Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Magic Sword (1962)

I saw this movie in the theater as part of the summer kiddie matinee that ran for several years when I was a kid.  they showed an amazing amount of movies, including several Japanese monster movies as well as odd fantasies like this and the Italian "Beauty and the Beast" and comedies and lots of cartoons.  I saw so many of them I don't remember most of them.  and seeing the remake of "The Lost World" on the big screen just made the lizards even more disappointing than when I saw it on tv a year before that.  I wanted dinosaurs, dammit!

many of these movies were never shown on tv, and I only ever saw them once.  the aforementioned "Beast" I never saw for another 20 years or so, and didn't even remember what it was until I saw it again.

now this movie I always remembered- it's just that weird.  easily Bert I. Gordon's best movie, it's also one of the most warped fairy tales ever.  it's based on St George and the Dragon, but it adds so many weird little layers it's just awesome.  it, along with "Jack the Giant Killer" are possibly the most bizarre children's movies ever made.

I of course liked the hero and his team, the six nights that went to rescue the fair Princess Helene.  the horrors they go through are a giant ogre, a hag, boiling oil and it's all just plain weird and very enjoyable.  also quite unforgettable.  I remembered most of the movie until I saw it again on TNT in the 90s.  the two headed dragon is a full sized prop, and does have the unfortunate weakness in such things- the hero has to pretend it's actually able to move and menace him.

the movie seems to be in the public domain, although MGM has the best copy out there.

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