When an evil sorceress with an eye on the throne transforms the heir to the throne in a baboon, it is up to heroic Sinbad to mount a voyage to find the brilliant Melanthius, who may know of a cure.
A better-than-you-remember conclusion to Ray Harryhausen’s trilogy of Sinbad adventures. The plot remains just a reworking of the satisfyingly dumb formula — Sinbad must travel to a remote location to fix a curse set by the film’s villain (here Margaret Whiting’s howlingly wicked Zenobia who, with a bit of magical mishap, ends up with a webbed foot). But as long as the cast are charismatic (Patrick Wayne, son of John, makes for a robust enough Sinbad) and Harryhausen is on his game (he is) you can sit back and let the stop-motion roll all the way to Hyperborea, the mystical and, inevitably, lost land in the far north surrounded by impenetrable fields of ice (and a giant walrus, naturally).
Patrick Troughton has fun as a hammy alchemist who determines, with a load of jabber about Aristotle, that to save the monkey-prince (one of Harrryhausen’s finest stop-motions given how much interaction it has with the actors) they must stick him in a Hyperborean fountain when the elements are in alignment or something. It’s more varied and epic in scale than its predecessors (good locations including an early call for familiar city-in-a-cliff Petra), and Harryhausen (who co-produces and conceived the storyline) delights in conjuring up a golden minotaur (the Minoton!), a gang of evil skeletons (Ray’s party piece), giant wasps, a creepy troglodyte, and the, ever-so slightly disappointing, but all-important sabre-toothed tiger for the finale. And for boys who are just starting to lose interest in ancient curses and mythical beasties, Jane Seymour and Taryn Power managed to lose large proportions of their clothing along the way.
The third in the Harryhausentrilogy is a lot more fun than anyone ever remembers