Directed by James Oxford, 2008
Written by (IMDB doesn’t even know)
I would like to pretend that I Tivo’ed this past Saturday’s Sci-Fi channel premiere film, Ghost Voyage, as a lark. Please, grant me that fantasy. Ignore the reality. Ignore that we watched this as it aired, which is to say we watched the death of cinema live. We were the red carpet. Or the guinea pigs? No, that’s not fair. Guinea pigs have the potential to survive. No, we brave few who weathered Ghost Voyage were not experimental guinea pigs, we were cadavers used in crash test assured to cause brain damage.
Why was I watching Ghost Voyage as it aired? Fortunately, I did not go out of my way to do so, but it was feeling like a home bound night and it seemed like we’d all get a laugh out of it. Maybe I’ve lost my sense of humor, though. I don’t think I have, but Ghost Voyage inspired nothing but anger inside me.
Why are people wasting money on producing this trash? Why, why, why? I have taken poops that leave behind a more coherent story than Ghost Voyage could begin to muster.
A group of strangers wake up on a giant, abandoned industrial ship. None of them know how they got there and that question, the most fundamental of questions, is never directly voiced. I wish this were a joke. Someone – and I stress someone since IMDB does not list a writer for Ghost Voyage – wrote a script about a bunch of strangers who wake up on a giant, abandoned industrial ship in the middle of the ocean which never even bothers to have any of the dozen or so characters ask ‘Who the other people are’, ‘What they are doing there’ or ‘Why they are there’. You’d think someone could ask them. You’d think someone would think to write someone asking even one of those questions. Someone could say those fucking words out loud at some point in the movie. Christ!
Sorry. Back to the lack of point; strangers on a ship, no one knows how they got there, no one knows how to get off. A mysterious steward, played by Shang Tsung, appears, tells them to never go in the captain’s room, and leaves again. Any barely sober human being will be able to put two and two together and realize the group are trapped in some kind of purgatory, awaiting judgment. Of course, that would imply that all of these people have recently died somehow, but that isn’t the case.
All of this may somehow be forgiven, were it not for the actual members of the group. The cast seems to be comprised entirely of either Russians with terrible accents or wannabe guidos from New Jersey. Sometimes the two slide back and forth. And then there is Antonio Sabato Jr. as the hero. Boooooring.
The special effects are anything but. The set is repetitive and consists of minimal props. What is on screen is pointless. There are actually wooden crates that appear to be full of steam. Now, I’ve never been on a freighter before, but I’ll be awfully surprised if there are balsa wood crates full of steam. The scares are invariable; a dead hooker with a rubber mask, shaking her face at the camera while the editor has a seizure.
There is no reason to ever see Ghost Voyage. I’ve not lost my sense of humor, this isn’t even the kind of bad filmmaking one can laugh at. This is just negligent shit. Ninety minutes of people walking up and down the same 3 hallways. Actually, I’ll correct that. The other main set piece is a warehouse with a dirt floor. Yes, a dirt floor on a ship. Had Ghost Voyage consisted entirely of the guy who played Shang Tsung yelling "Your soul is mine!", I’d of given it a pass. But it doesn’t. No one thought to have him say it even once, despite the fact that the whole plot of the movie is him collecting their souls. Christ!
Please, never suffer like me. I have self-destructive watching habits, do not let them spread to you.