GHOST SHIP, PART TWO (1957)
aka Yureisen: Kohen
Directed by Sadatsugu Matsuda
Featuring Ryutaro Aoyagi, Iwao Daimaru, Kensaku Hara
What it is: Japanese swashbuckler
When the princess is kidnapped by pirates, an expedition sets out to rescue her and to solve the mystery of the ghost ship.
I was wondering if there would be more about the ghost ship in the second movie of the series, and sure enough, there is; in fact, the movie opens with a spooky scene in which several people board the ghost ship, and the son soon finds himself stranded aboard it, until... well, let's just say that this scene turns out not to be on the same level of reality as the rest of the movie. This half is somewhat more successful than the first half; in fact, it abandons the whole warlord/Kyoto story and concentrates on sea-faring adventure, and the plot rolls along a little more comfortably as such. This one feels somewhat Vernian in its telling, and is more consistently entertaining. In fact, the two movies could be watched and enjoyed as distinct movies rather than as a single story. And, if the above phrase about "solving the mystery of the ghost ship" implies that the fantastic content is somewhat compromised... well, I can't really say I was all that surprised. Still, I found this one satisfying.