Posted: January 18, 2006 in Reviews Archive

for file 23 Magazine


When I go shopping for DVDs, I can’t help but think about the Golden Age of Video back in the 80’s when Mom & Pop video stores dotted our streets. Movies that would have never seen the light of day became direct to video because the stores were obviously hurting for product.

I’m kind of seeing the same thing today; I’m seeing DVDs of TV shows I watched last month, Troma films, and other low budget schlock.

You can really tell when somebody lost their ass on a film when Borders has the DVD for $9.99! I’m sure if it wasn’t for the box-office record that Tim Burton has, CABIN BOY would never have been produced; Chris Elliott doesn’t exactly get people camping out in front of the theaters like STAR WARS.

Which is too bad because CABIN BOY is actually a fun movie despite its low budget.

It contains elements of KIDNAPPED, MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, JASON & THE ARGONAUTS, mixed with the same cynical pessimistic humor that I loved in GET A LIFE.

Everything seems to happen in some weird time warp where people wear period piece costumes while you see modern things like microwave ovens and limousines(!) Chris Elliott stars as Nathanial Mayweather, a spoiled rotten rich kid enrolled in some high-falutin’ finishing school for ?fancy lads? who gets on the wrong boat thinking he’s going on a cruise to Hawaii.

Instead he gets on a fishing boat with a bunch of crusty fishermen who torment him and give him the worst jobs on the boat.

The cast includes Brian Doyle-Murray and the late Brion James as two of the fishermen, and the rest of the cast is pretty good despite the low demands of the script.

Look quick and you’ll also spot Bob Elliott towards the end, as well as David Letterman in a brief cameo at the beginning. Andy Richter plays the cabin boy Chris replaces when he falls off the boat early in the film. Rikki Lake plays the thankless role of the ships’ wooden figurehead, The Filthy Whore.

This film also features bizarre puppets ( a talking, spitting cupcake) stop-motion animated monsters, ( a strange Ice Man ) and Russ Tamblyn as a weird half-man, half-shark.

Needless to say, if you’re in the mood for something different, you could do a lot worse than picking up a copy of CABIN BOY.


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