All Aboard… – The Ghost Galleon (1974)

In Amando de Ossorio’s previous Blind Dead films we have seen the monsters rise from the dead, kill a lot of people, feast upon said people and even hold a town hostage.  This time in the third picture of the franchise, we see the knights aboard what seems to be an abandoned vessel, abandoned that is except for them.  Of course, as if it could not be more predictable, our group of characters end up on said ship and the knights rise from their rest to kill and to make their dinner upon those that dare to trespass.  The film might have a fairly simple plot, a clichéd one to put it lightly, but every now and then it can work to your advantage as long as what goes into it raises the material above that which might drag it down.  Ossario and The Ghost Galleon does exactly that with some solid direction, great special effects and some really moody and spooky cinematography.

elbuquemaldito2Like its predecessors, The Ghost Galleon has absolutely nothing to do with the previous films in the series, telling a standalone tale that manages to thrill and delight.  Unlike Tombs of the Blind Dead or Return of the Blind Dead, there are no clear cut good guys and bad guys.  Some are better than others of course, like the model whose friend is missing, but there is nobody that you find yourself rooting for in this film unless it is the Blind Dead themselves to see just how quick they can take everyone out.  Simply put, if you find yourself cheering for the undead, blood-sucking zombie Templars instead of the cast, then there is something wrong with your script.  As such, the script is really not that bad as it has a cohesive story and plot.  The characters just do not possess any qualities to find interesting.  In and of themselves, the actors do a good job with what they are given, there is just not a lot of it to really make them shine or rise above stock status.

the_ghost_galleon9Out of the first three in the series, this movie is the scariest to be had.  The image of the ghost ship on the water is incredibly eerie, especially when you see it come out of the fog, rotted wood and sail-free masts proclaiming death.  Why someone would want to board such a ship is ridiculous, yet the characters in this film seem to have no qualms in doing so.  The suspense is taut and there is a real feeling of claustrophobia within its bowels, of there being nowhere to run and of the walls, not to mention the dead, closing in.  The creature designs looked as good as the previous movies, if not better due to the lighting present on the set.  A movie like this needs to be dark and dreary and Ossario did not disappoint on that account.

While Ossario more than likely did not want to repeat himself in this film, and having these creatures upon a ship on the sea is definitely quite different from what came before, a question does present itself, namely ‘how did they get there?’  There is no backstory on the knights this go round, you simply have to accept that they are there and should you step foot upon the galleon, you are most likely going to die.  The picture has a lot going for it and while there are a few flaws to be found, such as character development for one, it is a highly enjoyable entry in the Blind Dead series.

3.5 out of 5

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