Tuesday, December 31, 2013

An empty head is better than an empty bed!

As hard as it is opening real presents, it turns out opening fake ones can be even more difficult. See, the fine people at the Cinematic Katzenjammer have put together a kickass blogathon known as The CK's Not So Secret Santa Review Swap. Shunning my life of solitude and bridge-dwelling, I decided to participate this year and swap a flick with some (currently) anonymous blogger. While I brought the cringe-worthy mindf--k Cat People remake [review] to the party, I left with a film much more straightforward and less ridiculous. The only problem? I couldn't watch it.

Ned Lynch: The world's tallest pirate.
Seeing 1976's Swashbuckler for the first time almost forty years after its release was a trip. Having never really been a fan of pirate epics, I'm not quite sure what to say. Basically, it's like talking to someone who is completely shitfaced, while being completely sober yourself. Even though it's kind of funny and interesting, eventually you start to think get me the f--k outta here.

But like talking to that drunk bastard, there's a certain amount of charm in the whole experience, once you get beyond how awkward it all is. Seeing the (basically shirtless) duo of Robert Shaw and James Earl Jones talk shit and kick ass is a good time, no matter what. Shaw, who appears half-cocked the whole time, is impossibly charismatic as the somewhat long-in-the-tooth Captain Ned Lynch. Both he and his character seem like they could give a f--k. And as for James Earl Jones, I was pretty stoked to actually see him do things, as opposed to simply marveling at that legendary voice. He rules as Nick, Ned's forever loyal wingman.

While the story is simple and serves the action well, what really struck me was the classic image of the pirate. These dudes come off completely admirable and honorable despite constantly stealing shit and banging whores whenever they get the chance. There's no apologizing, no self-reflection, just a carefree attitude and bizarre moral code. It's not going to make me seek out more pirate flicks or dress up like Pirate Steve from Dodgeball or anything, but damned if it wasn't at least slightly alluring at times.

But it's not all big-tittied wenches and doubloons, is it? No. Occasionally, these pirates have to mix it up, and in Swashbuckler, the enemy is a young Frank Barone Peter Doyle, playing one of the slimiest douches I've seen in years, Lord Durant. Lord Durant is fed up with incompetence and is basically going to kill anyone who isn't a creepy mandolin-playing homosexual. This includes young Jane's dad, a low ranking official who failed to have a certain deep-voiced black pirate executed. Normally, most pirates wouldn't be rushing to the aid of the guy who was supposed to kill them, but when that guy has a hot daughter, well...you know how pirates like booty.

Anyway, all this intrigue sets up some pretty rousing fisticuffs and sword-play, all set to that whimsical isn't this fun? score that every old film seems to come with. I don't know if I would whole-heartedly recommend Swashbuckler, but it might be just silly enough to make you crack a smile or two.

Along those lines, let's check in with the peg-legged duo of the Yays and Boos, shall we? They're favorite pirate is still One-Eyed Willie. Mine? Andy Van Slyke.


