It’s that time of year again! Time to celebrate the Resurrection with a weeklong plunge into all things zombie! Here’s the history: In 2008, Dr. Girlfriend and I decided to spend a week or so each year marathoning through zombie films that we’d never seen before, and I would blog short reviews. And simple as that, the Easter Zombie Movie Marathon was born.

For the curious, here are links to 2008, 2009 (a bad year), 2010, 2011, 2012 (when we left the blog behind), 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

For his third tale of blind Knights Templar, writer/director Amando de Ossorio decided to change things up. Where’s the last place you’d expect to be attacked and murdered by blind, undead medieval knights? If you said, the high seas, you’d be correct.

The Ghost Galleon is the least respected entry in the Blind Dead series, and not to put too fine a point on it, it’s not great. To be fair, it starts strong, even if the first half of the film has very little to do with undead knights. Instead, we’ve got bikini models! That’s cool, right?

Basically, what there is of a story is this: a shitbird capitalist with eyes for a political career has staged a publicity stunt that will draw attention to the awesome new boat he’s marketing. He has two models (well, a model and an “actress”) hang out on the boat near shipping lanes, pretending to be stranded and when they’re rescued the publicity will focus on how this awesome boat was the key to their survival.

What nobody counted on was a phantom 16th Century galleon with a mysterious cloud of fog showing up and wrecking their plans. Long story short, the ladies climb aboard and are murdered by our Blind Dead Knights Templar.

Why are the Blind Dead on a spectral ship that may be in another dimension? At this point, it doesn’t really matter. It’s about the variety, I guess. The Ghost Galleon is essentially another reboot/reimagining of the basic concept of undead, blood-drinking, flesh-eating Templar knights with little relation to the previous films.

It’s not a bad way to run a franchise, but it’s also prone to the occasional misstep, and The Ghost Galleon is one, for sure. What’s odd about this entry in the series, is that the first half of the film flows smoothly and naturally, feeling like barely any time has passed at all when it’s all setup and character work with barely any horror. However, once we get to the back half, when everyone’s on the ship and in danger, it drags and drags and drags.

None of the character drama resonates, very few of the characters are likeable, the threat of the Templars seems minimal and leans more into the vampiric elements, and there is yet another pointless rape scene. In fact, the rapist is one of our heroes moving forward – not a great guy, but capable in the face of undead monsters, at least – and the woman he rapes gets no satisfactory resolution other than to be forced to be around him until she is murdered, dismembered, and eaten by the zombies in the hold of the ship.

We get a new scientist/professor character to allow for exposition, what there is of it. Basically, the titular Ghost Galleon is an urban legend and may be responsible for many disappearances over the decades as it lures in small boats that then vanish forever. Once our “heroes” are on the galleon, their boat wisps away and they are trapped in another dimension, invisible to the outside world.

The ending is bleak and doesn’t really satisfy – and I’m someone who loves bleak endings.

All in all, there’s not a lot to say about this one. The Blind Dead still look suitably creepy with their desiccated skull faces with wispy beards and hair, reaching out at their victims with spatulate skeleton puppet hands. If I remember anything about this film in the years ahead, it will be those bony hands.

I kind of love them.

But upon reflection, I’ve got to say, the Templars kind of got ripped off with their eternal life gig. Surely they didn’t expect their immortality to mean living forever as disgusting corpses in filthy robes?

The Ghost Galleon is available as a $9.99 DVD from Blue Underground and it’s pretty much the best version available with both an English dub and the original Spanish language version with English subtitles. It’s also streaming on Amazon, so if you’ve got Prime, check it out for no extra charge – if you can handle the dub! No subtitles there, that I can tell.

(Visited 181 times, 1 visits today)