The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
Firstly, take note of this movie’s date, 1972, a massive ‘hells no’ to the 2005 remake. Although this vintage flick is classified as a PG, it’s definitely not child’s play. The Poseidon Adventure flooded into the cinema at a time when the first batch of disaster films, including The Towering Inferno (1974), found that they had a captive audience for entertainment. Result: catastrophe movie loving public. The scene is set on a luxury passenger ship in which none other than the legend Gene Hackman (Reverend Scott), amongst others, is enjoying an oceanic based holiday over New Years. A handful of main characters are all having a sing along and boozy NYE, when suddenly a tidal wave hits. The ship has capsized, leaving our party-goers in a race against time and presenting them with a maze of problems – including the boiling hot kitchen level that appears to have cooked all chefs – yikes – and then the slight issue that the ship is sinking. Will they make it in time?
Dead Calm (1989)
If you like suspense, go for this one, especially with a tag line like ‘A Voyage into Fear’. Also worth noting, if you feel cheated out of your Billy Zane (from Titanic) fix, he’s in Dead Calm too! A frizzy young Nicole Kidman and Sam Neill are an ordinary Australian couple taking a sailing trip in the Pacific to forget about a terrible accident, as you do. Whilst out at sea, in the ‘dead calm’, they discover a boat. Thank goodness they did because there is in fact one survivor in the form of Hughie (Mr Zane)! Hughie is odd, creepy, totally untrustworthy and more than likely has something to do with a few people’s oceanic demise. So what have our lovely Aussie couple let aboard their vessel?
The African Queen (1951)
Our description should simply state: Classic movie starring Bogart and Hepburn, but we’ll try a bit harder to wet your already sea-salted appetites. It is September 1914 and news reaches the German East Africa colony that its homeland is at war. The initial character we are introduced to is the Reverend Samuel Sayer, who is now walking a hostile line as he is a foreigner in this location. So German soldiers burn down his mission, and pretty much destroy him. Enter Hepburn, his stuck up sister, Rose Sayer. Alone and vengeful she buries her poor brother and leaves in the only transport going, a crusty old river steamboat ‘African Queen’, in addition to EL Capitan Charlie Allnut (Bogart). The snooty Miss Sayer and gin-loving Allnut enter on a journey home, turning into a mission to get a bit even by attacking an enemy warship. The relationship between these two is solid gold and warms a damp heart.
Donkey Punch (2008)
Sun, sex, no sand and lots of sea, it’s Donkey Punch. This film is hardcore. The clue is in the title, ‘Donkey Punch’, which for all you innocents out there is a slang term for a rather violent, exceptionally unadvisable act. After meeting in a Spanish nightclub in your typical 18 – 30’s Mediterranean resort, our seven adorable characters (including actress Jaime Winstone) decide to continue their shenanigans aboard a luxury yacht. Then comes more debauchery and a Donkey Punch goes a tad wrong. Bring on the ruthless fight for survival as they all turn on eachother.
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)
The guilty pleasure offering, seeded appropriately at number 5. This glistening gem of old school ‘special effects’, overly tanned actors and a mythical tale from a fantasy land does float our boat. Sinbad the sailor is the hero who finds himself in charge of an unfortunate prince who has been turned into a monkey by the evil witch Zenobia. The quest is set to aid the furry royal member and transform him back to beauty in the mystical land of Ademsapai, in time for his coronation, crikey! Things definitely don’t run smoothly, with a nasty beastie or two that needs to be slain. Ain’t plain sailing y’all.