'Close-up shots of Lou Ferrigno’s biceps show evidence the only reason he was cast for the role'Cannon Films

Sinbad of the Seven Seas features the legend that is Lou Ferrigno and his shipmates braving perils from all over the world to help Prince Ali save his beloved Princess Alina from the evil wizard Jaffar. The film opens with a nod to Edgar Allen Poe, whose story about someone embellishing Arabian Nights provided the inspiration for the film. In all honesty, if I was him, I would rather not be associated with the product of that inspiration.

“John Steiner’s Jaffar is much too melodramatic. Although, if you want a brilliant example of a rolled ‘r’, I recommend this performance.”

This film may have been made in the latter end of the decade but it is undoubtedly a child of the 80s (see: the electronic music, casual racial and sexual stereotyping and Jaffar’s guyliner). The sets and effects are of the time, which translates to: dated  and obviously fake. The acting isn’t much more believable, sadly. Close-up shots of Lou Ferrigno’s biceps show evidence of the only reason he was cast for the role, while John Steiner’s Jaffar is much too melodramatic. Although, if you want a brilliant example of a rolled ‘r’, I recommend this performance.

The film has so many flaws that I don’t quite know where to start. Firstly, the black clouds and dark winds that are supposedly terrorising the town of Basra in the beginning are non-existent; the city isn't any darker and the stalls fall over of their own accord rather than by any external force (this happens in a later ‘storm’ too). There are several plot holes, such as a scene where Sinbad’s men successfully fight off some guards only to end up captured in Jaffar’s torture chamber by the next one which, incidentally, has more terrible puns than a Tab article. Oh, and did I mention that Sinbad manages to save them by escaping a pit using a rope made of snakes tied together? It’s horrendous.

The fight sequences drive the film, yet I must admit I’m disappointed, they’re unrealistic and drag on too long. The fight scene with the ghost knights reminds me of Monty Python’s Holy Grail. I expected more, especially given that Ferrigno is known for this stuff, but he spends most of his time staring at his various opponents, rather than fighting them. Lou could have learned how to look like he was actually sailing a ship, too: Sinbad is meant to be the best sailor in the world but the way he’s moving that rudder… I highly doubt it. His shipmates are no better, though they're problematic not because of their acting but the stereotyped characters themselves. The motley crew consists of super-strong leader Sinbad, handsome Prince Ali, a fearless Viking, a wise Samurai, a Turk, and a dwarf. The latter, Poochie, is meant to be a comedy character (I think) but to a modern viewer that doesn’t translate; his being a dwarf has ceased to be a reason to laugh at him. The film is comedic, though – it’s so awful it’s laughable. Overall, I can’t claim to have enjoyed Sinbad of the Seven Seas, although I did have a good few laughs at its expense.

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