Clash Of The Titans

Clash Of The Titans (1981)
Warner Home Video
Cast: Harry Hamlin, Judi Bowker, Maggie Smith, Laurence Olivier, Ursula Andress
Extras: Interview, Monster Gallery, Theatrical Trailer

Eagerly awaited, Warner Home Video’s DVD version of the Ray Harryhausen fantasy film ’Clash Of The Titans’ is finally here for everyone to behold. ’Clash Of The Titans’ tells the story of Perseus, according to the Greek Mythology. Perseus is the mortal son of Zeus whom the Gods challenge to see how powerful he is and if he is capable to overcome the whose they throw his way. So, Perseus finds himself thrown into an adventure that confronts him with a menagerie of fantastic creatures, such as the Kraken, Pegasus, Calibos, and even the deadly Medusa. Filled to the brim with special effects by Ray Harryhausen, ’Clash Of The Titans’ is a feast for every fan of fantasy movies.

Warner Home Video is presenting ’Clash Of The Titans’ in a matted widescreen version that is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets on this DVD. Although generally free of speckles and mars, the transfer shows a good amount of grain in most shots. Sometimes it is a result of the special effects, which required multiple passes of film processing to create, thus increasing grain, but in many instances even the regular footage of the movie exhibits a significant graininess that may distract some viewers. The transfer itself has good detail and is mostly free of edge-enhancement. Colors are vibrant and well reproduced but shadows appear a bit murky and washed out at times. The presentation is free of compression artifacts however, making for a pleasant, albeit unspectacular, viewing.

The DVD contains the film’s original Dolby Surround audio track, as well as a French dub in mono. The audio is good and free of defects, hiss or noise. The frequency response is natural, though without notable bass extension or the presence and brilliance found in today’s mixes. Given its age however, the audio track fully suffices the overall presentation.

’Clash Of The Titans’ comes with a 12-minute interview featurette with Ray Harryhausen, in which he discusses the film and his work on it. The featurette is padded quite a bit with footage from the movie itself, but it is an interesting look at the genius that is Ray Harryhausen and the impressive skills he possesses.

A ’Map of Myths and Monsters’ is also part of the release, from which you can directly access the movie’s scenes featuring the particular creature laid out on the map. Sadly no description about the creature or its mythological roots or importance is supplied, which would have given this supplement weight. The DVD is rounded out by the movie’s trailer.

It is great to finally have ’Clash Of The Titans’ available on DVD but I can’t help but think that Warner Home Video somewhat dropped the ball here. It is a solid release but given the movie’s importance and stature one would have hoped for a presentation that shows a bit more passion and features that celebrate the movie’s achievements. For fans of the movie and Harryhausen’s work, this is a must-have nonetheless.