Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan Review

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The life and career of legendary stop-motion pioneer and monster maker Ray Harryhausen is revisited with the help of his fans and acolytes. James Cameron, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson lend their voices to the tribute.


This career-spanning tribute to the stop-frame titan may be conventional in approach (a collection of talking heads) but gets by on the heavyweight bonces (Spielberg, Cameron, Jackson) shedding light on Harryhausen’s enduring influence. The man himself emerges as a genial subject and the film is enlivened by stunning test footage and genius clips. There is trivia galore — the octopus from It Came From Beneath The Sea only had six tentacles to save budget — but it is wrapped up in interesting debates around visual effects craft and the future of spectacle.

A fascinating and loving look at one of cinema's true greats.