Previously, Sinbad has found a special sword (not that he’s really used it thus far) and Aladin has found a magic lamp complete with Genie Helen, but poor Alibaba (except for one brief moment) has nothing to show for our trio’s (or quartet’s, if you count Jameela) adventures.
The Genie has now put them right in the middle of a nightmare, though; perhaps this will be his chance to shine. But first, they need to get away from the menacing fire-breathing Godzilla!
Godzilla chases them up a hill, where they find refuge in a cave which is conveniently stocked with spears. They fend Godzilla off by poking him in the eye. It’s not as fearsome as it could be, though: Godzilla looks kind of cute clinging to the cave entrance, like Gemma when she puts her front paws up on my lap. Plus, the blood flowing from the wound reminds me uncomfortably of tears falling, and I feel sad for the big guy as he mopes away with the spear still stuck in his eye socket.
Alibaba draws the short straw, so to speak, when they decide that someone should keep watch in front of the cave entrance while the rest get some shut-eye (at least, that’s my assumption).
Alibaba’s patently obvious apprehension is well-founded, too. A pretty girl in a leopard print dress appears and he chases after her—this turns out to be not such a great idea.
Alibaba manages to get away despite the girl biting him on the hand (I don’t know why). When he returns to the cave, however, his friends have disappeared and there are more surprises waiting for him in the form of tribesmen with spears and what look like gumdrop-dotted paper party hats.
Their leader is our old friend Shyam Kumar! who is still lusting after Jameela, and who really needs to wash his hair. When Jameela refuses him again, he has the whole party tied to stakes—and it’s time for another song. The dancer in this one is really good, but I have no idea who she is.
While the tribesmen and Shyam Kumar are distracted, the girl in the leopard print dress reappears and cuts Sinbad, Jameela, Alibaba and Aladin free. Much swashbuckling follows, and Sinbad finally manages to kill Shyam (although still not with his lovely new sword, which has been left behind in the cave entrance with the lamp). The mysterious girl leads them to a door and utters some magic words (which only sound like gibberish to me).
If you don’t want to know the ending, you might want to stop here! But it’s a fairly difficult-to-find film, and I love the cracktastic goodness that keeps on coming right up until the end, so I’m going to keep on.
SPOILERS FROM HERE TO THE END
Beyond this magic door lies a cave full of treasure—but our mysterious friend is only interested in a sumptuously patterned carpet.
Wheee! I love Indian movie flying carpets! Our now-quintet makes one stop to retrieve the sword and the lamp (with a minor hitch):
and head home, leaving behind the now one-eyed Godzilla monster, poor guy.
At home, the vizier has just usurped the sultan’s throne. The townspeople watch in amazement as our intrepid heroes and heroines fly in, and are greeted with joy by their friends the old man and Rajan Haksar.
Quickly apprised of the coup situation, our quintet heads for the palace where the vizier greets them and demands that they hand over their magical treasures. Naturally, they refuse.
We finally get to see the sword’s special powers! Our heroines fly above the soldiers, bashing them on their heads with poster mailing tubes (or something), while Aladin’s beloved Genie transforms him into a fiery rotary object of some sort.
These are so delicious that we have to see them again:
Sinbad smites the Vizier with his sword, and he burns up and vanishes. Now all that’s left is to return the magic sword, lamp and carpet to where they got them (why? I have no idea). Aladin balks at returning the lamp since it contains Helen, until he summons the Genie again.
Tun Tun appears instead! How I love her. She has taken over as Genie, so that Helen can be free to marry Aladin. The carpet carries the sword and lamp off into the sunset. And all’s well that ends well.
Even though I had no idea what was going on for the most part, this was oodles and oodles of fun. The songs by Ravi are fabulous (with two Helen dances!) and the special effects remarkably…well, effective.
These old “lesser grade” films are so wonderful in my opinion; it’s a shame that they aren’t being restored and subtitled, and packaged and marketed for a wider audience. They may have not been hits in the mid-sixties, but in the first decade of the 21st century—fraught as it is with war, terrorism and recession—I think they are a perfect distraction.