Death Ship vs Ghost Ship

First came Death Ship. 1980. A not-very-nasty Canadian co-production with a smattering of American actors and Nick Mancuso running around with his shirt off. Some incredibly bad ocean footage, cringe-worthy dialogue and a lot of strange and repetitive shots of the engine working. It was a Nazi death ship and like a Timex watch, it just kept on ticking. But in order to keep doing that, it needs blood. And George Kennedy as Captain is going to see that it gets it.

Then came Ghost Ship. 2002. Pretty much the same premise, but far more artfully told, and with an opening sequence that is breathtaking but, also, sets the bar rather high for the rest of the film. (Unfortunately it never rises to the occasion, but it is a well-made film.) Instead of George Kennedy we have Gabriel Byrne leading a team of salvagers who stumble upon a mysterious luxury liner with… ghosts, gold and Nazis! The supernatural element is played up a lot more, but for whatever reason, Ghost Ship gets grounded. Still worth a watch.

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