Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lost Voyage (2001)

I'm having a Lance Henriksen period right now, Living La Lance Vita you could say. A while ago I got Henriksen's autobiography, Not Bad For a Human (of course signed by him) and yesterday I donated 100 bucks to Michael Worth's project Bring Me The Head Of Lance Henriksen, starring Tim Thomerson (and Lance of course) and deals with the subject of ageism in Hollywood. I doubt those 100 bucks was needed, because the funding was already there and the movie is shot an is now in post-production. But I wanted to support the project and get myself a unique special edition DVD as thanks.

There was a period when Henriksen made a lot of movies. He still makes tons of them of course, that's his trademark, but once upon a time he worked a lot in Eastern Europe, mostly in Romania. I think Lost Voyage is shot there (actually not, it was shot in LA - but I'll pretend I didn't read that!) and it's therefore one of his "jetlag-movies", as he call them himself. Quick and dirty and no time to get over the jetlag!

Judd Nelson is Aaron Roberts, a scientist specialized in the unknown. His main hobby is the Bermuda Triangle, where his parents disappeared without a trace many years ago. Suddenly the ship, The Corona Queen, appears again and a speculative TV-show lead by the enthusiastic Dana Elway (Janet Gunn) convinces him to join her and the team for a first visit to the boat. They get help from the grumpy owner of the shipping company who owned the lost boat, David Shaw (Lance Henriksen). Well on the boat something is of course very wrong, and soon they get killed one by one by supernatural forces!

This could be one of the cheapest movies I've seen with Lance. Maybe not as cheap as Dying God, but it's so cheap I had a hard time getting involved in the story from the beginning. The cinematography is flat and direction is TV-like and far from something out of the ordinary. But maybe it's because of the actors or the tight little script, this movie actually is quite good. I first thought this was a rip-off on Ghost Ship, but that movie came the year after and I would even say that this is the better of those two movies. Ghost Ship has a big budget and more violence, but also feels automatic and more a product of a concept than an honest try to make something scary.

It would to be pushing it to say that Lost Voyage is scary, but it's still an effective ghost story and if you can live with the cheapest digital effects ever you could enjoy this movie a lot. It's produced by UFO and Philip J. Roth, which always means a cheap look and flat storytelling, but most of their productions is very entertaining and have interesting ideas. Here we have very simple CGI-ghosts, but it works surprisingly fine and the final scenes looks excellent and dramatic.

I love when movies made with a small budget tries to look big and expensive, because then they at least try to make something special and never falls in the trap of not believing in themselves. Lost Voyage and it's actors believe in what they're doing and that's easy to see.

A nice little TV-movie, recommended.


Exploding Helicopter said...

Everyone loves the Lance-ster.

Thanks for the post. The plot of this sounds incredibly similar to another Lance film called Deadwater. The plot in that one sees an old WWII ship used by a bunch of soldiers doing some black ops. However, the ship had a previous life in WWII where the Nazi's did some terrible things on it. And the ship seems to have retained some kind of sinister afterlife as the soldiers start dying one by one in strange and bloody ways.

Ninja Dixon said...

I need to get Dead Water, it's out on UK DVD as Nazi Dawn or something silly like that :)