Thursday, November 27, 2014
THE PIRATES OF BLOOD RIVER
"I'm not a man of action. Perhaps I think too much to be brave."
Jason Standing (Andrew Kier), a magistrate at a 17th century Huguenot settlement on the isle of Devon, sends his own son Jonathon (Kerwin Mathews) to a penal colony for the alleged crime of adultery. Jason manages to escape and falls in with a group of French pirates run by a Captain LaRoche (Christopher Lee). Being assured that the pirates represent no danger to his people, Jonathon leads them back to Devon, and discovers you can't quite trust the word of a pirate. Other characters caught up in the action include Jonathon's sister Bess (Marla Landi), and her fella, Henry (Glenn Corbett of Homicidal). Michael Ripper and Oliver Reed [Paranoiac] play other pirates. This is a very handsome non-horror Hammer production, with Lee, unfortunately, being more subdued than usual in trying to avoid the stereotype of the fire-breathing pirate chief. There is an unconvincing attack by piranha, but Gary Hughes' score is a plus, as is the photography of Arthur Grant [The Terror of the Tongs]. Andrew Kier offers the most memorable performance.
Verdict: Not bad Hammer historical melodrama with an interesting cast. **1/2.