Evil wizard Basil Rathbone kidnaps a beautiful princess (Anne Helm), and the bland Gary Lockwood, who has loved her from afar, charges to the rescue with his magic horse, armour and sword. Along the way he must confront seven curses set by Rathbone (ogre, burning heat, hideous hag, dragon, and so on), not to mention the treachery of one of his party.
This is an all-ages fantasy from Bert I. Gordon, who is best known for his cheapjack back-projection SF epics the likes of The Ama…ing Colossal Man and Beginning of the End. This 1962 effort certainly has its fair share of cheese, but there is a wealth of incident and colour, and the FX are actually quite good by Gordon’s standards. And though the dragon, for instance, doesn’t move very much, it has a very definite charm. Light, breezy, and very engaging, this is not a major work of fantasy film, but it is one of the very best things Gordon was involved with.
The soundtrack is mono. Once in a while there is a bit of distortion, but there is no background static or hiss, and it is always clear. In other words, unexceptional, but nothing horrid either.
The print is in good shape, and the colours and blacks are good, but the picture is often distressingly soft. As well, there is some visible artifacting, particularly in the scenes where red predominates. Grain and edge enhancement, however, are not a problem. The bigger problem, however, is that it has been reported that the widescreen format here is really just matted fullscreen, meaning even more of the picture is lost.
Only the trailer. The menu is basic.
A little bit of fluff, this, but sometimes that is just what you want. The film jounces along at a fair pace, and the monsters are just the sort of thing that might give children of the right age a treasured fright.
Special Features List