Lodac, an evil wizard, has kidnapped the Princess Helene and intends to feed her to his dragon in seven days. One of the king's knights, Sir Branton, vows to rescue her, despite being warned of Lodac's seven curses, which have to be encountered before they can reach his castle. A boy named George, who was raised by Sybil, a slightly incompetent sorceress, and is smitten with the Princess wants to rescue her but Sybil, whose family had battles with Lodac and lost, refuses to let him go. But he uses the magic sword that she intends to give him to detain her while he goes to save the Princess. So he and six knights that he freed from Sybil's brothers spell of being turned to stone to be his allies go to the king and offer to accompany Branton and asks, if he should save the Princess, asks for her hand in marriage. Branton is not pleased but is implored by the King to bring them with him. But Branton plans to use them as pawns to evade the curses. Written by
I'm a Basil Rathbone fan, and a friend of mine picked this up for me somewhere--who knows where! The transfer isn't great, but the movie itself is wonderfully campy and has some cool moments if you're willing to stick with it and dig a little under the surface. Besides, I appreciated Mr. R.'s performance, and he managed to have some really good 'bad guy' moments in this (the scene where he had Helene watch her fellow prisoners being eaten by his dragon made an impression on me as being one of the best 'bad guy' moments I've seen, made even better by his distinctive baritone voice).
That said, the villains were better than the 'good' guys! Sir Branton's lines were atrocious, but would have been even mildly redeemable if they'd been delivered in more than an off-hand manner. George and Helene acted like spoiled brats, though they played their parts as the gallant knight (I chuckled when the orphan George introduced himself as 'Sir George' to the king who had never seen him, much less knighted him) and damsel in distress well.
The makeup in this movie was really creepy, and I'm sure the special effects were quite cutting edge for their time. I don't think I'd recommend this for kids younger than ten, as the monsters, the dark tone of the plot, and a 'little-too-sexy-for-the-movies' moment when Helene comes up out of the bath (my copy put a mosaic over a briefly topless Helene).
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