Spoofy-goofy comedy, otherworldly special effects, spectacular space creatures, bedraggled 'bots, and biceps-ripplnig swashbuckling highlight this cult fave. In the future, as the galaxy's water supply starts to run out... more », a band of pirates searches for a new water source.« less
If You Liked Mars Attacks! and Buckaroo Banzai ....
Howard Evans | Syracuse NY USA | 01/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the movie that killed Mary Crosby's career and nearly derailed Robert Urich's, Angelica Houston's and Ron Perlman's. It's one of those movies - like 1941 and Paint Your Wagon - that everyone knows is a total turkey, except for those who place what they see on the screen above what they read in the reviews. If you liked Mars Attacks! and Buckaroo Banzai, and laughed your ass off at Spaced Invaders and Killer Clowns from Outer Space, you'll love Ice Pirates.
The time is the distant future, where by far the most precious commodity in the galaxy is water. The idea that there were once ten planets whose surface was principally covered by water is considered a myth by most people, as is the story that the last surviving water planet was somehow removed to the unreachable center of the galaxy at the end of the galactic trade wars. The galaxy is ruled by your basic evil emperor (John Carradine) presiding over a trade oligarchy that controls all mining and sale of ice from asteroids and comets.
Robert Urich is Jason, leader of a band of ice pirates that includes Ron Perlman, John Matuzak and Michael D Roberts. Of course, the crew also prominently features the obligatory unbeatable master swordsman and latter-day samurai, but, in a blow for equality, the part is played to perfection by Angelica Houston. In the formulaic plot for outlaw space operas, our heroes attack an ice freighter, are captured, but escape with a princess (Mary Crosby) kidnapped by the evil emperor in tow. They rescue her, thread the perilous path to the center of the universe and the fabled tenth planet, and destroy the evil empire's stranglehold on the people.
Along the way, you are treated to some of film's oddest aliens, god-awful puns and excellent lampoons of space opera icons. It's full of bona fide toilet humor, from the pirates breaking through the hull of the ice freighter into a lavatory whose commode is occupied by a chickenman, to the standard reconditioning for outlaws and other deviants - castration by mechanical chompers, a lobotomy and a blond dye job, then sale as a soprano domestic slave.
Ice Pirates is the illegitimate child of Star Wars and Animal House. The jokes, both verbal and physical, range from the hackneyed to the truly brilliant - and most of both will have you rolling on the floor. It's a an hour-and-a-half of pure unadulterated fun. When I finally get the 6' x 8' screen for our light projector mounted, this will be one of the first movies we watch."
The precursor to Spaceballs, finally on DVD!
Michael Rook | Florida, land of humidity | 02/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Crisp and clean transfer... excellent quality... and finally in widescreen. The Ice Pirates was ahead of it's time, blending light Sci-Fi with comedy in a manner not seen again until Spaceballs. Aliens, robots, princesses, and time warps abound in this classic... where the humor isn't limited to bland jokes. The sets homage not only the classics of 60's SciFi... but the more serious 80's Science Fiction films. Anyone who considers themselves a SciFi buff should pick this one up, as no collection is complete without it's campy insanity. Sparse on the extras, but beggars can't be choosers. Those who've only seen the craptacular VHS copy owe this film another look on DVD...
For those who haven't seen it... the sum-up of the movie is this. Take Spaceballs, Princess Bride, and Alien... mix in a blender... throw in some 60's SciFi camp and cool robots... and there you go. Given it's been 21 years since the widescreen version has been available to the public... this is a must have Cult classic!"
Ice Pirates leave a warm feeling!
GARY KEYES | MONTCLAIR, NEW JERSEY United States | 06/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What a wonderful piece of sci-fi fun! I always loved this picture since the first time I saw it WAAAYYY back in '84. I have to admit, it's not for everybody. You really have to be in a class of science fiction fans who also enjoy movies like Sleeper or tv shows like Red Dwarf. My only regret about Ice Pirates was that the director didn't have a larger budget--then again... Urich, Roberts and Huston (The Space Samurai Chick!) really steal the show--check out the gut-funny scene when Ulrich and Roberts were about to lose their "manhood". Hilarious!! The story is ludicrous in itself, water has become more valuable than gold or silver. I always found it funny that these people have the ability of interstellar travel but they can't produce water. I give the movie four stars--even though it loooks really bad on tv--in anyevent, Ice Pirates makes me wish filmmakers would produce more sci-fi satires. Long Live Jason and his Ice Pirates!"
A good laugh without guilt.
Rebekah Veach | Columbia, MO USA | 09/09/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It isn't Star Wars but, hey, it isn't pretending to be! It's pure fun with a great cast of lovable characters (Angelica Houston and Ron Pearlman, just to mention a few). The actors are having fun and you can't help but join them. This is a movie to watch with a group of friends - sit back and enjoy the ride. Science fiction at it's silliest but entertaining and endearing all the same. And who couldn't love the hilarious costumes the actors (and actresses) wear without shame. It's pure cheese and...you'll love every minute."
Laughter In Space
Rebekah Veach | 02/07/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie may not be for every audience.... just those with imagination and unique tastes. The "Ice Pirates" is a hilarious look at surviving in the future- but contains many of today's sci-fi "predictions". From Disutopia to space travel this movie contains classic scifi themes. Will water one today be as scarce as we take it for granted these days? The whole essence of the movie relies on the crew's search and trade of H2O. This flick looks at the possibilities of an intriguing life in outer space. It's humor - espiecially during the time travel- adds a light touch to social conditions in the future. From royalty to the slave men (What an interesting idea..) this movie is a road map to how people will choose to evolve socially while we reahc higher standards as far as technology can carry us. Some day we may fight over such precious resources as water- but adventure and fantasy will always be around us. This movie is a classic 80's flick- a shoot-em-up with a sense of humor and wonder."