We all have cinematic pleasures that baffle even ourselves as to why we like them. Films that populate this so-bad-they’re-good genre in reality, for whatever reason, are terrible examples of filmmaking. Sinbad Of The Seven Seas could easily have become one such film, but it is so truly, completely and without reasonable question dreadful that even deeming it worthy of comment feels like a wasted exercise in creative reviewing.
Based upon an Edgar Allan Poe story (Edgar Allan Poe!!) Enzo G. Castellari’s film (we are contractually bound to call it such) follows the mighty hero Sinbad (Ferrigno) as he …blah, blah, blah…seeks to recover the mystical jewels that evil wizard Jaffar (Steiner) …blah, blah, blah… you can fill in the rest surely? Accompanying him on his quest is his band of racist clichés including the dashing Prince Ali (Wybenga) who must also rescue his bride-to-be Princess Perfect from Jaffar’s dastardly clutches.
To begin with, the acting is so woefully bad as to be insulting to the art. Ferrigno does little more than utter well-worn sub-Schwarzenegger pay off lines and flex his ample pectorals; something he even manages to do with distinct woodiness. Steiner tries and fails to chew up some of the cheap scenery but the worst culprit by far is the dubbed narrator. Surely reading from a book Peter Falk-style would be simple but no, it is the worst form of plot-describing, stating-of-the-blatantly-obvious your ears could ever hope to suffer without any discernible hint of passion or irony.
What could have provided Sinbad with a desperately needed lifeline would have been its targeting of a younger market. The woeful storytelling that frames the film involves a child certainly but even this glimmer of hope is dashed on a rock of misguided costume design. As Jaffar wreaks his “evil plan” he is joined by what can only be described as a Madame from an S&M dungeon, parading around as she does in a curiously un-sexy leather-look basque. Queen PVC’s inclusion, along with the Amazonian inhabitants of a mysterious island who gyrate like Playboy Mansion rejects, makes it abundantly clear that this is not a film for younger viewers.
There are many, many things wrong with Sinbad on every single level you could imagine, and far too many unworthy of spending time listing. However tempted you might be to watch this film; however curious you might be, or however confident you are that it might just qualify for that so-bad-they’re-good genre…RESIST! This is a tediously dull and misogynist take on an epic legend that should never, ever be viewed by anyone of sane mind. You have been warned!
SINBAD OF THE SEVEN SEAS (1989) / CERT: 12 / DIRECTOR: ENZO G. CASTELLARI / SCREENPLAY: TITO CARPI, ENZO G. CASTELLARI / STARRING: LOU FERRIGNO, JOHN STEINER, ROLAND WYBENGA, DARIA NICOLODI / RELEASE DATE: 8TH FEBRUARY