27 December 2015 | BA_Harrison
He's behind you. Oh no he isn't.
Based on stories from The Arabian Nights, Sabu and the Magic Ring is a strictly-for-the-kids fantasy adventure originally intended as a pilot for a TV series that never happened. It's not hard to see why it didn't take off: the whole thing looks and feels like a bad pantomime, with cheesy performances, a predictable script, cheap sets (the makers clearly hoping no-one will notice that the stable doubles as a secret passage), and crude special effects.
Sabu, star of the 1940 fantasy hit The Thief of Baghdad, plays a young stable boy who discovers a ring that, when rubbed, reveals a magical genie, Ubal (played by 6'5" actor William Marshall), who is duty bound to do the bidding of whoever holds the trinket. In classic pantomime style, Sabu fails to see the genie at first, then loses the ring, finds it, loses it, and finds it, ad nauseum, while villainous wazir Mazufar (Peter Mamakos) also tries to get his hands on the magical ornament, intending to use its power to make himself Caliph.
With a little help from beautiful fruit seller Zumila (Daria Massey), and a lot of help from Ubal, Sabu eventually saves the day, but not before plenty of excruciatingly bad knockabout farce, a touch of terrible swashbuckling, and some mind numbingly silly nonsense involving a gaggle of geese.
3/10. For Sabu completists only (if such people even exist).