Monday, December 9, 2013

The Adventures of Sinbad: Episode 1 Part 2 ReCrap

Here it is! The long-awaited continuation of the Vault's ReCrap of everyone's favorite 1996 anti-hit action TV series The Adventures of Sinbad. Back in the day, this show was just one of the slew of garbage live action fantasy shows on TV, so it got lost in the shuffle. But now, it's the perfect turd to wax nostalgic over. 

While obviously a piece of crap, the show is surprisingly watchable. You get the sense that the show knows it sucks - just maybe not how bad it sucks. Combine that with its charmingly racist choice of fantasy setting and the worst special effects budget in history, and the end result is pretty satisfying for fans of terrible TV and shit cinema like me. 

So get ready for an exhaustive play-by-play and an inappropriate amount of Sinbad gifs! 

Here's part one if you missed it. If you're all caught up, let's get right on down to more high seas hijinks in "Return of Sinbad" Part II

First, let's reacquaint ourselves with the key players:

This swashbuckling devil right here is Sinbad the sailor, an adventurer from Baghdad played by a white guy. He's swift with his sword, quick with a quip, and thinks with his dick. He's also an early practitioner of Assassin's Creed style parkour, and has one hell of a head of hair. In other words, perfect leader material.
This guy using his fat gut to do damage is Sinbad's older brother Doubar, who inexplicably looks nothing like our dashing hero. How amusing! All you really need to know about Doubar is that he is the least effective super strong guy of all time, but at least he used to do the Beast's voice on the X-Men cartoon.
Firouz is Sinbad's best bud and the crew's resident eccentric inventor. He's super smart, but even worse in a fight than the rest of the bunch (which is saying a lot). His role is to come up with all sorts of crazy contraptions that don't seem to be of any practical use until the plot calls for some contrived deus ex machina. Which happens just about every episode.
Mustapha is Doubar's combative prison buddy, a little white guy with a Muslim name and a Napoleon complex. He's always picking fights, but since he's a good guy he justifies his belligerent nature by asking his enemies to insult his mother first, then getting all butthurt and hostile when they do. Bet that gimmick won't get old quick!
And rounding out the main crew is Rongar, the token black guy who is deadly with a throwing knife. In addition to being the only non-white main cast member on a show based upon Middle Eastern legend, Rongar is also a mute. He had his tongue cut out for being too loyal, which is how you know you should trust him.

Also along for the ride are Casib - the bumbling Prince of Baghdad who dresses like Prince - and his advisor, the Grand Vizier Admir (who isn't shady or secretly evil at all, not one bit). There are also a bunch of faceless deck hands but come on, they don't matter.
When last we left Sinbad and his fearless crew, they were en route to rescue Prince Casib's girlfriend from the clutches of the diabolical Turok and his 90s-hot daughter Rumina, but they ran into some unexpected trouble in the form of Rumina's level-grinded Magikarp. Fortunately, the vicious sea monster seemed content to stick to its Splash attack, so I'm sure it won't do any lasting damage.
Oh wait. Gyarados used "Swallow a Man Whole." It's super effective! 

Prince Casib is drawn out of his chambers below deck by all the death and turbulence and demands that Sinbad do something to stop the creature before it capsizes the ship. So the gang springs into action. 
Mustapha valiantly flails his sword in the general direction of the beast while the seasick Prince pukes all over Doubar's shoes. To be fair, that is the appropriate reaction to CGI this bad. 

Sinbad tries to make good use of Firouz's elaborate sea catapult from the first episode, but the machine has broken free from its moorings because of the monster attack, making it about as useless in a fight as its inventor. Now the only option - of course - is for Sinbad to climb up to the crow's nest and toss a bomb directly into the thing's mouth.
Gyarados dislikes smoke! Wait, now I'm mixing video game metaphors. 

Anyway, with that little diversion taken care of, it's clear sailing to the Isle of Dawn where the gang seeks the help of Sinbad's mentor, a powerful wizard named Dim Dim. However, Sinbad isn't on dry land for five seconds before a falcon starts clawing his eyes out.
According to the show's title sequence, this buxom battle broad is Maeve, and her falcon friend is Dermott, who also gets billing in the main credits!
That bird must have had a good agent! And these two are apparently friends, not foes. As it turns out, Maeve is Dim Dim's apprentice. She knows a bit about magic herself - she can conjure up a few spells, toss a fireball or two, and can apparently communicate with animals.

Sinbad: "You can talk to dumb beasts?"
Maeve: "Isn't that what I'm doing right now?"

