The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad Review

With almost 250 films reviewed now, I’m at the point where I’d really like to wrap up this project of reviewing most of the films I watch.  That being said, it seems as though there some whole genres of film that I’ve largely skipped over, so I need to fill in any important gaps.  One such gap is the mini-genre of the Ray Harryhausen “special effects movie,” but once I got twenty minutes into this film, I almost gave up on the idea.

A very large percentage of this film’s contents does not sit well with the modern-day movie-viewer.  If there’s ever been a film that screams, “THIS WAS WRITTEN BY HORNY MEN,” it’s this one.  The story invents new and innovative ways of objectifying women, and it includes a deeply unsettling belly-dance performance by a claymation snake woman, which I hope and pray I will never have to see again.  It also has a very strange way of treating the “magic slave in the lamp” character, and I’m not even going to get started on the white-washing.  Even the visual effects are hard to swallow because the awkward integration of the stop-motion is so jarring at first.

Yet somehow, as the film progresses, it somehow seems to improve.  Not in every respect, of course – some of its problems are effects of the time period in which the film was produced, and their near-inevitability is a factor worth considering – but in many ways.  The story gets more clever, creative, and intense.  The twists and turns grow more exciting, and the spectacles more believable.  Maybe I just got used to its problems, but after an hour and a half of cool monsters and a catchy score, I found myself quite entertained.  It’s not the kind of film I would watch often, but I can see how it appeals to so many of the great directors of fantasy.

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