Adventure, Drama | 98 mins | Released: 1990
Director: Peter Keglevic
Starring: Jurgen Prochnow, Elizabeth Hurley, Patsy Kensit, Franz Buchrieser, Grazyna Szapolowska, Carmel S. Aquilina, Manuel Chauchi
Our Rating: 5
The story begins at sea when the unnamed Skipper (Prochnow) of the sailboat Bella Donna reports a man overboard. The victim, Paul Pelikan, drowns before he can be rescued. People in the Bella Donna’s home port of Gibraltar suspect that the Skipper deliberately pushed Paul overboard because he’d had an affair with the Skipper’s wife Mona (Grażyna Szapołowska). Though nothing is proven, Mona believes the Skipper did, in fact, throw Paul overboard and leaves him. Heartbroken, the Skipper spends most of his time at the local bars getting drunk and swearing he will sail again though the townspeople don’t take his claim seriously.
Meanwhile, two English girls Su (Kensit) and Lou (Hurley) are barely making a living singing at local clubs. Though fast friends, there seems to be tension between the two. They put on a show at the California Bar that night, singing an English language version of Porque te vas (translated as You’re Leaving Me). The Skipper is present for the performance and falls hard for the two, especially after Lou performs an impromptu striptease at the end. After spending the night with the two girls, the Skipper agrees to their request to sail them to Barbados.
Though the voyage will take four weeks, all seems to be well at the start. The Skipper does express some concern in his ship’s log about how close the two girls are, then injects himself with a syringe. As time passes, Su flirts with the Skipper but becomes upset when her advances are ignored, revealing a somewhat unbalanced personality. As tensions further mount, Su snoops through the Skipper’s quarters and finds his serum bottles, syringes and his log book. She tells Lou that she thinks the Skipper is a murderer and a drug addict. When he discovers the missing serum, which turns out to be insulin, he throws Su overboard with a line, in an attempt to get her to reveal where she hid it. He pulls her back in and gives her an ultimatum, “I’ll give you one hour”. He soon becomes very ill and incapacitated. A desperate Lou eventually finds the insulin and injects the Skipper, saving his life. A grateful Skipper later confesses his love for Lou. Lou responds “What about Su?” The Skipper replies “What about Su?” Su then walks in on them having sex. Su is heartbroken and starts crying. Lou, feeling guilty, tries to comfort Su.
Things seem to have smoothed over at the end, when the girls reprise their act, singing “You’re Leaving Me” again. Without warning, Lou shoots the Skipper with a spear gun, killing him almost instantly. In terror, Su flees below deck. Lou takes a moment to draw a heart and arrow in the Skipper’s pooling blood before going to the galley to make a cup of tea. She seems oddly calm while Su is quaking in terror over what’s happened. Lou tries to calm Su down but ends up smothering her with a pillow.
An end title states that, three weeks later, the Bella Donna had drifted to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, with no one aboard.
Kill Cruise (German title Der Skipper) is a 1990 film directed by Peter Keglevic and starring Jürgen Prochnow, Patsy Kensit and Elizabeth Hurley.
Filmed on location in Gibraltar and Malta.
Kill Cruise is an interesting movie because it has some very strong elements of being a Thriller movie… But it’s not a Thriller! It also has some elements of being a romance movie… Yet it is not a romance movie!
So Bad It Hurts
Author: Crap_Connoisseur from Australia – 27 March 2006
“I’m not sure what I expected from a film starring two of the worst actresses ever to (dis)grace the silver screen, but Kill Cruise is even worse than I could have imagined. This is possibly the first thriller without any thrills. In fact, it should be re-named “Two Irritating Slappers Stuck On A Yacht”.
The film begins promisingly. Patsy Kensit (Su) and Liz Hurley (Lou) perform an appalling musical number in a club and then Liz performs an impromptu strip, flashing her boobs. Unfortunately, the comedy ends there. Su and Lou pick up a drunken German skipper (an embarrassed looking Juergen Prochnow) for what I assume was a threesome and decide to sail with him to Bermuda. Shortly into the trip, Su becomes jealous of the relationship developing between Lou and the skipper and generally behaves like an idiot. This jealousy then escalates into general insanity.
Kill Cruise doesn’t even have the decency to be a mildly amusing “Dead Calm” rip off. That film exploited the claustrophobic atmosphere of a yacht to magnificent effect. Kill Cruise doesn’t even bother, in fact, nothing really happens. The most thrilling moment is probably when everyone falls asleep and the ship hits some empty oil barrels. Now that will have you on the edge of your seat. The finale itself is so anti-climactic that it borders on being shameful. The twist is utterly nonsensical and the epilog is so stupid and irrelevant that it almost defies belief.
