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“Release the Kraken!” Chad does his best impression of James Mason doing Laurence Olivier in recreating that iconic command. Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, Crystal Cleveland, and Jeff Mohr – as they get pretty wound up discussing Ray Harryhausen’s last feature film, Clash of the Titans (1981).
Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 210 – Clash of the Titans (1981)
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Perseus must battle Medusa and the Kraken to save Princess Andromeda.
- Director: Desmond Davis
- Writer: Beverley Cross
- Visual Effects:
- Ray Harryhausen (creator of special visual effects)
- Jim Danforth (assistant to Ray Harryhausen)
- Steven Archer (assistant to Ray Harryhausen)
- Selected Cast:
- Harry Hamlin as Perseus
- Judi Bowker as Andromeda
- Burgess Meredith as Ammon
- Maggie Smith as Thetis
- Siân Phillips as Cassiopeia
- Claire Bloom as Hera
- Ursula Andress as Aphrodite
- Laurence Olivier as Zeus
- Pat Roach as Hephaestus
- Susan Fleetwood as Athena
- Tim Pigott-Smith as Thallo
- Jack Gwillim as Poseidon
- Neil McCarthy as Calibos
- Vida Taylor as Danaë
- Donald Houston as Acrisius
- Flora Robson, Anna Manahan, and Freda Jackson as the Stygian Witches
Ray Harryhausen is the reason Bill is involved in filmmaking, so it makes sense that Clash of the Titans is his choice for the 80s Grue-Crew. He looks in wonder at the brilliant-in-every-way Medusa sequence and voices his appreciation for how producer Charles Schneer enabled Harryhausen to make the movies he did.
Chad was bored out of his mind during the first half of Clash of the Titans but it picked up for him once the journeys and quests begin. The scenes with Medusa are thick with tension, the witches and Calibos are amazing, and he always loves Burgess Meredith. Even though Clash of the Titans is pretty bad in some places, Crystal loves it wholeheartedly. She sees it as an awesome epic with just enough whimsy to balance the scares. And, oh yeah, Medusa! For Jeff, there are opportunities with the back and forth manipulations between the gods to energize the first half of Clash of the Titans, but they aren’t put to good use. He is all aboard with the Medusa appreciation, calling it one of the quintessential stop motion sequences in movies.
The 80s Grue-Crew are universally pleased that Harryhausen was able to go out on a high note with a bigger budget film. At the time of this writing, Clash of the Titans is available to stream from HBOmax and multiple PPV, and on physical media as a Warner Brothers Blu-ray.
If you are interested in more of Ray Harryhausen’s work, check out the following Decades of horror episodes:
- THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (1953) – Episode 69 – Decades Of Horror: The Classic Era
- THE VALLEY OF GWANGI (1969) – Episode 116 – Decades Of Horror: The Classic Era
Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Crystal, will be The Mutlilator (1984). Oh-oh.
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