HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Prayer Before Dawn, A
Ragewar
Lowlife
Fashionista
Elizabeth Harvest
Moulin Rouge!
Free Solo
Mifune: The Last Samurai
Stan and Ollie
Girl in the Spider's Web, The
Up from the Depths
Guardians of the Tomb
November Man, The
Overlord
Sebastiane
Lifechanger
Circle of Two
Hell Fest
Oklahoma!
Nutcracker and the Four Realms, The
Vigilante Force
Haunting of Sharon Tate, The
Paradox
Peppermint
Sharkwater Extinction
Isn't It Romantic
Sink the Bismarck!
Possum
Submergence
Slaughterhouse Rulez
   
 
Newest Articles
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
   
 
  Pop Pirates Have We Got A Video?Buy this film here.
Year: 1984
Director: Jack Grossman
Stars: George Sweeney, Roger Daltrey, Joe Melia, Frieda Knorr, Allan Love, Robert Morgan, Christopher Beeny, P.P. Arnold, Jon Finch, Simon Rouse, Bill Treacher, Spencer Chandler, Ricky Simmonds, Stephen Bird, Patrick Pereira, Calvin Samuel
Genre: Thriller, Adventure
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Pirates are an aspiring pop band of kids who believe they could get their big break if they win this talent contest, and the producer (Roger Daltrey) who has organised the event is very encouraging, though rather strict when it comes to the staging, leaving the boys under no illusions that they must be serious about their ambitions. The lead guitarist is Paul (Spencer Chandler), and he has supplied all the instruments, but the way things are going it is their roadie Michael (Ricky Simmonds) who is proving more popular with the other members, and he can sing and play as well. However, Paul has a dark secret: he is affording the equipment because he is helping his Uncle Stewart (George Sweeney) with his illegal videotaping operation, a lucrative endeavour of real life piracy...

The Children's Film Foundation was winding down by the time Pop Pirates was made, and their eventual passing into movie history was becoming more and more plain as it was little more than a retread of former glories, taking the all-too-well-worn premise of kids foiling criminals and applying the trappings of 1984 to it - not the George Orwell novel, but the year. That meant the central band played a form of light reggae pop, much as chart toppers Musical Youth had employed which had given rise to the possibility that kids could make successful records that were not novelties (although that was debatable), and gladdened the hearts of children across the country who harboured a desire to make it as pop stars, just like their idols (who granted were not likely to be Musical Youth, but Adam Ant or Culture Club, the latter getting a namecheck here).

Uncle Stewart, that ruddy dastard, has a videotaping set up in his barge on a nearby river, and Paul assists, indeed the story was more interested in putting a spanner in the works of his operation than it was in The Pirates winning that contest, as if it was a foregone conclusion and therefore would not have been worth spending too much time with. Big-haired Simmonds was soon to be best known among Britain's schoolchildren for appearing in the BBC kids' soap opera Grange Hill, which lent this a sliver of glamour by association that Roger Daltrey likely did not enjoy with the youth of the mid-eighties, especially when this showed up on Children's BBC, broadcast at the height of Simmonds' television fame. The other band members had no such professional luck, and you did wonder what brought former movie star Jon Finch to show up in a two-line cameo as a coastguard: doing a favour or all he was able to get back then?

As for that plot, in a curiously mundane manner Michael was kidnapped by Uncle Stewart when he discovers the criminal activity on the barge, imprisoned in a cargo hold with his pet dog Seamus, which proved to be a mistake when he used both the dog and his Walkman to relay an SOS to his pals. Yes, a Walkman, there were strained attempts at bringing the CFF up to date, and the fact this revolved less around the talent contest and more around illegal tapes was indicative of what they believed would appeal to the target audience, though in keeping with the title it wasn't copes of Cannibal Holocaust or The Evil Dead that were duplicated, it was promos of the bands of the day - the sort of thing that could safely be recorded off the telly, you would have thought, putting into question precisely how much profit could be made by the black market. There was even a variation on falling in the water for the end, in that it was a deliberate dive to escape by Paul rather than someone pushing him in. What they should have done was ditch the crime angle and played up the pop angle, but the foundation was evidently too stuck in its ways to change so significantly. Music by Allan Love and Gary Shail.

[The BFI have released the Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box, which includes the following films:

Peril for the Guy
Cup Fever
Mr Horatio Knibbles
Anoop and the Elephant
The Zoo Robbery
The Battle of Billy's Pond
One Hour to Zero
4D Special Agents
Pop Pirates

Also included are a special feature length documentary The Children's Film Foundation Story, an interview with Veteran CFF writer John Tully, a booklet, and three shorts from the 1950s, all with heroic hounds.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1016 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: