May 3rd, 2004

cass groovy

On the other hand...

You can have a premise and cast that just sounds like it ought to be terrific, and have the movie suck rocks. Let me lay this one on you: SWASHBUCKLER.

Here's how great this movie should have been: Robert Shaw stars as a pirate captain.

Robert Shaw. Pirate captain. Those four words alone guarantee I'll watch it. I love pirate movies. Hell, I've even seen CUTTHROAT ISLAND more than once... anyway. Robert Shaw is a pirate. (And this is in '76, with him fresh off of JAWS.)

His sidekick is James Earl Jones.

The love interest is a young Genevieve Bujold. Comic relief? A young Beau Bridges. Oh, and among the villain's assorted hangers-on? A young Anjelica Huston.

This movie should have been great. It should have been greater than great. And instead, it sucks like Mega-Maid before the Schwartz flips her switch to "blow." There's one really good stunt -- Shaw's character drives a cart over a cliff and falls, cart, horses, and all, into the water; they really did it, and it's fabulous -- but after that, the movie goes right back to stinking.

I feel sorrow at the memory. Must purge it. Off to the comic store!