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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Death Ship arrives on worthwhile disc
Having picked up a second hand copy of the VHS some years back, I have been eager for the film to be released on DVD, and now it has arrived I am impressed.

Nearly two decades previous to the copycat 'Ghost Ship' (compare the cover art for the two films and you'll spot the similarities straight away!) the film still stands up as an unnerving atmospheric...
Published on 26 Mar 2007 by AJ

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Full Scream Ahead to the dead.
Water may cover far more of the planet than any landmass ever will, but terribly unpredictable climatic conditions and an utter dearth of imagination tends to make movies set on water a rarity hoping to be cherished, whether the actual result deems that hope accurate. And horror on the ocean is even more scarcer, so sail forward 1980's 'Death Ship' for a cruise it can't...
Published 7 months ago by ScottPaul ScottPaul


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5.0 out of 5 stars A good one!!, 10 April 2012
By 
Mr. M. K. Johnson (Norwich,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death Ship [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
I must say that this is a good scare!! I love this film-full of atmospherics and George Kennedy makes the film even more scary as a German captain!
This film has it all for horror fans-you know something is not right with that old ship, and trying to get off is not easy or possible-going on-board is not a good idea-Titanic would have been better!!
If you want horror plain and simple,than get this film from Amazon-you will want to see it again and again!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, this Canadian horror classic on widescreen DVD!!!, 7 July 2011
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This review is from: Death Ship [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
Glad to finally have found this classic from 1980 on DVD after all these years! It's not the greatest print (dirt, debris, scratches) but it beats the heck out of my old VHS tape from years past. This seems to be the best print of it available, so you won't hear me complain! It also has special features which was a shocker to me. Unfortunately for those here in the US, this version is Region 2 and not NTSC (so you will need multi region player). This print is anamorphic widescreen and looks better than what I expected. Don't know if any other company will release this film, so grab this version if you are a fan of this classic. Now you can see where the horrible movie "Ghost Ship" came from (I admit, this isn't much better!). Just glad to have it on DVD!!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sail into terror, 11 July 2007
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This review is from: Death Ship [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
another video rental favourite from the 80s "death ship" .why has it taken so long to be rleased on dvd? its a gem of a film !a bit like
"the car" in the water,you see things move on the ship & sound effects but
you never actually see any ghosts! its obviously low budget but very effective mild horror a ww11 freighter ploughs into a cruise ship &the survivors board the ghostly vessel. the captain is possesed by the german
captain of this ship & tries to kill all on board .lots of scares along the way including the notorious "bloody shower scene "cut for years.
plenty of extras ,go on enjoy it !
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Diamond in the Dung., 22 Dec 2009
By 
Mr. SCM Bell "Black Cat Theory" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death Ship [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
Like at least one other reviewer here the lurid cover art of Death Ship drew me in as young, impressionable boy standing in the local dodgy video store in the early eighties shortly before many of the horror and exploitation films therein were whipped from our shelves by the fledgling BBFC and consigned to that cinematic void that lurks somewhere between obscurity and cult-fame.

Of course the over-zealous authorities did us a favour really. Ridding the shelves of films that in many cases were utter dross, propelled forward by enticing cover art. However there were some diamonds among the dung, Death Ship being a particularly shiny one, and it truly is a mystery how such a great film remained almost completely unavailable and unknown until it's recent repackaging and rerelease.

Despite a few B-movie clangers like the ridiculous day/night differential in the opening scenes Death Ship isn't true horror trash. For a start, it's got a famous-ish cast including George Kennedy, Richard Crenna and not to mention that bloke who went on to play Donnie in Frasier! But the area in which this film really sets itself apart is the set. The Death Ship in reality, I understand, was a decommissioned Canadian freighter of some description (albeit from the sixties rather than the forties) and most of the movie was filmed either on the decks or in the vessel's actual interior. It certainly looks the part with the ship's black, rust streaked exterior and grim, outdated interior brilliantly telling the tale of a Nazi interrogation ship given a life of it's own by the ghosts of it's past.

As the eerie first half of the film gives way to the helter skelter second half there are some truly sinister moments with the old woman's disfigurement at the hands of some innocent looking candies ranking as particularly shocking as was Nick Mancuso's wretched demise in the ship's flooded hold.

Rather less impactful was the supposedly infamous shower scene in which the gorgeous Victoria Burgoyne takes a bloody shower. The reality is however, overlong and sightly tedious.

I guess I could complain a little bit about the lack of answers provided. For example what was with all the frozen sailors and airmen? Were they poor unfortunates the ship had picked up for interrogation during the Second World War? But perhaps I should be grateful that the Death Ship just sailed off into cinematic obscurity rather than ruin it's poise by spelling every single thing out to the audience.

