Perfumed Garden 0f Delights

I hooked up the laserdisk player for the first time in months, and watched Sinbad of the Seven Seas.

There are bad movies that are just bad, like [one of your favorites], [another of your favorites], and Battlefield Earth. But there are other bad movies that transcend badness, and become a kind of art, with nuance and details and themes that their makers never imagined, let alone intended. Plan Nine from Outer Space is the best known of these, but ask any bad movie fan and he (or she) could probably reel off another half-dozen names without even breaking a thought. The Beast of Yucca Flats. The Atomic Brain. Manos: The Hands of Fate. See how easy it is?

Sinbad deserves its place in that august gathering. Unlike Manos or Atomic Brain, it’s not painful at all to watch; it’s actually a lot of fun. I could detail its many wonders, but I should really do a full review someday, so I’ll just mention one: John Steiner, who plays the evil wizard Jaffar, gives a performance that is so utterly and totally over the top, that it scales new heights of over-the-topness, where it stands, silent upon a peak in Darien. William Shatner at his most bombastic is but a candle ‘gainst the sun.

If you get a chance, give it a look. I actually own this one on laserdisk (ask your grandparents).

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