The Ice Pirates

Poster for the movie "The Ice Pirates"

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The Ice Pirates

A totally SPACED adventure! ...You have to be there to see it.

19841 h 31 min
Overview

The time is the distant future, where by far the most precious commodity in the galaxy is water. The last surviving water planet was somehow removed to the unreachable centre of the galaxy at the end of the galactic trade wars. The galaxy is ruled by an evil emperor (John Carradine) presiding over a trade oligarchy that controls all mining and sale of ice from asteroids and comets.

Metadata
Director Stewart Raffill
Runtime 1 h 31 min
Release Date 16 March 1984
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Not rated
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This is the movie that killed Mary Crosby’s career and nearly derailed Robert Urich’s, Angelica Houston’s and Ron Perlman’s. It’s one of those movies – like 1941 and Paint Your Wagon – that everyone knows is a total turkey, except for those who place what they see on the screen above what they read in the reviews. If you liked Mars Attacks! and Buckaroo Banzai, and laughed your ass off at Spaced Invaders and Killer Clowns from Outer Space, you’ll love Ice Pirates.

The time is the distant future, where by far the most precious commodity in the galaxy is water. The idea that there were once ten planets whose surface was principally covered by water is considered a myth by most people, as is the story that the last surviving water planet was somehow removed to the unreachable center of the galaxy at the end of the galactic trade wars. The galaxy is ruled by your basic evil emperor (John Carradine) presiding over a trade oligarchy that controls all mining and sale of ice from asteroids and comets.

Robert Urich is Jason, leader of a band of ice pirates that includes Ron Perlman, John Matuzak and Michael D Roberts. Of course, the crew also prominently features the obligatory unbeatable master swordsman and latter-day samurai, but, in a blow for equality, the part is played to perfection by Angelica Houston. In the formulaic plot for outlaw space operas, our heroes attack an ice freighter, are captured, but escape with a princess (Mary Crosby) kidnapped by the evil emperor in tow. They rescue her, thread the perilous path to the center of the universe and the fabled tenth planet, and destroy the evil empire’s stranglehold on the people.

Along the way, you are treated to some of film’s oddest aliens, god-awful puns and excellent lampoons of space opera icons. It’s full of bona fide toilet humor, from the pirates breaking through the hull of the ice freighter into a lavatory whose commode is occupied by a chickenman, to the standard reconditioning for outlaws and other deviants – castration by mechanical chompers, a lobotomy and a blond dye job, then sale as a soprano domestic slave.

Ice Pirates is the illegitimate child of Star Wars and Animal House. The jokes, both verbal and physical, range from the hackneyed to the truly brilliant – and most of both will have you rolling on the floor. It’s a an hour-and-a-half of pure unadulterated fun. When I finally get the 6′ x 8′ screen for our light projector mounted, this will be one of the first movies we watch.