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Review Death Ship (1980): Hilarious!

genre: horror






Let me be clear. This is one hilarious movie. So if you are in the mood for a laugh you will be thoroughly entertained. Only one thing standing in your way to enjoyment is that Death Ship is never meant to make you laugh. Obviously something went wrong.

You might have guessed from the title that Death Ship is a horror movie. And the premise actually has some potential. Even the actors are quite good except for the kid actors. (Why do some people think it is wise to have kids in a movie is beyond me. Couldn't we just for once pretend that these annoying creatures don't exist at least for the duration of the movie?)  Most actors do what they can with the material that is given to them and approach it seriously. Maybe that is the problem. They take it far too seriously. Providing incredible comical situations when the opposite is expected. One other major flaw is the lack of tension and atmosphere. Not once do you get the feeling that the haunted ship is threatening. I mean the characters are the sole survivors from this cruise ship, they lose one of the group after barely setting foot on this ship. One of the stranded passengers remarks that the ship has a life of it's own. OK. If you already know this then why on earth would you remain on the ship and act like nothing is the matter? They still manage to even sleep in very clean bunk beds as opposed to the rest of the interior which is full of cobwebs and rust. I admit it is very easy to find flaws in this movie which may not be fair so I should stop. When it comes to horror movies I am willing to overlook these flaws. As long as there are redeeming factors. Sadly I could not find them. Take for example the death scenes. Those scenes were predictable and not very inventive. Still not a problem if the scenes themselves would at least bring some level of excitement. But they didn't. There was one scene that was nice. Only the conclusion of that scene was very disjointed. Like the director realized it was a silly scene. So he cut it of and implemented another idea which was even worse than the more interesting first part of the scene. Even now I was not ready to give up on Death Ship and was hoping for some smart twist or exciting ending that could make me forget all what I have seen. Since I am still waiting for that to happen you can guess that there is no such thing. 

So is this movie worth your time?  It depends, as a comedy, yes. Although it requires a typical mindset. Which for some would mean to resort to some mind inducing substances to make it tolerable. As a horror movie. A big NO! A movie that carries the name Death should at least exploit that element. And it did not. Even when there were many opportunities to do so.





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