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Rated PG-13
Copyright 1989 Cannon Films
Reviewed by Brian on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • The Narratress and Her Daughter - The former tells the story to the latter to make her fall asleep. It works!
  • Sinbad (Lou Ferrigno) - According to the narration, Conqueror of the Seven Oceans, The Greatest Sailor Who Ever Lived, Etc Etc Etc.
  • His Colorful Band of Merry Adventurers - Can-Tu, the Chinese Warrior; the Viking; Prince Ali; the Bald Cook; and Poochie The Dwarf. Union Rules for CB of MA state you must have a dwarf or the fines are quite heavy.
  • Princess Aleena - Daughter of the Caliph, and betrothed of Prince Ali, she's also desired by Jaffar which causes trouble. Spends most of the film in a contraption that looks like the Killer Klowns put it together.
  • The Caliph - Ruler of Basrah. Clueless, then hypnotized, then clueless again.
  • Soukra - In league with Jaffar, she's either another magician or a warrior, depending on the dialogue at the time. Contributes nothing but Heavy Metal Biker Babe Look and a Jersey Accent.
  • Nadir - A good wizard and inventor who speaks in a weird language made up of squeaks, grunts, and the odd English word.
  • Kira - Nadir's daughter, Sinbad falls for her in a big way. She ends up married to the big lug.
  • The Rock Monster, the Legions of the Dead, the Amazons, the Undead Warriors, the Ghouls, the Slime Monster, and Anti-Sinbad - Jaffar sends these against Sinbad and his men to keep them from completing their quest. All defeated and mostly dead, too.
  • Jaffar - Grand Vizier to the Caliph, he learned black magic and went bad some time ago. Drops through a trapdoor, not of his own choice, but let's hope he runs smack into a sequel.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

The plot is actually pretty straightforward, although Jaffar's goals remain a bit muddled, or perhaps he simply had too many of them - rule over the city, the reign of evil over the earth, the Caliph's daughter, and the death of Sinbad, plus some other miscellaneous business. Perhaps if he'd had a Daytimer or some sort of organizer...

Anyway, Sinbad and his men are returning to port at the same time Jaffar puts his plans into action. He hypnotizes the Caliph, captures the Princess, and unleashes some type of fury which makes all the fruit carts fall over and the people go into hiding. Naturally, when Sinbad arrives into this, he's fairly suspicious. So they go searching the city, and Sinbad ends up in a dungeon full of snakes, while his men (after, it must be noted, kicking the butts of all the guards and soldiers sent after them - Jaffar even shows the princess this) end up in the torture dungeon. Sinbad, however, makes a rope by tying snakes together (with their cooperation) and climbs up to rescue his men.

That wily old devil Jaffar, though, has a vague back up plan. He sends four out of five Sacred Gems of Basrah to scattered corners of the world for his unclear sinister purposes. Poochie sees all this happen, though, and spills the news to the boys: If Sinbad and his men don't get them back within seven moons (whatever that is - if it means, say, seven full moons, that's plenty of time), well, um, something bad will happen. We have it on authority, well, Poochie's authority anyway.

So off they go on a quest. An oracle tells them where to find the gems, though there's some confusion among the men as to what else they're supposed to be doing - Prince Ali, for example, whines each time about how he's sure Aleena hasn't been brought to "this place" and they all basically say "Shaddap about Aleena already" (not a direct quote). Poochie should have said something about where Aleena was, he was there after all, but I guess dwarves can't always rely on union rules or something, maybe he was thinking about future blackmail. Who can tell with dwarves, I ask you?

But they get the four gems back, by beating up Assorted Menaces (see the character listing), and then return to Basrah. Jaffar creates an Anti-Sinbad, but the real Sinbad defeats him. Either that, or Anti-Sinbad had a moving experience when he killed Real Sinbad and changed sides (it's REALLY hard to tell the Sinbads apart). Then Jaffar gets his comeuppance. Kira and Sinbad marry, so do the Prince and Princess. The End.

