BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Ice Pirates (1984) - Blu-ray Review

  • Movie Review

  • Film Details

  • Blu-ray Review

  • Trailer

The Ice Pirates - Blu-ray Review

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4 beersWarner Bros – as part of their Archive Collection – simply does not realize or appreciate some of the lesser-known gems they have on their hands. With the bare-boned blu-ray release of The Ice Pirates, their misunderstanding of this science fiction comedy is as audible as it was when it was originally released by MGM. They pulled a similar stunt last year with the blu-ray release of Ladyhawke and have, once again, chosen this month to dump another B-movie without the proper fanfare it deserves.

The good news is that the fans were the driving force behind the release of this goofy flick.  I guess then that we should be happy that it was released in HD at all, right? Without a serious bone in its body, The Ice Pirates is a large-sized silly romp through outer space that is more tongue-in-cheek and sexualized than people probably realized when it was released. Over the years, a dedicated cult following has grown around it but, unsurprisingly, many still don't know exactly what this one is all about.

Starring Spenser: For Hire's Robert Urich and Mary Crosby (Bing's only daughter), the space comedy is about a motley gang of space pirates who stumble upon a slumbering princess who they decide to kidnap just for the hell of it. You know, the things they used to do before their lives became all about H2O.  You see, in the future, all water is controlled by The Templars of Mithra and those evil stooges (who look like Knights of some galactic round table) have turned it into a commodity by drying up everyone else's supply to it.

In order to survive the trying times of the dried-out future, Jason (Urich) and Maida (Anjelica Huston), Zeno (Ron Perlman), and Roscoe (Michael D. Roberts) must loot ice in order to stay financially solvent. When the kidnapped princess - who teases and flirts her way through one misadventure after another - opens up about her missing father and an intergalactic mystery that could potentially end their water woes, the pirates and their wonky robots agree to help defeat the Supreme Commander (John Carradine) and upend their very lives.

Released in 1984, The Ice Pirates, directed by Stewart Raffill (Krull's co-writer), is yet another example of just how successfully FUN small movies were back before they were expected to be immediate blockbusters. Long live the 1980s!  Ah, to live back in the era before fanboys ruled (and ruined) everything by blathering about it on the internet. It was the era before spoilers and, sometimes, I wish we could go back there and openly embrace these low-rent films.  I'm not suggesting The Ice Pirates wasn't a financial success (it was) but that's not the sole purpose behind this loopy movie that challenges audiences with a time-hopping finale that is both hilarious and ridiculous all at the same time.

With shoddy production values (arguably on purpose) and a soaring sense of B-movie misadventure, the science fiction film never fails to amaze me with what it achieves (and gets away with) in its brief running time. It winks, nudges, and cheerily nods at its audience and pushes the envelope with taste and jokes and harmless humor. Today's lower-budgeted affairs could learn something from a film like this because there's a lot of enjoyment to be had when films are simply fun-sized like this one. Just ask former football player John Matuszak who appears in the film as a monk in order to avoid castration...

See depravity in zero gravity and get wet with The Ice Pirates.

The Ice Pirates - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
91 mins
Director
: Stewart Raffill
Writer:
Stewart Raffill, Stanford Sherman
Cast:
Robert Urich, Mary Crosby, Michael D. Roberts
Genre
: Action | Adventure
Tagline:
You have to be there to see it.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I was cuttin' 'em to pieces 10 minutes ago."
Distributor:
MGM/UA Entertainment Company
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 16, 1984
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 19, 2016
Synopsis: 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 who disappeared when he found information dangerous to the rulers. A real Space Opera with sword fights, explosions, fighting robots, monsters, bar fights and time warps.

The Ice Pirates - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - January 29, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: Region-free

The 1080p transfer provided here is absolutely excellent. Black levels are sharp and skin tones are accurate. In early scenes, the picture quality is so fine and detailed that it serves as an excellent example for just how impressive 1080p HD images can look with older film stock. With that in mind, it's important to note that some of the special effects on display in the film simply don't hold up to the test of time. At times, the screen effects and other aspects of the film just look like garbage, although it's rarely the fault of the transfer. The film was originally released in mono and the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 reproduces that nicely.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

There is a trailer. It's an original narrated one and its tagline, which I copped for the ending of my review, is hilarious.