Reviews
El Buque Maldito (1975) half brain
(Spain)

Alternate Titles:

The Blind Dead 3
Zombie Flesh Eater
The Ghost Galleon
Ghost Ships of the Blind Dead
Horror of the Zombies
La Noche del Buque Maldito
Ship of Zombies


El Buque Maldito is Blind Dead 3, directed again by Amando de Ossorio. It's also known as Zombie Flesh Eater in the US, not to be confused with Zombie Flesh-Eaters, another title for Zombi 2. "El Buque Maldito" translates to something like "The Cursed Galleon", which would have been much more appropriate than Zombie Flesh Eater, since no flesh is actually eaten in the version of the film that I saw. Rumor has it that in the uncut version this is not the case, but I haven't been able to see that one.

Regardless of the title, this particular Blind Dead made me want to put my own eyes out. De Ossorio must not have had much money for this movie, because the shoestring budget is painfully obvious. Not since Plan 9 from Outer Space have I seen such bad effects. De Ossorio has also apparently not lost his habit of dragging out the scenes that he thinks are particularly scary. There is one scene where a woman is being chased by dead Templar knights that is about two or three times as long as it needs to be.

The movie opens with a fashion model, Noemi (Bárbara Rey), confronting her boss about the disapperance of her roommate, Kathy (Blanca Estrada). It turns out that Kathy and another model are involved in publicity stunt designed to sell the new model of a motor boat. The plan is that they will "accidentally" get lost at sea, and when they are rescued by a passing ship, the boat they are on will be famous. Instead, the two of them run into a mysterious fog bank that contains an old, tattered ship. Shortly after, they lose radio contact.

For some reason, the owner of the company (Jack Taylor) that made the motor boat (and the creator of the plan) is so worried about word getting out about his scheme that he is willing to kidnap Noemi and take her along on the search to find Kathy and her friend. Then, despite the desired secrecy for this search, they allow a professor to come along who wants to come to see this haunted ship, which he has heard about from various communications from ships at sea that then vanish. The ship turns out to be inhabited by undead Templar knights (not really zombies, but these movies seem to be honorary zombie films) like those we see in the first two Blind Dead movies, except that it's never really established if these Templars are blind (and they don't seem to be), and de Ossorio throws in some "other dimensional" hooey about the ship to make the whole thing seem eerier.

The actors aren't bad (well, not all of them), but the script is a stinker. There were several moments where I was scatching my head, wondering if the characters could get any stupider. I would say that most of the screen time was taken up either by people acting stupid or by the Templars walking slowly toward people acting stupid. A waste of time.