Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sky Pirates (1986)


Every time I've been mentioning this movie for the last years I've been calling it "Sky Raiders", but that's of course totally wrong. Sky Pirates has never been called Sky Raiders and never will - but I stand by my opinion that it's a better title! It's also known as Dakota Harris, and I guess the word raiders and that name gives you a clue of what this really is! Yeah, a clockpure (as we say in Sweden) rip-off on Indiana Jones! But I love rip-offs, I adore them. Sometimes I prefer rip-offs before the original movie (for example, Holocaust 2000 vs The Omen 1 and 2). Directed by Colin Egglestone and starring John Hargreaves - which means this is not only a rip-off, it's an Ozploitation-rip off! Even better!

Dakota Harris (John Hargreaves) is a maverick Air force Lieutenant pilot and adventurer who during a flight gets sucked into a time slip, together with his passengers. Why? Because one soldier takes a too close look at a secret, ancient artefact they have in the storage room. It's one piece of three, an ancient tablet stolen from the Easter Island! After coming back he's set in front of a court martial and one of the witnesses aboard the plan, a greedy military, lies and tells them he's crazy. But that's just because he himself want to go back and find the treasure and get all the power! Soon Harris is involved in a grand adventure, and with him is the cocky Melanie Mitchell (Meredith Phillips), daughter of a lost scientist involved in the mystery!

Yes, it's everything you want from an Indiana Jones-rip off! It has still a quite decent budget, or at least uses the small budget well, wild stunts, one-liners, evil militaries and a plot that very slightly resembles Indiana Jones and The Crystal Skull. VERY slightly. Hardly at all, but certain themes IS there. I've always loved when low budget filmmakers just don't give a shit about the budget and try to do the movie as close as possible to the original vision. Sky Pirates is one of those and it has it's fair share (in the last half) of very Indiana Jones-inspired action sequences - for example some impressive stunts on an airplane and people fighting on top of a truck on a dusty road. The ending has a very similar detail also, but I won't spoil it for you.

It's so much about this movie that is Indiana Jones, even the music, so it felt like the bastard-cousin from the country to Indy. And that's not bad. The script by John D. Lamond (Nightmares) is witty and fun and skips the logic and focuses on the entertainment. John Hargreaves is a great hero, very stiff - but hey, that's the middle name of Harrison Ford. He died just ten years after this movie, in AIDS. A damn shame!

Let me tell you what makes rip-offs sometimes better than the original: they take away all the crap and focuses on what the audience like. So gone are boring scenes with character development, the violence can often be a bit bloodier and not so much crappy love-scenes. I'm not saying Sky Pirates is a better movie than ANY of the Indiana Jones flicks, but it's still a good adventure movie with good action, charming actors and a chocolate box of the best scenes we want to see in a movie like this - depending on the budget of course.

It's worth watching, so fuck those whining comments on IMDB and see it with your own eyes!

6 comments:

Jesper said...

OK, now I gotta get my hands on this one AND Holocaust 2000 that I totally missed for some unexplainable reason! Great review as always! Btw your fbgroup acting strange...nothing can be seen on your wall except for the people who joined...

Ninja Dixon said...

Why thank you! Both are excellent rip-offs!

I've deactivated myself at FB, I do that from time to time. When I'm back it will look normal :)

Anonymous said...

"very stiff - but hey, that's the middle name of Harrison Ford."

Come on now...ninja....Ford was kinda loose and easy as Han Solo...?

Nice review....

Ninja Dixon said...

Nah, stiff like a dead tree! But that's nothing bad! :)

Anonymous said...

Ninja: Well...I disagree with you.

Ninja Dixon said...

Alright :)