Just wanted to let you know the dialogue level we're working with on this show. But yeah, the sexual tension between Maeve and Sinbad is through the roof from word one, and you can tell because she's just constantly shitting all over him. They're like the awful fantasy show Ross and Rachel!

Maeve leads Sinbad through a portal into a lush private garden, where Sinbad is welcomed with open arms by his wise old friend, Master Dim Dim. Dim Dim has interesting fashion sense to say the least. Basically, he's dressed like Jerry Seinfeld's penis.
I guess he's dressed more like Seinfeld's penis if he weren't Jewish.

Dim Dim enlightens Sinbad on the enormity of the task before him. You see, Dim Dim knew Sinbad before Sinbad was as Bad as Sin, so he knows that defeating Turok and Rumina will be a huge test for the young sailor. But it is a test our hero must pass. Because if Turok triumphs and his evil schemes go unfoiled, "It will be the beginning of the end for the world. Good magic will disappear, greed and evil will prosper, mother nature will be abused for profit!" I wish I knew why these goody goodies feel the need to hate on Turok just because his politics are a bit on the conservative side. Especially since I've never seen so many white guys obsessed with the fate of Baghdad since the Bush administration.

Anyway, Dim Dim tells Maeve to pack up her spellbooks and collection of designer hawking gloves because time is short, and he only hopes their combined magic can be of some use in Sinbad's quest. That, and Dim Dim hints that Maeve has her own reasons for wanting to see Turok taken down. Sinbad is incredulous that Dim Dim would want to bring a woman aboard his ship (bad luck, ya'll), but as Dim Dim already said, he knows better than anyone what makes Sinbad tick. And as we'll see shortly, nothing motivates Sinbad like having a hot piece around.

While all this is going on, our villains - Turok and Rumina - are spying on Sinbad's every move through a magic pool. Rumina makes her desire for the handsome hero clear, while Turok admits to being impressed that Sinbad and his band of flunkies are lucky enough to have made it this far unkilled. But Turok declares he's done toying with them. I guess he's is as tired of watching Sinbad dick around as I am. Could it be the evil wizard has something up his baggy sleeve?

So, Sinbad brings Maeve and Dim Dim back to the ship to meet the rest of the crew. The others predictably cry foul on the whole "bringing a woman on board" thing, but Maeve wins everyone over by making Doubar her bitch with a dismissive pat on his tummy, flipping Mustapha onto his ass when he tries his little "Say something about my mother!" routine on her, and calling the Prince a "little squint" to his royal face.
Prince Casib greets his old teacher Master Dim Dim with all due reverence, while creepy Grand Vizier Admir seems less than pleased to see the wizard. You see, Dim Dim used to be a big wig in the royal court of Baghdad, but he was exiled back when the Prince was just a boy. Dim Dim seems sleazily impressed with the way Casib has grown since then, exclaiming "You've filled out quite a bit!" while staring directly at the Prince's junk. Hey, I'm just calling it like I see it. And to be fair to Dim Dim, the Prince sure can wear the hell out of some lavender silk pantaloons and guyliner.

While I'm pointing out how sexually provocative the penis-hat-wearing Master Dim Dim has turned out to be, I'd like to call attention to the monstrous wizard staff he's carrying. Freud would have a field day with Dim DIm. And by the way - just like Dim Dim's staff, every single weapon prop on this show is hilariously enormous and impractical. Sinbad and his pals are swinging around swords that would put a Japanese RPG hero to shame.

Anyway, with the addition of Sinbad's two new magically inclined buddies, his crew is starting to look pretty formidable. But Dim Dim isn't on the ship long before he warns Sinbad that evil has already invaded their ranks. 

Fortunately, Sinbad is convinced that Dim Dim should be able to handle any evil that might come their way with his magic, so rather than remain on guard, our brave captain contents himself with some creeping on Maeve. Sinbad tries to pry her for information about Turok and Rumina but gets shot down, so instead he takes the time to bond with Doubar and gossip about the rest of the crew behind their backs - particularly that shady Grand Vizier guy who keeps skulking about while ominous music plays. Eventually their attention turns back to Maeve and Dim Dim, who are practicing their crappy CGI fireballs.

Doubar: "She's a pretty one, that one, huh?"
Sinbad: "I suppose. If you like the INSULTING type."

Ah, Sinbad. You're not fooling anyone.
Speaking of not fooling anyone, someone in Sinbad's crew left a big incriminating chest full of body parts just lying around in the ship's hold. Rongar casually happens across it while carrying out whatever chores sailors do to pass the time at sea. Of course it has to be the mute guy who stumbles across definitive proof of evil afoot. Fortunately, a box of severed limbs doesn't really require a lot of nuanced explanation.

