It’s sad that my most pleasant surprise, movie-wise, came from an epic porn film re-edited for mass-market consumption. What is the world coming to? “Pirates”—“A Joone Film” (and I’m assuming that’s good) was the winner of countless AVN awards in 2005 and, according to its official website at www.piratesxxx.com “”Pirates” is a co-production between Digital Playground and Adam & Eve. The most comprehensive and ambitious adult production to date, “Pirates” is a monumental step towards the eminent merging of the entertainment industries.” For everyone’s edification, I will mention that it also marks Jesse Jane’s first girl-girl scene. The uncut movie was so successful that the producers decided to cut the hardcore scenes out and see if they could make a sexy “R-Rated” version for the masses. Oddly enough, it all works.
“Pirates” is a story about pirates and pirate hunters, and the search for some mystical artifact that will give its bearer great power. The man out to retrieve that artifact: Capt. Victor Stagnetti, proud owner of the worst pirate name in history. Hot on his trail (that phrase came out dirtier than originally planned) is famed pirate hunter Captain Edward Reynolds (a spot-on performance by Evan Stone). There’s also some stuff in there about a kidnapped fiancée and some lusty lady pirate queens. And like every great pirate movie, it features sword fights (both literal and euphemistic), broadside gunship battles (make an innuendo out of that one, I dare you!) and a huge army of reanimated skeletons (recreating Harryhausen’s famed “Jason and the Argonauts” climax in a way the master animator never envisioned, at least not in context, with lady pirates battling the bones with their breasts popping out!).
For as long as pornographic movies have existed, people have yearned for the fabled “porn with a plot”. If they yearned sincerely for this, or just to appease their girlfriends, “Pirates” is that fabled film. It’s practically convoluted, and with so many ladies with identical physical attributes (most of the leading actresses seem like they were spit out of the same factory), it’s hard to keep the main players straight. I lost track who James actually played, for instance, and can’t for the life of me remember which character “Jules” was, so the IMDB is no help to me there. Not being a porn aficionado, the landmarks, so to speak, aren’t going to help me either.
But “Pirates” has beautiful photography and lighting, elegant sets (some of the movie was filmed aboard the HMS Bounty, at The Pier in St. Petersburg, Florida, thanks to the producers lying to the entire city of St. Petersburg saying they were shooting a PG-13-style TV movie—a fact alone that bespeaks of the genius involved) and a terrific sense of humor about the whole thing. And, again, while I’m not an aficionado, I’m not stranger to skin flicks either, so I expected the acting to be godawful. Thus, I wasn’t disappointed, at least as far as the ladies were concerned. The leading men, however, were obviously having the time of their lives. At the risk of sounding queer for Stone, I have to reiterate that his swaggering Reynolds was the highlight of the movie. Gunn’s Stagnetti is an appropriately slimy villain. St. Croix’s Marco has a genius of a comedic scene. It was actually very satisfying, even with all the sex removed (and the editing is in no way distracting, leading me to wonder how the original, two-hours-plus version plays out with the sex intact).
The screener I received was the R-Rated version only, sans extras. There is a special, chocolate-coated “Special Edition” out there that boasts three discs, the “clean” version, the original “dirtier” version and a disc of special features.
I just refuse to admit that a porn movie was the highlight of my week. Honestly, I have a family to think of…