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Ice Pirates, The

Entry updated 24 January 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1984). MGM/United Artists. Directed by Stewart Raffill. Written by Raffill, Stanford Sherman. Cast includes Mary Crosby, Anjelica Huston, John Matuszak, Ron Perlman, Michael D Roberts and Robert Urich. 94 minutes. Colour.

Sf Parodies have seldom worked well in the cinema, but this is an exception. Jason (Urich) is a pirate captain of a Spaceship (he and his crew carry cutlasses and wear high boots) who raids merchant ships for ice (the planets in this area being arid), meets a princess and has adventures. The film's success depends on the script's real knowledge (unusual in the movies) of written sf's dafter conventions as well as the Clichés of sf cinema; both are neatly caricatured. Particularly lunatic is the final battle in a time warp (see Time Distortion), with the heroic contenders visibly ageing, the day being saved by the hero's baby who grows rapidly into a man and repels the elderly boarders. There is a small, irritating, chest-bursting Alien scuttling around, and Anjelica Huston buckles an expert swash. The farce is played straight enough to work, and the whole thing, though sometimes too broad, is agreeably genial. Raffill went on to direct The Philadelphia Experiment (1984). [PN]


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