The Ice Pirates (1984)




FACT:* Burt Rutan’s “high altitude separation” design for SpaceShipOne was inspired by the scene in which the Ice Pirates’ raiding ship splits into three parts to evade Templar forces.

*Completely made up


The only thing that I can remember about Ice Pirates is space herpes.


Is that a repurposed Gorn suit? (It’s hard to tell from the clip, I blame the pixels.)


I haven’t even seen it and I remember that.


a third party transmitted space herpes to you


The robots were wonderful spoofs of everyone elses over the years, and had quirky individual personalities. The cast was chewing scenery right and left, and what a marvelous collection of characters that cast was. The climactic fight in a fast-aging time hole was great stuff. A guilty pleasure film.

Would make a good two-fer with “Robot Jox”…


Hear that sound? ::pauses for breath:: That’s me, blowing my own horn. Glad to see Ice Pirates getting some love.

(In a year that saw Ghostbusters, The Terminator, 2010, The Search for Spock, Buckaroo Bonzai, and Starman released, why did we spend time with Ice Pirates? Because that shake wasn’t gonna smoke itself!)


“Good men. Like Jason, Space Pirate, And Explorer of the Cosmos.”


This was one of my favorite movies at the Betamax rental store. I remember it vividly and even find myself occasionally thinking about specific scenes to this very day


I have this on DVD. Favorite thing about this movie: Bruce Valanche cameo.


You had me at “kung-fu robots.”


Yes, but Robot Jox was a lot more straight. A better pair could be made with Stuart Gordon’s more gonzo “Space Truckers”


And I saw that bad boy in the theater.


That’s why I thought this film is still funny: because Bruce Vilanch is timeless.

Also the climactic battle in which the cast ages and becomes increasingly decrepit but continues fighting. That was one of so many memorable moments.


I remember that and at least half a dozen other scenes that made me wish I weren’t seeing it with my mom!


Hell yes. Feeling some weird 80’s space herpe nostalgia flare up right now.


Had to look this one up, because I thought it was in 3D. Apparently I was conflating it with Space Hunters, a movie of similar quality and seriousness I’d also seen back then.


So…was this originally supposed to be a comedy or it become one unintentionally?


Thank you so much. I had vague half-memories of the trailers for this, but not enough to find it. I wanted to see it but never did. I also had it confused with Space Raiders, which I did see, back before I knew who Roger Corman was.