Sunday, May 6, 2007

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad


The 7th Voyage of Sinbad; fantasy/ adventure, USA, 1958; D: Nathan Juran, S: Kerwin Mathews, Torin Thatcher, Kathryn Grant

Sinbad, his girlfriend Parisa and his sea crew come with their ship to an isolated island, Collossa. There they are being attacked by a cyclops and stumble upon the sorcerer Sokurah, whom they take with them. They return to Baghdad, but Sokurah lost his magic lamp back on the island so he shrinks Parisa to the size of a mouse and convinces Sinbad it was the work of evil forces whose curse can only be broken with the help of an antidote that can be made out of the egg of a two-headed eagle that can only be found on Collossa. the crew sails back to the island, but are once again attacked by the cyclops. It turns out Sokurah is an evil sorcerer who wants the magic lamp to rule the world. Still, Sinbad manages to bring Parisa back to normal and escape with his crew from the island, while Sokurah gets squashed by his dragon.

Adventure film "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" is another one in the row that owes everything to special effects by Ray Harryhausen, without which it would have been pure trash without any interesting spark. Harryhausen's effects actually are dated, but they have a fascinating dosis of the surreal and charm to them. Unlike most films where he worked on, this one at least has a more solid character, Sinbad, which is a welcomed balance to the much more intriguing monsters in the story. The biggest flaw is the cheap B script: do the protagonists really have to kill every single fantasy creature that they meet? Because of that malignity and stupidity the viewer sometimes has more sympathy with the monsters. The other flaw is the film's sometimes too bizarre nature - for instance, the sequence where Sokurah decides to "entertain" the palace by transforming a servant into a snake-woman with multiple arms simply seems too creepy and campy. The exciting sequences, like the one where the cyclops looses his patience and starts killing drunk sailors with a tree he pulled out, elevate somewhat the mediocre story. The cyclops are among the highlights of the film, because they are so bizarre that they truly seem out of this world.

Grade:++

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