Monstervision's Joe Bob Briggs Looks At

Ice Pirates

By Joe Bob Briggs
Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, Texas

May 11, 1984

Remember when the first Billy Jack came out? Remember what happened?
KAPLOOEY. Bombola City. Lasted five minutes.
But then some jerk in Duluth, Minnesota, got some of his buddies together and watched it 17,000 times in a row to try to jack up the box-office numbers, and it worked. Hippie kung-fu. Couldn't get enough of it. Nobody even minded that Tom Laughlin's wife was ugly as a piece of oatmeal cookie left up on the dashboard for three weeks. Everybody and his bird-dog wanted to beat up some New Meskins for Peace. I have to admit, I got into it myself and twisted the arms off several New Meskins over in Roswell. Course, I didn't give a hang about Peace, I just didn't like New Meskins.
Next thing that happens, "Chain Saw." Remember?
About as popular as a fat kid doing can-openers in the pool.

Then some mas murderers over in Tupelo started watching it, and the entire state of New Jersey went to see it, and pretty soon Chain Saw Massacre was the best teenage cannibal flick in the history of barbecue.

Listen up now, because I'm about to make a fairly heavy point.
It took the drive-ins to make America sit up and say, "Billy Who?"
It took the drive-ins to make America sit up and say, "Chainsaw what?"
It took the drive-ins to make America sit up and say, "What the hell's a drive-in?"

And it's happening again. It's happening right now. There's a flick that's in the drive-ins now be cause it made about 20 cents in the hardtops. Some of the perverts and missing links in the audience already know what I'm talking about.

I'm talking Ice Pirates.
Now before I go into this, I need to point out that I'm on triple extended probation because of some misunderstandings we had the last two weeks which I can't talk about because if I do then my fellow Babtist will sue us for about seven billion dollars and I wouldn't like that because the Babtist have already built enough giant Kleenex boxes with steeples and I don't want to be financing any more of those. But I'll say this. Because of various kinds of Communist pressure, the high sheriffs took a Weed Eater to my column again last week, which is why you probly couldn't figure out the part in the "Hardbodies" review about my hard body. Some people just have filthy minds. I'm so disgusted I'm not even gonna mention what the high sheriffs threatened to do to my gazebos if I try to sneak "Crotch Shots on Parade" back into the newpaper. They think I made that up. They don't believe it's a gay musical comedy in New York City. I had to promise I wouldn't bring it up again. "Crotch Shots on Parade," that is. And I probly won't.

Anyway, where do you start with an epic like "Ice Pirates"? How about a little robot kung fu? How about some "Babes of Bagdad" roller derby? (Remember when Paulette Goddard put on a steel-reinforced Maidenform and 19 pieces of costume jewelry and made like Colonel Khadafy's dancing girl? That was "Babes of Bagdad.") How about Mary Crosby acting like she's trying to rembember her lines from the last episode of "Starsky and Hutch." As you can see, when you've got "Ice Pirates." you've got it all.

Okay, here goes. "Ice Pirates" is about a bunch of guys in "Captain from Tortuga" costumes who go bouncing around the universe trying to find ice cubes so they can carry 'em back to their high-and-dry galaxy, only it's not that easy because some meanies called the Templars own all the fresh-water supplies and the Templars have a robot army that wants to put Captain Robert Urich in jail because they hate the way he grins through the side of his mouth on "Vegas." Anyhow, the Templars capture Robert Urich, the head beefcake pirate, and Mary Crosby, the princess who likes to shop at Frederick's of Hollywood, and a bunch of their friends and they all go to the Water Planet and get put on the human-body assembly line where they're tied on a conveyor belt and all these gears start carving their clothes off and then old coots with razor blades start shaving off their whiskers and then this enormous bear-claw steel trap gets 'em between the legs and turns 'em into white-haired gay hairdressers in spaghetti-strap T-shirts who work in the Water Plantet sewage plant.

I was personally looking forward to Robert Urich losing his gazebos and turning into a white-haired gay hairdresser in a spaghetti-strap T-shirt, but at the last minute the horny evil Water Planer queen saves him and his sidekick and lets the two of 'em go to a punk-rock party where they escape after they program this robot to speak jive and then swipe some giant Big Wheels and start popping wheelies.

Next thing, John Caradine stands inside something that looks like the Barbarella love tube and says evil stuff. Big John is the Head Templar.

Next thing, Robert Urich discovers a Space Herpy on his ship, and it looks pretty disgusting, but he chooses not to tell anyone about it, which is his right as a human being.

