Saturday, November 19, 2016

Jack and the Beanstalk (1970)

How bad is it? Easily one of the worst children's films ever made.
Should you see it? Ugh. If a children's film by an exploitation director's what you crave...

This Barry Mahon film is now available from Something Weird Video on a double bill with his "Wonderful World of Oz." I don't know why Mahon went from making nudie and roughie films to making children's films, but this came out three years after the Gene Kelly film of the same name, so perhaps he hoped there'd be some confusion. The film has a very 1970 look, from the fashions to the hair (there are two girls I had trouble telling apart) but it has a remarkably crisp and clean look, due to using the original negative. You know the plot. Jack sells his family's cow to "Honest John, Used Cow Salesman." He climbs the beanstalk three times to pad the film. There are endless bad songs, with the giant repeating his song a few times. The giant set is too large for the giant, which is slightly amusing. The green screen used for the scenes with Jack and the giant is not well done. This is perhaps the worst of Mahon's kid films, though I have a special animosity toward "Thumbelina" which just got spliced into "Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny."

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