Clash of the Titans DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.0
Video 6.0
Audio 6.5
Special Features 5.0
Total 7.9
Distributor: Warner
Classification: PG
Minutes: 118 minutes
Reviewer: Andrew Bistak

7.9


Clash of the Titans
(1981)

The 80’s created a new genre of fantasy films from Conan the Barbarian to The Beast Master which generally involved a beefcake hero, swords, sorcery and of course a token naked female who was thrown into the mix. Unlike Disney, it was fantasy for adults that truly made a mark on pop culture and with the upcoming release of Clash of the Titans (2010), Warner have released the original 1981 move on glorious DVD. But what made this movie so memorable, were the special effects, thanks to Ray Harryhausen who used stop motion and blue-screen techniques to truly recreate the world of mortals and gods in ancient Greece.

Story wise, Clash of the Titans is a modern interpretation of the myths and tales from ancient Greece which revolve around protagonist Perseus (Harry Hamlin - LA LAW) who happens to be the mortal son of Zeus (Lawrence Olivier). Unfortunately with the gods involved, Perseus’ life will be anything than easy and after Zeus has an affair with King Acrisius’ beautiful wife, he exiles both his wife and the bastard child of Zeus. Disgusted by Acrisius, Zeus gets the last laugh when he destroys his city for his diabolical act.

In exile, Perseus grows up into a handsome and powerful man who embarks on a truly momentous life journey. Joined by Ammon (Burgess Meredith), a mysterious Greek poet who is along the ride as a “guide” and for some comedy relief, Perseus must fight for the hand of the beautiful princess, Andromeda. Like a video game, this will be achieved by solving puzzles and battling an unending number of mythological creatures from undead skeletons to Cerberus and even deadly Medusa herself.

The story is clichéd, camp & cheesy and ironically there are some big named actors involved in this production such as Lawrence Olivier as Zeus or Ursula Andress as the beautiful Aphrodite. Hamlin is also the perfect archetype hero as is his opposite, played by Neil McCarthy who plays the nefarious devil like creature called Calibos, cursed by the gods. Although the movie is quite over the top at times and the special effects are a little embarrassing, more so if you belong to generation Y, the film is actually quite entertaining and enjoyable to watch.

But the star of the 1981 version of Clash of the Titans is the special effects, thanks to Ray Harryhausen and even though a majority is stop-motion such as the serpent haired Medusa or the giant Kraken, he really did up the ante of what was possible during this time. It will be interesting to see how the remake will fair because beating this classic will be a difficult task and hopefully won’t be too serious, like the Godzilla remake.

The only letdown of this release is the video quality and even though it supports widescreen, it’s rather quite poor from dirt, speckles and grain. Unfortunately Clash of the Titans hasn’t faired too well with age and the video should more aptly be titled Crash of the Titans. In terms of audio, the movie features Dolby Digital 2.0 which isn’t spectacular but does manage to get the job done well, especially with those epic battles that Perseus fights. For extras, this DVD release comes with an interesting piece called "A Conversation with Ray Harryhausen" which is a small featurette that goes into the making of this movie from special effects to actors. Interesting but a little short.

Crunch time! Seeing this movie again brought back fond childhood memories and even among my friends, this movie made quite an impact on us. Almost 30-years on, that impact is still there and it really makes you appreciate how special effects have advanced from stop motion to amazing CGI films such as Avatar. The story may be clichéd and over the top but it successfully recreates the stories of Greek mythology and even though the movie comes from a simpler time, it is just as enjoyable.

Highly Recommended!






 
 



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