Then the thirsty pirates go to a planet called Sweetwater which is inhabited by midgets and bikers who haven't taken a shower since 1936. One of the bikers makes the mistake of talking to Anjelica Huston while she's dressed up like Mick Jagger and has to slash his head off with a bullwhip and then put another guy's eye out because he doesn't sound "sincere." I know the feeling.

Then the pirates go to Praire Dog Town and get chased around by the world's largest four-wheel drive vehicle while it crushes a bunch of pet burros and baby javelinas, and then they go back to the spaceship and get grossed out because the Space Herpy jumps out of their Thanksgiving turkey, and they're attacked by bikini-clad Samurai women on horseback, and then a Negro Tarzan swoops down and cuts a king's head off, and then Mary Crosby and Rober Urich go into the bedroom and big Bob says, "I think I should take my saber out," and then ther's a robot gang fight and Mary Crosby gets pregnant and I guess that's enough plot because I don't want to give away the story.

We're talking the most underrated and unappreciated Outer Space Bestiality and Mindless Violence Flick of the last two months.
Four complete breasts and quite a few see-throughs.
One gallon blood.
Four motor vehicle chases.
Human kung fu,
robot fu,
bimbo fu.
Seven beasts including Drive-In Academy Award nominations for the Space Herpy and the Frog Lady.
Fourteen dead bodies.
Three heads roll.
Eye rolls.
Four stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.


Joe Bob reminds you that there is not a single drive-in remaining in the island nation of Fiji. Without eternal vigilance, it could happen hre. To discuss the meaning of life with Joe Bob, or to find out how to retrofit a '68 Hemi Cuda to evade auto-emission control standards, write Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 225445, Dallas, Texas 75222.


Dear Joe Bob:
As a woman of many hyphens, I am disgusted by your use of subliminal suggestion in your name as an insult to all womankind. As any bright young pearl-of-the-party is sure to pick up on, your name conjures the most tasteless perversion when the "J" and "B" are transposed. Please don't print this letter as I do not wish to call undue attention to your subtle derogatory hint. As for telling any of my fellow sisters about it, my lips are sealed.
Lucy Hopgood-Hilary-Stiman
Moody, California

Dear Luce:
I obviously have no idea what you're talking about, 'cause what does Boe Bob Jriggs mean?
Please be more specific about your perversions in the future, no mattter whether you deliver them in writing or orally.


Dear J.B.B --
Help! I ordered one of your T-shirts but when I tried it on I had trouble breathing; if you know what I mean and I think you do. Would you trade with me for a large? Believe me I will wear your T-shirt with pride. Why I even have one of your stickers. It's in it's proper place on my bumper.
If there are no more T-shirts, just send it back. One of my lesser endowed sisters can wear it.
Keep up the good work!
Diana Garza
Grand Prairie, TX

Dear Diana:
You obviously need one of our Joe Bob designer models for that special woman. It looks exactly the same except on the front it says "See the Grand Tetons."


To the Editor:
My local newspaper has recently begun to run your column, "Joe Bob goes to the drive-in". In doing so both my local paper and the Dallas Times Herald have gone down considerably in my estimation. People of Dallas, don't you find this column to be trash? It belongs in a porn publication. The column derides Southerners and women, fat people and women, and men and women. I depends on a fascination with violence and degradation to entertain. It portrays pain and suffering, deliberately inflicted, as an acceptable and kinky pastime.

I've always liked Dallas. I don't know who's got it worse now; readers in Dallas, whose newspaper created this pitiful column, or the readers in Raleigh, whose newspaper thought it was such a great idea they'd print it too. I tell you what, you write your editor and I'll write mine. Otherwise, I guess we're just stuck with Joe Bob and his gospel of hatred. Good Luck.
Margie Rhodes
Raleigh, N.C.

Dear Marge:
Preciate it. I always liked Raleigh, too. Except for the fat people, of course.


Dear Joe Bob:
It really turns my stomach to see what a pitiful excuse for a human being you are. Does your entire life revolve around complete degredation??
Well, if so, then I, too, am headed for the pits. Every Friday night I race home from work and grab your thoroughly disgusting excuse for a column. By day, I'm a respectable, married secretary. My husband can't understand my fixation with your sick humor, and neither can I. I work with a lawyer who is coming down with the same symptoms as I, we can't get enough of you, Joe Bob!!
C. Stockard
P.S. Did you ever see Night of the Living Dead? We're talking upchuck city!

Dear C:
You forgot to mention what you are by night.
1984 Joe Bob Briggs All Rights Reserved. For more of Joe Bob's pre-TNT reviews in Grapevine, Texas, go to his Drive-In Reviews Archive over yonder at Joe Bob

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Elvis has left the building, and he took the ice pirates with him.