Clash of the Titans is the last great old fashioned sword & sandal movie. I was surprised to know it came out in 1981, because the look is very reminiscent of classic adventure. Thanks to it being famed stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen’s final film before retiring. I know my Greek mythology pretty well, but I never watched a definitive take on Perseus, slayer of Medusa. Clash of the Titans definitely recaptures the spirited feel of such larger than life figures. Plus it was the good old days when PG movies could get away with nudity.
Actors as big as Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith play mighty Zeus and the lesser known Thetis respectively. Mount Olympus is glowing white with gods and goddesses overlooking mankind with clay figurines. Thetis is technically responsible for most of the conflict Perseus faces. As Zeus fathers Perseus with the destiny to rule Joppa and marry the beautiful Andromeda. Forsaking Thetis’ own son Calibos to life as a hideous Satyr. The Olympian politics are confusing, but everything clicks when the adventure takes off. Perseus is gifted a magical sword, shield, helmet of invisibility, and an out of place mechanical owl named Bubo.
The task is to free Andromeda from her marital curse, track down the blind Stygian witches, and find the answer to kill the prophesied Kraken before Poseidon releases it. Mythical creatures like the majestic Pegasus, deadly giant scorpions, and enormous Kraken are all beautifully animated, but Medusa is the main attraction. As is the nail biting confrontation Perseus has with the snake haired Gorgon. Chopping off her head and using it to turn the Kraken to stone is a triumph that makes Clash of the Titans a fun epic clash.