Plot: A shipwreck has landed a crew of pirates in a coastal village, but the captain has plans to make the visit a short one. He has buried treasure in the area and once he can reclaim the riches, they can head back to the open seas in search of loot and of course, high adventure. But the village has changed since the treasure was hidden and now, it rests under a local church and as such, the pirates won’t have a simple path to get their hands on the loot. A run in with some soldiers deters the pirates at first, but soon the captain engineers a plan to remove the soldiers and once that happens, the villagers will be vulnerable. But unknown to the pirates, the church’s priest has already found the loot and dispersed it to help those in need. But what will become of the villagers when the pirates discover the treasure has been spent?
Entertainment Value: The Black Pirates is a rather basic, sometimes slow pirate romp, but it does have some bright spots. The story is adequate, with a nice twist on the buried treasure hunt and all, but there’s more talk than action in this one. The pace isn’t overly slow, but the pirate action is infrequent and so if you’re here for wild swashbuckling, you might be disappointed. The lush locales add a lot to the movie however, with beautiful backdrops that put you into a pirate kind of mindset and that atmosphere is one of the film’s main draws. The movie’s bold color palette dials up the natural views even more, so they’re quite impressive. A gorgeous landscape and locale works wonders to draw you in, especially given the pirate theme and all. The production values aren’t at epic levels, but costumes and such look fine.
The cast is passable, with Anthony Dexter as a capable pirate captain given plenty of chances to prove his ruthless nature. I don’t know if his turn here is all that memorable, but it is solid and fun to watch at times. He dials up the camp a little, which kicks up the entertainment, but not all that often. But the real draw here is Lon Chaney, Jr., who is handed a kind, gentle role that lets him show a different side to his craft, compared to his better known roles. His presence elevates the scenes he is in and the movie as a whole, so he was a wise choice and performs well here. Most of the supporting cast falls into the acceptable range, but no one really stands out. Some of the others involve include Martha Roth, Alfonso Bedoya, Robert Clarke, Victor Mendoza, and Toni Gerri. I wasn’t all that taken with The Black Pirates, but those in search of a simpler, old school pirate movie might find more to like here.