Classic Watch: Clash of the Titans (1981) #movie #GoodWatch #QuarantineLife #Titan @HarryRHamlin @Netflix

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I decided to watch Clash of the Titans again. This was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and one of the rare ones I convinced my dad to take me to see despite no one else in the family wanting to see it. It still holds up fairly well but with some glaring flaws. First off, Zeus is a dick. He has no mercy for Acrisius because his “1,000 good deeds don’t make up for 1 murder.” How does Zeus punish Acrisius? By murdering his entire city. Zeus added that the murder was especially heinous because Acrisius murdered his own daughter, but even setting aside the sheer number of murders Zeus has committed in doling out his punishment, and their innocence in all of this, aren’t all of humanity Zeus’s children in a sense?

Then there’s the special effects. It seems like the thing to do right now is ignore the context of the time in which things are said and done, so the fact this movie was released in 1981 is no excuse! (Yes it is.) Cerberus had only two heads because that was easier to do. That was supposed to be Cerberus, wasn’t it? (EDIT: No! It’s Dioskilos, who was in turn based on Orthus!) I actually felt bad for it when it died. (For the time, though, the special effects were a groundbreaking and wonderful work of art, and it’s hard not to appreciate them.)

I also want to know how Thetis gets to claim Andromeda’s life despite Zeus’s protection of Perseus, and then once Perseus SPOILER ALERT kills the Kraken, loses that claim. Nothing has changed. Thetis is still slighted, and Andromeda isn’t dead. Joppa should be destroyed, but suddenly a heretofore permissive Zeus says,

Nah! Leave his wife alone. My boy has to get laid.

That’s not a direct quote.

I know; I know. Drama. Moreover, the disjointed logic isn’t unlike the way the gods were imagined by the ancient Greeks.

Bubo the metallic owl was stupid. Even as a 13-year-old kid, I knew better. If Bubo is trying to sneak up on the Stygian Witches and steal the eye, why is it making so much damn noise. Hell, the inferior 2010 remake (that I still liked and will discuss tomorrow) reasonably poked fun at that.

As for things that translate well, Andromeda puts Perseus in his place.

Um, I’m a princess. Do you see the Queen here? No? Then I’m in command, bitch.

Also not a direct quote.

Special effects aside, that scene with Medusa was awesome, and I liked Sir Laurence Olivier’s lethargic and reluctant, “Very well; release the Kraken,” before putting Perseus exactly where he needed to be to face the Kraken.

It’s a fun movie. As always, YMMV.

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5 thoughts on “Classic Watch: Clash of the Titans (1981) #movie #GoodWatch #QuarantineLife #Titan @HarryRHamlin @Netflix

  1. I will always have a soft spot for this movie. Can’t help it. The lovely fact alone that it was Harryhausen’s passion project and he got to unleash all his trademark stuff makes it endearing. And the Medusa scared the hell out of me as a kid.


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