The Ice Pirates (1984)
December 7, 2018 6:49 AM - Subscribe

In the far future water is the most valuable substance. Two space pirates are captured, sold to a princess, and recruited to help her find her father.
posted by Fukiyama (11 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This movie has for the last few years gotten a lot of play on TCM of all channels. Late night, but still, TCM. Of course, it is is now almost 35 years old and from the MGM library, so I suppose. Still, I really was surprised when I first saw it in the TV guide a few years ago.

As for the movie itself, it is one of those movies I was exposed to as a little kid who for one reason or another watched a lot of cable in the 80s. As a kid, I enjoyed it though a lot of it went over my head. I wasn't looking for super cool effects or superb acting, just some funny robots and some action while the characters went in search of Mary Crosby's father.

I sat down to watch the movie last night for the first time in probably thirty years. It was definitely everything one might expect from an early 80s movie that wasn't trying to be anything special. (Keep that in mind if you see this and are easily offended.) According to Wiki, the production was troubled by MGM's financial woes at the time. It definitely shows, especially the space effects looking like they came out of Battlestar Galactica rather than Star Wars. Putting the emphasis on humor and character though worked as Urich and Crosby have chemistry and the supporting characters all have interesting things to say and do. I found myself laughing quite a bit, even at the robots they implausibly relied upon to do most of their fighting. And the final fight in the time warp was definitely interesting to watch how they stitched it all together.

All in all, it was worth sitting down for and the movie holds up incredibly well against what I remember.
posted by Fukiyama at 7:04 AM on December 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks for reviewing this movie.

I too saw it as a kid. I remember my mom cringing a little at a couple of scenes because of their adult nature. Like the sex scene near the end.

It was a fun movie.
posted by KaizenSoze at 8:18 AM on December 7, 2018

Literally the only thing I remember about this movie is that the spaceship had herpes.
posted by kyrademon at 8:40 AM on December 7, 2018 [5 favorites]

Also, it occurs to me that the final conflict was resolved in effectively the same way as in Kado: The Right Answer. I don't know if that says more about Kado or Ice Pirates.
posted by charred husk at 8:55 AM on December 7, 2018

> Like the sex scene near the end.

The sex scene was actually an interesting concept, a holodeckish sim before TNG came up with the idea. Urich's character put the tape "Passion Storm" in and then made out with the princess while they were surrounded by waves and clouds, wind blew and rain fell, soaking both characters.
posted by Fukiyama at 9:11 AM on December 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

> kyrademon:
"Literally the only thing I remember about this movie is that the spaceship had herpes."

Space Herpes.
posted by Sphinx at 4:40 PM on December 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

I actually tried to watch this last night, but had to turn it off. It's funny because the men act like women now, and women suck! No, it isn't funny.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:51 AM on December 8, 2018

a holodeckish sim before TNG came up with the idea

Although Star Trek: The Animated Series had a similar concept as far back as 1974, including holographic projection and simulated weather effects. However, they were just using an already established sci-fi gimmick, one that made appearances in many sci-fi works of the era such as X-Men, Space Battleship Yamato, and Doctor Who. One notable early example is Ray Bradbury's 1950 short story The Veldt.
posted by radwolf76 at 6:45 AM on December 9, 2018

Radwolf76, that's all true. I thought about earlier precursors after I wrote that.

The interesting thing about that scene in the movie is how they are bathing in water while making out while living in a galaxy where water is scarce. In a serious sci-fi treatment of that concept, I think a holosim involving lots of water would be worth exploring rather than just having it be a prop to add to the steaminess of the sex scene.
posted by Fukiyama at 9:12 AM on December 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is one of the first movies I can recall seeing in theatres, So it's near and dear to my heart, despite being, well, bad in execution and terribly dated by its "edginess."

The conceit about there being an intergalactic water shortage is a weird one. But I still love the idea that robot tech, especially the cut-rate second-hand robot tech some pirates would be using, can be really shoddy.

I really like the idea of an alternative Ice Pirates movie, where instead of following the adventures of their cock-sure captain, it is instead a movie about two mid-ranking space pirates (Anjelica Huston and Ron Perlman!!!) trying to stay alive and make a quick buck.
posted by thecjm at 11:18 AM on December 10, 2018

Thecjim, have you ever posited that idea anywhere else? I swear I've read something like that before somewhere.
posted by Fukiyama at 5:02 PM on December 11, 2018

« Older The Good Place: Janet(s)...   |  Movie: Roma... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments