InsidePulse DVD Review – Sinbad and the Seven Seas



Credit: Amazon.com

Directed by:
Enzo G. Castellari

Cast
Lou Ferrigno …. Sinbad
John Steiner …. Jaffar
Roland Wybenga …. Ali
Yehuda Efroni …. Ahmed
Alessandra Martines …. Alina
Teagan Clive …. Soukra
Leo Gullotta …. Nadir
Stefania Girolami Goodwin …. Kyra (as Stefania Girolami)
Donald Hodson …. Calif
Cork Hubbert …. Midget
Romano Puppo …. Captain
Armando MacRory …. Town Crier
Giada Cozzi …. Girl
Daria Nicolodi …. Narrator

The Movie
Science Fiction/Fantasy as a genre has had few moments where it was more popular than the 1980’s. One could actually call the 80’s a golden age for lovers of Fantasy Films. The decade began with The Empire Strikes Back which may actually be one of the best films in any category ever made, and then continued with geek classics such as Superman II, Blade Runner, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. This golden age was solidified with Return of the Jedi, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom along with cult favorites Legend, Krull, and Willow. Many others would follow until the decade went out with a bang with the last installment of the Indiana Jones Trilogy and Batman.

One of the most influential Fantasy Epics of the decade was Director John Milius’ Conan the Barbarian. The Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle was a smash hit and one of the best examples of “Classic Fantasy” ever put on screen. Unfortunately, the success of that “Sword and Sorcery” film caused many lesser film makers to try and emulate the film’s high adventure. From the movie’s tepid sequel to Red Sonja, terrible films came out of the woodwork. One of these films was Sinbad of the Seven Seas.

The film begins with a title card explaining how Edgar Allen Poe was a big fan of fairy tales and how this story was an extension of the classic 1001 Arabian Nights. A mother (Daria Nicolodi) is reading a bedtime story to her daughter (Giada Cozzi). She tells a tale of the pirate Sinbad (Ferrigno) and his faithful crew made up of such classic names as Prince Ali (Roland Wybenga), Viking (Ennio Girolami) and Midget (Cork Hubbert). Sinbad is on a mission to return his friend Ali to the ancient city of Basra to reunite the Prince with his love, Princess Alina (Alessandra Martines).

All is not well when Sinbad reaches the city as the Sultan of the kingdom is put under a spell by the evil sorcerer Jaffar (John Steiner). This is a similar plot to that of Saruman’s hold over King Theoden in Peter Jackson’s second installment of his award winning Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Two Towers, but with atrocious acting and special effects. The difference here is that Saruman’s eloquence would have prevented him some saying such lines as “The extraordinary powers that I possess make me top of the heap around here!”

It is up to Sinbad and his men to save the Princess and the kingdom from the evil Jaffar. Going on an epic journey to recover four Sacred Gems of Basrah, which will stop Jaffar’s plans in some convoluted way, Sinbad and his men will face many obstacles. Standing in his way is an Amazon Queen, an army of ghost warriors and then finally an evil doppelganger of the pirate himself. Sounds like a rousing adventure, right? In the immortal words of Colonel John Matrix from Commando, “Wrong!”

In the 1980’s production company Cannon Films were notorious for bringing out some of the worst “B-Movies” of all time. From Lambada: The Forbidden Dance to Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, Cannon made its reputation by scraping the bottom of the barrel to make a buck and Sinbad of the Seven Seas is no exception. The film has terrible production values, worse direction and acting that is on par with the rest of the proceedings.

The only positive thing here has to do with the soft spot I have for Lou Ferrigno. While not a good performance by any stretch of the imagination, the big guy gives and earnest effort as Sinbad. Trying to duplicate the marginal success he had by playing in the Conan rip-off Hercules, The Incredible Hulk star does what he can to salvage this movie, but is undone by terrible direction and a voice-over.

Speaking of voice-overs, for some reason the entire cast is dubbed in this picture. Perhaps getting foreign actors was cheaper or filming the movie without sound was cheaper, but this may be the single most distracting element of the film. The acting of the picture is bad enough without drawing attention to it with terrible dubbing. If the reason for the dubbing was the use of foreign actors, why not use actors that look like they were from the Middle East for an Arabian tale? Nearly the entire group of actors here are all white. This is just one of the terrible discrepancies in this picture. In a scene where Sinbad is trying to coax a bunch of cobras (that are painfully obvious that they are made of rubber) into helping him escape a dungeon, he tells them he is tired of people mistrusting them due to the story of Adam and Eve. Would a person from ancient Arabia even know that story? Should audiences be worried about historical inaccuracies when Sinbad is escaping a dungeon by tying rubber cobras together?

There may be worse films out there, but this has got to be on someone’s list of one of the worst movies ever made. There are films that are “so bad they’re good” like Batman: The Movie or Lone Wolf McQuade. This is not one of those movies. This is a painful experience and should be avoided at all costs.

Score: 1.0/10

The DVD:

The Video
There’s nothing especially terrible about the transfer here. It’s about what you would expect. The picture quality is about what it would be if it were shown on basic cable late at night. The film is presented in a 1:85:1 Widescreen.

Score: 6.0/10

The Audio

The sound here is about the same quality. All the marvelous dubbing in the film is crisp and clear.

Score: 6.0/10

SPECIAL FEATURES: Theatrical Trailer

Get ready for a trailer that is the same quality as its movie. The trailer does serve as a warning to those that may end up seeing this film to stay away, far away.

Score: 0.5/10