Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Night Drive-In Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger

With a trip to the movies costing somewhere north of the national debt of Paraguay, I figure not as many people are spending money on going to the theater. When The Sound of Music hit our burg, my mother took me to see it eight times. Now this was a college student who lived a hundred miles away and had to drive an hour and a half to come see me. She could only do this on the weekends and for eight weeks straight, I saw The Sound of Music. Mom could afford to make that drive and take both of us to see a movie. Sometimes she even convinced my older brother to come along. Most people can't afford to see the same movie over and over again at the theaters. By today's prices my mom would have had to take out a payday loan to take us to see Julie Andrews. To my shame I remember begging my mother not to go to the movie one more time. I really should have taken it like a man and suffered through more hours of chick-flick.

You'd think I would be grateful to see her after so many weeks but I think I was going a little bonkers. To my knowledge, I am the only straight male who can still sing along with the damn movie. Anyway, we are not going to discuss The Sound of Music.

For our first Sunday Drive-in, I will cover one of the classic Harryhausen movies, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. This is the third in the Series of Harryhausen Sinbad movies with The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad being number one and two. I saw this movie at the drive in as a double feature.

This movie features Patrick Wayne (son of John Wayne) as the hero Sinbad and Jane Seymour as the love interest. Margaret Whiting hams it up nicely as the evil sorceress. The movie is competent enough, not Harryhausen's best effort by any means but that still puts it solidly ahead of most of the competition. The wonders and monsters are pretty well rendered and when the tiger makes its appearance it was pretty good for a teenage boy.

The movie has many ideas that have been directly swiped for many D&D campaigns. Sorceress's, magic that goes awry, curses on a royal family, and a quest to put things right. Along with monsters that were well rendered for the time it was a treat for a kid taking a break from chasing girls and playing D&D. It's worth the time to watch it streaming on netflix or on a $1.oo night at the local video store.

Grab the movie, put a blanket on the floor, pop some popcorn or grab a bag of of nacho flavor Doritos and a six pack of real coke in glass bottles. Now, close your eyes and follow along; it's a clear summer night in July, 1977. You and your date have just sneaked into the 'Old Chief' drive-in and are snuggling on 'make out hill' to see the latest creature feature. The credits are rolling and kids are running back to their cars from the playground by the big screen under a glorious starry sky.

Sure, the sound is distant and scratchy and the lot attendants come around every so often to make sure nobody's watching for free but dodging their flashlights is half the fun. Who knows what'll happen later that night?

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