  • The ship is called The Blarney Cock. 
  • Which means when Jane wants to return to shore, she really wants off the Cock.
  • Screw Santa, these motherf--kers are jolly.
  • We, currently, as a society, are huge bitches. In 1976, you could hold a knife to someone's balls, yell I will cut them off! and still get a PG rating, easy-peasy.
  • You could also go skinny dipping. And show off your fine ass.
  • Sid Haig. Though credited as 'Bald Pirate' young Haig is all kinds of awesome. Especially enjoyed his singing number with that random whore.
  • Speaking of the ladies, that was one wild whore party. Boats N' Hoes indeed.
  • A young Beau Bridges shows up and he is jacked.
  • Remember that scene in Desperado where Danny Trejo shows up and starts throwing knives at everyone? Well, I'm pretty sure that was nod to the badass Cudjo in Swashbuckler.
  • Bitch Fight! Not since Airplane have I seen two ladies kick the shit out of each other for so long. It's pretty sweet, let me tell you. And ridiculous.
  • Also sweet and ridiculous, is this insane jump that Nick lands. Pretty sure he used the Force.
  • The end of the banana chase sequence was wild. Yeah, the banana chase.
  • MOVIE RULE #44: Clever use of a monkey is pure movie magic.
  • The final duel is pretty epic. I mean, these dudes go at it for like, ten minutes. That's a lot of buckles to be swashed.
  • And finally, the way old movies end! In less than twenty seconds, we get the final kill (a thrown sword through the heart), a kiss and CREDITS. Just. Like. That. Goodbye, see you next time.
  • Okay, Pirates. What the Hell is with the frilly clothes, the chesthair and such? You guys too cool for buttons?
  • I think they caught a black one! Worst opening line ever?
  • Why are Lord's always so f--king weird? Lord Durant can't just take a bath, can he? No. He has to have strong black men to one side, creepy mandolin player to the other, and a slew of hot ass bitches with their tits out everywhere else? What the Hell is this? A waste of taxpayer money for damn sure. I mean, who needs a slew?
  • Speaking of wasteful, Lord Durant has three sparring partners? What? And why does he have to kill the Filipino one? Shit ain't right.
  • That creepy mandolin guy is ridiculous. Not only does he look like he wants to suck off everyone in the room, but he also dons these weird feminine Wolverine claws to start what I would guess is the worst tickle fight ever. (he gets his, though!)
  • Jane. She's pretty, she's refined, but she also kills a dude as soon as she's given the chance. Damn girl. You should ease into your murderous treachery. You don't want to burn yourself out.
  • There are no regular people on the entire island. There are soldiers. There are pirates. There are dirty vagrants looking to fight. That's it.
  • Beau Bridges character's name is Major Folly. Ha! Get it? Ugh.
  • And finally, how old is Robert Shaw? Jeez. I liked the guy and all, but I couldn't help but think I was watching a slightly younger version of my grandfather saunter around stabbing fools. That part was kind of amusing. All the grabassing with a much younger Jane? Eh....not so much!
Thanks to the blogger that threw this one my way. It was a pretty sweet Christmas present, even though I scrambled and eventually had to sign up for Netflix (yesterday) so I could finally watch the flick. It's not your fault though, as I really did ask Santa for a Netflix membership, to which (s)he flatly denied me. I should have just stolen it and ran shirtless through the streets. I should have headed to a tavern then celebrated with some drunken, big-breasted woman later that night. You know, be more like a pirate.

Sounds like I've got my New Years resolution all figured out.


  1. This doesn't look like a movie I'm likely to watch, but this post is priceless!

    1. It's charmingly ridiculous.

      And I think your plate is full enough that it's cool if you pass on The Grandest Pirate Movie Ever!

      Yeah, I feel confident about that.

  2. This was my gift, I'm glad that you ultimately enjoyed it. I loved your commentary and the asides. In 1976 PG was all there was between Disney and The Exorcist. Best closing three sentences ever. I also dig the Yaaaay Boooo format for the comments.

    1. Haha! Thanks for the gift. When I looked at the poster I was thinking oh, shit. what I have I done? but by the end it was definitely worth checking it out. I thank you for all the references I will make in the future that no one will ever understand.

      Ah, old school PG. What a happy time we lived in, before that bastard PG-13 showed up and ruined everything.

      Thanks for stopping by, and again, thanks for the flick. Oh, and Netflix, too. Wouldn't have got it otherwise.

  3. This review is a wonderful treat, and while I haven't seen the film you received, I want to now. Thanks for participating in our Secret Santa Review Swap!

    1. Whoa, thanks. I was psyched to participate (even though I gifted a real turd to Jay @ Life Vs. Film), and will hopefully get the chance again.


  4. Hilarious review! I have never even heard of this movie until and I thought I was a James Earl Jones fan. Thanks for this.

    1. Thanks, Wendell. I guess I would have considered myself a James Earl Jones, though the only flicks that come to mind that he's actually in, would be The Sandlot and Coming to America. Which, coincidentally, are both all kinds of awesome.

  5. Thanks for participating in the Secret Santa blog a thong.

    You once again made a shitty sounding film sound less shitty. Said Haig and a Step Brothers reference make this sound pretty amazing.

    1. Haha. I'm just bummed I missed it in July. This whole thing is a very cool idea, and I was glad to participate even if my 'gift' was a crushing disappointment.

      Haig. That guy legitimately scares me. Kind of like eating white dog shit...

  6. This sounds awesome. Thanks for having fun with it and making the review a great read. Glad you enjoyed it for the most part!

    1. Nick, thanks for letting me jump in. I would NEVER have watched this movie without your blog-a- thon. Good stuff.

      As silly as it was, this flick's heart was in the right place. I can respect that.