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14:33 PM PST

Famed ship sails in skin flick

Filmmakers dupe vessel owners, use replica for racy porn movie instead of family pirate film

--The Chronicle Herald

LUNENBURG, Nova Scotia - This quaint seaside town has many connections to the film industry: Jim Carrey, Ashley Judd, Denis Leary and Tom Selleck have all filmed here. But now there's a new movie connection - one the town might not be so anxious to advertise.

HMS Bounty was built by the Smith and Rhuland shipyard in Lunenburg in 1960 for MGM's Mutiny on the Bounty starring Marlon Brando. Now it's in a movie that may more aptly be called Booty on the Bounty because it's an award-winning hard-core porn flick.

While there were no sex acts performed on the majestic ship during filming, it was the set for the filming of plot and action sequences for Pirates, said Jennifer Parramore, director of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Film Commission.

"There was . . . no sex, there was no fornication," Ms. Parramore said of the scenes of lusty wenches and swashbuckling pirates filmed on the deck of the Bounty.

"When you cast your nets, you never know what you're going to catch," said Lunenburg's mayor and Presbyterian minister, Laurence Mawhinney.

But he said he sees little connection to Lunenburg and the porn industry other than through a ship that was built here 46 years ago.

Ms. Parramore said the Bounty, the film commission and the city were all duped by the filmmakers, who told them they were making a Disney-type pirate film for families. "The whole thing is so darned stupid it just makes you want to spit," Ms. Parramore said.

The owners of the Bounty bluntly refused to talk about the issue. Margaret Ramsey, executive director of New York-based Tall Ship Bounty Organization LLC, refused to do an interview, saying: "We're not interested in promoting it. They've already made enough money off of it."

The Bounty's home port is Battleship Cove, Mass., but it winters in Florida, where it is involved in promotions and tours. The ship, a replica built by the Lunenburg shipyard from the 200-year-old drawings of the original ship, has been rented for filmmaking before, most recently to Disney for the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

So it was no great surprise when a company called Brain Zoo said it was interested in renting the ship to film a pirate movie.

Brain Zoo has among its clients Disney, Warner Bros. Television Network and Fox Kids. Ms. Parramore said Brain Zoo approached the film commission, the Bounty's owners and the manager of the city-owned Pier district to ask about renting space to film its movie.

She said a company representative told them the movie would be a comedy with special effects and sword fighting. Brain Zoo's website, with its pictures of Shrek and Kermit the Frog, raised no alarm bells, so the Pier signed a contract to rent a room for the company to store its equipment and the Bounty signed a rental agreement for filming.

Little did they know that Brain Zoo has business ties to adult film company Digital Playground, which co-produced Pirates.

"They lied to us," said Ms. Parramore.

"They weren't truthful at all. The porno film guys knew they were pulling a fast one. They were not truthful with anybody."

Ms. Parramore said she's not one to pass judgment and says her friends find the whole thing hysterical, but she said she does think the local paper took a "holier than thou attitude."

She said the St. Petersburg Times did the story after staff members watching the filming on the Bounty recognized some of the actors as well-known porn stars.

As for the two-hour film, it has done very well for itself. Pirates, which was filmed in high definition, won 11 awards earlier this year at the Adult Video News Awards, including best video feature, best DVD and best actress, actor and supporting actor in a video as well as best special effects and best director.


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