Death Ship (film, 2007)

This is one of the best so-bad-it’s-funny movies I have ever seen. Only Atar The Invincible trumps it. I watched this when staying at Jes Bickham’s house, where he graciously put me up for a few months while we launched Death Ray. We were both in hysterics by the end of it.

“Try the cheese, it’s quite delicious”. THERE IS NO CHEESE!

Of course, we were incredibly drunk. See the underwhelming trailer here. From Death Ray.

All aboard for a night of terror. Not.


1980/87 Mins/18

Dir: Alvin Rakoff

Starring: George Kennedy, Richard Crenna, Nick Mancuso, and Sally Ann Howes

Death Ship was a cult video success in the 1980s, a success probably solely down to a nude shower scene. It’s not got much of a plot, that’s for sure: A cruise liner is rammed by a mysterious black ship, the survivors board it, then get bumped off one by one by some mysterious force born out of the ship’s bloody, wartime past.

Death Ship is a creaky old hulk. It’s obvious it was made out of spit and string, and this is confirmed in the featurette. Never have I seen a film take such a knocking from the people who made it. Apparently it was a nightmare to film, shot aboard a dangerous, stinking ship rescued from the breaker’s yard. Those involved are embarrassed, upset or just amazed that they survived. Particularly entertaining is the squirming of Alvin “I did Shakespeare for the BBC” Rakoff, who is determined to distance himself from the film. Top quotes from him include: “[This DVD] is like someone framing your left shoelace, when you’re saying ‘What about the Armani suit I’m wearing?” and “The crew called it ‘Death Shit’”. The extras are consequently far more diverting than the film itself. Great if you’re fascinated by filmmaking or by cinematic bilge; if not, I’d chart a course elsewhere.

Extras Audio Commentary by Alvin Rakoff and English Gothic author Jonathan Rigby, ‘Stormy Seas – The Journey from Bloodstar To Death Ship’ (Featurette, 42 mins), Three alternative/ deleted scenes, TV version of shower scene, Three trailers, Annotated script pages, Picture Gallery (30+ movie posters, press book excerpts, video sleeves etc.)


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