Oddness compounded with oddness is the order of the day with this painfully 80’s pop-culture pirate flick (and I say that with nothing but love for the 80’s.) Based on the Pirates of Penzance, we follow the adventures of Frederic (Christopher Atkins) and Mabel (Kristi McNichol) – Frederic as he tries to escape his pirate foster-family, and Mabel as she tries to concoct a scheme to marry off her dozen or so older sisters, thus freeing herself to marry Frederic. It sounds simple enough, but their plans are consistently stalled by a relentless barrage of keystone cops, cartoon fish, and ruby-red codpieces. Dated pop-culture references abound, including an Indiana Jones “cameo,” and even a blatant nod at Star Wars as Frederic uses the force to levitate his glowing green light-rapier (no, I’m not kidding.) The opening sequence, featuring an 80’s style pirate rock song paired with visuals from a classic pirate film(The Black Swan, if rumor serves,) might lead you to believe this will actually be a decent film, but Atkins’ stilted acting, McNichol’s mullet, and a virtual blitzkreig of sexual innuendo delivered with all the taste and subtlety of your average 12-year old will quickly convince you otherwise.
This really, truly, is NOT a good movie. But still, it needs to be seen to be believed, and it’s possible you might even enjoy it. It’s silly, it’s campy. The cast and crew were clearly aware of its ludicrous nature as they constantly poke fun at themselves, and while its still difficult to laugh with them, rather than at them, you’ll laugh just the same.