Verdict
4

Summary

A vibrantly colorful sword and sorcery mishmash that reunited the director (Nathan Juran) with the two stars (Mathews and Thatcher) from The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jack the Giant Killer should appeal to the same fans, although the stop motion effects were by Howard A. Anderson instead of Harryhausen, and it’s a sore spot.

Plot: A farmboy turned knight must protect a princess from the schemes of an evil wizard.

Review: An evil sorcerer named Pendragon (Torin Thatcher) lusts after the beautiful princess Elaine (Judi Meredith) and so he gifts her an enchanted music box on her birthday. She receives it and from its center comes a gnome that turns into a massive giant creature that takes her away to a boat waiting at the shore. By happenstance, a young farmhand named Jack (Kerwin Mathews from The 7th Voyage of Sinbad) is there to save her from the giant: He battles the beast and emerges victorious, having slain the creature with his wit and strength. The king rewards him by granting him knighthood, and he’s entrusted with a vital task: to embark on a mission to sail with the princess to a faraway convent where she will be safe from the evil Pendragon. While on the quest, the sorcerer sends his witches to turn the crew against Jack and the princess, and Elaine is taken to Pendragon where she succumbs to his spell. It’s up to Jack and his two sidekicks – a little boy and a Viking – to save the princess. Along the way, they find a leprechaun in a bottle who provides Jack with three wishes (which will come in handy against the sorcerer’s magic).

A vibrantly colorful sword and sorcery mishmash that reunited the director (Nathan Juran) with the two stars (Mathews and Thatcher) from The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jack the Giant Killer should appeal to the same fans, although the stop motion effects were by Howard A. Anderson instead of Harryhausen, and it’s a sore spot. The creatures don’t quite have the vivid design or textures of Harryhausen’s workshop, but the movie is fun all the same. Jack fights a dragon in the climax, and it’s a fun scene. Remade in name only in 2013.

Kino Lorber’s new Blu-ray of jack the Giant Killer is presented in HD, and the picture is stunning. Included on the disc in the original 94-minute version, as well as an alternate redubbed musical version, which runs 91 minutes. Tim Lucas provides an audio commentary.