Cruise Into Terror (1978 film)

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Promotional image for Cruise Into Terror (1978 film)...

Cruise Into Terror" (1978), AKA Voyage Into Evil


An Egyptian sarcophagus that is cargo on a pleasure cruise ship has a secret - it contains the son of Satan, and its effects start to make the ship's passengers behave strangely.


  • Release Date: 1978
  • Country/Language: US, English
  • Genres/Technical: Thriller, Horror, made-for-TV
  • Setting: 1970s, Atlantic Ocean
  • Runtime: 1 hr 40 min
  • Starring: Dirk Benedict, John Forsythe, Frank Converse
  • Director: Bruce Kessler
  • Writer: Michael Braverman
  • Producer/Production Co: Aaron Spelling Productions
  • View Film: (link)
  • IMDB Page: (link)


MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: (not rated) (equivalent to a TV-PG for mild 1970s TV-friendly Violence and Adult Content)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

With haunted Egyptian artifacts on the bottom of the ocean and ship passengers possessed by the devil are just about as "Lovecraftian" as this made-for-TV movie get (in other words, no real connection to Lovecraft's work), but there's still some potential for some "pulpy" 1970s schlock fun to be had with this soggy take-off on the likes of The Omen and Rosemary's Baby as the basis for a Call of Cthulhu scenario - just slip an evil tome into the hands of one of the passengers (the crazy fire-and-brimstone preacher seems like a good candidate), add references to Nyarlathotep, Nephren-Ka, or Nitocris, toss in a couple cruise ship bikini girls who find a cursed artifact in a Deep One city, and you might have something almost quasi-Lovecraftian as a result....

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.


Review Links:

  • A Haunting on the Screen, (link) - (no critical review, but there are screenshots)
  • The Terror Trap, (link) - "2.5/5 Fun TV thriller about a faulty cruise ship and the passengers who discover a sarcophagus under the sea... containing no less than the son of Satan! The cast has a whale of a time with the subject matter and while the jolts are few, this one is not nearly as bad as you may have heard."
  • Dave Sindalar's Movie-of-the-Day Archives, (link) - "Well, the premise is pretty far-fetched, but that hasn't necessarily been a stumbling block for movies of this ilk before. However, the script suffers from an appalling lack of subtlety.... This is one movie that could have been better than it is."
  • David Churchill at Critics at Large, (link) - "...Turgid, terrible, pathetic, ridiculous and unintentionally laughable. Cruise Into Terror has become something of a cult classic because it is filled with bad movie goodness...."

Synopsis (SPOILERS)

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

The passengers of a small, dilapidated cruise ship, which include the soulless guardian of the son of Satan, an archaeologist seeking a sunken Egyptian-Mayan colony in the Caribbean, a physicist who knows where the city can be found, a crazy fire-and-brimstone preacher who futilely warns everyone of approaching doom, and a hoard of girls in tiny bikinis, begin to over-acting strangely. The ship "coincidentally" breaks down right over the mysterious Egyptian-Mayan-Caribbean temple, the radio stops working, the bikini girls swim down to retrieve a cursed sarcophagus containing the Son of Satan, strange things begin happening, unnecessary cast members begin dying off one by one, the over-acting gets worse, the sarcophagus begins to breathe, the ship explodes, and credits roll.


Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements

  • In the groovy 1970s, a small, dilapidated cruise-ship load of oddball characters breaks down over a sunken city; the radio coincidentally also stops working, while the fire-and-brimstone preacher with a sinister tome warns that the city is evil and makes ominous references to Dagon and Nitocris, a physicist remarks on the strange and unearthly properties of the area, an archaeologist claims the city is an "Egyptian Colony, perhaps related to the Mayas", and a pack of nubile bikini girls discover a strange "sarcophagus" that breathes and bring it aboard... before the investigators can say "bad vacation!", something emerges from the sarcophagus, bikini girls go missing or become "brides of Dagon", and the investigators must stop the insanity (or blow up the ship, or maybe both....)

Keeper Notes