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Monday, May 23, 2005

lost voyage

I will somewhat regularly post reviews of movies, especially film noirs and what I call "sea horror"; the following is a review of a film from the latter category.

"Lost Voyage"
year made: 2001
director: Christian McIntire

I really enjoyed this made-for-TV Bermuda Triangle movie. It draws you in, and keeps you interested for the duration. It is not an incredibly original plot by any means, it has a rather low-budget feel to it, and some of the dialogue is pretty stupid – for example, one of the characters actually utters the line “money talks…and bullshit walks”. Hey, can I write that down!? But despite these shortcomings, this movie delivers; the slow and methodical pace, the dreary atmosphere of constant rain, the underplayed performance by Judd Nelson as the protagonist, decent acting jobs by the rest of the cast, an effective musical score and an interesting storyline all combine to create the dread and suspense of this nautical nightmare. Anyone who sees this movie can’t help but compare it to "Ghost Ship", a much bigger budgeted movie from 2002. Despite the lower budget of the special effects and the cornier (at times) dialogue, Lost Voyage, with all its made-for-TV-ishness, is a vastly superior movie in my opinion.

Plot in a nutshell: Aaron Roberts (Judd Nelson) lost his father and stepmother on the SS Corona Queen when he was a young boy. The ship disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle without a trace. All grown up and now a scientist studying the paranormal, he is visited by a mysterious character in his home just as the ship reappears more than 25 years later, who points out the similarity between the fates of the Corona Queen and the Mary Celeste, one of Roberts’ research subjects. Invited aboard the ship by television investigative reporter Dana Elway (Janet Gunn) and her team, Roberts joins them to head out to the ship, along with seedy salvage operator David Shaw (Lance Henriksen) and his motley crew of workers. Naturally, things quickly get very weird and ugly on board…as the trespassers begin to die one by one. There are a couple of subplots involving the death of Elway’s mother when she was a child, and designs on Elway’s job by the much younger reporter Julie Largo (Scarlett Chorvat). For what it’s worth, the subplot revolving around Elway’s mother’s death didn’t seem to be fleshed out very well and I thought it was handled rather poorly. Despite that, the overall plot is reasonably interesting and this B movie was well worth the 96 minutes out of the life of this fan of paranormal sea horror.

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