Friday, July 6, 2012

The Ghost Galleon (1974)

I wonder what went on in the mind of Amando de Ossorio when he wrote The Ghost Galleon? I'm not sure he even wrote it properly, maybe just scribbled down a few notes on the back of a napkin and hired and old ship to shoot his third epos in the Blind Dead series. I refuse to say it's a bad or boring film, but it's INCREDIBLY stupid. It's the Dawn of the Mummy of the Blind Dead's or maybe more Bruno Mattei's Zombies: The Beginning. The set-up is extremely silly and doesn't work at all, the body count is low - but it has a few very redeeming factors.

In a not so smart PR-stunt the owner of a boat-factory hires two super models to be lost at sea for one month - we're talking two women with perfect make-up in an open boat here - in more than one day! After thirty days the plan for them is to be found by a ship, but they have drifted into a fog and the only ship they see is a weird, abandoned ghost ship. A friend of one of the models forces herself into the adventure and after a while she and the PR-staff is getting trapped on the ghost ship - exactly when our heroes, our friends and loved ones - the blind eastern knights - rises once more!

Somehow de Ossorio manages to pad out the whole movie with people walking around on the boat without getting killed and a very, very stupid sub-plot about another super model being held prisoner so she can't tell media about the PR-stunt. Yes, she's more or less kidnapped - like that would help the boat-manufacturer (played by the always fantastic Jack Taylor by the way) afterwards when the girls is supposed to be rescued from the boat. It's not much going on at all in The Ghost Galleon and most of the characters act like very slow redneck farmers.

Don't even mention the boat miniature used for the ghost ship. It looks like something like this...

...but less realistic.

So what's good about The Ghost Galleon? Well, first of all the cast is very nice - specially my favourite man Jack Taylor in an awesome striped polo. The ladies looks good and screams like a real scream queen should and everyone seems happy about their pay check. The blind knights looks better than ever, really. They are less stiff, have more thought-through movements and the hands is - for the first time in the series - convincing. Kinda anyway. Another fine detail is the ship - if it's a set or a real ship I don't know, but here de Ossorio uses the locations in an excellent way. Lots of atmosphere, smart directing and lots of fog. If he could have put the whole movie, every scene, on the boat and added a few more deaths this would have been a classic in it's own little way.

The deaths yeah. Not so much to talk about except one very graphic kill of one of the ladies. Cheap, but as usual very bloody and effective - and the scene when she's chased is the longest and slowest ever filmed, but it looks great and she makes fine job looking scared shitless!

The movie is saved by the stunning last scene, when... I'm not gonna tell you, but it looks great and powerful. I just wish the whole flick was better as a whole. There's certainly good things with it, but yeah, I need to come out from the closet to say it's the weakest of the Blind Dead films...


Alex B. said...

Ahahaha, the Lego boat comparison is spot on :D I think Ghost Galleon is slow and stupid. But I have sympathy for it and Jack Taylor looks totally awesome in the role. What we need is an adventurous producer who would make a Blind Dead VS the Red Monks film.

Anonymous said...

"In a not so smart PR-stunt the owner of a boat-factory hires two super models to be lost at sea for one month"

Sounds like greatest synopsis for film I ever heard!!!!

ahhahahhahah.....thanks Ninja...will be trying to see this one.


vwstieber said...

I saw the film on TV late night during puberty and it scared me quite a bit. I think even today it is a great moody piece of horror because it is so claustrophobic. No matter how slow the Blind Dead are, you cannot outrun them because there is nowhere to go. They only come out at night...and it's ALWAYS night in that weird alternate universe of the Lego boat.

I agree that the final scene is AWESOME !!!

Neil Sarver said...

This is a frustrating one. If I remember correctly, my review noted that this is the only one I'd be interested in remaking, and I think I'd start by making it not a "Blind Dead" movie, since that's the weakest part in this one.

My review also says I liked Night of the Seagulls the best. I think I need to revisit this whole series soon. Thanks for the reminder.