' Cinema Romantico: Take These Pirates Off Ice

Monday, October 31, 2005

Take These Pirates Off Ice

I first saw "Ice Pirates" with my mom at the luxurious Valley 3 Cinemas in Des Moines, Iowa. We were forced to sit in the front row because the film was sold out. And every one of us in the theater knew as we watched this movie we were witnessing something special. It is rare in the cinematic universe that the stars align in perfect formation and create a constellaton of such beautiful awfulness. But with "Ice Pirates" the universe blessed us and I urge you to partake in such an unusual blessing.

I can only assume at this point you're questioning the validity of a film existing with this title. But I assure you I do not jest. "Ice Pirates" is all too real.

The story concerns a motley crew of pirates - the heroic but scruffy leader, the bumbling sidekick who doubles as the token black guy, the fiery love interest, the tough-as-nails female, on and on - who live in a universe where almost all the water has dried up, leaving it as the most precious commodity. They survive by stealing it from the evil Templars (gotta' love it). But, as it must, a persistent rumor of a mythical water planet exists.

As the movie opens our motley crew is hi-jacking water from a Templar ship and while doing so the heroic but scruffy leader happens upon the fiery love interest sleeping in some sort of sci-fi movie contraption and kidnaps her and her faithful servant. But the fiery love interest turns the tables on our motley crew by blackmailing them into helping her locate her father who has been on a quest to find the mythical water planet. Unfortunately, the plan goes awry, the pirates lose a video game (I'm still not jesting), the Templars take back the fiery love interest and sell the heroic but scruffy leader and the bumbling sidekick doubling as the token black guy into slavery.

From this point my head starts to hurt as I attempt to recall the wacky hijinks posing as a plot. Let's just say more mayhem ensues - including, but not limited to, a time warp, a masquerade ball, hench-women on unicorns, a jive-talkin' pimp robot, and a conveyor belt with a castrating machine.

Somewhere around the time Bruce Vilanch shows up you're probably going to crave turning off the TV and re-gaining your sense through whatever liquor is readily available. I urge you not to do it. Keep that DVD going, by God. You may have only thought you've seen the world's biggest afro. But if you survive to the finale of this, you'll realize how wrong you were.

The cast is headed up by the late Robert Urich in the type of role that usually translates to agents being fired. He is joined by the heralded Ron Perlman, the renowned Mary Crosby, and the revered Michael D. Roberts (perhaps now best known for his villainous turn as Roger Ipswitch on an episode of "Seinfeld"). Though let the record show Angelica Huston also co-stars.

Yes, an Oscar winner is in "Ice Pirates". I'm guessing she lost a bet over one too many whiskey sours with Robert Urich.

Now, by this point you may be asking why this review is being posted in conjunction with Halloween. An excellent question for which I have an excellent answer. Halloween is meant to frighten, is it not? It's meant to scare? I guarantee "Ice Pirates" will frighten you more than any vampire, werewolf or zombie ever could. The fact this movie somehow was allowed to be greenlit and then actually made without the production screeching to a halt will terrify you for days on end. You don't believe me?

I haven't even mentioned the space herpe yet.

1 comment:

jb said...

I will testify to the existence of "Ice Pirates" Mr. Prigge and I spent many a summer Thursdays watching it on Beta in his basement. Ah the joy of youth. I also vaguely remember Mr. Prigge playing the bumbling sidekick/token black guy in our own space odyssey. The plaid couch was the best spaceship ever.