1 Apr
The Elf goes back to her childhood to celebrate a classic

How can I express my deep love of Clash of the Titans? The kitschy Ray Harryhousen Clash of the Titans with the mechanical owl and the silly SFX (I admit Pegasus flying through the sky looks pretty silly, in a beautiful sort of way) and weird jump cuts and Harry Hamlin’s big, fat pre-Botox-era lips? I adore it, shamelessly, completely. Growing up I watched it with my parents and three sisters countless times. Whenever it was on TV someone in the house would scream, “Clash of the Titans is on!!” and we would end up splayed all over couches and pillows, watching, engrossed, totally sucked in by its weird campy world. When my sisters and I did something wrong, like refused to go to bed or drew all over the walls with crayons, instead of threatening us with something lame like a “Time Out,” our dad would say, “The Kraken is gonna come get you if you don’t go to bed.” And lemme tell you, the threat always worked. The Kraken was scary! Remember the look on Poseidon’s face every time he let that huge-ass creature out of the gate? Even Poseidon was terrified of the Kraken, and he was a GOD! Imagine how four little girls in Texas felt! But I digress…

Hit the Jump to continue reading Dina “The Elf” Gachman’s review of Clash of the Titans, the OG version…

A few years ago when I was in film school, and old enough to have learned that the Kraken wasn’t gonna come get me if I did something bad, it hit me like a lightning bolt: Someone should remake Clash of the Titans! Like me! I felt so super smart, until I did about two seconds of research and realized that some bozo at some studio had the same damn idea (welcome to Hollywood) and a remake was in the works. How could this nameless, faceless studio person love and adore Clash the way I did? I was sure the powers that be were going to cheapen and ruin my beloved movie. I mean, did their parents threaten their lives with the Kraken all through their childhood??? I guess anything is possible. What I do realize now that there are billboards and posters and hype about this new Clash all over the place is that there are other die-hard fans out there who are as anxious and ridiculously excited as I am to see this new incarnation of a classic. Will Bubo the owl still look and sound like the love child of R2D2 and C3P0? Will the big falcon thing that carries Andromeda in that cage to Calibos at night still look kind of like an oversized turkey? I mean, why’s his neck so red? Will the Gods lair still look all disco-y, like they stole it from the Xanadu set across the lot? Will all the day-for-night scenes still look, well, like they were shot during the daytime? These are important questions.

As we move into this new phase, with the new fancy, expensive, 2010 Clash of the Titans surging like the Kraken’s tidal wave into our cities, I’ll just say, if you haven’t experienced the original in a while (or, shame on you, if you’ve never seen it at all!), before you rush out to the plush theater with the oversized popcorn and the 3-D glasses and the hyperactive four-year-old who will likely (but hopefully not) be sitting next to you, do yourself a favor, treat yourself, and watch the 1981 version first. Refresh your memory, experience it for the first time – respect the original! It’s fun. And it’s free to stream on Netflix on demand so really there are no excuses! Unless you don’t have Netflix in which case, I can’t help you. Hook someone’s laptop up to
a widescreen TV like I did with some friends last night, have a cocktail, and, if you’re like me, when that familiar music starts to play your body will start to tingle and a huge smile will park itself on your lips for the whole two hours…or however long it is! I’m telling you, the original is kind of a cinematic miracle. I mean, Laurence Olivier as the disco Zeus?!? It doesn’t get more delicious than that. And watching that scene where Harry Hamlin and his lips are training a wild Pegasus, all I could think was, AVATAR! It’s the dive-bar version of Avatar, and the influence is clear.

What I learned watching it again last night though was that Ray Harryhausen’s FX were actually amazing for the time (one of the people I was watching with was a Clash newbie who happened to work in visual effects, and according to him the effects weren’t really campy for the time – news to me!). [Yes Elf, I feel compelled to note here that Harryhausen’s FX were actually groundbreaking for the time — he pioneered techniques that changed the industry. – Ed] That little factoid made me appreciate the original even more. Because you know what, that tidal wave through the city DOES look pretty cool! It may not measure up to what they can do in the 2010 version, but… we’ll just have to see about that.

My plea to you guys is just this: respect and watch the original Clash of the Titans before you head out to see the new one. I’m not asking you to pick up trash on the side of the 405 or anything, I’m just suggesting you do something fun and well worth your time. Respect a classic before you rush out to experience the fancy remake this weekend. I for one am going to see it in the biggest theater I can find, without 3-D glasses and with an open heart and mind. I want to be wowed, I really do… I know asking Hollywood to respect a classic is like asking Rachel Ray not to be annoying but… anything is possible. We’ll see…

No Responses to “An Ode To Clash of the Titans: the Original”

  1. cindy smith says:

    Soo True!! Great article!!!!!

  2. […] like July 4th, Halloween and New Years in my soul. Before I saw the disaster that was the new Clash of the Titans I freaked (the original holds a special place in my heart), the trailer for the upcoming movie […]

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