Survivors of a tragic shipping collision are rescued by a mysterious black ship which appears out of the fog. Little do they realise that the ship is actually a Nazi torture ship which has ... See full summary »
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Michael A. Martinez
George N. Thompson
Survivors of a tragic shipping collision are rescued by a mysterious black ship which appears out of the fog. Little do they realise that the ship is actually a Nazi torture ship which has sailed the seas for years, luring unsuspecting sailors aboard and killing them off one by one. Written by
Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>
The name of the old black-and-white musical film shown on the "Death Ship" was the 1936 British musical picture Everything Is Rhythm (1936). See more »
At the 51-minute mark, there is a sequence in which the character played by George Kennedy emerges in a dark uniform atop the ship while the character played by Richard Crenna looks from below. During three separate long shots of Kennedy, a crew member and camera are plainly visible to the left of the screen. See more »
This low-budget horror film, produced as one of the last gasps of the late 70s UK/Canada co-production treaty, is a ramshackle affair in places, particularly the early shipwreck scene, cobbled together with stock footage from earlier films (such as "The Last Voyage"). Nevertheless, the premise of a Nazi torture ship endlessly roaming the oceans in search of fresh victims is a genuinely original one, and it's well-handled by director Rakoff. The ship itself looks appropriately forbidding and the various mishaps that befall the luckless survivors are nasty and inventive. You never quite know when the film is going to deliver a nasty shock moment, or just an unnerving frisson - such as the projector that goes on playing footage of Hitler rallies even after it has been destroyed. Wisely, the film doesn't attempt to explain why the ship has never been detected previously, how it is powered or what became of the crew ; it works on the level of a nightmare and becomes increasingly surreal the more heroes Crenna and Mancuso delve into the ship's horrors. The ending is well-conceived and extremely gruesome. Effective music score too. Nobody seems to rate this film too highly yet I find it chilly, unsettling and considerably more powerful than many better-known horror movies.
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