Thursday, October 28, 2010

Clash of the Titans (1981)

Zeus blesses his son with beautiful hair.

The 1980's were a beautiful time that I'm certain most of us would like forget. More than any other time in film-making, the 80's seemed to permeate every element of the process. Clash of the Titans is, really, a wonderful expression of early 1980's culture. There's the beautiful hair, the excessive, yet unremarkable, special effects and a general sense that everyone on the set was doing cocaine that make Clash of the Titans an awesome time capsule and help it maintain cult classic status.

In some respects, Clash of the Titans is the mythological story of Perseus and Andromeda and in other respects it's 1980's pop nonsense. To make a long story short, the son of Zeus, Perseus, must save the beautiful princess Andromeda from the retribution of the gods. The only way he can succeed is by conquering some of Greek mythology's scariest adversaries. The film stars a lot of no names and, oddly enough, Laurence Olivier as Zeus. More notably, the film is the last major work of publicly unappreciated special effects guru Ray Harryhausen. While it was a financial success at the time the film mostly endures as a cult favorite and has recently garnered some extra attention because of the a recent remake.

There's little remarkable to report about Clash of the Titans. It does have Ray Harryhausen's awesome stop-motion animation, if your not familiar with his work check out the skeleton fight from Jason and the Argonauts, but it doesn't boast a script worth noting or performances worth calling decent. The movie feels entirely dated. The 80's sensibilities stick out like a sore thumb and even the visual effects I called "Awesome" do look a little less than perfect 30 years later.  What your getting with Clash of the Titans is entertaining camp and Harry Hamlin's beautiful hair. I may get some flack for saying it, but the remake of the movie is definitely more successful in the entertainment department. While the new film may be more exciting, the original does have a lot more character to it and it will probably be remembered for that reason alone. Clash of the Titans is best viewed as a time capsule and with the accompaniment of a few drinks and a sense of humor.


No comments: