Barry Mahon is magic. And madness, too.
After volunteering for the Canadian Royal Air Force before America entered World War II, then getting shot down, imprisoned and escaping Stalag Luft III before getting captured again, then being saved by Patton’s 3rd Army and then becoming Errol Flynn’s personal pilot and manager, Mahon’s life was already crazy. Then he started making movies like Rocket Attack U.S.A., Cuban Rebel Girls and Fanny Hill Meets Dr. Erotico.
That’s all before Barry set up shop at Dania, Florida’s Pirates World theme park and started throwing concerts when he wasn’t making some of the most ludicrous movies — and I mean that as a compliment — ever made, like The Wonderful Land of Oz and perhaps his finest world, Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny.
I’ve been hunting for this movie, where a pirate’s ghost convinces the staff of the park to put on a free concert, for literally years and years. I found it. And it pleases me to no end. In fact, it is my happening and it freaks me out.
Local bands Grit, New Society and the Fantasy are happy to play for free, but Iron Butterfly is mad that this is a free show and because they aren’t getting paid, they storm off. Luckily, a rich hippy pays them to play “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida.” I have no idea what we’re supposed to learn from this.
Facts: There are more dune buggies in this than a Filipino post-apocalyptic film. There’s a garbage truck that says, “You are what you eat.” “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is sixteen minutes long and was probably better with a fistful of narcotics. The pirate also disappears when this show is over.
I have no idea why this was made or who it was made for. I can only dream that I could have gone to Pirates World because everyone — Bowie, Sabbath, Alice Cooper, The Doors, Led Zep and Frank Zappa to name a few — played there. I hate theme parks but I love this place. Other than dying at Action Park in a blaze of blood, guts and thunder, it’s the only place of its ilk that I will ever be able to stomach.
You can watch this on YouTube.