"I'm warning you! You are forcing me to carry out my most de
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 12/15/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Someone should have told Lou Ferrigno and Cannon pictures the whole Italian made `Sword and Sandals' film genre petered out about 25 years prior to them making this film titled Sinbad and the Seven Seas (1989). Actually, Mr. Ferrigno had a couple of releases prior to this one in the 1980s, with Hercules (1983) and Hercules II (1985), both made, I'm guessing, with the intent to capitalize on the success of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the film Conan the Barbarian (1982), for better or worse. Co-directed by Enzo G. Castellari (The New Barbarians, 1990: The Bronx Warriors), Tim Kincaid (Robot Holocaust), and Luigi Cozzi (Alien Contamination, Hercules), the film stars, as I've already mentioned, Lou Ferrigno, whom those of us from the 1970s remember fondly as Bill Bixby's mountainous, green alter ego from the television series "The Incredible Hulk". Also appearing is John Steiner (Yor, the Hunter from the Future), Roland Wybenga (The Spider's Nest), Alessandra Martines (Cave of the Golden Rose), Stefania Girolami (1990: The Bronx Warriors), Donald Hodson (Cave Dwellers), Ennio Girolami (Killer Crocodile), Al Yamanouchi (2019: After the Fall of New York), Yehuda Efroni (Braddock: Missing in Action III), Teagan Clive (Alienator), and Cork Hubbert (Caveman, Under the Rainbow), as Poochi the Dwarf...oh geez...
As the film begins we learn it's based off of a story originally written by Edgar Allan Poe titled "The Thousand and Second Tale of Scheherazade". Now, I've never read the story, but I highly doubt the schlock we're in for here will come anywhere near resembling the original source material...soon we're watching as an annoying mother preparing to tell her even more annoying daughter a bedtime story, relating a tale about a sailor named Sinbad, played by Ferrigno, sporting an impressive perm and huge, bouncy pectoral muscles. Seems Sinbad and his band of fun boys, including Prince Ali (Wybenga), a Viking (Ennio Girolami), a bald Greek cook, Poochi the Dwarf, and a Chinese solider of fortune named Kantu (Yamanouchi), sporting sneakers and a rainbow skirt (let your freak flag fly, brother) are returning to the paradise city of Basra, ruled by the benevolent Calif Pal (Hodson), whose daughter the Princess Alina (Martines) is set to marry Prince Ali...but the celebration never begins as the evil vizier Jaffar (Steiner) casts a wicked spell over the city, banishing the sacred gems, all in an effort to claim the princess for his own....or something like that. Now Sinbad and his crew of flaming homersexuals set out for the four corners of the Earth to recover the sacred gems and save the princess from the evil, hammy clutches of the sinister Jaffar. One is located on the Island of Warrior Women, protected by an Amazon queen who's also a mind vampire, two more are located somewhere on the Isle of the Dead, and the fourth in `a place of great peril'...whatever. The boys end up facing all sorts of comically menacing foes on their journey, riddled with homoeroticism, before they finally return to Basra to face off against Jaffar in a completely ridiculous showdown...
This Italian production wasn't just bad, it was epically bad...the Cannon film group churned out a lot of crud in the 1980s before they went belly up, but this has to be one of their worst features I've seen so far, and that's saying a lot. The acting is beyond atrocious, followed only by the script, which was moronic beyond belief. Here's a few juicy excerpts...
This first one comes from Jaffar as Sinbad learns the evil vizier has taken over Basra...
Jaffar: The extraordinary powers that I possess make me top of the heap around here.
This next, golden nugget comes as Jaffar tries desperately to use his magics to remove the last, remaining gem from its holder...
Jaffar: For the last time...I command you, in the name of all that is evil...budge! Budge!
And finally this last bit, also from Jaffar, comes as he plans on squashing Sinbad and his men's attempts to recover the sacred gems...
Jaffar: No one can resist my will...and no one, not Prince Ali...not even his friend Sinbad...a man who I hate more than hate itself...will stand between me and my heart's desire!
