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THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1974) **

Sinbad (Diabolik’s John Phillip Law) steals a golden amulet from a winged beastie and starts having visions of an ultra-hot belly dancer (played by the ultra-hot Caroline Munro).  Turns out the amulet belongs to a wicked Prince (Tom Baker from Doctor Who) who likes to chuck fireballs at people.  Sinbad then teams up with a guy in a golden mask (a victim of the Prince’s fireballs) to find some treasure and get pursued by the evil Prince.

 

The second Ray Harryhausen Sinbad adventure lacks the charm and fun of 1958’s The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.  (So wait, does this mean this is The EIGHTH Voyage of Sinbad?)  I’ll admit that I’ve never been a Sinbad kind of guy, but I do have an immense respect for Harryhausen’s excellent special effect work.  In this flick, Harryhausen gives us a flying griffin, a living wooden figurehead, a sword-slinging six-armed statue, and a rampaging centaur.

 

None of these really qualify as Harryhausen’s best work though.  Maybe it’s just because I’m partial to Harryhausen’s giant monsters from The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (especially the Cyclops), but all of the monsters in Golden are kinda small and  none of them really wowed me like they should’ve.  (Sure, the centaur in this movie is big, but it’s not THAT big.)  Sinbad’s swordfight with the six-armed statue was cool; it’s just too bad you have to sit through a lot of boring stuff to get to it.  Blame it on director Gordon Hessler (who later went on to helm the infamous KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park) who let all the stuff that didn’t involve stop-motion monsters drag, making the flick something of a chore to sit through. 

 

All in all, the best special effect in the film was Munro and her heavenly bosom.  Dressed in extremely skimpy outfits with her boobies halfway hanging out, Munro will definitely get your pulse a-racing and her lovely form compensates somewhat for the sluggish pacing.  Of the rest of the cast, Baker made for a decent villain and Law was certainly the swarthiest of all the screen Sinbads, but that’s about all I can say for him. 

 

Harryhausen returned three years later for the third and final Sinbad movie, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.

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