Not much, huh? Well, this film contains what I consider to be one of the greatest single performances in the history of bad movies: John Steiner as Jaffar. Every thing he says, every gesture and bit of body language is so dizzyingly over the top that it's a wonder he didn't have several heart attacks. I tell you this guy makes William Shatner look like a model of restraint and subtlety.

As a side note, it is interesting how some of the elements in this film show up in Disney's Aladdin film, made some years later. Both Jaffar and the Caliph appear virtually identical to the Disney versions, which also had a "Prince Ali" in it. Thank heavens, this one didn't have any songs. (The mind REELS, reels I tell you...)

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Edgar Allen Poe wrote some of his stories while on dangerous drugs, or drunk out of his mind.
  • Synthesizer bands are perfect for scoring Arabian adventures.
  • When Viziers go bad, Caliphs are the last ones to know it (if ever).
  • Evil viziers live in giant gyroscopes over lava pits.
  • Women in the Middle East did not wear veils, but soldiers did.
  • Loyalty was really, really hard to come by back then.
  • Beloved Caliphs who rule happy cities still keep fully staffed and equipped torture dungeons, because I guess you just never know. (And he never did.)
  • Piranha look a lot like sock puppets, except when they look even worse than that.
  • Piranha can devour a person, including bones, leather uniform and metal weapons, in one or two seconds.
  • If it looks cool and manly to throw your sword away at the start of a fight, it probably works to throw your scabbard away at the next fight.
  • To banish the Legions of the Dead, find the leader, pull out his heart (it will have a little face on it), sneer at it and then squish it. This will also improve the weather.
  • Dwarves alternate between knowing the whole story and being totally clueless
  • To kill a Rock Monster, push on its head until it falls off.
  • Undead Warriors who wear suits of armor can be defeated by denting their armor. Yes, men it IS that easy.
  • When your Colorful Band of Merry Adventurers is magically separated from you, they will cheer about it.
  • Slime Monsters may shoot laser beams from their hands, but their aim stinks and can work to your advantage.
  • If you watch this movie too many times, it will take over your brain. "You're next!"


