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[Good Scenes In Bad Movies] The ‘Ghost Ship’ Edition!!!

Another confession. In addition to the House Of Wax remake from last week’s article, I’ve never seen the Ghost Ship either. By most accounts it is terrible. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean every single frame of it is bad! I know there are plenty of moments I love in otherwsie sh*tty movies. And that’s precisely the point The Wolfman (@TheWolfmanCometh – on the boards) aims to illustrate here in his first column for Bloody-Disgusting!

We’re going to, on occasion, start examining decent scenes in otherwise bad movies. And we hope you’ll come along for the ride! Head inside for his take on Ghost Ship!

If you’ve seen this movie before, you know the exact scene that I’m talking about. If you haven’t seen this movie before, then I know a great way for you to spend the next few minutes. HINT: it’s to read this article! Maybe I’ve seen John Carpenter’s The Fog one too many times, but man, isn’t the ocean creepy? Whether you think about all the monsters that could be hiding in its vastness or you think about all the people who have died at sea and are looking for a reason to come back and spook you, there’s something inherently creepy about the ocean’s endlessness. If you take that spookiness and throw in an abandoned, haunted cruise ship, what could possibly go wrong?! Pretty much everything, other than the opening scene.

Tell you what, I’m going to tell you who the main actors in this movie are, and I’ll let you fill in the year it was made. Juliana Marguiles, Gabriel Byrne, and Ron Eldard. You probably even only know two of those people, and you’ll also know those two actors hit their prime in the late 90’s, so you’d be right to assume this movie took place after their fall from grace in the early 2000’s. Juliana Marguiles and Ron Eldard are pirates, which makes perfect sense because when I think of pirates, I think of that one kind of pretty woman who I saw in ER. Anyways, this gang of salvagers is given information on this floating cruise ship and of course, the crew investigates. Rather than easily finding gold, they find ghosts and all the crew hallucinates and Julianna Marguiles is the only one to survive, and we realize that the source of the information on this haunted ship came from a character similar to Charon from Greek mythology. Charon’s job was to provide souls to Hell, so the character that informed our beloved crew is some sort of immortal who has been leading souls to their own demise for as long as we can all imagine. Doesn’t sound that bad on paper, does it? That’s probably because it took you two minutes to read, rather than watch this 90 minute pile of garbage.

I thought there was only one memorable thing about this movie, but according to the internet, there are two memorable things. While all of the crew was having hallucinations and visions, one woman in a red dress made frequent appearances. Not only did this woman remove her clothing in this movie, but more notably, seduced multiple men to their deaths. One of these deaths was a scene where she is just so sexy that one of the crew lunges towards her, but seeing as she’s just a ghost, he falls right through her and down an elevator shaft. Yes, female readers, some men are really THAT desperate that we will lunge towards naked women, even if they’re standing on the edge of an elevator shaft. Through my own personal blog, I’ve found that lots of people search the internet for “woman in the red dress”, so it seems some people took a different something different from this cinematic atrocity. What stood out for me? Why, the incredibly violent opening scene, of course!

Considering we have an abandoned, haunted cruise ship, we need to know what happened to everyone on board. The film starts with a dinner party in the 1960’s with a bunch of rich people acting like rich idiots. Wearing fancy clothes, drinking fancy drinks, and probably sexually harassing women and trying to take away their right to vote. Maybe some of that stuff is just implied, but I digress. Running around the amidst the rich old people is a little girl who starts to dance with an old man. While these rich people are celebrating, we see an unknown individual messing around with some wire cables and a wench that’s pulling the cable taught. The people keep dancing, the cable gets pulled tighter and tighter against two poles trying to hold it back, but eventually those poles give way and that metal cable slices through the entire dance floor. All the dancers freeze, seemingly confused by what just happened. When the little girl looks up at the old man, she sees his wine glass fall in half, which is when the audience realizes every person on the dance floor has been sliced in half, and the top halves of everyone just kind of slide off the bottom half and plop on the dance floor. NOW THAT’S HOW YOU START A MOVIE! Granted, when you look at the aftermath of all the body parts on the floor, there are arms and heads and torsos laying there, which is a little confusing. I’m no rocket surgeon, but I would think that everyone would just be cut laterally through their torso, so the only explanation for all the diagonal cuts through some individuals is that there was some SERIOUS dancing going on back in the 1960’s, or that maybe this was a cruise specifically for breakdancers. Now THAT’S an episode of “Mad Men” I can’t wait to see! The infamous breakdancing craze of 1968!



  • WalkingDeadGuy

    Although the scene is good, I always thought it copied the laser death scene in ‘Resident Evil’. Good call by the makers of the film cause it was the only good 5 minutes in the entire movie.

    • chris99x

      Both movies came out the same year, so it’s hard to say for sure that it ripped off RE (no idea on the filming dates), but I’d say it’s clear both were inspired by the opening scene of Cube.

    • The Wolfman

      Plus I think having this scene at the top of the movie added to the shock value for this movie, whereas in Resident Evil they had already had quite a few violent things so it didn’t take viewers by surprise.

  • chris99x

    Great choice! Such a promising opener, it’s unfortunate that the movie fizzles afterward.

  • Josh Stevens

    I actually both like and own House of Wax and Ghost Ship.

  • MahoganyButcher

    I wasn’t impressed by ghost ship, but i wasn’t bummed after seeing it either. It’s one of those movies that you watch on a lazy sunday afternoon with nothing to do. But i definitely agree, the beginning is the best scene by far.

    • The Wolfman

      Maybe had that first scene been cut, I wouldn’t have been so angry at everything else, but with such a promising first scene, everything else failed in comparison.

      • evenscarier

        That’s just what I was going to say! The movie wasn’t THAT terrible, but that first scene set the bar so high!

  • The Wolfman

    Glad that Evan included the YouTube clip of the opening scene. Now you can enjoy everything there is to enjoy about the movie in one handy dandy place!

  • Terrible movie, however, that little screaming girl is none other than the gorgeous Emily Browning from “Suckerpunch.” Just realized that watching this clip. That is a pretty righteous opening scene; I totally agree with The Wolfman on this one.

  • mav07

    I like these articles but how hard is it to watch the movie your writing about before declaring it “terrible.”

    But I did like that scene, along with the final scene in the film with that guy going onto another ship in slow mo with “Bodies” by Drowning Pool playing

    • The Wolfman

      Not sure exactly what you’re asking. I watched this movie all the way to the end and determined it was terrible, but I had a hunch that I was going to feel that way as more and more dumb things were happening?

  • Taboo

    Ghost Ship isn’t a bad movie, well at least for me it ain’t.

  • diapers

    Fantastic scene! I have seen this film in its entirety, but had forgotten the opener. The rest of the film likely forced amnesia on me. I’m 2 and 0 for seeing both the these films, am kinda stoked to see what the next one will be.

    • The Wolfman

      Thanks for reading! Glad you’re looking forward for what’s coming up next.

  • joe31183

    There were other body parts because some people are shorter/taller than others and some people may have had their hands by their sides or in other positions (they showed one guy with his hand down holding a cigarette).

  • JD

    this is a great example of a good scene in a bad movie. right on!
    in my dim memory of this scene, i was sure that the filmmakers employed the “bullet time” effect that was so popular at the time. watching the clip, i can see that this isn’t the case since we can clearly see the movement of the flowers while everyone is frozen. therefore, i’m going to assume that their arms did not fall until they realized what had happened because every one of the dancers was wile e. coyote.

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