The Pirate Movie – Fireworks of Cheese

In early August 1982, a few witnesses reported seeing W.S. Gilbert’s tombstone violently shaking, and soon police arrived to take a look. When they opened the coffin, they discovered that apparently, Mr Gilbert had been turning around in his grave uncontrollably. It was soon established that the cause for this behaviour was the recently premiered “Pirate Movie”, based on his “Pirates of Penzance”. Based quite loosely, by the by – both in terms of story and soundtrack. While a half of the songs are still recognisable as the airs penned by G&S, the other half of the soundtrack was a blissfully and at the same time almost painfully cheesy eighties pop. In face, pretty much every aspect of the film yells “Eighties!”

Now, the reason I’m rather hesitant to voice any recommendations is – I have always been mad about most kinds of cheese – brie, feta, cheddar, too… And I can say the same about cinematic cheese. So, as a cheese lover that I am, I felt the “Pirate Movie” was a precious gift and enjoyed every second of this gem – the catchy tunes, the numerous sexual jokes and innuendoes (“You’ll be hung for it!” – “I already am hung!”), the sheer infantility and madness of the entire concept and its execution and the Deus Ex Machina finale including some of cinema’s most beloved characters, and of course the delightful eighties feeling.

But hey, you’re a G&S buff, right? If you on some occasion have caught yourself enjoying films like, well, I don’t know, “Howard the Duck” or something, you simply owe it to yourself to give it a try! Mind you, though – the UK DVD is only in 4:3 fullscreen format – if you feel you really need widescreen, you’ll have to get the US disc.