Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)

Sabre-toothed tiger versus troglodyte!
Sabre-toothed tiger versus troglodyte!

Sinbad visits the kingdom of Charak and soon realises that all is not well. He eventually discovers that Prince Kassim, brother of Princess Farah (who Sinbad wishes to marry), has been turned into a baboon by his evil, magic-wielding stepmother Zenobia! In order to turn Kassim back into a human so that he can be crowned Caliph, Sinbad must seek out the alchemist Melanthius, which then leads to a quest to a far-off country beyond the north polar wastelands.

US poster
US poster
Prince Kassim has become a baboon, but he can still play chess!
Prince Kassim has become a baboon, but he can still play chess!
Zenobia has got the eye(s) of the tiger!
Zenobia has got the eye(s) of the tiger!

Directed by Sam Wanamaker, SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER stars Patrick (THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT) Wayne, Jane (FRANKENSTEIN: THE TRUE STORY) Seymour, Taryn Power and Patrick (JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS) Troughton. With stop-motion effects by Ray Harryhausen, this was the third Sinbad movie released by Columbia Pictures.

Stop-motion showdown!
Stop-motion showdown!
Stop-motion ghouls: yikes!
Zomboid ghouls: yikes!

This colourful fantasy romp features, amongst other things, a fight with three bug-eyed zomboid ghouls, an attack by a (fairly) big bee, a witch (Margaret Whiting) who ends up with the foot of a seagull and a voyage to the lost land of Hyperborea. It’s a shame, then, that TIGER is nowhere near as good as either THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD, which boasted better cinematography, direction, acting, score, script and creatures, or THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD, which had a livelier sense of adventure, a wonderful Bernard Herrmann score and more striking stop-motion beasties.

Sailing to Hyperborea
Sailing to Hyperborea
Ghouls rise from the flames!
Ghouls rise from the flames!
Swat it!
Swat it!

SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER has rather a lot of iffy moments, unfortunately: ‘ice’ that looks like it’s been made out of plastic bags, the unblinking, lifeless glass eyes of the sabre-toothed tiger and poor blue screen work seen during the Petra scenes.

However…

…there’s still a lot of stuff I do like: all the baboon and Trog stop-motion scenes are good, the film has an attractive (though wooden) cast, the attack of the giant walrus is enjoyable and Patrick Troughton, as the alchemist Melanthius, acts everyone else off the screen.

Trog and Kassim the baboon
Trog and Kassim the baboon become buddies
Bzzzzzzzzzz
Bzzzzzzzzzz
Walrus Giganticus!
Walrus Giganticus!
A lovely fantasy landscape. I wish there had been more shots of this kind in the film
A lovely fantasy landscape. I wish there had been more shots of this kind in the film
Fight!
Fight!
Gotcha!
Gotcha!
The Minoton
The Minoton
It would've been better if the Minoton had been given more to do in the film
It would’ve been better if the Minoton had been given more to do in the film

The mechanical Minoton, animated via Zenobia’s sorcery, looks pretty cool, but has a rather throwaway demise when it just falls under a block of stone: I would have liked to see it fight either Sinbad or Trog.

Complaints aside, the film is charming and watchable – and I still have very fond memories of seeing this movie twice in the cinema, once in a double bill with the Nicholas Hammond SPIDER-MAN (which was released theatrically in the UK).

UK quad double bill poster
UK quad double bill poster

Here are some more posters…

Japanese poster
Japanese poster
French poster
French poster
Australian daybill poster
Australian daybill poster
US advance style 1 sheet
US advance style 1 sheet – illustration is by Birney Lettick
UK quad poster
UK quad poster (with Victor Gadino artwork)
Czech poster
Czech poster
US half sheet poster
US half sheet poster
UK quad double bill poster
UK quad double bill poster
East German poster
East German poster
Ghanaian hand-painted poster
Ghanaian hand-painted poster
German poster
German poster
Spanish poster
Spanish poster
German poster
German poster

Foldout movie promo…

Promo cover
Promo cover
Promo foldout interior
Promo foldout interior
Promo foldout - back cover (illustration is by Victor Gadino)
Promo back cover (illustration is by Victor Gadino)

Lobby cards…

Lobby card - Patrick Wayne, Patrick Troughton, Taryn Power and Jane Seymour
Lobby card – Patrick Wayne, Patrick Troughton, Taryn Power and Jane Seymour
Lobby card
Lobby card… fight!!!
Lobby card
Lobby card
Lobby card - Patrick & Taryn
Lobby card – Patrick & Taryn
Italian photobusta
Italian photobusta
Italian photobusta

Super 8 movie box art…

German super 8 movie cover
German super 8 movie cover

VHS, DVD and Blu-ray covers…

US VHS cover
US VHS cover
UK VHS cover
UK VHS cover
Japanese VHS cover
Japanese VHS cover
US DVD cover
US DVD cover
UK Blu-ray cover
UK Blu-ray cover
Belarusian DVD cover
Belarusian DVD cover

Pages from the movie pressbook…

Pressbook cover
Pressbook cover
Page 3 of pressbook
Page 3 of pressbook
Page 6 of pressbook
Page 6 of pressbook
Page 8 of pressbook
Page 8 of pressbook

A comic book adaptation of SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER was produced in the UK by General Publishing. This single issue also included a couple of movie features.

The cover. I still own this comic!
The cover. I still own this comic!

Ian Gibson, a regular artist for UK sci-fi comic 2000 AD, provided the nice-looking, detailed illustrations…

Written by Benny Aldrich, drawn by Ian Gibson
Written by Benny Aldrich, drawn by Ian Gibson
Some of Ian Gibson's original artwork. I like the very intricate line work!
Some of Ian Gibson’s original art. I like the very intricate line work!
Tiger attack!
Reaching the gate...
Reaching the gate…

Books and magazines…

The novelisation of the movie, written by John Ryder Hall
The novelisation of the movie, written by John Ryder Hall
Famous Monsters of Filmland #136
Famous Monsters of Filmland #136

Here’s a hand pulled screen print art piece by a veteran of the UK graffiti scene, inspired by the film…

By Simon Slater aka LAKI139
By Simon Slater aka LAKI139

Finally, here’s a publicity shot…

Jane Seymour as Princess Farah
Jane Seymour as Princess Farah

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