And who did Rongar happen to see leaving the hold just before he made this grisly discovery? Admir, of course - the ultra creepy advisor to the Prince, and the character with the least amount of development thus far. Surely he's not the evil presence Dim Dim sensed earlier?
Come to think of it, he seems pretty evil. Once confronted by the crew with his hoard of limbs, Admir tosses Firouz across the ship then chokeslams Mustapha when he tries to step to him. It turns out Admir is really a demon named Iblis, which is - if Wikipedia can be trusted - a name for the devil in Islam. So yeah, he's definitely evil.

Sinbad orders the crew not to do anything rash and attempts to barter with the demon. Turns out, all Iblis wants is for Sinbad to cease his adventure and turn his ship around so the Prince and his father will have to give in to Turok and Rumina's evil demands. Of course, that isn't much of a deal, and Sinbad loves him some adventure, so the crew goes with Plan B and calls in Dim Dim. He'll handle this!
Actually, Iblis easily dispatches the great wizard by literally blowing him off the ship to Parts Unknown, all while giggling like a kid at Christmas. Boy, this Master Dim Dim sure turned out to be all hype. And come to think of it, now this is like Seinfeld's Penis vs. An Evil Penis, and we all know the Evil Penis always wins in a blowout.

Now Sinbad has no choice but to either hand over the Prince and leave quietly or risk the lives of his entire crew. You see, the Prince is just a small part of a much greater plan. A plan that has been far too long in the making for one swashbuckling sailor to interfere with. A plan that Iblis will gladly tell us at length about! 

"I am sent to a kingdom in human form. I prey upon the young, the eager, the inexperienced. I flatter them, make them feel important. Then I plant the seeds of destruction! I rob them of their power to dream! Soon they forget hope! Forget magic! They worship only themselves and MONEY!" 

Boo this man! Iblis totally looks right in Prince Casib's eyes as he drops that burn about how he gets off on flattering the young and inexperienced, and for a second the Prince's self esteem drops so low that he volunteers to go quietly, but Sinbad refuses to bargain with demons. A poor choice, because Iblis is all about stuffing his freaky CGI demon mouth with the flesh of his enemies. 

Then Iblis drops the best line in the episode so far...

"I grow weary of this conversation! I grow hungry! and when I'm hungry, I GRRROOOOWWWWW.....!!!"
...and morphs into his TRUE FORM! 

The crew prepares for battle, and Sinbad - who's always brimming with helpful facts that he has no apparent way of knowing - warns them all to avoid the demon's tail, as it is filled with DEADLY POISON!
The crew is hilariously hapless in this battle. Doubar gets eliminated instantly by a claw to the chest (like I said, least effective super strong guy), while Rongar's dinky throwing knives plink harmlessly off Iblis's scaly hide, and Mustapha wows us with his trademark fighting style - standing still and flailing. The Prince and Firouz apparently saw fit to scram during the chaos. Fortunately, Sinbad puts in a surprisingly decent showing of swordsmanship, considering he's fencing with a 50 foot demonic presence.
Meanwhile, Maeve is warming up a fireball, but Sinbad dives across the ship and knocks her down, probably just as an excuse to cop a feel in the heat of battle. Stupid sexist Sinbad. The rest of your crew is getting swatted around like useless flies, and you're safety tackling the only person there than can shoot fire from her hands?

Then Mustapha tries something stupid and gets got with a poisonous tail to the chest. The crew gathers around him and the chaos stops long enough to allow him time for a proper death scene, so of course he uses the opportunity to go back to the catchphrase well.

Mustapha: "Say somethin... about my mother..."
Sinbad: "...She raised a fine and brave son."

Cryin so hard, you guys. 

Mustapha dies like he's in a Final Fantasy game, and Rongar shows us that you can still let out a mournful wail without a tongue. I can't believe Mustapha was the first to go, but I guess it's not such a surprise. Even if the dude playing him was white, the character was obviously a black guy. That, and he wasn't even in the opening credits!

Mustapha's death rallies the crew and they all blindly charge the beast, hacking and slashing. Sinbad climbs up the rigging and, while the demon is distracted, bellows "DIE A THOUSAND DEATHS, YOU DEVIL!!" and rope swings a spear into the thing's mouth and through the back of its neck.
OK, Sinbad. That was pretty badass. Lesson learned, forces of evil. Sinbad is not to be messed with.
Now that that little business is taken care of, all that's left is for Sinbad to gather up his remaining crew, toss that demon carcass overboard, and rescue Prince Casib's lady friend from Turok and Rumina's stronghold on the ISLE OF TEARS!!
Which, as you might expect, isn't the most inviting-looking place. 

