Wednesday Rewind: Clash Of The Titans by @destroytheearth

Long-time contributor, @CartoonBeardy, runs a hilarious film podcast called The Black Dog. Each week, he and partner in crime, Darren, run a feature called Rose-Tinted Specs, where they rewatch a classic film to see if it is as good as we all remember.

Recently, they discovered that the classic 1981 Clash Of The Titans was a pale imitation of our childhood memories. So, this weekend, armed with a cheap copy bought from a certain supermarket chain, I set out to prove them wrong. Hit the jump to find out it I succeeded:

Referring to the film as "Clunge Of The Tight-Ones", The Black Dog maintained that it was slow, poorly acted and that the effects just did not stand up.

One's first reaction is to argue that you can't knock effects from such an old film; the problem with that is that it came four years after Star Wars. Compared to Lucas' epic, which still shines today, Titans just cannot compete, in the acting, effects or plot department.

The film drags a little, with far too much going on for so simple a story. The acting, despite an incredible cast that includes Laurence Olivier and Ursula Andress, is RSC-style melodrama, rather than the naturalistic style we're used to seeing in films. Finally, the effects are lacking. I would never disparage the mighty Harryhausen, but stopmotion just isn't up to the task asked of it here: claymation Calibos looks nothing like prosthetics Calibos; while Pegasus looks like a fluffy My Little Pony.

Nevertheless, there are moments that raise the film above its component parts: Zeus controlling the lives of mortals through voodoo-style clay dolls, placed in an amphitheatre model and manipulated; the camera pulling back so as only to show the shadow of Calibos' doll as it cruelly mutates into a monster; the trilogy of magic weapons Zeus grants his son...

By the extremely-effective Medusa sequence, you're right there with the film, and the climactic showdown with the Kraken is still enjoyable, so long as you can accept the limitations of the effects.

Is it a classic example of progressive cinema? Hell no. This was retro even when it was made and cannot hold a candle to Star Wars. Nonetheless, as a fantasy version of the classic Greek mythology epics, as a fun B-movie and as an imperfect film with some solid ideas, it's still lovable, and it still beats the mediocre remake hands-down. It's worth £3 anyway....

Sorry, Lee.

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