Sinbad the sailor (Kerwin Mathews) arrives on a mysterious island where a cloven hoofed horned Cyclops dwells. He saves the life of a devious sorcerer who inadvertently leaves his magic lamp (which contains a somersaulting juvenile Genie) on the island. When the sorcerer begs him to go back, Sinbad says no dice because he’s got to marry his hot tamale princess. This cheeses off the sorcerer so he shrinks the princess down to the size of a Barbie doll (this sorcerer dude also has the power to turn old hags into four-armed serpent women, so what he says goes) and blackmails our hero into heading back to the island. There Sinbad dukes it out with a giant two-headed bird, a ferocious dragon and a sword slinging skeleton before finally rescuing the princess and saving the day.
Kerwin Mathews is OK as Sinbad and everyone else in the cast is pretty bland and unmemorable. All of the stuff involving the human actors is thoroughly ho-hum and all the various drama that doesn’t involve stop motion monsters (like the mutiny of Sinbad’s crew) is tedious. But you don’t watch a Sinbad movie for the performances; you watch them for the awesome effects and the mythical monsters, and in that respect, the film is damn good times.
Ray Harryhausen’s magnificent special effects are quite dazzling and still hold up five full decades after the film’s release. The 7th Voyage of Sinbad remains the best showcase for Harryhausen’s work and while the film itself may not quite be a classic, the effects sure as shit are. I mean try not to revert back to a childlike state of awe when the badass Cyclops starts mopping the floor with Sinbad’s men.
Director Nathan Juran also directed the immortal Attack of the 50 Foot Woman the same year.