As summer approaches, more people are considering taking cruises or renting boats. Sure, that may sound relaxing and fun. But there’s always the possibility that things can go wrong in the ocean. The weather is unpredictable, the depths of unexplored waters harbor killer creatures, and international water is a lawless wasteland of crime and murder. Therefore, it’s advisable to purchase an inflatable raft and loaf around in the safe confines of a creature-free, pirate-free swimming pool.
Here are the top 10 movie boat trips that will keep you on land…
Any post-Jerry Maguire movie starring Cuba Gooding Jr. is bound to suck, so you know we’re heading for troubled waters already. In Boat Trip, Cuba and his buddy, Horatio Sanz, book a cruise to meet women because women cannot run away from them on a boat like they usually do on land. However, things take a turn for the worse for our hopeless romantics when a vengeful travel agent books them on a gay cruise instead. Hilarity is supposed to ensue but does not. Cuba pretends to be gay to woo a dance instructor with an ineffective gaydar and Horatio isn’t savvy enough to play the Horatio Hornblower angle that would have certainly gotten him laid by one of the few chicks on board.
Getting shipwrecked in Spain, where every beach is clothing optional and lined with tapas bars, sounds like paradise. Not so for two American tourists who get shipwrecked in a mysterious seaside town that refuses to help them. That’s because the townspeople worship a fish god named Dagon who has mutated them into, I kid you not, malevolent fish-human hybrids under the command of a weird octopus-mermaid creature. Look, it can happen, people. This is a realistic scenario and you’ve gotta be prepared. Always pack fish food to distract the fish-humans if they try to attack you, then kill ’em with a harpoon. Or just make sure you’re equipped with a radio to call for help. Whichever is more practical.
What’s the cardinal rule of road tripping? Never pick up hitchhikers. Well, the same is true for hitchhikers at sea. Apparently Nicole Kidman and Sam Neill are the rebellious type because they let Billy Zane on their boat after he claims that all his shipmates died of food poisoning. Bad move. Everyone knows Billy Zane looks like a freakin’ serial killer, or, at minimum, a raging douchebag. And it turns out he’s both in Dead Calm. It takes Sam Neill a while to figure that out, and before you know it, there’s a cat and mouse fight for survival on the open seas. Remember that if you use your supply of flares to cook marshmallows faster, you won’t have any to be used as weapons later.
Some say giant killer squids are myth. Deep Rising proves that they’re not only real, they’re capable of overtaking a state-of-the-art cruise ship and ruthlessly killing every passenger on board, even the ones hiding in bathrooms, as if it has X-ray vision in its arsenal of badassery. That’s what boat captain Treat Williams, star of The Substitute 2-4, encounters when he is coerced by a band of well-armed thieves into the middle of the ocean to rob the ocean liner of its prized possessions. But by the time they get to the ocean liner, it has already been pillaged by the most efficient stalker on the planet. Not even Waldo would be able to elude its ravenous, blood-thirsty tentacles. It finds everybody. And it kills them. Unless you have a jet ski. Jet skis are the preferred getaway vehicle. Even on land.
Thrill seekers who wish to stay overnight on a haunted ship can turn to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. But if you want to stay board a haunted ship in the middle of the ocean, where you can’t easily escape and lots of weapons are present, prepare for trouble. In Ghost Ship, Gabriel Byrne and his ragtag group of salvagers aren’t prepared for said trouble when they claim ownership of an abandoned old cruise ship in the Baltic Sea. Of course, strange things start to happen and people end up dying bloody deaths. That’s because the ship was the site of a brutal massacre forty years prior where an evil man cut a metal cable that sliced through a crowd of dancing passengers. Someone’s always gotta bring down the party.
Sometimes it’s better to go down with the ship. In Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat, survivors of a ship attack huddle in a lifeboat and wait to be rescued. Tensions grow as the food supply thins, class divisions come to the fore and a litany of existential dilemmas are explored. Sure it’s boring, but what did you expect from an entire movie about people in a lifeboat – song and dance numbers?
An endless buffet of food, drinking mai tais in the jacuzzi and attending awkward formal dinners sounds all good… until a rogue wave hits the ship and knocks it upside down. Luckily, Snake Plissken badass Kurt Russel and the even more badass Mr. Holland, aka Richard Dreyfuss, are aged and learned men who know how to lead an escape from a watery grave. As rooms flood and the Poseidon continues to sink, the two wise men join forces with a few other survivors to climb their way to the top of the ship in a challenge far mare dangerous than a Wipeout obstacle course. See that empty gym on the ship? You better utilize it because you’ll need some serious endurance to survive a sinking upside down ship.
Speed 2: Cruise Control
In Speed, a terrorist held a bus ransom by installing a bomb that would detonate if the bus dropped below 50 miles per hour. The plot of Speed 2 is relatively similar except way less interesting… because it’s on a cruise ship. Unlike in Boat Trip, hilarity ensues. Instead of simply jumping off the ship from the lower decks, the passengers are taken hostage and the cruise ship is directed toward an oil tanker. Sandra Bullock has to save the day again, this time with her Keanu Reeves lookalike boyfriend who, like Keanu in the first Speed movie, is also an LAPD SWAT member, except with a little more expression. For some reason, “boat terrorist” doesn’t sound as threatening as “airplane terrorist”.
The mother of all boat disaster movies. We all know the story so I won’t go into details. All I can hope is that the sinking of the Titanic taught you many things. First, if you are a man, you should always pack one women’s outfit in order to disguise yourself in case of emergency and circumvent the “women and children first” protocol. Second, I hope you learned this from Dead Calm, but do not trust Billy Zane. That dude is ALWAYS bad news. Third, if you’re going to jump off the back of a ship, make sure you don’t jump in the direct path of a giant metal propeller (even though humans crashing into propellers makes a hilarious BING sound). Fourth, if anyone ever claims that something is “unsinkable,” they’re asking to proven wrong. Lastly, Kate Winslet is hot, especially in “that” scene, but not hot enough to drown for. I know she’s an entitled rich chick and all, but you demand she make some room; that debris was big enough for two people. At minimum, she should have offered her natural flotation devices to keep Jack buoyant.
The ocean is an unpredictable place. Not only do you have to worry about rogue waves, serial killer sea hitchhikers, and giant killer squids, you also have to worry about freak storms like white squalls. In the movie White Squall, a summer school sailing trip led by Jeff Bridges is overwhelmed by a sudden and violent storm that kills some of the less evolved students who didn’t develop gills like Kevin Costner did in Waterworld in order to survive. Moral of the story: unprepared students should skip class. Especially if there are no ladies on board to counterbalance all that testosterone. That sausage fest was a disaster waiting to happen, even if there was no white squall.