Death Ship – Canada | UK, 1980 – overview and reviews

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[Total: 10   Average: 1.9/5]

Death Ship is a 1980 Canadian-British horror feature film directed by Alvin Rakoff from a screenplay by John Robins. The movie stars George Kennedy, Richard Crenna (The Evil), Sally Ann Howes and Nick Mancuso (Black Christmas).


Unbeknown to the passengers on board a cruise ship in the Caribbean, a mysterious vessel is approaching – on a collision course! Despite the attempts of the crew to avert disaster, the liner is lost with all hands down, except for seven survivors.

They are saved when they clamber aboard a ghostly freighter, where they discover an even worse fate. They are now prisoners on a former wartime vessel. As this ship speeds towards an unknown destination, they realise that something is intent on destroying each one of them in a gruesome and terrifying way…

Death Ship was released newly remastered in 2K on Blu-ray on December 11, 2018, by Scorpion Releasing, in conjunction with Kino Lorber.  Special features:

  • Audio commentary with director Alvin Rakoff
  • Stormy Seas featurette with director Rakoff, writer Jack Hill, and actors George Kennedy and Nick Mancuso
  • What the Ship is Saying featurette
  • Watch the movie in “Nightmare Theater” mode
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible artwork (although we are not sure why anyone would want the new artwork)

Buy Blu-ray:

Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …Death Ship is the kind of movie people stumble upon late at night on TV and spend years trying to track down again. You’ve got all the ingredients here for a pulpy good time: a semi-celebrity cast; a supernatural high concept; a reasonable body count; and of course, an evil Nazi-spawned killer ship roaming the seas. How can you possibly resist.” Mondo Digital


Death Ship feels more like a made-for-TV movie than a big screen movie, and if not for the particularly captivating shower scene, it probably could have been. But even so, this movie is filled with great moments of creepiness that are really well executed. It also does well with creating an imposing sense of isolation.” Rock! Shock! Pop!

” …the direction never moves beyond endless zooms to mirror pumping engines.” Steve Jenkins, Time Out Film Guide



In addition to its extraordinarily realized setting, Death Ship features a solid performance by George Kennedy as the no-nonsense Captain Ashland, a by-the-books commander who is more than a little susceptible to the German ship’s supernatural forces. Though lacking in blood and gore (save one very messy shower scene), Death Ship is an ‘80s horror film that still packs a punch. ” 2,500 Movies Challenge

Cast and characters:

  • George Kennedy … Captain Ashland
  • Richard Crenna … Trevor Marshall
  • Nick Mancuso … Nick
  • Sally Ann Howes … Margaret Marshall
  • Kate Reid … Sylvia Morgan
  • Victoria Burgoyne … Lori
  • Jennifer Mckinney … Robin Marshall
  • Danny Higham … Ben Marshall
  • Saul Rubinek … Jackie
  • Murray Cruchley … Parsons


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2 Comments on “Death Ship – Canada | UK, 1980 – overview and reviews”

  1. …The film really causes!
    It was on TV here in Brazil (dubbed). After I saw, sometimes; in CLABE TV. And in YOUTUBE.
    Sometimes I dream about it.
    And a ‘confusing’ production; why the captain became “possessed”? I bet if he would ‘normal’, he could know that the ship caused the tragedy and THE STORY WOULDN’T EXIST.
    Some goofs can be seen there.

    Valeu (Rodrigo)

    Legal saber que passou em outros países.

  2. Too bad the film as a whole doesn’t live up to the individual set pieces, some are quite good. Love the surprising death by poisoned candy. Could have been a contender.

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