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Dead Derrick Discusses: Terror On The Open Seas

With a new Pirates Of The Caribbean film out in multiple theaters doing gang-busters at the box office (honestly, who didn't see that coming), I thought it suitable to discuss terrors that lurk in the ocean blue. Sharks are obvious, so I won't divulge into Jaws, Open Water, The Reef, etc. Honestly, who out there needs me to clarify that sharks are $&#*ing scary? So without further ado, here are five horror movies set out in the ocean. One of which is not worth the effort to check it out, but the other four I cannot praise enough.

Ghost Ship

5. Hauntings (Ghost Ship)

Most people have probably heard of Dark Castle's 2002 film Ghost Ship. If not, let me retell the tale of what could have been an amazingly scary horror film, but turned out to be a load of crap. Ghost Ship is about a crew of treasure hunters who find and board a huge, abandoned luxury liner. This ship has a sinister agenda and soon the crew find themselves trapped on the evil ship. This movie was a recipe for horrifying success. The opening scene depicts a group of innocent, dancing partygoers severed in half by a metal cord that is cut. Once again, what a great, awesome opening scene. Then we cut to a bunch of bad actors and a script so full of plot holes it could have sunk the Titanic. Definitely not a good movie, but look on YouTube for the opening scene.


4. Mermaids (She Creature)

Some people may think that the new "Pirates" movie is the first film to put a dark spin on mermaids, but She Creature is one of the first to create a dark fairy tale centered around a flesh-eating mermaid. Two people purchase the mermaid from a strange man and plan on using it in a freak show exhibit at the circus they work at. They have to sail across the ocean to get where they need to be and of course, the mermaid has to come with them. Havoc, mayhem, and bloody violence at the hands of a seemingly sexy mermaid ensue ... that is until the mermaid reveals her monstrous true form. This is actually a really classy movie that is a period-piece horror film. It builds suspense, atmosphere, and has the occasional gore shot thrown in. In other words, She Creature is well worth your time, just ignore that cheesy title.

3. Time Warps (Triangle)

Triangle has to be one of the most criminally underrated films of the last few years. Its plot is a doozy: a woman (Melissa George, from 30 Days Of Night) goes on a sailing trip with her friends. They end up capsized and find a huge seemingly deserted ship. They board the ship, of course, and discover they are being killed off one by one. The woman takes down this masked killer, but then sees her friends (all of whom have been killed) and herself boarding the ship. She discovers that this loop will keep on happening unless she can escape the ship. Sound like a weird movie? It is, but it pays off in spades by the ending. This is one of those thinking-person movies that requires attention to detail and will leave you breathless by the stunning and shocking climax. Excellent film that skipped theaters and went straight to DVD, but proves not all direct-to-DVD films suck.

2. Cults Who Worship Fish Gods (Dagon)

H.P. Lovecraft: You may have heard of him. He's one of the best horror authors known to man. Creator of Cthulhu and the Necronomicon, this man knew how to get under your skin and scare you badly. Dagon (directed by Stuart Gordon, who also made Re-Animator) is by far my personal favorite adaptation of one of Lovecraft's stories. A couple and their friends are sailing along the coast of Spain when a huge storm crashes their boat into a giant rock. The couple successfully escapes while their friends simply disappear. On the shore of the mysterious town they were coasting along the side of, they find that a bizarre ritual is taking place. The inhabitants of this town happen to be "changing" and preparing to descend to the bottom of the ocean with their worshipped god named Dagon. The couple soon find themselves trying to survive while being stalked by fish-people and there seems to be a mysterious force at work. This is an amazing and cool film that doesn't get the recognition it so richly deserves, Dagon is chilling, fun, and extremely dark. It's also a beautiful film to look at that captures Lovecraft's words perfectly. So moral of the story? Don't sail near any mysterious towns in Spain.

Deep Rising
1. Sea Monsters (Deep Rising)

Finally, you should beware of sea monsters. Sure, we've discussed mermaids and fish gods, but you should definitely be wary of tentacled beasties that come from the deep. Deep Rising tells the story of some modern day pirates who plan on robbing the world's largest party ship. Problem is, the ship is deserted, blood covers the walls, and there is growling heard when they enter. This growling, blood stains and a disappearing crew can all be attributed to a tentacled monster that has literally sucks everybody on board dry of their bodily fluids and now sets it sights on these pirates. What follows is absolute B-movie perfection. Laughs and scares abound in equal measure here. This is a barrel of fun that is meant to be seen with a group of friends just looking for a good time. Reall great stuff.


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