Stephen King's The Vessel (1997)

Directed by
Alan Smithee

Writing credits
Stephen King (novel)
J.J. Turnbull (screenplay)

Genre: Horror / Suspense / Sci-Fi / Passion Play (more)

Tagline: From the twisted imagination of fright master Stephen King, terror is coming ashore...and it hungers...

Plot Summary: A freak storm passes through Bangor, Maine, knocking out roads and communications and isolating the town from the outside world. John Corwen, a mystery writer, discovers a rusted shipwreck along the coast washed in by the storm that turns out to be a 50 year old US Navy vessel. Everyone who goes aboard to investigate the strange ship becomes deranged and as epidemic violence and strange phenomena manifest throughout Bangor the mystery surrounding the vessel becomes a battle for survival. With the help of a mysterious and magical retarded black child, John must (more) (view trailer)

Plot Keywords: US Government Knows Not That With Which it Meddles / Creepy Religious Figures / Woman Peeing in Terror / Fearful Urination (more)

User Comments: Yo when that guyy that carved up his face with the knife comes out of the freezer and starts yellin and the twist starts playin on the jukebox and then the girl pees her dress that is the best she just pees everywhere and then tries to run but the dude has the other dimension plague in his brain and he is a cannibal killed I bet SHE TASTE LIKE PEE (more)

User Rating: A STAR!? A STAR!? A STAR!? A STAR!? A STAR!? A STAR!? NO STAR!!!! NO STAR!!!! NO STAR!!!! NO STAR!!!! 5.6 / 10 (3,102 votes)

Cast overview, first billed only:

Tim Daly ... John Corwen
Debra Messing ... Leslie Simmons
Beth Grant ... Missus Rebecca
Kyle Tully ... Peter Wellchild
Kari Wuhrer ... Anna Goodsom
Max von Sydow ... Dr. Maelothorn
Lance Hendriksen ... Admiral K.C. Ridgebottum

Also Known As:

Mr. King's Hate Boat (UK)
Stevenu Kingu Chibi Yamamoto (Jpn)
Seppo's Spooky Tinny (Aus)
Das Boot Zwei: Der Amerikaner Magikken Kriegshif (Ger)
Victor Colonnade 6 4 6 Decay (Xej)
Aaaaaaooooouuuooo Eeeeiiii Ooooou Ooooouuu!!! (AEIOU)

Runtime: One weekend and then the dollar theaters
Country: Spooky New England
Language: Stilted
Color: Out of Space
Aspect Ratio: 666:1
Sound Mix: Echombulon
MOVIEmeter: Approximately 3 MOVIEfeet why?
Certification: UK: Boos for Blokes / Japan: Glorious Nippon / Germany: Harpoon Rampage / Australia: Gnarly / AEIOU: W and Y / Xerenej: Penetrate 4 Crenulate


  • Continuity: Tim Daly's character is talking on the phone and playing with a pen. He sets the pen on the counter and it clearly rolls off the counter It cuts to a view out the window at the storm clouds gathering and when it cuts back there are dozens of pens covering the counter.
  • Factual errors: Every actor and crew member name in the credits is listed as an anagram, including Tim Daly (Mit Lady), Debra Messing (Besmear Dings), and executive producer Fuckbonzo Turdwagon (Cab Kudzu Frog Wonton).
  • Crew or equipment visible: A crane crew operator sobs and drips tears on the lens during the birthday party scene.
  • Continuity: When Tim Daly and Debra Messing first enter the diner on the boardwalk there is blood covering the floor. When they come back out after searching the kitchen the floor is covered with dozens of pens.
  • Revealing mistakes: When the fireball from the helicopter crash illuminates Tim Daly the light does not seem to illuminate the hundreds of pens scattered across the street.


  • This film marks screenwriter J.J. Turnbull's third collaboration with director Alan Smithee. Turnbull previously wrote the screenplays for Smithee's 1995 production of "The Colossal Mutant" and before that 1993's adaptation of J.D. Salinger's "Codename: Bio Squad".
  • Director trademark: The sound of a baby crying is revealed to be an old phonograph playing a record of a baby crying.
  • The message the dying sailor writes on the wall of the ship in his own blood is never made clear, but if you freeze-frame the DVD you can make out that it says, "Eat my balls, Dicksleeve."
  • Beth Grant was not really reduced to a smoldering skeleton by unleashed trans-dimensional spirit energy. She was born as a skeleton.
  • Director trademark: A real-time sequence of a man inflating a backyard pool without using any pumps.

AMDB Memorable Quotes:

Leslie Simmons: Quite a storm last night, right Peter?
Peter Wellchild: Tweren't no storm come from natures.
Leslie Simmons: Just some thunder and lightning. I'm sure it will be okay. Go back to your crayons.
Peter Wellchild: The dark eye is opening Leslie...
Leslie Simmons: What!?
Peter Wellchild: I said I drawed a pitchure of my ding dong lady!!!

Anna Goodsom: (Pees)

Missus Rebecca: The boy must die! He has brought this curse upon us! It took my husband away! We must kill the boy!
John Corwen: He's the only one who can see into the future! We need him to stop this!
Missus Rebecca: I can't hear you because THE LORD is too loud in my ears! Kill the boy!

Dr. Maelothorn: My brother...was on that ship...when it disappeared into the portal in 1943. I had to try to bring him back.
John Corwen: Well you brought him back and he brought a whole lot with him. Doctor, you've got to tell us everything you know about Project Pittsburgh. It's our only chance to stop this...madness...
Admiral K.C. Ridgebottum: Doctor, you say a word and I'll shoot you. All information about Project Pittsburgh is classified need-to-know.
John Corwen: Look around you, Admiral! I think we need to know!
Admiral K.C. Ridgebottum: The US Navy will be the judge of that.

– Zack "Geist Editor" Parsons (@sexyfacts4u)

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