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Cabiin Boy - Blu-ray Review

5 beers

ONCE UPON A TIME there was a spoiled snob of a young man named Nathaniel Mayweather (Chris Elliott).  He wasn’t the nicest or the brightest of boys at school, but he got by well enough.  At least no adult, tired of his mouth, had killed him yet. 

Upon graduating from his Fancy Lad school, Nathaniel was to return to his rich father on the island of Hawaii but something happened along the way: his mouth.  The limo driver, after one too many rude comments from the spoiled youth, booted him from the car and Nathaniel had to walk the remaining miles to the ship!  How unfortunate!

But confusing a Fancy Lad, one with a silver spoon stuck so far stuck up his buttocks, is easily done and our poor virginal Nathaniel gets lost along the way.  He even breaks into a sweat! But that unfortunate event is just the beginning.  Suddenly, Nathaniel finds himself on the wrong boat and headed in the opposite direction. 

"Genius is often way ahead of its time and people have a way of changing their minds.  Some twenty plus years later from its debut, it is repeatedly being asked about for blu-ray release."

Getting things back on track for the Fancy Lad will involve honey from the lips of an angel, a sampling of the London broil, a pissed off ice demon, and the unexpected salvation of a powdered wig from the salty sea.

Cabin Boy, mixing elements of Captains Courageous and Ray Harryhausen, is the comedic tale of Nathanial’s resulting adventure upon the high seas aboard a fishing vessel instead of the cruise liner he was to take for his trip to Hawaii.  The fact that this story became a feature length fantasy in 1994 (especially after Tim Burton was offered Mars Attacks and walked from directing) is a miracle in and of itself.  And now, thanks to the fine efforts of Kino Lorber Studio Classics, this wacky flick finds its way onto blu-ray for all the fancy lads and ladies out there to own.

Featuring Twin PeaksRuss Tamblyn as a half man, half shark (but one complete gentleman), a blue-skinned, six-armed enchantress (Ann Magnuson) who schools sailors in the art of wooing women while her husband is at work, her giant-sized husband (Mike Starr) who then stamps out those same sailors, and a ghost (Andy Richter) who sees a tobacco spitting cupcake, the movie is obviously not quite ready for prime time.  It was doomed from the very beginning, fitting quite nicely into its current cult comedy status.  The film, much like “Weird Al” Yankovic’s UHF, deserves to be celebrated.{googleads}

Director Adam Resnick (stepping in after Burton went to Warner) and Chris Elliot, who worked together to make Get a Life the weird bike ride on the paperboy route of a 30-year-old it was, probably knew that Cabin Boy, written specifically for Burton, was not going to be appreciated while they were making the movie. So why not go ALL-IN on the weirdness?  With Ricki Lake as the figurehead for The Filthy Whore and a cameo from Dave Letterman as a sock monkey supplier, this flick sails gleefully into some rather silly waters, making it an unforgettable coming of age narrative as Nathanial learns the proper way to be a man and woo the marathon swimmer he “rescues” while at sea, Trina (Melora Walters).

But that doesn’t mean he has to stop annoying the crew aboard The Filthy Whore.  Upon his unexpected arrival aboard the ship, he accidentally kills the first mate, Kenny (Richter).  Captain Greybar (Ritch Brinkley), who had no use for the dimwitted first mate, has Skunk (Brian Doyle-Murray), Pappy (James Gannon) and Big Teddy (Brion James) to fall back on, but even they want to see the Fancy Lad earn his keep.  So he licks the deck clean and is dragged for nine days on a raft under the scorching sun.  That is when Tamblyn’s Chocki, a half man, half shark (but one complete gentleman) character, takes a liking to Nathanial.  And, with Chocki’s blessing, things begin to change for the Fancy Lad…and for us.  The immediately quotable lines!  The maritime madness! These pipes are clean!

The film’s fantasy element takes over and we find ourselves facing down a towering giant, scenes involving some woefully weak-looking (but hilarious) miniatures, cloud faces that battle against each other to confuse the ship’s navigation, and Elliot’s quirky charisma as our sole guiding force.  No wonder the fanbase for Cabin Boy, which it now has, was so slow to gather strength. 

Cabiin Boy - Blu-ray Review

At the time of its release, without rhyme or reason to its logic, you either loved or hated this movie.  Most hated it with a passion.  With its throwback look to studio shot backdrops, it definitely was a shock to the system.  It was fake looking to begin with and Elliot's odd characterization probably didn't help matters.  Genius is often way ahead of its time and people have a way of changing their minds.  Some twenty plus years later from its debut, it is repeatedly being asked about for blu-ray release. 

Thankfully, Cabin Boy and its knee-stockinged hero hasn’t changed at all.  Time to catch fish and stink all over again!


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Cabiin Boy - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
80 mins
: Adam Resnick
Adam Resnick
Chris Elliott, Ritch Brinkley, James Gammon
: Comedy | Adventure
He's Setting Sail On The High Seas... Without A Rudder, A Compass, Or A Clue!
Memorable Movie Quote: "I just don't get it! She seems totally uninterested in me, despite my smothering obsessiveness!"
Theatrical Distributor:
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Official Site:
Release Date:
January 7, 1994
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 18, 2018
Synopsis: After graduating from finishing school as a well-bred “Fancy Lad,” Nathanial Mayweather (Chris Elliott, There’s Something About Mary) prepares for a trip to Hawaii. But his plans are dashed when he mistakenly boards The Filthy Whore, a fishing boat manned by a ragtag crew of salty shipmates, and soon becomes the vessel’s hapless Cabin Boy. On his journey, he woos the feisty but beautiful Trina (Melora Walters, Magnolia) and encounters a host of eye-rubbing curiosities including an amiable shark man, a savage ice monster, a tobacco-chewing cupcake, and a six-armed seductress (Ann Magnuson, Love at Large) who relieves Nathanial of his virginity, much to the displeasure of her 30-foot salesman husband (Mike Starr, Dumb and Dumber).


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Cabiin Boy - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray
- September 28, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Kino Lorber presents Cabin Boy on 1080p, preserving the film’s original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.  The crisp image quality is the best you’re going to get with a film like this and, admittedly, even a bit better than expected.  Some of the non-studio shot scenes from the era haven’t made the HD transition quite as well, but the film looks better than it did in the theater.  Colors are perfect.  Blacks are solid.  Skin tones are detailed and appropriate.  The sound quality is equally impressive and is offered in a solid DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track.



  • There is a new audio commentary by star Chris Elliott and director Adam Resnick, moderated by writer Mike Sacks.  LISTEN TO IT.

Special Features:

To say that Kino Lorber gets this release right is an understatement.  Fans are REWARDED for their purchase.  The NEW on camera interviews with Elliot and Resnick are proof.  Watch them.  You won’t be disappointed.  They explain it all.

  • • New Interview with star Chris Elliott and director Adam Resnick
  • • Limited Edition booklet essay by film critic Nick Pinkerton
  • • Archival cast interviews featuring Chris Elliott, Ritch Brinkley, James Gammon, Brian Doyle-Murray, Brion James, Melora Walters and Russ Tamblyn
  • • Audition Tapes: Melora Walters and Andy Richter
  • • B-Roll Footage
  • • Edited outtakes
  • • Newly commissioned art by Jacob Phillips
  • • 5 TV spots
  • • Limited Edition O-Card
  • • Reversible Art
  • • Theatrical Trailer


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Cabiin Boy - Blu-ray Review