Jack the Giant Killer was, according to IMDB, made to cash in on the success of The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. The director, lead actor and villain are even the same, and there’s lots of stop motion (the giants are basically two eyed copies of Harryhausen’s cyclops).
It’s been quite a while since I saw The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, but I think this amazing movie definitely lives up to it, and in some ways even exceeds it. It has nothing to do with Jack and the Beanstalk, and is loosely based on another English folk tale.
This movie is visually stunning and filled with amazing things. A stepmother with my dream fairytale wardrobe, a wonderfully flamboyant villain, beautiful magic effects, some of the best costumes I’ve seen, and best of all, some of the best monsters ever. The villain’s hench-monsters are almost shockingly scary in the context of a fairytale movie from the early 1960s.
At one point I was thinking “the only thing that could make this movie any better would be a living skeleton”, and what appears in the next scene but a living skeleton! Though admittedly not nearly as cool as Harryhausen’s stop motion skeletons in the next Sinbad movie to come.
If you love gorgeous costumes and monsters, you have to watch this movie.
A few screencaps! »