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undead attack in Pirates
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Pirates

cast: Jesse Jane, Carmen Luvana, Janine, Teagan Presley, Evan Stone

director: Joone

128 minutes (X) 2005
widescreen ratio 1.78:1
Digital Playground NTSC DVD Region 0 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Ian Shutter
Targeting the marketplace for adult entertainment, instead of merely aiming for the less ambitious porn-flick audience, this epic fantasy romp trails after mainstream Hollywood hits like Pirates Of The Caribbean, but injects plenty of hardcore content to the basic formula of maritime costume adventure, while retaining plenty of admirably jokey liners and a broad sense of humour, oh-arh, me hearties.

Shot cheaply yet very effectively with digital cameras, and featuring hundreds of visual effects (including a battle at sea, and a fairly impressive hordes of animated fighting skeletons), Pirates raises the bar for the American sex-movie industry, and it's no surprise that this film swept the boards at this year's X-Rated Critics Awards, scooping the top 10 trophies.

This may not be what you want to hear about but, yes, there's a genuine plot... concerning (though not inordinately concerned with) a newly-wed couple separated when pirates led by gratingly-voiced, evil seadog Victor Stagnetti (Tommy Gunn), attack their ship and interrupt a blissful honeymoon voyage. There's also a great deal of Pythonesque silliness with Captain Edward Reynolds (Evan Stone) providing the film's hammy highlights in both essential categories of effete dialogue and lowbrow comedy.

Some of the online reviews of Pirates have lamented this film's clone-style cast of blondes - surely plastic bimbos all, to a woman. That's unfortunate, maybe, but the likes of Jesse Jane, Carmen Luvana, Janine Lindemulder, are nonetheless stunning to look at, and their various lesbian scenes do crackle with a raw energy on occasion, certainly more so than the straight sex and average blowjobs, anyway. Starlet aesthetics aside, if there's a major fault with Pirates, it's the same problem that affects nearly every fresh slice of hardcore action: a distinct lack of sufficiently lurid imagination. Although weirdness is not, apparently, what Digital Playground (founded by director Joone) is interested in producing, there's nothing here to compare to the extreme work of 'artcore' maven Michael Ninn.

Heavily cut (over 94 minutes worth) by the cross-eyed BBFC, it goes without saying that the three-disc collector's edition import is the best way to see Pirates in the UK. In addition to the main feature (with its audio commentary), you get an extras' disc including items on the visual effects, some behind-the-scenes footage, plus a blooper reel, casting video, the obligatory photo gallery, biographies, and trailers. Of special note is the lavish gatefold packaging, and a HD-DVD version that will play on compatible machine or a suitable 2.5GHz PC drive.
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