|Star:||Judd Nelson, Janet Gunn, Lance Henriksen|
|Cert / Year:||15 - R / 2001|
In 1972 the cruise ship the Corona Queen disappeared in the Bermuda triangle. Onboard was Aaron Roberts (Judd Nelson) parents and in the intervening twenty years he has committed his life to investigating their disappearance. That is until the ship suddenly reappears in the middle of a storm. He is contacted by reporter Dana Elway (Janet Gunn) who has joined up with an illegal salvage operation who are going out to the vessel. Will he now be able to solve this mystery? The answer may be more terrifying than he bargained for.
Earlier this year we reviewed the film Ghost Ship and despite some terrible acting and a ropey script found it entertained mainly due to its effects. It was a bit of shock then to find this very similar television movie was made a year earlier. Ok so this being a television movie means that it has a fraction of the budget, but it does have a few things going for it.
This movie is a Unified Films Organisation production and they are a company specializing in low budget effects movies. What is surprising is that some of their output is very watchable, in fact we have already reviewed a couple of their best movies in Velocity Trap and Apex. The formula they use is a mix of strong scripts, a quality B Movie cast, and some impressive effects. So it may not be a complete surprise that this film isn't bad at all.
The cast are a relatively strong bunch of B list actors. Most notable amongst them is cult supremo Lance Henriksen, and while he isn't on top form he does add much needed weight to the proceedings. The lead is played by Judd Nelson an actor I haven't seen much of since his brat pack days in the eighties, and despite looking a bit like a hobo he puts in a good performance. Janet Gunn is also worth a mention in the obligatory strong female role. Overall then not the cream of Hollywood but a cast that are more than acceptable for the job.
The story is pretty good, being seven parts Ghost Ship to three parts Event Horizon. Ok so occasionally the pace stalls and it does get itself confused but there are some genuinely spooky moments (like the rocking horse, and many of the deaths). What is not so good is the hallucination sequences which really don't work that well. The real winner though is the effects heavy ending, which is pretty darn good.
The effects are one of the films greatest strengths. The interior sets are so limited that the same corridor is used what seems to be a hundred times, but the CGI ship exterior is impressive. Wisely most of the effects budget has been saved for the spectacular finale, and it is this finish that is the best bit of the movie by far.
Does this mean that Lost Voyage is just a cheap alternative to Ghost Ship? Well both yes and no. Yes because in places the film does lose its way, and the budget constraints sometimes are glaringly obvious. No because the acting is better, the effects are good, and the death scenes and the ending are really well done. Overall then this a more than acceptable piece of pulp horror, and an interesting companion for Ghost Ship.