Death Ship,1980, UK/Canada
Director: Alvin Rakoff
Stars: George Kennedy, Richard Creena & Sally Ann Howes
Ashland: Into eternity, Marshall. Eternity.
Film #61 of The December Project
I really need to stop going into films about ghost hauntings in an isolated place expecting 'The Shining', because I know I'm going to be very disappointed each and every time. 'Death Ship' is a film that was released the very same year as Kubrick's classic, and I was very hopeful it would be presented in a similar fashion, Like 'The Shining' on the sea! that was not the case.
After a shipping collision, a group of survivors band together in order to stay alive. While on a life craft, they encounter a seemingly desolate ship and jump on board, but little do they know, the ship has a mind of its own and plans on terrorizing its new acquaintances.
You may need an Ice pack after a viewing of 'Death Ship' because the film will beat you over the head with plenty of World War II, German, Holocaust and Adolph Hitler allusions, they are constant and heavy handed and usually become way too much. The way in which the plot unravels is very predictable and your more than likely to see the twist coming from several miles away. The opening 10 to 15 minutes are rough and irritating and don't do a very good job of setting up the characters, during that time I was honestly questioning myself if I wanted to sit through the rest of this film.
The film is never really scar nor thrilling, but it features plenty of interesting imagery, such as the ship arriving through the fog and the blood shower. The films atmosphere is usually effective in generating interest, but not always, and more often than not the film can become tedious when its attempt to garner suspense.
The films characters are kind of bland and forgettable, apart from Captain Ashland, whom at least has some interesting qualities to him, and is played by a good actor in George Kennedy. Richard Creena,Sally Ann Howes, Kate Reid & Nick Mancuso also co star, but there are no real stand outs.
'Death Ship' has some enjoyable moments, but but it was to unfocused, tedious and just plain forgettable. 'The Shining' it was not!