Jack The Giant Killer (1962)

Rating: **
Review Date: 9/22/16
Cast: Kerwin Mathews, Judi Meredith, Torin Thatcher, Anna Lee

A fantasy film in the vein of "The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad" (1958), that's equal parts charming and tacky. The evil wizard Pendragon (Torin Thatcher) kidnaps Princess Elaine of Cornwall (Judi Meredith), and a farmboy named Jack (Kerwin Mathews) sets out to rescue her. Along the way, he befriends a Viking, a young sailor boy, and an imprisoned leprechaun who lends his magic in exchange for freedom. The sets and costumes are charming and colorful, but the visual effects are lacking. The big action pieces feature stop-motion monsters that look more comical than menacing, and you can often see flaws in their fragile latex skin. The film attempts to emulate Ray Harryhausen's work, but it lacks the detail, finesse, and personality that makes his style so special. Most of the matte paintings and composite shots are unattractive and unconvincing, but there are a few that are quite impressive. Kerwin Mathews makes an adequate hero, while Judi Meredith and Anna Lee provide ample eye candy.