When you make a break from your routine, especially due to any sort of medical concerns, you need to find something to do; if only to distract yourself. For me, oddly enough, the free time created by staying away from the computer meant more time to revisit movies I haven't seen in, well, years at least. Funny thing about revisiting old movies is you tend to get nostalgic. Nostalgia makes you do strange things, like look through old boxes of videotapes; tapes I totally forgot existed. Such was the case with. .
Sinbad of the Seven Seas. How I ever forgot this movie existed I'll never know for it's one amazing genre bending production. It's an Arabian Nights Fantasy, but it's also sort of sword-and-sorcery, yet Lou Ferrigno is the star and, well, that kind of makes it a "muscleman" movie too.
There are sadly few really good low budget sword-and-sorcery movies and even fewer Arabian Nights fantasy offerings, yet there are a whole lot of bad ones. Of the better known movies, such as the Deathstalker and Ator series, they have developed cult followings primarily because they present the best distracting special effect G-d created; nudity. Or at least a myriad of scantily clad babes. Even Iron Warrior, despite its PG-13 rating, manages to squeeze in a bevy of scantily clad babes with brief glimpse of semi nudity.
Sinbad of the 7 Seas is full of color, costumes, and great locations. It lacks the nudity but the characters are about as stereotypical fantasy archetypes as you can get. There's the mighty Viking warrior, Confucius wisdom saying spewing Chinese Samurai warrior, a cowardly bald Greek cook, a cowardly dwarf thief named (brace yourself) Poochi, and even prince charming to round out Sinbad's crew. Sadly the movie lacks scantily clad babes. It manages to look better than Iron Warrior, which is saying something, alas this movie packs in a whole lot of silly without any sexy.
Then again the entire story plays out as a sort of fractured fairy tale told to a young girl as a bedtime story. I'm not kidding! It's like the producers and director realized they had filmed utter crap and decided, in a last gasp effort to save the movie (and hopefully regain some of their investment) in post to shot some framing exposition using day players. If you look really close at the scene with the girl and her mother you'll notice they aren't even in a proper bedroom it's just some set with a sheet thrown over the rear wall. It's unbelievable, but then so is the story.
Ostensibly based on the story The Thousand-And-Second Tale Of Scheherazade by Edgar Allen Poe, at least he's credited/blamed at the beginning of the movie for this insane opus, what follows is a B-movie spectacle that's spectacularly bad. But bad in the best of ways. Sinbad of the 7 Seas is the kind of nonsensical farce you can watch with your mother and father, younger cousins, next-door neighbor, or the ghosts of Christmas past haunting your attic. Sinbad of the 7 Seas is so bad it's hilarious.
For starters Jaffar, that ever scheming villain, has seized power by means of his necromantic, er, wizardly, ah, sorcerous, uhm. . . He's taken these four magic gems, see, gems whose magic kept Basra prosperous and the people happy. (In other words a politician's wet dream.) Enter Sinbad who, being the hero of the piece, has to go on a quest to find the four gems; which Jaffar has used his magic to hide in, you guessed it, four distant corners of the world.
Good thing Sinbad has a boat, eh? I wont even ask why, if Jaffar has that kind of power, he's worried about four magic gems or, for that matter, why he never makes Sinbad disappear by sending him to some distant land. This isn't a thinking man's movie so check your brain at the door, the writer's obviously did!
Along the way Sinbad ties snakes into a rope to escape a catacomb-like dungeon, encounters a supposedly sex starved Amazon Queen who couldn't perform a erotic dance if her life depended on it, a rock creature that apparently survived its encounter with Hercules in Hercules and the Moonmen, a slime creature that looks like it escaped from Flesh Gordon 2, a nutty professor guy who invented a hot air balloon that apparently was the inspiration for the nutty professor guy who invented a hot air balloon in Kevin Costner's Waterworld, and a mysterious land of the dead type place populated by animated medieval suits of armor.
It's preposterous, it's ludicrous, it's chock full of nuts! In other words Sinbad of the 7 Seas is the sort of flick bad movie night was invented for. This is a must see. So rent it, invite some friends over, tap a keg, throw some popcorn into the kettle, and sit down to bask in a so-bad-it's good B-movie like you've never seen before!
Copyright © C. Demetrius Morgan
[This is an archived review. Orginally posted here.]