In short, this is a cracking horror yarn that deserves to take it's rightful place in the annals of history.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric 80's horror film, 20 May 2010
By 
Mr. Jonathon T. Beckett "vampire lover" (Dracula's Crypt) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death Ship [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
This review is for the film only, not the listed DVD release.
I saw this many moons ago, late night on ITV. As far as I know it has never recieved another terrestrial showing. To be honest, all I had remembered from when I had seen it originally was the notorious blood shower scene and the net full of corpses.
It is an interesting film as it starts off looking like its going to become a disaster movie as we meet our main protagonists. The weary Captain on his last voyage, the young pretender taking his crown, the usual cutesy kids and a couple of characters with 'victim' stamped on their forehead. However, once the cruise liner is rammed by the mysterious boat, and our small group of survivors cast adrift, find the same mysterious ship and climb aboard, the film settles down nicely becoming a fine, atmospheric supernatural horror, with the emphasis very much on creating a feeling a dread over disgusting its audience.
Okay, the acting is a bit ropey at times, with George Kennedy having a whale of a time hamming it up mercilessly as the possessed Captain, but the scenes that show the ship steering itself and attacking the uninvited guests are very eerie indeed. I would recommend it to those who like the more recent films Ghost Ship and Triangle, as I feel both owe a small debt to this film. Enjoy it for what it is, an enjoyable if a little slow moving 1980's B-movie and you'll find plenty to entertain you.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death Ship, 24 Sep 2006
By 
Mr. P. Muscat "Movies R Us" (Gillingham,Kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death Ship [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
A Cruise Ship goes horribly wrong when a world war two German Tanker "Death Ship". One of those Movies you would see in the video shop in the 1980s, Where the cover would normally look better than the film was! I admitterly when i first saw this was somewhat disappointed but as years go on it still stuck in my head! I managed to obtain a copy a little while ago and thought this wasn't a bad film! Watch it the right time around midnight and its really good!

Buy this one just for the shear "hell" of it! Plus its Cult now!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death ship delivers 1980's schlock horror thrills !, 24 July 2008
By 
Mr. Ae Rayner "aerayner" (hampton UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death Ship [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
I had never seen Death Ship until it came out on DVD but curiosity plus affection for 1980's horror movies compelled me to give it a spin! Basically the story is of a small group of survivors whose cruise ship is rammed by a malevolent old vessel & although they are initially relieved to have survived they soon discover the danger is not over: there doesn't seem to be anyone alive on board. It turns out that this ship was once crewed by Nazi's and carries their ghosts with it supposedly searching for victims. Well, that's a bit simplistic but what follows is 1980's fun - the anti social Captain whose character has been established in the opening scenes becomes demonically possessed (incidentally he's the only one to become possessed)& attempts to prevent anyone leaving the ship : the first one to die is played by Saul Rubinek ( he appeared years later in the TV series `Frasier' but was honing his obnoxious persona in Death ship & I'm sure audiences at the time cheered when he met his Maker) - there's a homage to Hitchcock in a blood in the shower scene (no knife involved) & the poor victim's naked blood covered corpse gets thrown into the ocean by that accursed Captain! Next for the high jump is Nick Mancuso who has an unpleasant encounter with a bunch of skeletons whilst trapped in a gigantic fish net !When the Captain finally gets what coming to him it must have prompted more cheers from 1980's cinema audiences! The surviving family (Mum, Dad & 2 kids) eventually make it off the ship but is this the last we'll see of the haunted ship? I won't spoil it by giving away the ending! Viewers may have to fill in some of the narrative gaps - for example, are we to assume that this ghost / death ship has been cruising around crewless since World War 2 & is the fact that the only one to become possessed is the old misery of a Captain from the cruise liner who may have been a Nazi in a previous life? Still, this is a horror film & one should possibly invoke the tag line of "it's only a movie"!
The DVD kicks off with a tantalizing montage of other Nucleus films releases but now to the Special Features - in depth interviews with director Alvin Rakoff, actors George Kennedy and Nick Mancuso & a real bonus is the contribution of the legendary Jack Hill - yes, the man who gave you Pam Grier's finest hour as Foxy Brown ! You can also read pages from the original script which underwent several title changes & there are even deleted scenes included in the extras! It seems that the producers acquired an old ship which was due to be scrapped & you can almost smell it -they must have saved a bundle by filming interiors on the ship rather than building studio sets!
A great evening's entertainment & highly recommended to schlock fans (that'd be me!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 Sep 2014
By 
Robert Collins "PROSECUTOR010" (NORFOLK UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death Ship [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
BRILLIANT FILM
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric b-movie cheesefest, 31 Jan 2009
By 
godzilla78 (northern ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death Ship [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
A large, dark ship haunted by nazi ghosts, travels the seas in search of victims. The ship has a mind of it's own thus a "freak" collision means a cruise ship's passengers are the next victims. There is a good yet small cast in the movie which has plenty of atmosphere but very little horror, blood or gore. The budget for the film was obviously tiny and most of it was spent on hiring the recognizable names in the cast (George Kennedy and Richard Crenna). Fans of low budget 80's horror will find it appealing but don't be expecting too much. However it does it's best to create an eerie atmosphere and give the ship a presence. Only worth picking up on the cheap.
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8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I was lead to believe!!, 9 Sep 2007
This review is from: Death Ship [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
Yes, I'm a sucker for a good horror yarn especially if it's one I missed the first time round, and the cover for this dvd drew me in like a moth to a flame. Sadly, this moth got burnt. Though I really can't fault the actors in this low-budget affair, I have to say the story begins to fall apart after 6 minutes of boarding the ghost ship. The shower scene just seems shoe-horned in so that we can see a pretty naked body covered in blood, and George Kennedy's descent into madness comes across as: "we can't show you ghosts due to the budget so we'll have one of the survivors become the bogeyman instead."

What's really sad is that there's a good horror film in here trying to get out, and one can only speculate on what might of been if the studio had pumped more money into its development rather than restricting it. I'm afraid what we get is an 80's B-movie that has a medicum of tension that soon evaporates into a bottom shelf dud. If you're a fan of good horror you won't find much here that will make you think it's money well spent, and I should know as I wasted money on it!
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Death Ship [1980] [DVD]
Death Ship [1980] [DVD] by Alvin Rakoff (DVD - 2007)
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