Every few months, I tend to repeat myself. I know for a fact that I've said this before, but goddamn it, it bears repeating. Humans are boring! Monsters are cool! If that makes me sound uncultured, then so be it. When I was a kid, I loved monsters. When I was a teenager, I loved monsters. I'm 26, and I love monsters just as much as I did when I was a wee geek begging my father to buy a copy of Son of Godzilla. That's why I dig Jack the Giant Killer. It's chocked to the hem with gnarly goblins, stop-motion giants and the most sinister witches you'll ever see. It's almost as if this flick was made for me.
Before I go any further, I want to address this film's detractors. Yes, it was a heedless, desultory cash-in on The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Both sword-and-sorcery adventures are directed by Nathan Juran. The two pictures share actors Kerwin Mathews and Thorin Thatcher in roles that are similar to the characters they played in Sinbad. Hell, Jack even borrows set pieces from Sinbad. But I'm okay with the, shall we say, dubious intentions that impelled this project. Why? Because Jack entertained the shit out of me! This film is a textbook example of how to keep an audience glued to the screen and how to hit every mark in 90 crisp, effortless minutes.
The plot is achingly simple. An evil wizard named Pendragon (I've decided that my first-born will be named Pendragon, by the way...and no, the mother won't have any input) abducts a princess and forces her father to relinquish his throne. Obviously, a giant killer by the name of Jack saves the day. This film's appeal has nothing to do with a script or a character arc. This is a diverting creature feature, and it doesn't pretend to be anything else. Visually speaking, Jack is more stimulating than a nipple clamp. I watched it with my black light turned on, and it was like looking into a kaleidoscope.
The best scene sees Jack's ship being terrorized by floating witches. The sky turns purple. The ancient necromancers hover above the seafarers with pitchforks in hand. They are enveloped in blue rays. My jaw hits the floor. Seriously, how badass is that? It's something that every genre fan must witness. Fuck, I would give Jack the Giant Killer a perfect rating if it wasn't for a certain leprechaun trapped in a bottle. Talk about annoying. Plus, there are a couple of moments that wander off into Treasure Island territory. I'm not a fan of swashbuckling. Still, this flick is a keeper. I hear that a remake has been given the go-ahead. I'm rolling my eyes right now, just so you know.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 10:16 PM