The Golden Voyage of Sinbad boasts stop-motion animation by Ray Harryhausen, and a script by Brian Clemens. With those two involved you just can’t go wrong. And this 1974 movie is every bit as much fun as you’d expect it to to be.
John Phillip Law is surprisingly lively and entertaining as the hero Sinbad, and then there’s Tom Baker as the villainous Prince Koura and the bodacious Caroline Munro as the beautiful slave girl Sinbad falls for. Her main role in the movie is to display as much cleavage as as is humanly possible, and she does a heroic job. With her and John Phillip Law onboard no-one can complain about a lack of eye candy whichever way your tastes run.
Sinbad has quite by accident come into possession of a mysterious gold tablet, which it turns out is one of three that together form a sort of key that can unlock vast powers. The Grand Vizier of Mabaria has another piece, but the evil Prince Koura is also determined to possess all three pieces. Sinbad must prevent this from happening by setting out on a dangerous voyage to find the third tablet, but he must also battle magical creatures summoned up by the wicked Koura.
There are adventures a-plenty, and there are some very clever monsters. Ray Harryhausen really excelled himself in this one. The eight-armed statue of the goddess Kali that comes to life wielding eight swords is particularly impressive. And there are cute but evil little winged humunculi devil things. I want one of those. The monsters are imaginative and even witty rather than relying on simply being huge and terrifying.
Director Gordon Hessler keeps things moving, the support cast is extremely solid, and everything looks right. Tom Baker is a memorable and interesting villain, and it’s all great fun.