HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
PG: Psycho Goreman
Maeve
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
   
 
Newest Articles
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
   
 
  Corsairs, The Swash yer buckle
Year: 1971
Director: Ferdinando Baldi
Stars: Dean Reed, Anabella Incontrera, Paca Galbadón, Sal Borgese, Alberto de Mendoza, Tomás Blanco, Florinda Chico, Tito Garcia, Paolo Gozlino, Pedro Luis Lozano, Leslie Bailey, José Luis Chinchilla
Genre: Action, Historical, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: After the death of her father, the viceroy of the Isle of East Verde in the Caribbean, Princess Isabella (Anabella Incontrera) faces invasion from her scheming cousin the Duke of Bart. Luckily, a band of heroic pirates led by the dashing Alan Drake (Dean Reed) are shipwrecked on the island and pledge their support in return for a handsome reward. Not that they receive the warmest welcome at first. The princess’ courtiers snootily dismiss the colourful crew, including deaf acrobat Aranja (Sal Borgese), feisty female swashbuckler Margarita (Paca Galbadón), magician Gregor, strongman Dooby, and little cabin boy Tom, as “filthy clowns from a circus.” Meanwhile, Princess Isabella herself is less than amused when Drake spurns her romantic advances. Nevertheless, the plucky pirates set sail to retrieve the stolen contract detailing Isabella’s right to rule and the treasure the Duke plans to use to fund his armada. At the last minute, Gregor brings an extra passenger onboard, a mysterious blonde woman who looks awfully familiar…

Though Hollywood had almost given up making swashbuckling adventure films by the early Seventies, the genre was still popular across Europe resulting in lively low-budget romps like The Corsairs. Italian filmmakers seemed particularly fond of movies wherein teams of acrobats, jugglers and other circus performers pull off some caper or other, resulting in unique hybrids with the superhero, spaghetti western, crime and even war genres. Here, Sal Borgese is cast as a deaf gymnast as opposed to the mute acrobat character he usually played in Three Fantastic Supermen (1967) and its many sequels, while the flamboyant Gregor wields an array of gadgets like gas-spurting gloves. It is a zany, fast-paced comic strip movie, like so many Italian productions made around this period.

Although the plot manages the dual feat of being convoluted and one-dimensional, The Corsairs surfs on a wave of good-natured bonhomie, abetted by a lively cast of colourful eccentrics and likeable turns from stars Dean Reed and Anabella Incontrera. In a novel twist, it is the outwardly haughty princess that pursues the pirate, repeatedly trying to get him into bed by donning an array of disguises that the otherwise smart Captain Drake somehow fails to see through. Often cast as slinky lipstick lesbians in such giallo horror-thrillers as The Case of the Bloody Iris (1971) and Crimes of the Black Cat (1972), Incontrera makes a nicely offbeat heroine and flashes her shapely legs during a spirited gypsy dance number.

Leading man Dean Reed is a fascinating cult film figure. An American singer-songwriter who was more popular in South America and Eastern Europe than in his native land. Reed’s left-leaning politics led to him emigrating to East Germany where he starred in a number of films. He penned screenplays for Blood Brothers (1975) - a western that upheld Native American rights - and the popular TV series The Singer (1978), and also wrote, directed and composed music for Sing, Cowboy, Sing (1981), a Marxist musical western aimed at children. Though some of his political views seemed naïve, like his defence of the Berlin wall and support of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Reed became a noted pacifist and outspoken campaigner until his suspicious death by drowning in 1986, which some claim was suicide and others maintain was murder. His life was the subject of several documentaries, including The Red Elvis (2007), while Tom Hanks is rumoured to be developing a biopic.

One winning aspect of The Corsairs that may have appealed to Reed is its spirit of inclusiveness. In contrast to the stuffy, self-involved aristocrats, the pirates are a warm, caring family, happily comprised of different races and sexes. They also welcome a pair of dwarfs into the group, not as crass comic relief sidekicks, but as steadfast, capable heroes in their own right. Heck, even young Tom gets to shoot guns and swig alcohol, though parents may justifiably balk at such antics. Ferdinando Baldi, better known for his many spaghetti westerns that range from the good (Texas Adios (1966)), the bad (Blindman (1971)) and the bizarre (Get Mean (1975)), keeps the knockabout brawls and swordfights coming, most of which are performed by the ever-athletic Borgese. There are likeable gags including sexist Dooby losing an arm-wrestling match to a barmaid, a punch-up between two dwarfs who discover they are long-lost brothers, and a silly bit where Blackie serenades his friends that inexplicably turns into a full-on Phil Spector production. Also fun is the bouncy score by Nico Fidenco that gives the pirates an excuse to strut heroically.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3226 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: