Ship of Ghouls: The Love Boat (1978)

So you know what that means: Horror TV episodes Tuesday

I know this is a little odd, TV episodes on a Tuesday instead of Friday as I’ve been doing for the past few years? Well this year October 1st started on a Friday and it just doesn’t seem right for Horrorfest to start with a review of a TV episode.

So instead we will be reviewing TV episodes on Tuesdays, TV Tuesdays.

And our next TV episode comes from

So it is also time for our annual Vincent Price film or TV episode.

I love Vincent Price, and it just wouldn’t be Halloween unless I watched something starring him. This year I settled on this Love Boat episode as I was rewatching the show on Pluto and this Halloween/Vincent Price episode came on one day. I thought it would be perfect.

I grew up watching The Love Boat reruns on TV Land and loved this show. Each episode usually contained three different storylines (sometimes they tied together sometimes they didn’t) and all revolved around a theme of learning to “love again”. It mostly was two people falling in love it back into love (as they are divorced, separated, broken up, etc.); although sometimes it centered around familial love, friendship, or learning to love yourself.

Although rewatching this as an adult I’m like these people just meet on a week long cruise, they should not be getting married. That seems like a really bad idea. In fact as an adult I actually enjoy more the episodes where the characters don’t end up together and the ones where it isn’t romantic love but friendship or family love.

But I did enjoy this Halloween episode that stars Vincent Price as illusionist extraordinaire, the Amazing Alonzo. The Amazing Alonzo has been hired to perform at the ship’s Halloween party. It should be a lot of fun as he wants to get his name out there, will perform a few times during the week, he and his fiancé Ramona (Joan Blondell) have an all expenses paid cruise cruise, etc.

Let’s go!

Alonzo even has truly amazing powers, almost supernatural. Could it be real and not an illusion?!

Yes everything is going great, everybody adores Alonzo, everything is just what the two wanted…except Alonzo is enjoying all the attention from the fans and other ladies and not paying any attention to his fiancé.

Besides Alonzo there are two other storylines I don’t really care for. One is a boy lying to get attention as his parents recently separated and are trying to work together again. It is basically The Boy Who Cried Wolf as by the end he realizes that he shouldn’t lie or else people won’t believe him.

The other storyline is extremely stupid. A model was in a car accident and has a teeny tiny scar on her face, so light and minuscule and easily covered with makeup, and she wants to hole up in her room because she “isn’t beautiful” anymore. First of all she’s not ugly at all and she could easily afford good makeup or even plastic surgery to fix that teeny tiny scratch. Secondly, if this was the storyline they were going with why not make it huge, or third degree burns, or be made by a traumatic act that makes her not want to stare at herself or be looked at? It just didn’t work for me.

So back to Alonzo. Alonzo had crossed over from loving the attention by others to being addicted to it and downgrading Ramona from fiancé to associate when introducing himself and trying to sound more important.

Later Ramona complains about Alonzo’s lack of attention and Alonzo promises to make it up to her. He apologizes as he’s just so excited that they will be famous again, that’s all he can focus on. Ramona doesn’t care about fame, she just wants to get married. Alonzo again reassures her he will be all hers for the whole evening when a man comes by and insists Alonzo comes to his table to show his friends’ illusions.

Alonzo ends up getting caught up in the other table forgetting all about Ramona. Captain Stubing, Captain of the love boat, sees her and invites her to dinner. Mmhmm, Captain Stubing likes ladies that are taken as he doesn’t want a serious commitment. Those are pretty much the only ones he spends any time with.

The next day Alonzo is trying to do an illusion but he overhears that Ramona telling the Captain she left l her lipstick in the his cabin last night. When he goes to ask her what she meant by that, she tells him she spent all night with the Captain and that she and Alonzo are through. After that, Alonzo can’t focus on anything and messes up every illusions and trick he tries to do.

That evening Captain Stubing is ready for the illusionist show to start but can’t find Alonzo anywhere. It turns out he is sulking in his room as he has realized what a fool he has been and that he has lost Ramona for good. Stubing yells at him telling him Ramona is in love with him and basically calling him an idiot in a professional manner, also letting him know that nothing happened between him and Ramona. Finally Alonzo comes to the Halloween party and does his greatest trick yet, he freezes everybody so he and Ramona can have a word in private.

He apologizes, tells her he loves her, and then he tells her his real name, Wendall Moore-yep he’s finally ready to get married.

The episode ends with them heading home. Happy, in love, and ready to set a date for the wedding. Another successful trip for the Love Boat.

For more Vincent Price, go to The Adventure of the Sinister Scenario: Ellery Queen (1976)

For more adventures on cruise ships, go to A Spy Ring, A Killer Virus, and a Body Double Trying to Steal Carolina’s Life: High Seas Season Three (2020)

For more Halloween episodes, go to Holy Crap, Leonard’s a Zombie: Epidemiology, Community (2010)

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