Everybody wants their own Bubo.

What do you think of when I say “The Clash of the Titans”? Calibos, Vulture, Pegasus, Bubo, Dioskilos, Medusa, Scorpions, Kraken, Ray Harryhausen? Yea. The last movie where Ray Harryhausen performed magic. Siskel and Ebert called it an Adventure film. And it is. I’ve always enjoyed a stop motion movie. But then because of Harryhausen I’ve been spoiled. Make no mistake. This is NOT claymation. This is pure stop motion.

Stop motion is an animated-film making technique in which objects are physically manipulated in small increments between individually photographed frames so that they will appear to exhibit independent motion when the series of frames is played back at a fast sequence. Claymation is a 'type' of stop motion animation. Each animated piece is "deformable"—made of a malleable substance, usually plasticine clay. Harryhausen uses a poseable model covered in whatever material is needed for his subject. For example a dinosaur would be a poseable model covered with rubber.

OK. Back to business. “Clash of the Titans” was released in 1981 and was directed by Desmond Davis. It is part of the sub-genre known as sword and sandal. The story is the mythological tale of Perseus (Harry Hamlin) who is Zeus’s (Laurence Olivier) son and is in love with Andromeda (Judi Bowker) and because Andromeda’s mother Cassiopeia (Sian Phillips) is a braggart and has offended Thetis (Maggie Smith) he must find a way to save Andromeda’s life or she must be given to the Kraken (creature) as a sacrifice. To save her he must seek out the Stygian Witches, cross the river Styx, battle a two headed dog (Dioskilos), cut off the head of Medusa, fight giant scorpions and make it back to Joppa before Andromeda is sacrificed.

On his side he has a magic shield, helmet and sword given to him by the gods, a mechanical owl, also given to him by the gods, that talks in beeps, bops and whizzes, and a flying horse (Pegasus). Toss in a jilted fiancé Calibos (creature), who also happens to be the son of Thetis, and you have an involved story with lots of action and fighting and wonderful creatures. Even if you get lost and lose track of all the story threads you still have great special effects to get lost in. Along with some really great actors it’s an epic adventure. Whether or not it follows traditional Greek mythology really doesn’t matter. A myth is a myth. It can be what you want.

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