The Ice Pirates (1984)

Movie review coming on 7/28/2023

Film and Plot Synopsis

The film takes place in an alternate future where water is the most valuable substance in the galaxy. After sinister agents capture two space pirates and sells them into slavery, a princess buys them to help her find her father who disappeared looking for the mythical Seventh World; a planet filled with precious water.

‘The Ice Pirates’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
The Ice Pirates (1984)The Ice Pirates takes place in a distant future. Water is now so scarce that it is one of the most valuable substances around both as a commodity to barter with and as a currency in the form of ice cubes. The Templars of Mithra control the water supply, and will destroy any worlds that have natural water. This leaves the galaxy virtually absent of the life-giving liquid. Pirates now roam space raiding any ship so that they may loot its ice from the cargo holds to sell for profit.

Jason (Robert Urich) is one such person who leads a band of pirates on raid against a Templar cruiser. Besides ice, he discovers a beautiful princess named Karina (Mary Crosby) in a stasis pod. He decides to kidnap her as the pirates flee the Templars. When she wakes up, she’s none too pleased.

Jason and his pirates escape the ship, but the Templar’s are still hot on their tail. His crew splits up their ship, and go separate ways. Maida (Anjelica Huston) and Zeno (Ron Perlman) go one way while Roscoe (Michael D. Roberts) stays with Jason. Unfortunately, the Templars capture both Jason and Roscoe. Zorn (Jeremy West), leader of the Templars has them sent to Mithra to be sold into slavery.

He has the men thrown in with other captured criminals aboard the transport ship. It’s there they meet a thief named Killjoy (John Matuszak). Upon arrival to the planet, he steals a monk’s robe to wear and avoid everyone’s fate. Apparently the Templars fear God. Jason and Roscoe on the other hand, are sent off to be processed; part of which is castration.

Before the assembly line cuts off the boy’s boys, Princess Karina pops up out of nowhere to secretly save them. She then purchases them as her slaves, and puts them to work for her at a party later that night. At the party, the two spot Killjoy again who is now disguised as a robot. As the party progresses, Karina asks Jason to help her escape to the pirate moon called Zagora. Jason, Roscoe, Karina, and Killjoy, flee the party on a motorcycle, with the Templars in hot pursuit… again.

The group commandeers a ship where Karina reunites with her Nanny (Natalie Core). Jason plots a course for Zagora as Karina orders him to arrange a meeting with a rebel named Lanky Nibs (Robert Symonds). Jason balks at Karina’s plan to buy Lanky Nibs’ services using the water on the ship. However, when she demonstrates her seriousness to kill him if he doesn’t follow her command, he agrees.

Back on Mithra, Zorn lets the Supreme Commander (John Carradine) know that Karina and the pirates are aboard the ship… just as he planned. Back onboard Jason’s ship, a small creature hatches from a dehydrated egg. As it bites them and runs off, they learn from the ship’s manifest, that the creature is a space herpe; never a good sign!

Once they make it to Zagora, the pirates reunite with Zeno and Maida. They also learn that Lanky Nibs is hiding in Sweetwater which is about fifty miles outside of town. Jason and Karina convince Frog Lady (Marcia Lewis) to take them there in her land cruiser. She agrees because she wants Jason to ride her too.

However, when they arrive, Lanky Nibs’ appearance surprises Jason as he’s now an old man. Lanky explains to them that he aged twenty years in a time warp before warning Jason that someone most likely followed them. Lanky recognizes Karina’s similarities to her father, Vasco (Myron Natwick), and informs her that he found the Seventh World in the center of the galaxy. However, the Templars ambushed his ship and slaughtered everyone on board. He says if Vasco is still alive, an exiled royal named Wendon (Bruce Vilanch) is holding him captive in the Tri System.

Just then, a group of bounty hunters arrive to destroy the land cruiser. They kill Frog Lady as a chase begins. Jason is able to kill the bounty hunters, but not before they mortally wound Lanky. As he dies, he asks Jason to find the Seventh World. They return to their ship, and head off to the Tri System.

Once they land on Wendon’s planet, a group of Amazon-type female warriors on unicorns capture everyone but Roscoe. They take their prisoners to see Wendon, and discover that he’s just a head with a robotic body. Once Roscoe shows up and saves his comrades, they force Wendon to reveal where he is holding Vasco. However, this Vasco turns out to be a robot, but a clue in its programming leads Karina to a hologram recording of her father.

In this recording, Vasco gives coordinates to the location of the Seventh World, but they must not deviate from the course, or it will trap the ship in a time warp forever. It’s during this voyage that Jason and Karina make sweet, sweet love in her quarters.

The Templars have been watching all this time, and their battleship shows up to intercept the pirates. As it passes through the time warp, Zorn makes video contact to inform Karina that she has done exactly what he had hoped; leading them to her father and the Seventh World.

The battleship catches up to their ship, and they board it. There, a battle between Templar robots and pirate robots ensues. As this goes on, time accelerates and the princess learns she is pregnant. By the time Jason is able to break free from the fighting and reach Karina’s quarters, she has given birth to Jason’s son.

With the fight raging on, time accelerates further. Baby Jason becomes a little boy, and Nanny dies. As the pirates become elderly men, Zorn’s ageless robots begin to get the upper hand. Jason and Roscoe find themselves on their last legs as Baby Jason, now an adult, shows up to defeat the Templars.

This Jason embraces his aged parents as their ship exits the time warp. Everything returns to the moment when the acceleration started. Young Jason is gone, and the Templar battleship, which was one degree off course, finds itself now lost forever.

The Seventh World comes into view on their screens, and we see water covers three-fourths of the planet’s surface. The crew celebrates their arrival to planet Earth, but good luck drinking that nasty sea water. Salt and microplastic doesn’t go down well!

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MGM/UA Entertainment Company released The Ice Pirates on March 16, 1984. Stewart Raffill directed the film starring Robert Urich, Mary Crosby, Michael D. Roberts.

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