A man who I hate more than hate itself? Perhaps Jaffar's blind hatred is so consuming it accounts for his continual stunningly rotten exclamations throughout the picture...sigh...the makers of this film should have just dug up Poe's corpse and violated it ten ways till Sunday rather than release this junk and crediting Poe as their inspiration. I think my favorite scenes are near the beginning. Sinbad, who's in a perpetual state of flexing throughout the film (yeah, we get it, you're all full of muscles...get over yourself already), often seen wearing skintight, purple pants, is locked away in a dungeon, while his men have been captured and taken to a torture chamber, complete with piranha tank (oh geez). The head torture dude proceeds to spew forth some of the worst puns you'll ever hear, and at one point refers to the Asian crewmember as `slant eyes'...oh, that's lovely. Just what I'd want my kids to hear, if I had any...get this later on, as if this wasn't bad enough, the Asian man begins quoting Confucius...argh! Anyway, Sinbad escapes his imprisonment by talking to a bunch of snakes, convincing them to allow him to make a snake rope out of them, telling them how he won't hurt them...yeah, I'm sure supporting his 300+ pound frame did no damage whatsoever to them...he does escape, and rescues his worthless companions in a ridiculously awful, choreographed fight sequence (the film has quite a few of these, many of them filmed in slow motion...argh!). At some point Jaffar hooks up the sorceress Soukra, played by female bodybuilder Teagan Clive (the lumpy female from the health club scene in the John Candy/Eugene Levy movie Armed and Dangerous), whose only purpose seems to be to stand around and trade lame barbs with Jaffar. Some other highlights include Sinbad battling a Styrofoam rock monster, an idiotic goo creature that shoots laser beams from its fingertips, ghost warriors from the Isle of the Dead, and then finally his evil twin as Jaffar creates a demonic clone of Sinbad near the end. I'd like to mention something about the musical scoring here...if you dig on lousy, synthesized music so common in the 1980s, then dig in because you've hit the mother lode here. Also, if you have problems following a film, or are easily distracted, never fear, as remember I told you about how this movie started off as a mother telling this tale as a bedtime story to her daughter? Well, her droning voice chimes in regularly, dumping steaming loads of unnecessary exposition because, apparently, the filmmakers either thought their movie was too difficult to follow on its own, or the audience too dumb to get all that's going on...either way, it's just another annoyance to add to the already lengthy list. I did, in fact, like the various sound effects, for what its worth.
The picture quality on this DVD, presented in widescreen anamorphic (1.85:1), looks decent enough, and the Dolby Digital mono audio comes through clearly (given the rotten dialog and shoddy musical score, maybe this wasn't a good thing). The only extra featured is a theatrical trailer for the film. The film deserves one star, but I am going to give it another just because it was so funny (I wasn't laughing with the film, but at it...).
By the way, both of Lou's Hercules films are also out on DVD, featured on one, glorious DVD.
Stanley Runk | Camp North Pines | 03/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sinbad is a film that I'm sure film schools warn their students about. Yup, it's Cannon and it's also Italian, and it's also silly. It's directed shamelessly by hackmeister Enzo Castellari. Castellari's films are always cheap and lousy, yet somehow enthralling. Strangely enough, his Franco Nero western Keoma was actually a pretty good movie. I guess Italian directors are only truly in their element when doing westerns. Sinbad isn't as fun as Lou's Hercules films, but it's still a B lovers dream. Plotwise it's thin. John Steiner's taken over the city and plans on getting jiggy with the prince's fiancee, so Sinbad and crew go on a voyage to retrieve four magic stones that supposedly will flip flop the situation. Sinbad has to fight a big rockman, deadly amazon women, a group of lepers, an evil clone and a guy in a slimy rubber suit who looks like a member of Gwar. It's all told as a bedtime story a mother(Daria Nicolodi!) is telling her daughter, and honestly the film does not benefit from the constant narration. It's annoying and the film needs no narrator. There seems to be a underlying touch of homoeroticism, but I think that's always been associated with the Sinbad character. In fact, at one point, Lou slaps the behind of one of his crew members. Classic. It was easy to buy Lou as Hercules, he fits that image perfectly, but Sinbad isn't really Lou's kinda character. Personally I never saw Sinbad as that big of a guy. But in this film, why complain about such a thing? Italian regular John Steiner hams up his villain role to the maximum. In fact, Steiner is actually the most amusing thing about the film. He's awfully funny. I'd recommend this if you like the Ferrigno/Hercules films, low grade barbarian films like Deathstalker or if you like that silly fantasy stuff like Hercules/Xena. Bitchin'."
A different Sinbad
Angel G. Garcia | Madrid, SPAIN | 11/14/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The movie is based on an Edgar A. Poe's tale. The plot has some similarity to other Sinbad movies, but now there are not any Ray Harryhausen tricks. All the deeds carry out by Sinbad, the bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno, and his companions are genuine and real, with a lot of fights perform by skilled people and on different earth's places in their long voyage, so I was surprised by the fantasy of them. Finally a good image quality and color make a worthy DVD."
A Fairy Tale Classic For The Entire Family
J. B. Hoyos | Chesapeake, VA | 07/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Sinbad of the Seven Seas" is silly, innocent fun for the entire family. Based on a story by Edgar Allan Poe, it is a fairy tale come to life. Simple plot, laughable dialogue, and outdated special effects have made this film endearing and turned it into a cult classic. "Sinbad of the Seven Seas" is very similar to the Italian sword and sandal features called pepla that were produced in the 1960's.
Likeable and personable Lou Ferrigno is great as Sinbad. His muscular physique seems too perfect to be real. This feature is a great vehicle for showcasing it. I kept thinking if Ferrigno was painted green, he'd look just like the Incredible Hulk.
Fans of Italian gialli take note: The woman reading this fairy tale to her young daughter is Daria Nicolodi who starred in numerous gialli directed by her significant other, Dario Argento. She also starred in the horror masterpiece "Shock," which was directed by Mario Bava who also directed "Hercules in the Haunted World." This was the starring vehicle for a very muscular Reg Park and had beautiful sets as were the ones used in "Sinbad of the Seven Seas."
"Sinbad of the Seven Seas" is highly recommended for fans of Lou Ferrigno and Italian peplum. Fans of Edgar Allan Poe might want to also check it out. Poe wrote more than horror stories; he wrote for other genres such as mystery and fantasy.