Meanwhile, Turok and Rumina have been watching Sinbad's valiant efforts to thwart their plans in their enchanted bowl of water. Since they know full well Sinbad and his goons are sailing their way, they decide to lie in wait for the would-be heroes on a creepy skull-shaped balcony with the kidnapped Princess Adina in tow, who is helplessly scumbag-fondled by her wretched captor.

Finally, SInbad and the crew meet Turok and Rumina face to face. Turok proclaims victory before the battle has even begun, claiming that Sinbad sailed all this way only to meet his doom. But the good guys won't go down easily - they've got friends to avenge and people to rescue. It looks like it's ON! 

However, Rumina is willing to haggle if her father isn't. She appears projected in the sky above the ISLE OF TEARS!! via magic hologram and offers to let Prince Casib and Sinbad's crew go freely if Sinbad will agree to become her friend. Her "close, close friend." Should he take the deal, Princess Adina would still be fish food, though. Rumina plans on being Queen of Baghdad and she can't afford any non-evil female royalty sticking around.

Shocking everyone, Sinbad resists the temptation to follow his dick and become the sultry sorceress's sex slave, citing his promise to rescue the Princess. Sinbad's word is his bond, ya'll. He calls for Firouz to ready the catapult, then continues to trade barbs with the villains while the crew fastens him into a convoluted hang glider and readies him for lift-off.

Eventually Turok puts an end to his daughter's pitiful attempt at wooing our hero, pointing out that - as an all-powerful wizard - Rumina could do way better than a smartmouthed sailor with floppy hair, and anyway Sinbad is obviously planning something shifty (what with the whole "not even trying to hide the fact that I'm rigging myself into a giant flying device" thing). So Turok decides to just destroy the sailor and end this.
But it's too little too late, as Sinbad is already airborn and making his way right for them. Looks like Assassin's Creed stole its obligatory hang glider mission from The Adventures of Sinbad too, on top of just about everything else.  

However, Turok is merely amused, branding Sinbad's antics "A very impressive suicide!" 
Turok then orders the sexually frustrated Rumina to quit missing Sinbad with lightning bolts and focus on killing Adina while he handles the sailor himself!

Rumina: "Kill him NOW, father! Before he gets any closer!"
Turok: "Don't worry my dear! I've been doing this sort of thing for years..."
Sinbad, gangsta that he is, pilots the hell out of Firouz's flying machine despite absolutley no previous hang gliding experience, lops off Turok's head and snatches the Princess away from Rumina in one quick move, and then soars majestically back to the safety of the ship. That is, until the obligatory comedy crash landing. But the crew just pulls Sinbad and Adina out of the sea and onto the deck while Sinbad gives them all an emphatic "Like you coulda done any better!" Fuckin Batman couldn't have done any better.
Once safely back on board his ship, Sinbad gives a sexy nod to Maeve and bonds a bit with Dermott over their shared flight experience. But the crew's happy ending will have to wait a bit. It seems Rumina isn't too pleased about the whole "having her father's head lopped off before her very eyes" thing, and in a rage she transforms half of the ISLE OF TEARS!! into a giant rock golem!
Unfortunately, Sinbad already used up his Badass Power Move for the day rescuing Adina, so he begs Maeve to magic up a solution to this one. She tries launching a few pathetic fireballs at the thing, but they just fizzle out harmlessly on impact. Then Sinbad gets one of his signature bright ideas...
Spank Assisted Super Fireball! That's why he's the captain, folks.

Sinbad smacks Maeve on the ass, and his inappropriateness charges up Maeve's magic enough to blow the rock monster to smithereens! Finally, Sinbad's horndog nature pays off! The crew makes a hasty retreat, triumphantly sailing into the sunset, while Rumina curses Sinbad for all eternity.

So all's well that ends well. When it's all said and done, Casib and Adina are reunited, Turok is slain, Baghdad is saved, Sinbad has himself a new ship and the makings of a loyal crew, and now the real adventure can begin. Our heroes still need to find out what became of Dim Dim, and I'm sure they haven't seen the last of Rumina. I'm sure you're just dying to find out what happens next.

Anyway, this show may be shitty, but it has its charms. Then again, I'm partial to shitty television, so maybe my judgment is a bit clouded. So, let's go to the YouTube comments section for the final word!

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