The name ‘Ray Harryhausen’ is practically known to all fans of the cinema, the legendary creature creator was responsible for countless films and Indicator have collected his Sinbad films together for the first time on Blu-ray.
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
Whilst sailing the seas, Sinbad and his trusty crew stumble upon a sorcerer named Sokurah who is fleeing from a huge cyclops. Sokurah has managed to lose a magic lamp on the island and despite asking Sinbad to go back to the island, our hero refuses as the ‘love of his life’ is on board the ship. The sorcerer than gets up to all kinds of skullduggery including shrinking Sinbad’s girlfriend. Suffice to say, lots of monsters, action and fun is the order of the day in a film which is almost 60 years old and better than most of the rubbish being produced today. Sinbad (Kerwin Matthews) and Torin Thatcher who was Sokurah with director Nathan Juran teamed up make Jack the Giant Killer a few years later.
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973)
With a fifteen year gap between films Harryhausen and his long time producer Charles Schneer recast Sinbad with Barberella’s John Phillip Law picking up the sword. This time around Sinbad took on the evil Prince Koura another nasty magician with horrible intentions played with maniacal glee by Tom Baker, yes that Tom Baker the best ever Doctor Who. Eye candy in this film belongs to the stunning Caroline Munro as a slave girl.
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)
The final film in the trilogy saw Sinbad recast again in the persona of Patrick (son of John) Wayne trying to find a cure for his best friend who has been turned into a baboon by witchcraft. This is my favourite of the bunch probably because it was the first ‘Harryhausen’ epic I ever saw on a double bill at my local cinema back in about 1978. We get a great supporting cast including Patrick Troughton, Jane Seymour and Margaret Whiting as the witch Zenobia. She is easily my favourite bad guy in the series and when she transforms back from being a seagull, the pay-off is hilarious.
Indicator has packed the box set with an awesome selection of extras. There’s new interviews, documentaries, trailers and Super 8 versions of the films. Mr. Harryhausen may no longer be with us but the wealth of material available regarding his life’s work is huge and there’s plenty on offer here. All the films have been restored and look terrific as has the sound in original mono and 5.1 options.
In the these days of soul-less CGI, Ray’s creatures have more life and personality in them than anything a high powered PC could dream up. Every creature is simply wonderful and considering they were ALL created by hand, it shows the genius of the legend that was Ray Harryhausen.
I could ramble on forever how awesome this boxset is, but I shall simply end the review with a very loud BUY IT!!
- Starring Kerwin Mathews Patrick Wayne John Phillip Law Torin Thatcher.
- Directors Nathan Juran Sam Wanamaker Gordon Hessler
- Distributor Powerhouse/Indicator