain starts acting creepy as hell. New captain notices it and old captain puts on a new suit and invites old captain up to the deck and starts talking like he's crazy as hell. New cap Rambo's boss thinks he's gone schizo and he tries to hide his kids, but he still leaves them unattended at night. Meanwhile first mate's stripper girl says lets take a shower together and gets in and 5 mins later blood comes gushing through the spigot. She's fucking FREAKING out screaming and turning in circles but she or he can't get the fucking door open, so he puts on some clothes and tries to get help. This goes on for over 5 or 7 minutes. Perfect drive in scene: A naked chick covered in blood spinning and squealing and falling helpless while still be literally showered with crimson human juice. When he gets help they rush in, and she's gone and the shower is spotless like it never happened. But then- too late!! They see old captain bench press her over the side.

Eventually they begin to chase the captain only to find out that he has been possessed by some old Nazi captain who owned the boat years ago, and now its just a ghost ship that goes around ramming cruisers and killing them. I'll spare you the ending and let you see what happens on your own. Let's just say that the freakout that the first mate have is not only better than the stripper's freakout, it may just be one of the number one freakouts in movie history. His hissy fit puts most scream queens to shame. I wish I saw this when I was younger. This is all time. Definitely seek it out.


  1. Funny, I just found this same film on Canuxploitation ( Thanks for the review. I'll open a beer before digging in.

  2. Funny, I just found this fresh breath of brown air on Canuxploitation (
    Thanks for the review. I'll make sure to open a beer before digging into Death Ship.

  3. Man, I thought this was insanely boring. To each their own I guess. Love the poster though!

  4. good stuff, thought about watching this several time, but your review pushed me over the edge. Thanks man!