A Horror-Musical With Heart

If you're anything like me then your love of pirates goes beyond simply wearing an eye patch and yelling "AAARGH Matey!" to passersby. You probably dress like a pirate every single day. Recently, I enjoyed the horror-musical spectacular with the ingenious and ultra-clever name The Pirate Movie. This film is filled with scary pirates, young lovers, ineffectual policemen, rich daddies and memorable songs. Based on the Gilbert & Sullivan musical, The Pirates of Penzance, but stripped of all those messy plot details. Our tale begins in the present day when a hot pirate named Fred, played by multi-talented Christopher Atkins, is putting on a sword fight show for his beautiful young admirers. This scene gives you the first scream-out-loud moment when ugly-duckling Kristi McNichol lumbers into the frame, face all twisted up into a hungry grimace, sniffing out her next meal. Somehow Fred falls for the brainless zombie and invites her and some hot under-age friends to his private island, where he's hoping to put his pocket sword to good use. They leave without her because she's an ugly zombie. Proving, however, that she's more than just a brain eater, she rents her own sailboat to chase after them. On the way she encounters some choppy seas and is knocked out of the boat, unconscious. Moments later she awakes washed ashore on a lonely strip of beach. She's gloriously transformed into a beautiful island princess, complete with headband. Hot Kristi, as she’s rechristened, decides to stroll the beach and sing a song about love. This becomes a reoccurring theme throughout the movie. Meanwhile, in this suddenly new timeline, a plucky young Fred is aboard the Good Ship Lollipop. He's tired of the rape and pillage lifestyle and needs a change. You see, he's been a pirate since birth and all he wants is to find love. He sings a song of hope and yearning. Luckily, the rest of the pirates make him walk the plank. As your heart-rate decreases, he pops back into the frame in one of the film’s many, many effective jump scares. In a nutshell, the pirates need to get laid, so they head towards Hot Kristi and her 50 sisters who are dancing and singing in skimpy beachwear. The details are a little fuzzy, but basically the pirates want sex, Head Pirate wants the loot from the girls Rich Daddy, Fred wants Hot Kristi, and Hot Kristi wants to be a zombie again. Fred decides to help Rich Daddy fight the pirates so he can marry Hot Kristi. Head Pirate wants Fred back because he now realizes he's without a cabin boy. This puts Fred into a tough spot: marry Hot Kristi, or continue being Head Pirates best boy? He is understandably torn between the two. At this point he decides a poorly written song is in order and wanders out of frame. Will the young lovers get together? Will Head Pirate rape and pillage Rich Daddy? Will the pirates reveal their true nature in the full moon? Will Zombie Kristy finally find a worthy brain to feast on? With sword fights filled with homo-erotic imagery, Hot Kristi parading around in next to nothing, wussy-boy policemen, kick-ass pirates, intense horror sequences sandwiched between mind-numbing expository scenes, and songs that make you want to tear your ears off, this movie will answer all your questions and leave you hungering for more. Sharp songwriting, stellar vocals, inventive casting, clever dialogue, more screams per minute than Scream, and an over-abundance of the soft focus complete this timeless masterpiece. I give this movie a shrug and a solid B-.


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