Plot: In a bleak future, a drastic water shortage has made the liquid the most valuable resource around. This essential element is under the control of the ruthless Templars of Mithra however, who maintain that iron grip on the supply chain. But a few brave souls attempt to liberate the ice hoarded by the templars, groups known as ice pirates. Jason (Robert Urich) leads one of the more colorful bands of pirates and this squad goes head on with the Templar freighters. On one such pillaging excursion, Jason happens upon a young woman in suspended animation, a beautiful girl who turns out to be an actual princess. After a quick peek under her shirt, he decides to rescue the princess, after all it could lead to a handsome reward. But as it happens, her presence simply lands them in one troublesome situation after another. Soon the pirates and the princess are on the hunt for her missing father, not to mention a fabled lost world that holds enough water to quench all thirsts. Can Jason and Princess Karina (Mary Crosby) lead the pirates to the promised land?
Entertainment Value: Depending on your perspective, The Ice Pirates is either a wild, over the top sci/fi movie that is fun on purpose, or a wild, over the top sci/fi movie that is fun despite itself. I can’t imagine viewers would miss the obvious humor, but some seem to think this was intended as quasi-serious space opera. I mean, the movie kicks off with a scene where the pirates interrupt an alien on the toilet, so whoever thought this was a serious movie, adjust your glasses. But regardless of how you look at things, The Ice Pirates is indeed a wild, over sci/fi movie that plays on the tropes of the genre and does so with great enthusiasm. I wouldn’t call it slapstick, but it comes close at times and aims with a broad scope when it comes to the humor. I think the movie has a definite charm and blends sci/fi, swashbuckling, and medieval elements together in a bumpy, but fun to watch package. The cast plays into the humor and that yields some fun performances, with Robert Urich as the roguish pirate, Mary Crosby as the tough princess, and a host of quirky characters to back them up, not the least of which include an amorous frog creature and Bruce Vilanch with a cyborg body. The sense of humor won’t land with all viewers, but the production design is terrific and for those who like sci/fi with a parody driven edge, The Ice Pirates is a fun, brisk watch.
No nakedness. Just Urich being hit on by the aforementioned horny amphibian alien. Not much blood either, but we do have some sword fights and one includes a memorable decapitation. The scene is played for humor, you know, one of those humorous head removals. While not much blood creeps in, the movie does have some fun production design elements. The costumes, sets, and various aliens look quite cool and detailed, though some of the aliens look a little low end. Even so, the world within the movie was well crafted and looks pretty cool. The dialogue is irreverent and mostly fun, with the kind of one liners and broad humor you’d expect. Urich has good chemistry with Mary Crosby, so their exchanges work well, while Urich also produces some great scenes with Michael D. Roberts. But even more humorous moments play out with the supporting roles, which are peppered with colorful characters. The movie has some craziness, such as the Vilanchbot, the horny frog woman, and the general offbeat sense of humor at times, but never feels too far removed from the space opera roots.
Overall Insanity: 3/10