Tag Archives: Sinbad

sinbad

STUFF: Why Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger is Actually a Doctor Who Story

meavatarjessIt was to be the final Sinbad adventure produced by Charles Schneer and Ray Harryhausen, an epic journey that would take the Arabian sailor to the farthest reaches of his world and to the threshold of a new era that seemed to be bidding farewell to magic in favor of technology. He would save a prince, find love, and battle all manner of fantastical beasts. This was a blockbuster film that would surely dominate its release year in 1977 on this very date… SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER!

OK, so there was that STAR WARS thing too, but never mind. Although some find this last Harryhausen Sinbad movie lacking, I still love it. True, I do feel Patrick Wayne is not nearly as good in the lead role as John Phillip Law was in the previous installment, 1974’s GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD – in fact, I’ve always said this movie would be as close to perfect as it could be if only Law had returned as originally planned.

Wayne’s somewhat flat delivery isn’t really much of a problem, however, and there are so many other reasons to enjoy this sterling example of sword and sorcery excitement. Harryhausen was soon to retire himself, and here he’s working at the peak of his powers just prior to his final film, 1981’s CLASH OF THE TITANS. He gives us such wonderful creations as the Trog (one of his personal favorites), the robotic Minoton, and in one of his most nuanced stop-motion performances, the baboon form of Prince Kassim.

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And then there’s Patrick Troughton as Melanthius, an aging magician-scientist with a young female companion, a knowledge beyond even his advanced years, and a boyish delight in the discovery of new and amazing things. Sound familiar? That’s because for many of us, Troughton will always be remembered best as the Second Doctor, the incarnation of the titular Time Lord that appeared on the long-running BBC sci-fi series DOCTOR WHO from 1966-1969 and in a few appearances afterward. And here he seems to be doing little more than playing a slightly older version of his Doctor.

This is why I’ve always loved the idea that at some point in his future, during a murky period of time that is well mined in DOCTOR WHO lore but would take some explaining here (just trust me on this one; for WHO fans, all I need to say is “Season 6B”), an older Second Doctor retired to ancient Earth to live out his final years as Melanthius. Considering his knowledge of lasers, “telepathia,” and more, it works well. And it’s fun!

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SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER is a rousing finale to the series that incorporates timely science-fiction elements into Sinbad’s otherwise pseudo-historical, magical world. It also showcases some of the most emotionally moving performances by stop-motion creatures in Harryhausen’s career, bidding farewell to the world of Sinbad in style.

To learn a lot more about this film, check out CINEMA AND SORCERY: THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO FANTASY FILM – written by G2V’s very own Scott Woodard and Arnold T. Blumberg (that’s me!) – in either print or e-book!

HELP US BY ORDERING THE MOVIE VIA THIS LINK!

3 Can’t-Miss Caroline Munro Movies

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CAROLINE MUNRO! In honor of her birthday, we just had to devote an installment of this feature to one of the most unforgettable icons of ’70s and ’80s genre cinema. She may not have as extensive a list of credits as some, but almost every genre film in which she appeared was immeasurably enhanced by her presence and made men of boys in an instant. Now although we’re going to highlight 3 impossible-to-forget showcases for Munro’s talents, we have to give honorable mentions to her fleeting appearances in the DR. PHIBES movies, her blood-soaked sacrifice in DRACULA AD 1972, and her turns as Dia in AT THE EARTH’S CORE and Naomi in the Bond film THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. Later on she’d have a resurgence in horror fare like MANIAC, THE LAST HORROR FILM, and SLAUGHTER HIGH, but below we discuss 3 films where her role was arguably the most central…and let’s face it, when Caroline Munro was in the middle of the action, it was hard to miss her.

 

THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1973)

The Sinbad movies featuring the spectacular stop-motion creations of Ray Harryhausen are fantasy film classics, but there’s one or two special effects even Harryhausen couldn’t manage. Munro is a golden delight as slave girl Margiana, an alluring companion for the swashbuckling ship’s captain that first sees her in a dream (not an uncommon phenomenon where Munro is concerned) and later requests she join his party as they battle an evil wizard named Koura (Tom Baker in a role that led to his casting in DOCTOR WHO). It’s not easy to draw attention from Munro, but Baker manages it…once or twice. (Listen to us talk about Ray Harryhausen’s films in this episode.)

 

CAPTAIN KRONOS – VAMPIRE HUNTER (1974)

As Carla, a gypsy girl that finds herself caught up in a crusade against dark forces alongside the mysterious Kronos and his humpbacked sidekick Grost, Munro provides plenty of pulchritude while also playing a rather independent woman. Found in the stocks for daring to dance on Sunday (cheeky girl), Carla bravely enters the home of the vampires itself and does her part to rid the world of blood-sucking evil. How many watching can only echo Kronos’ smooth reply when Carla asks to join his quest, “if you’ll have me.” “Oh,” says Kronos immediately, “I’ll have you.” So say we all!

 

Caroline Munro as Stella Star in STARCRASH
Caroline Munro as Stella Star in STARCRASH

STARCRASH (1978)

Munro’s star (hey, there’s no other way to say it) vehicle, this Italian pastiche of STAR WARS has some pretty impressive effects considering its budgetary limitations, and it also boasts some eye-popping design as well…most especially in the area of costuming. Munro gamely dons a “barely there” black leather outfit that’s sure to make many viewers happily ignore the film’s inane plot and wish desperately that this lackluster attempt to jump on the space opera bandwagon spawned a whole series of Stella Star adventures. Alas, it was not to be, but we can still dream of what might have been…

3: Ray Harryhausen

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Ray Harryhausen was a legend long before he died on May 7, 2013, leaving behind a legacy of magical movies filled with extraordinary creatures, amazing adventures, and some of the most memorable moments emblazoned into the hearts and minds of generations of fantasy filmgoers. In this special tribute episode, Scott and Arnold talk about the career of a man that made rubber and metal into living icons of pop culture, from the giant monster invasions of the 1950s to the sorcerous exploits of Sinbad the Sailor and the beasts of classical mythology.

NOTE: We had a few occasional technical hiccups this time, resulting in slightly variable audio quality. It’s all sorted out now, and we’ll be back on track and sounding fantastic next episode!

ALSO: Scott wanted to correct a slip during the episode. ADI is Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc., linked below. We’ve also provided a link to the exciting Kickstarter campaign page for “Harbinger Down,” so check below!

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SHOW LINKS:
Ray Harryhausen: The Official Website

Ray Harryhausen 90th Birthday BAFTA Tribute

TCM Remembers Special Effects Legend Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013)

Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc.

HARBINGER DOWN: A Practical Creature FX Film by Alec Gillis/ADI