Wednesday, May 8, 2013


The Silver Screen lost one of its greatest magicians yesterday with the death of animator Ray Harryhausen.  He was the master of stop motion visual effects.  When I was a lad, I pestered my father into taking me to see a theatrical reissue of The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) and the first run of The Golden Voyage of Sindbad (1974); those two screenings are among my fondest childhood memories.  The artist's 1955 thriller It Came From Beneath the Sea was the first film my parents allowed me to stay up late to watch on WGHP's Shock Theatre, and it's safe to say that by that time I was utterly in awe of Harryhausen's wondrous creations.  My favorite of his works remains Jason and the Argonauts (1963), whose climactic battle sequence with Jason and his men swordfighting the skeletons sown from the Hydra's teeth still leaves me breathless.  I'll take Dynamation over CGI any day of the week.  Hail and farewell to a cinematic wizard!