The Prince Of Witches, Pendragon (Torin Thatcher), and his minions have been expelled from the Duchy Of Cornwall, but he is still craving dominance of the land and so uses a giant to kidnap princess Elaine (Judi Meredith) on her birthday.
His plans are thwarted though by farmer Jack (Kerwin Mathews), who slays the giant and rescues the princess. He is promptly knighted by the king (Dayton Lummis) and charged with the task of ferrying Elaine to a Normandy nunnery where she can be hidden from Pendragon.
Unfortunately, Pendragon learns of this plan from a traitor at court and sends a cadre of witches to ambush Jack's ship in the English Channel. Elaine is spirited away to Pendragon's island fortress and Jack is thrown overboard by the ship's mutinous crew.
He's rescued from the sea by Viking fisherman Sigurd (Barry Kelley), along with the ship's cabin boy Peter (Roger Mobley), and so the three, aided by Sigurd's "imp in a bottle", the leprechaun Diaboltin (Don Beddoe), sail to Pendragon's mysterious island to rescue the princess... little realising that she has already been transformed into a witch by Pendragon's dark arts.
Jack The Giant Killer reunited stars Kerwin Mathew and Torin Thatcher from 1958's The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad with director Nathan H. Juran and producer Edward Small.
However, even though Jack The Giant Killer uses extensive stop-motion claymation for its special effects this is no Ray Harryhausen picture. The monsters, on the whole, are serviceable, but the clay sculpts lack the detail of Harryhausen's superior work.
The script, by Orville H. Hampton and Nathan H. Juran, based on the folk tale of Jack The Giant Killer, puts an interesting spin on witchcraft that I've never seen before: it is akin to a form of demonic possession that can be placed on a person, wiling or unwilling, turning them into a witch.
The film's witches come in two distinct flavours: those who resemble humans (but whose true form is revealed in mirrors) and those who resemble demons, with the latter having a broader range of magical powers.
As is often the case, it's the villains that steal the show and Torin Thatcher is brilliant as the scenery-chewing, pantomime villain Pendragon, who continually mocks the Cornish king as he schemes to usurp the rightful ruler.
Jack The Giant Killer is very much a fairy tale story from simpler times, but makes for excellent family-friendly fare full of magic, monsters and romance.
Ageless giants with horns and satyr-like features, the Cormoran destroy and plunder at the bidding of their master, usually a powerful dark sorcerer.
They stand around 18 to 20 foot high and although they vaguely resemble hill giants this breed lacks all but the must animalistic of intelligence.
Cormoran can be trained on a basic level, but are ultimately near-mindless monsters whipped into submission by powerful magicians.
Left to their own devices they are too stupid to properly protect themselves.
The most common Cormoran is the single-headed variety, with a single prominent horn, but a rarer two-headed version (each head sporting two small horns) has also been seen, although - beyond the additional head - there appears to be no difference in the types.
The horns on all varieties are purely defensive and are never used to attack.
#ENC: (1-4) One (5-6) two
Hit Dice: 7+2
AC: 5 
Atk: punch/slap (2d6+3)
- Hurl Boulders - range 100ft, damage: 2d6+2
- Magical Immunity - because they are already in the thrall of powerful magicians, Cormorans are immune to any form mind-control magic, fear etc