Film Review: The Magic Sword (1962)

Also known as: The Seven Curses of Lodac, St. George and the Dragon, St. George and the Seven Curses (alternative titles)
Release Date: January 25th, 1962 (Mexico)
Directed by: Bert I. Gordon
Written by: Bernard Schoenfeld
Music by: Richard Markowitz
Cast: Basil Rathbone, Estelle Winwood, Anne Helm, Gary Lockwood, Liam Sullivan, Maila Nurmi

Bert I. Gordon Productions, 80 Minutes

Review:

“[chuckling] You don’t like Sir Branton? Oh, come now. A damsel in distress can’t afford to pick and choose.” – Lodac

Bert I. Gordon may have been one of the few true kings of schlock but he was also one of the best. While his films are all pretty terrible from an academic standpoint, they all exude a special sort of charm and are very watchable if you are a fan of pure hammy schlock.

This movie is no different and like many of his other films, this one found itself reaching a sort of immortality by being riffed on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The Magic Sword is a pretty neat early ’60s sword and sorcery flick. It also stars Basil Rathbone, a fantastic actor but one who also found himself in a lot of schlock-y pictures later in his career.

But that doesn’t mean that Rathbone gave up and didn’t put his best foot forward. He is the best thing about this movie and he’s committed to his role of evil sorcerer quite well.

I loved Rathbone in this and even if the film is kind of shit, he elevates it when he is present onscreen.

Now this film did have a scant budget but it made the most of it and gave the audience some pretty decent sets and a cool battle with a giant dragon at the end of the film. I really dug the finale and the dragon model’s giant head looked pretty impressive for an early ’60s low budget adventure film.

Bert I. Gordon isn’t quite Roger Corman but this is one of those pictures where he does give him a run for his money.

Rating: 4.5/10
Pairs well with: other sword and sorcery or sword and sandal pictures of the era.

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