Haunted Sea

Originally aired on Showtime in 1996, this Roger Corman production is not to be confused with Corman's CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA (1961)--or a good movie. Near the Yucatan Peninsula, a cargo ship encounters the Hades, an abandoned freighter. The crew who board the Hades are shadowed by a mysterious figure and discover a cache of Aztec relics, one of...read more

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Originally aired on Showtime in 1996, this Roger Corman production is not to be confused with Corman's CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA (1961)--or a good movie.

Near the Yucatan Peninsula, a cargo ship encounters the Hades, an abandoned freighter. The crew who board the Hades are shadowed by a mysterious figure and discover a cache of Aztec relics, one of which gives second mate Medina (Krista Allen) flashbacks to a violent ritual. The captain's diary

reveals that the relics are cursed treasures from Montezuma's temple. Crewmen Delgado (Duane Whitaker) and Lane (Jeff Phillips) attempt to steal some of them, and Delgado is possessed by one statue. He transforms into a reptilian monster that kills Lane and begins to slaughter the rest of the crew

as the Hades vanishes from the other ship's sight and radar.

Medina corners the mysterious man, who proves to be the Hades' captain Jameson (Cole McKay), who was previously possessed and slaughtered his own crew--and subsequently hangs himself. As the monster's rampage continues, the only survivors, Medina and first mate Bergren (Joanna Pacula), rig the

Hades with explosives. The monster kills Bergren, and Medina jumps overboard just as the Hades is blown apart. She's rescued by the cargo ship, but is now possessed herself.

One might suspect that THE HAUNTED SEA was contrived to beat 1998's big-budget monster-on-a-boat chiller DEEP RISING to the marketplace, but it's more likely that Corman simply wanted to reuse the shipboard sets from CARNOSAUR 3 (1996). Certainly, the creature resembles nothing more than one of

the Carnosaurs with an especially new bogus head attached. (When even prolific schlock FX creator John Buechler won't put his name on a movie, you know something's wrong.) The rest is a slackly directed pastiche of genre cliches, stock footage, and dialogue like "It was like a nightmare, only I

wasn't sleeping," "In some fantastic way, it's all beginning to make sense," and "Hades--isn't that an old-timey word for hell?" The lack of scares or imagination leaves more time to consider glitches like punches and kicks accompanied by sound effects out of an old kung-fu film, ship interiors

that remain well-lit after the power goes out, and the fact that the character referred to as Medina on screen is billed as "Johnson" in the end credits. (Graphic violence, extensive nudity, profanity.)

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