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Jack the Giant Killer
"Be right there!"
"Be right there!"
Riffed by RiffTrax
Riffers Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett
Series RiffTrax Live!
Date Released August 17, 2011 (Live) and June 20, 2014

Jack the Giant Killer is a 1962 United Artists fantasy film starring Kerwin Mathews in a fairy tale story about a young man who defends a princess against a sorcerer's giants and demons.

The film was loosely based on the traditional tale "Jack the Giant Killer" and features extensive use of stop motion animation. The film was directed by Nathan H. Juran and later re-edited and re-released as a musical by producer Edward Small. The reason for the change to music was on the grounds that Columbia Pictures, which released The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, threatened to sue Small. The original print without the music got released 30 years later with no protest from Columbia Pictures, while United Artists continues to own the rights to the musical version of the film. The film brought together Mathews, Juran, Small, and actor Torin Thatcher, all four worked on '7th Voyage'.

RiffTrax riffed Jack the Giant Killer live in Nashville in August 2011. They released the studio riff on June 20, 2014.

Synopsis and Preview

[Spoilers Begin]


Rifftrax LIVE Jack the Giant Killer Teaser

In the Duchy of Cornwall of fairy tale days, the malevolent sorcerer Pendragon, ruler of giants, witches and all creatures evil, was defeated by the wizard, Herla, and along with his disciples exiled to an uncharted, unknown island. Pendragon however vows revenge and Herla dies, meaning there is no longer a threat against Pendragon. Years later the kingdom celebrates the crowning of Princess Elaine (Judi Meredith). The reception goes well until Pendragon (Torin Thatcher) arrives disguised as a foreign lord. He gives her a magic toy that is actually Cormoran the giant, and which is given to the Princess. When Elaine is asleep, Pendragon uses his magic to make the giant grow to full size and capture Elaine. The castle guards are too late to stop the giant. Cormoran takes Elaine to a ship, but before it can sail a brave farm lad named Jack (Kerwin Mathews) rescues Elaine. Jack then fights the giant and kills it. In gratitude, King Mark (Dayton Lummis) makes Jack her protector and entrusts him to safely guide her to a convent across the sea. However he does not know that Elaine's waiting-maid, Lady Constance (Anna Lee), is a witch in league with Pendragon and reveals the King's plan to him.

Enraged at having his plan fouled, Pendragon makes up another one, determined to stop Jack. While Jack and Elaine are planning their trip, Mark and his servants discuss the potential danger that is now Pendragon. While Jack and Elaine are rejoicing at sea, Pendragon sends his demonic witches to intercept Jack's ship. Elaine is captured, while Jack and his friend, Peter (Roger Mobley) are cast overboard. At Pendragon's castle, Pendragon uses his powers once again to turn Elaine from a princess into an attractive, but evil witch. Pendragon then returns to Cornwall and confronts King Mark, telling him he has one week to renounce the throne and let Elaine rule alongside Pendragon, or she will die. After he vanishes, Mark realizes Constance has betrayed him, and when she stands before a mirror, she appears as a witch. The King breaks the mirror and frees Constance from Pendragon's power. In the sea, an old Viking, Sigurd (Barry Kelley), rescues Jack and Peter and introduces them to Diaboltin (Don Beddoe), a leprechaun imprisoned in a bottle, who has the power to grant three wishes. With the help of his new allies, Jack tries to get Elaine back and does so, but Elaine uses Jack's love for her to her advantage and tricks Jack, leading to him being imprisoned in the castle and Peter and Sigurd being transformed into a chimp and a dog. Elaine stands before a mirror, revealing her witch's form, but Jack manages to break free, destroys the spell put on Elaine, and flees with her and his animal friends.

As the friends flee, Pendragon sends a two-headed giant called Galligantua along their path. They find Diaboltin, who had been washed ashore after being accidentally knocked overboard. Using his last "good deed", Diaboltin summons a monster from the sea to defeat the giant. Galligantua gets the better of the sea monster at first, whacking it on the head with an anchor from a shipwreck, but eventually the sea monster suffocates and defeats the giant. As a last resort, Pendragon transforms himself into a dragon and attacks the ship, but Jack slays him in a tense battle. With evil routed at last, Pendragon's castle crumbles, crushing his evil servants, the spells on Sigurd and Peter are broken and they turn back to their human form. Diaboltin is also freed from his bottle. They all sail away to live happily ever after.

[Spoilers End]

Cast and Crew

  • Judi Meredith as Princess Elaine
  • Torin Thatcher as Pendragon
  • Walter Burke as Garna
  • Don Beddoe as Diaboltin
  • Barry Kelley as Sigurd
  • Dayton Lummis as King Mark
  • Anna Lee as Lady Constance
  • Roger Mobley as Peter
  • Robert Gist as Scottish Captain
  • Tudor Owen as Chancellor
  • Ken Mayer as Boatswain
  • Helen Wallace as Jack's mother



See Also

External Links