  • Jaffar (in his lair): "I, Jaffar, your most devoted vassal, beseech that you grant this humble prayer. The city of Basrah, center of the universe, is a great ripe plum, waiting to be plucked. Grant, that it is my hand, that plucks it!"
  • Jaffar (in his lair): "And thus, in your service, may I bring hate, war, poverty and pestilence to this rich and powerful realm; subjugate its people to oppression and torture; and thus ensure, through terror and tyranny, that the kingdom of evil is born!!!"
  • Caliph (looking for Jaffar): "Jaffar!!!! Jaffar!! Where is my vizier! JAFFAR!!!! Oh, there you are! What's happening, Jaffar? My people, are a happy people! They love their neighbors! Only an evil spell could have transformed them into beasts! (PAUSE) Huh! Huh! Go and fetch the sacred gems, and we'll carry them in procession, and everything will be all right again! Huh!"
    Jaffar: "The Gems no longer exist!"
  • Aleena (to the Caliph): "If you've been had by him (Jaffar), it's you're problem, not mine! I'm in love with Ali, and he's the only one I want!" (Jaffar rather visibly waits for his cue, eyes darting like trapped fish) "Father? Guards!!"
    Jaffar (grabbing her wrist): "'re to be MINE!"
  • Sinbad: "Wait a minute, wait a minute! Where is everybody? There's nobody here!"
    Poochie: "...there's nobody here!"
    Sinbad: "I just said that. That's the point! I thought the whole town would turn out. You know, there's something here I don't like!"
  • Sinbad (greeting the Caliph): "What's going on here? (As if suddenly remembering himself, he gestures and says) Greetings, Lord of the faithful."
  • Sinbad (to Jaffar): "Now it's time to put you in your place!"
    Jaffar (puts a knife to the Caliph's throat): "Yes? The extraordinary powers that I possess make me top of the heap around here!"
  • Sinbad's CB of MA decide to search the deserted town
    Bald Cook: "I really wish I knew what was going on!"
    Poochie: "Let's get out of here!"
    Bald Cook: "Shaddap!" (Poochie reacts as if struck) "Let's do this - you go that way, I'll go this way!"
    Poochie: "Alone?"
    Bald Cook: "...and I am not alone?"
    Poochie: "Yes, but you're bigger!"
    Bald Cook: "Sh!"
  • Sinbad (addressing the snakes): "I need your help. Come here. Nervous, huh? I know where you're coming from. People hating you, and all that. As far as I'm concerned, it all began with that story of Eve. And when they want dirty work done, they really take advantage of you. Like that evil, slimy wizard up there!"
  • Jaffar (talking to the Princess): "No one, not Prince Ali, not even his friend Sinbad, the man who I hate more than Hate itself, will stand between me and my heart's desire!!!" (The Princess says nothing) "HA!!!!!!"
  • Sinbad (to the snakes): "They say you have a terrible temper...I'd like to see them living in the dark, crawling around all day!" (to once recalcitrant snake) "Here, come here. Come here! Hey, be nice! Attaboy."
  • Daughter: "Will Sinbad save them, mommy?"
    Narratress: "Sh! You must be patient, and wait and see what Sinbad, and his friends, the snakes, will do!"
  • (After the fight with the Legions of the Dead)
    Poochie (absent during the melee): "Dinner's ready! Hey, what's with you guys? You look like a...a bunch of weirdos!"
    Sinbad: "You missed one hell of a party!"
    Poochie: "Darn!"
    Sinbad: "But thank God for that!"
    Poochie: "Huh?"
    Sinbad: "Well, I'm hungry! Let's eat!"
  • Jaffar: "Beware of your ambition, Soukra! You must be second to someone, why not me?"
    Soukra: "Have you taken your medication this morning?"
  • Sinbad (to the Amazon Queen): "Gosh, you're sure beautiful."
  • Jaffar: "I can trust no one, let alone a woman!!!"
    Soukra: "No, Jaffar! I'm different...and you know it! With me, you ARE invincible!"
    (Ed Note: Soukra is one of the crowd cheering the victorious Sinbad at the end...see the remark about loyalty being hard to come by.)
  • (Kira, captured, keeps up the infield chatter while Sinbad beats up Ghouls)
    Kira: "Push him away! Push him away! That's right! That's right! Yay!"
  • Soukra: "There you go again, basking in your bubbles of fiction."
  • (Sinbad instructs Nadir and the Bald Cook)
    Sinbad: "They'll (his other men) take care of the take care of the monster...and I'll take care of Jaffar." (He goes off to save the day)
    Bald Cook: "We'll take care of the soldiers..."
    Nadir: (Negative gibberish)
    Bald Cook: "Ah...we'll take care of Jaffar!"
    Nadir: (Negative and fairly impatient gibberish)
    Bald Cook: "Ah...we'll take care of the monster!"
    (Nadir indicates his agreement at this, and frankly, who wouldn't? At this point, folks, there IS NO monster.)
  • Jaffar (to the remaining Gem): "For the last time...I command you, in the name of all that is evil...Budge! Budge!!!"
  • Jaffar (to advancing Sinbad): "I'm warning you! You are forcing me to carry out my most devastating act of magical madness!"

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note sinbadseas1.wav The Narratress and her daughter talking.
Green Music Note sinbadseas2.wav Jaffar: "It's me you've got to pay homage to now!"
Green Music Note sinbadseas3.wav Sinbad: "I want to warn you all that this is a big risk. The Amazon Queen is a mind vampire and she can suck any man's will away if you're not careful, even the Viking's."
Viking: "Hahahaha!"
Green Music Note sinbadseas4.wav Jaffar: "He's heading straight for the Cavern of Nothingness! Ha ha! What a meal for the Lord of Darkness!"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipsinbadseas1.mpg - 2.7m
Sinbad uses three of the magical jewels to defeat the Lord of Darkness, or whatever this sorry excuse for a monster is called. If somebody started reflecting my deadly rays back at me I stopped shooting deadly rays at them.

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