El Buque Maldito (lit. “The Damned Ship”) [The Ghost Galleon] (1974)

For some reason, I watched ths dubbed, under the impression that the Spanish language track was not present on the DVD because this was the first of the films that did not have two different cuts in the box set. Oops. It's not awful, but it's still universal dubbing (ie, not Italian style–they were all clearly speaking Spanish, I do believe) and a few of the voice actors were somewhat clunky.

Still, that's not the issue, as I always say, when it comes to a movie like this. I'd understood that this was a lesser entry, or an unusual entry, or something of that sort in de Ossorio's Blind Dead "series," even heard it was toned down to make it more family friendly. I had my doubts by the first time I saw some blood, and those doubts came to fruition not long after. This isn't a family movie, unless your family is composed of the kind of losers who watch movies just to mock ambitious people who lack finances.

Noemi (Bárbara Rey) is a fashion model as we open, being photographed by Lillian (Maria Perschy), who she then asks about the disappearance of her friend and fellow model Kathy (Blanca Estrada). Lillian attempts to fend her off but finds her too determined and threatened by her offer to call the police, so she takes her to Howard Tucker (Jack Taylor) who reveals that Kathy was involved in a publicity stunt to advertise his company's new boat, being stranded in the middle of the ocean to be found by someone in a major shipping channel (OK, yes, this is a truly bizarre stunt, but what the hell, I don't mind that much). Tucker and his man Sergio (Manuel de Blas) are in radio contact with Kathy and her partner Lorena (Margarita Merino) and continue to question them about the status of their "mission." The two girls are seeing no one, finding themselves in a strange heat and fog with nothing around, until they spy a ghostly ship. It bumps into them and Lorena, frustrated with their wasted time decides to investigate it to find help.

But we know who's on THAT ship–yes, the undead satanic knights are back. I don't know if series is the right word for these movies as the only major element they all have in common is excommunicated knights who worshipped Satan, nothing else implies they are in any way connected, not even in the way Romero's dead movies are. Now, there's definitely some common threads that de Ossorio likes to ride–yes, another rape–and even some particular gags, his love for the skeletal hands prying their way out of coffins, crates and tombs being a clear favourite. It seemed, though, that the ghostly ship and its set design (simplistic but pretty effective) made for possibly the best setting for these costumes, this time letting us see the masks and so on in greater detail, which is actually not a bad thing as they're pretty good (methinks de Ossorio poured a lot of money into them in the beginning). It's nothing amazing, groundbreaking or particularly new, but it's always nice to see our (now not-so-blind) undead knight "friends" roaming around again, with a spirit a little more in line with the first film than the one immediately preceding this one.


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