The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953 USA)

As the 50s started with a fascination for science fiction, Ray Harryhausen soon got his first chance to prove his talents in a solo effort when he was hired to do the special effects for Eugène Lourié’s new film, “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms”. This sci-fi epic about a resurrected dinosaur fitted Harryhausen’s animation like a glove and gave him the opportunity to show his amazing skills. After this now-legendary motion picture, the sky itself became the only limit for the animator’s career. It would be very easy to dismiss “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms” because of its nowadays clichéd plot (in fact, it’s idea would be improved the following year with Ishirô Honda’s very superior “Gojira”), however, one has to remember that this was among the first (if not the very first) films to tell this kind of story.  [Read more…]

Advertisements

The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad (Britain 1974)

golden-voyage-of-sinbadIf you are looking for an enjoyable adventure, full of swashbuckling heroics, colourful characters, and of course the battle of good versus evil, then you’ve found it. All aspects of the production contribute to a fantastic tale of conflict, destiny and glory. This is one of a series of Ray Harryhausen (animator/story) movies about Sinbad, the legendary sailor. In the first ten minutes this film shows its true colours as a fantasy. It will pull you in and keep you musing, wondering, and entertained mostly all the way through. [Read more…]

Jason And The Argonauts (1963 UK/USA)

ancient greeceI’m sure it takes some artistic license in retelling the myth, most notably how it’s rushed conclusion neglects to finish the whole story. But it manages to convey such strong suspension of disbelief I find myself not minding. A very-colourful idea-level-fantasy from the 1960s. This was a stop-motion animation project, and an unusually strong production at that. [Read more…]

Mysterious Island (1961 UK/USA)

mysterious-islandA vivid re-telling of the Jules Verne novel, with changes made necessary by the change to the medium of film. The women do not appear in the book. A love interest was necessary. Perhaps I should say a thigh interest, judging by Beth Rogan’s lack of modest dress here. [Read more…]

The Valley Of Gwangi (1969 US)

PDVD_088While the build-up is rather tedious in some ways, the film’s second half – with its non-stop action and enjoyable stop-motion effects by the old master Ray Harryhausen – is rather entertaining. Looking at The Valley Of Gwangi from a modern viewpoint one could easily find unintended hilarity in its primitive visual trickery. [Read more…]

%d bloggers like this: