Today marks the 15th anniversary of the cult classic film Ghost Ship. With Halloween right around the corner, this film always finds it’s way into my must watch rotation. So watch out for that low hanging wire and let’s revisit this awesome film.
Ghost Ship, directed by Steve Beck of Thirteen Ghosts (2001) fame, opens with probably one of the most brutal openings to a film. It is 1962, and we see the Antonia Graza filled with passengers.
Scores of passengers dance aboard the deck while Katie, a young girl sits alone. The ship’s captain offers his hand and the two begin to dance. As the ship passengers are enjoying their party, just out of sight, something nefarious is brewing.
An unseen person begins unspooling very thin cable wire. The wire eventually snaps and catapults across the deck slicing and cutting everything that stands in its path, including people.
Forty years after the Antonia Graza massacre, Captain Sean Murphy and his crew are celebrating their latest salvage success. They proceed to down a few beers on shore. The crew consists of Maureen Epps, Greer, Dodge, Munder and Santo. They divide up their money and prepare to go home.
Before they can leave, Captain Murphy is approached by Jack Ferriman. Jack tells Murphy he is a weather service pilot and presents Murphy with satellite images of a huge ocean liner in the sea. Jack informs Murphy that the boat is in international waters and be claimed by whoever can bring it to port.
Murphy discusses the job with his crew who decide to take Jack up on his offer but Jack insists on going with the Arctic Warrior crew on their salvage mission. They soon set sail and come upon the ship. As the crew gets closer they realize the ship is in fact the Antonio Graza, which was rumored to be lost at sea.
The crew boards the boat and begins to explore the ruins. The crew discovers a huge cache of gold. Deciding to abandon the salvage efforts after a series of supernatural events, in addition to leaving, they decide to just take the gold.
After several unexplained supernatural events and deaths, it seems the crew is forever to be trapped on the boat. What happened on the boat many years ago? Why is the boat’s pool riddled with bullet holes? Why does Captain Murphy keep seeing an apparition of the former Captain? What is the ghost of Katie attempting to tell the crew? And just who in the hell is Jack anyway?
If you want the answers to these burning questions, watch the film. Ghost Ship is an old fashioned haunted house tale that replaces the house with a boat, on a lonely and isolated open ocean. On a personal note, I do love the fact the filmmakers included “Not Falling” by Mudvayne in the soundtrack.
An interesting tidbit I was able to find about the film says that the design of the Antonia Graza was designed as a close replica to real life ship Andrea Doria, which sank in the 1950’s after unfortunately striking another ship.
During the opening credit sequence Warner Brothers wanted the film to replicate the look of their films during the 1940’s. In addition to the music, they wanted the viewer to feel as if they were watching a documentary.
After 15 years, Ghost Ship still holds up even though it can appear dated. I took a completely unscientific poll of my friends in the horror community and recieved a resounding cheer of approval for this film. If you haven’t seen it, I would highly suggesting getting your hands on a copy. So on the anniversary of this film, kick back, open a beverage and watch our ragtag group of salvage heroes and see if they can make it out alive!