Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Pieces of eight

Film news site Dark Horizons reports that provided that federal government tax incentives are accepted, the next installment in Disney's blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise may be shot in Australia.

We can only hope that the end result is more successful than the last pirate movie made in Australia, 1982's The Pirate Movie. It starred Christopher Atkins, fresh from his success in The Blue Lagoon, who has now retired from acting to become a businessman, and Kristy McNichol, a prolific actress who has never become a big star. This musical comedy parody version of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance was a critical and commercial failure upon release.

Since then it has inexplicably developed a loyal fan base through television, VHS and DVD releases. It used famous Victorian landmarks including the 19th century cargo ship, the Polly Woodside, Werribee Park Mansion, and the Loch Ard Gorge and Port Campbell on the Great Ocean Road.

Aside from Atkins and McNichol, most of the cast consisted of Australian actors, such as Bill Kerr, who died in August 2014, Rhonda Burchmore, Ted Hamilton, and Garry McDonald. The two American stars were given top billing in order to secure international finance and distribution, not that it did their careers or the box office haul of the movie much good.

Some movies are so bad as to be unwatchable, but The Pirate Movie is entertaining for its schlock value, and it's the sort of thing you'd watch to pass the time if the weather is bad outside, and if you want to understand why the Australian film industry is at times an embarrassment.

Pirate Movie.jpg
"Pirate Movie" by Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

1 comment:

Scottyboy said...

How could we forget this film?

I was trying to remember when, in 1982 was The Pirate Movie released?

I seem to recall seeing posters for The Pirate Movie up inside our old local twin cinemas, around the time we were taken to see the re release of the original Star Wars. According to IMDb, this was in April 1982.