The only reason I give this film 3 stars instead of 1 is out of sympathy for Juergen Prochnow, who does his best despite the ridiculous material that he has to work with. The only other thing the film has going for it is the opportunity to laugh at the amazing lack of acting ability displayed by Liz and Patsy. What a sorry pair.
Kill Cruise really is an exercise in futility. If you are going to make a thriller, please provide some thrills. And if you are going to disguise your dull epic as a “character study”, then at least flesh out the characters and try to make their actions vaguely believable. This is one cruise you will be happy to skip.
Better than expected
Author: swabidoo from United States – 28 September 2006
“I expected this to be a “good bad” movie – the kind that’s so bad it’s entertaining. However, in terms of performance and script I was surprised to find that it was much better than expected. Jurgen Prochnow is always good, no matter how bad the material he is given. But even Patsy Kensit and Elizabeth Hurley did well portraying two self-absorbed, air-headed, and talent-free bimbos who hitch a boat ride with him, expecting a relaxing pleasure cruise. I’ve been on a one-week cruise with two other people on a similar vessel, sailing off the coast of Maine, and can tell you that the movie accurately portrays the claustrophobic conditions on board which can lead to personality clashes. If some of the personalities are psychotic, as in this movie, the tension would become unbearable to the point of explosion. And anyone who thinks that personalities like those portrayed in the movie don’t actually exist has led a very sheltered life.
The sailing scenes are realistic – the motion of the boat, the feeling of vulnerability in the open ocean, how danger or an emergency can appear suddenly, the necessity for even the inexperienced to pitch in and help. Jurgen, who I have heard is a sailor in real life, moves naturally through all the duties of a captain.
The twist ending came out of the blue and did not work for me. However, till then the movie was involving and I enjoyed it.”
I’m taking her out to sea again, there’s no point of me staying here
Author: sol1218 from brooklyn NY – 1 December 2005
“(There are Spoilers) Surviving a violent Mediterranean Sea storm the skipper, Jurgen Prochnow, was unable to save the life of his friend and fellow seaman Paul Pelikan, Mario Stock, and his former, and now Mario’s, lover Mona, Gvalyna Szapolowska. The Skipper hold’s himself responsible for their deaths even though he was cleared of any wrong doing by a Seaman/Mariner Court.
Losing his nerve and getting drunk the Skipper hangs out all day and night, for six months, at the local California Club drinking instead of going back out to sea on his ship the Bella Donna. Things change for the Skipper when he’s approached by a young British duet of singer and dancer Su & Lou, Patsy Kensit & Elizabeth Hurley. The two are dying to get out of this boring ghost town of Gibraltar and sail to sunny and swinging Barbados in the West Indies. A trip of some 2,500 miles that would take over a month.
The Skipper needing a reason to go back to sea on his ship jumps at the idea that the girls proposed to him and the next day the Skipper together with Su & Lou and their pet pooch Willard sails past the “Pillars of Hercules” into the wide open and dangerous Atlantic Ocean. It turned out to be a voyage straight into hell.
Great scenic and ocean photography with a number of spectacular sunrise and sunsets can’t overcome the film “Kill Cruise” unconvincing script and totally unbelievable surprise ending. The ending is so off-the-wall that it makes you wonder if you fell asleep while watching the film and missed something that would make it at least plausible to the movie’s story.
A less than glamorous Elizabeth Hurley and down in the dumps-looking Patsy Kensit make up the trio, or quintet if you include the cute little dog Willard, on the cruise yacht Bella Donna. Thing start to get edgy when Su becomes jealous of the Skipper taking her friend, and possibly lesbian lover, Lou away from her as they both have a sexual tryst right in front of her. Su plans to murder the Skipper, as well as Lou, by first letting them drown at sea as they were both swimming, and making out underwater, by taking off with the boat Bella Donna. Later Su hides the insulin that the Skipper needs for his diabetic condition and his life is saved by Lou who finds it just in time, hidden by Su inside a world globe, just before in went into insulin shock.
With the crazed jealous and murderously inclined Su on deck the movie then immediately changes course where we see the three on board with Su & Lou dancing and singing as if everything that we saw up until then was forgotten about. Then were hit with an ending that’s straight out of nowhere.”