HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
   
 
Newest Articles
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
   
 
  Swashbuckler Avast Ye Swabs!
Year: 1976
Director: James Goldstone
Stars: Robert Shaw, James Earl Jones, Peter Boyle, Geneviève Bujold, Beau Bridges, Geoffrey Holder, Avery Schreiber, Tom Clancy, Anjelica Huston, Bernard Behrens, Dorothy Tristan, Mark Baker, Kip Niven, Tom Fitzsimmons, Louisa Horton, Sid Haig, Pepe Serna
Genre: Action, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: In days of yore, the West Indies were ruled by Europeans who held the population in a vice-like grip, which made them very unpopular and the pirates who stood up to them quite the opposite. One such pirate was Red Ned Lynch (Robert Shaw) who would dress in scarlet and was the finest swordsman in the Caribbean, always with a cheery grin as befitting his roguish demeanour. One of the cohorts from his ship The Blarney Cock is Nick Debrett (James Earl Jones) who has been captured by the cruel governor Lord Durant (Peter Boyle) and sentenced to death; as he stands with the noose around his neck and Durant's underling Major Folly (Beau Bridges) about to give the word, a familiar sight rounds the coastline...

You'll be pleased to learn that Nick escapes his fate when Ned unleashes a barrage of cannonballs in the general direction of the military, because that's the kind of movie this was, one of those nostalgic items of the nineteen-seventies that sought to update a classic genre or even an individual work to a more modern style. In effect, this often meant rendering them a lot more crass, and so it was with Swashbuckler which dirtied up the faces of the celebrated Errol Flynn and Burt Lancaster pirate flicks then set sail on a course for... well, on a course for a complete flop, as pirate movies tended to be for a long time from this decade to the nineties.

You could look at Roman Polanski's costly Pirates or Renny Harlin's even more costly Cutthroat Island for more evidence of how the genre had been dragged down with what passed for humour and action, but was actually rough and crude no matter how much cash had been thrown at them - The Pirate Movie was its own entity - but it was Swashbuckler which had set the template adhered to with baffling faith until Johnny Depp pulled the whole kit and caboodle up out of the mire with his Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, adding a hefty dose of outright fantasy to fashion a series of samey but - finally! - lucrative blockbusters that reclaimed piracy from those previous underachievers (Captain Phillips was a horse of a different colour). And yet, this disappointment had its fans.

Maybe it's the near constant roars of laughter from the buccaneers that won them over, but if you like movies which sound as if three quarters of the cast had been dosed with generous nitrous oxide rations then you'd be well suited to appreciating Swashbuckler, which at least appears as though someone is having a good time. One of the most distinctive laughs in showbiz, the one belonging to Geoffrey Holder, was utilised as well, indicating if it was enough to make him chortle then it was only polite to join in, except that for much of the time it felt as if you were not in on the joke. One character barely cracking a smile was overthrown governor's daughter Jane Barnet, played by a dour Geneviève Bujold who is Shaw's reluctant love interest in the story, and also got to bless the movie with a nude swim because these were the days when studios could get away with such things in a PG-rated effort.

Other near the knuckle elements were based around Boyle's villain, for whom getting just about everything he wants but the pirate captain's head on a pole has apparently turned him into a jaded pervert. He surrounds himself with people he can either victimise, such as the Major, or those who can indulge his baser desires such as, er, having his back waxed while he delights in watching his lute player run blades attached to his fingers down the chest of a hapless victim. This aspect of sexual sadism is a very strange inclusion for a film you would assume was aimed at family audiences, they don't exactly go into pitiless detail but it is clear Durant and his coterie (including a silent Anjelica Huston) truly get off on being twisted, which adds a layer of texture to what might have been more effective if they decided to play this far more straightforward. The plot, such as it is, is relegated to excuses to get the cast carousing or fighting, and the swordplay is not bad at all given we can see the actors really are performing it, but that making merry wasn't too infectious. Repetitive music by John Addison.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1737 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: