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The Golden Voyage of Sinbad Review

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Legendary sailor and adventurer Sinbad, comes into the position of tablet inscribed with the part of a map that was in the possession of the evil Koura who comes in hot pursuit. When it transpires the Vizier has another part of the map, Sinbad embarks on a quest to solve its riddle.

★★★★★

In the grand pantheon of Sinbad movies, those pleasurable Arabesques of silly beasts, big swords and scantily clad maidens, this lower league Ray Harryhausen stop-motion thriller squeezes between the better Eye Of The Tiger and the worse Seventh Voyage. Genre-freaks will lap up its lumpy fantasy, the snobbier cinephile amongst us will look aghast at its dreadful B-list cast and thin plotting (island A to city B to secret cave C), but still recognise that when it comes to creating a six-armed living statue of the goddess Kali, Harryhausen is your man. Although, he was coasting on past glories a bit here.

The prize for Sinbad and his loyal crew is a mystical fountain of youth guarded by anything Harryhausen can run his hand to (one eye centaurs, a griffin, a demonic homunculus (look it up!) and an enchanted ship’s figurehead). The special effects are, of course, spruce and well managed, maybe not a match for the CG wonders of today, but there remains a transporting glee to such lightheaded adventures.

Although, the actors look a bit askance at the demands of sword-fighting modelwork foes, but then John Philip Law (of Barbarella fame) and Caroline Munro were clearly cast for their cheekbones not their intuition. At best, Tom Baker bellows with panto-villainy as requisite evil sorcerer Koura. The limits are very evident, but the cheerful hubris to this kind of curly fairy-tale will always find a welcome home.

Swords and silly special effects in this enjoyable adventure