Ghosts on a boat, a killer girl group, and sexy vampires

I’ve added a handful of new movies to my Blu-ray collection, mostly from the 2000s, but I’ll reach back to the 90s once for this post due to an original/remake double feature. Let’s get into them.


You gotta love a movie famous for having a kick-ass opening scene…and then turning into such a derivative supernatural snoozefest after. Yes, the opening is the only reason I felt compelled to finally add Ghost Ship to my collection.

That amazing scene helped launch the trend of people getting cleanly sliced in pieces in horror movies. Beyond saying that a cable goes rogue on the dance floor of a cruise ship, it’s best to show the impact with pictures.

Next we meet an all-star ocean salvage crew including the likes of Gabriel Byrne, Julianna Margulies, and that homophobe Isaiah Washington. They stumble upon a giant empty ship and board it.

As the group splits up and each member has a unique haunting experience, what transpires is a ridiculously cliché string of horror scares, including rats, a skeleton in a closet, blood dripping from walls, maggots in food, apparitions in mirror reflections, and a little ghost girl.

In fact, watching Ghost Ship and actually struggling to stick with it for the first time in 20 years, I realize it seems to be going for the same vibe as The Shining in many ways. But why watch this when you can just watch The Shining?


I was thinking the imbalance in my life might be due to the fact that I never completed my Poison Ivy collection, so I can now finally experience a fleeting moment of inner peace.

Aside from griping that this isn’t actually a true sequel to the series, the general online whine is that it’s a Lifetime channel movie. But the fact that there are nude scenes in the uncut version on physical disc makes it clear this film was not made for Lifetime. It was made, then censored, than passed off as a Lifetime original.

In truth, it feels like a David DeCoteau skin flick….with chicks instead of dicks. The first scene is a perfect example. We see a pretty young woman running through a dark building in terror. Then we hear her scream but see nothing that transpires to cause that scream.

Next, a pretty blonde named Daisy is making out with her shirtless pretty boy boyfriend in the back of his pickup truck. He just bought her a farm basically, but she has other plans: college!

She heads off to the school where the girl was murdered at the beginning. There’s a bitchy, secret society of girls that targets her when she scores an internship their leader feels entitled to.

But instead of doing direct damage to Daisy, they play her, welcoming her into their group and making her think they are on her side, when actually they plan to take her down. There’s even what feels like a sexual Satanic ritual. I wish.

The leader of the group proves to be a psycho, but it comes way too late in the game to make this an even vaguely fun killer thriller. She literally murders one person if you don’t count the girl from the beginning. Yawn.


Come for the vampires, stay for the sex. An erotic/romantic vampire flick, Embrace of the Vampire is a fave with many kids of the 90s because it was the dawning of a new age for Alyssa Milano after her years on Who’s the Boss?.

I finally decided to add this popular title from my days working at the video store to my collection…and then discovered there was a remake and the completist in me would need that one, too.

It has a pretty cool cast, including Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet as the vampire, and horror veterans Jordan Ladd and Rachel True as Alyssa’s friends on her college campus.

Alyssa plays a virginal good girl who is leaving her cute, New Kids On The Block looking boyfriend with blue balls. But she’s also having sensual dreams about a vampire that wants to have sex with her…and eventually does as her dreams become more and more erotic.

The film is directed by a woman, and the sex scenes are very sensual, with lesbianism, Alyssa’s bodacious boobs, and even man butt.

There are also some non-dream orgies that are just as sexy, and have a totally nineties vibe. Best of all, the man vamp feasts on a couple of men before the film is through in his goal to make Alyssa all his, giving us some hints of homoerotica.

The other good news is that some blood does flow, but this is really a vampire romance with some beautifully shot scenes, not a straight-up vampire flick, so don’t expect hardcore horror here.


The remake is directed by a man, who also directed one of my indie zombie faves, Severed: Forest of the Dead. As a result, you come to this one for the horror not for the sex. The opener alone brings on a hardcore vampire attack in colonial days.

In modern times, our main girl has come from a Catholic school, is still virginal, and is attending college on a fencing scholarship. Her coach is sci-fi and horror hottie Victor Webster, who happened to be on Charmed with Alyssa Milano for a while.

He also happens to be the vampire here, but he keeps a low profile for a majority of the film. Instead, our main girl has numerous sexual dreams about her classmates that turn into vampire attack dreams.

We see someone killing off certain characters in practical ways with weapons, and the main girl has to cope with bullies, a pill-popping problem, and a guy she likes who may have ulterior motives.

The sex scenes are okay, but not as sensual as in the first film.

However, although it takes forever for Victor to finally come out of his coffin for some sucking action, when he does (over an hour into the movie) he brings on some kick-ass horror attacks. The horror aspects in the last 30 minutes are so much fun I kind of wish they had been prominently carried throughout the film. I have a feeling most horror fans simply won’t sit tight for the first hour to get to the horror money shots.

What disappointed me was that they cast this gorgeous man as the vampire and then don’t give him any sex scenes!

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at
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