Saturday, September 29, 2012

Permission to Come A-Bored?: "Haunted Sea" (1997)

Although it predates both "Virus" and "Ghost Ship," "Haunted Sea" sucks worse than its ripoff remakes.

A small boat carrying a melting pot of crewmen (including women trying to prove themselves) and a boozy captain played by Mr. Barbra Streisand stumble upon a ship that does not show up on radar. Some of the crew board the vessel, where most of the old crew has been murdered. Turns out the boat is carrying cursed Aztec treasure, which spawns a serpent monster (or at least an unconvincing rubber suit worn by some guy), and the cast runs up and down dark corridors being chased by the giant gecko.

The B list of name actors includes James Brolin, Don Stroud, and Joanna Pacula. The only cast member of note is the beautiful Krista Allen. Luckily, she believed disrobing was essential to her character, a shipping line owner's daughter who happens to be an expert on ancient Central and South American civilizations.

The direction is pretty bland, something to be expected when you are limited to three sets and reels of 1960's Mexico travelogue footage. While this was made before "Virus" and "Ghost Ship," the script still sucks, taking many leaps in logic just to fill the already brief seventy-four minute running time. Not a whole lot is explained, and not a whole lot makes sense.

With the exception of Allen's breasts, the gore effects should also get special mention. In any other film, they would be merely average, but they do stand out in a project of this minimal magnitude. The creature effects suck, the explosion and gun effects suck, and the actors somehow got suckered into signing on to this thing.

The sea is not haunted, the boat is kind of haunted, but this reviewer will be haunted for minutes to come, suffering from sweats, explosive diarrhea, and projectile vomiting. "Haunted Sea" should be thrown back, it takes a special kind of badness to make "Virus" look really good. (*) out of five stars.