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Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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RIP Ray Harryhausen

harryhausen LONDON — Special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen died here May 7. He was 92.

Harryhausen never worked on an MSTed movie, but he was mentioned in passing in a host segment in episode 113- THE BLACK SCORPION.

Here’s his New York Times obit.

29 Replies to “RIP Ray Harryhausen”

  1. I used to go to the matinee all summer long and his movies were far and away the most awe-striking movies featured. The skeleton battle in Jason and the Argonauts may rate as my favorite movie scene of all time.

       11 likes

  2. Very upset about the loss of the legendary Ray Harryhausen. I have been a fan of his since I saw Jason and the Argonauts in the theater back in 1963. I met him three times during my life – moments I will never forget.

       7 likes

  3. Pulatso says:

    Not really suprising MST3K never got to riff any of his work. All you kids today, with your hoopla and your color change kool-aid, next time you sit down and watch the latest retelling of Pocohantas, stop and think of Ray Harryhausen. Special effects would not be where they are now if not for where he, and the people he inspired, took them.

       12 likes

  4. Fart Bargo says:

    Mr Harryhausen has now joined his very good friend Ray Bradberry in the afterlife. I would have loved being the fly on the wall when these two got together.

    I agree he was a master technician but his ability to convey emotions through his creations is a testament to his genius. Some examples; the innocence of the Ymir, the anger of the Cyclops, MJY gentleness, the vindictivness of the Harpies, I could go on.

    Though some of us remember watching his films at the movies, TV, videos and DVDs I will never forget watching The 7th Voyage of Sinbad in assembly hall in a Catholic school circa 1960,NYC. There was no announcement and the nuns were just as excited as us kids. What a treat!

    Thank you Mr Harryhausen.

       7 likes

  5. itsspideyman says:

    The man that made the impossible real. The fight with the scorpions in JASON and the ARGONAUTS and the giant were the most frightening scenes I ever saw as a kid.

    You can have CGI, give me the Harryhausen vision.

       7 likes

  6. Itsspideyman – The fight with the scorpions was in Clash of the Titans (1981).

       4 likes

  7. Dirk Squarejaw says:

    Don’t know if it’s been mentioned anywhere here at Satellite News, but Kevin has a great Tumblr post about Mr. Harryhausen at http://kwmurphy.tumblr.com/post/49871500327/ray-harryhausen-and-the-theater-of-my-kid-mind

       7 likes

  8. big61al says:

    Ray played a huge part in my love of sci-fi movies. RIP

       5 likes

  9. Bill Redfern says:

    It’s a tad uncanny that the Sony Movie Channel just wrapped up a month long tribute to Harryhausen, airing a majority of his films as well as a 90 minute retrospective (made just last year, 2012) containing recent interviews with Ray (who still seemed sharp as ever) and several of the filmmakers he inspired like Spielberg, Cameron, Peter Jackson, and others.

    At least he was recognized while he was still alive and coherent enough to appreciate the honors. Plus, people like director Peter Jackson (at personal expense, I believe) and others helped to preserve his legacy, his models, his test footage, molds, castings, etc. before they were lost, damaged or destroyed. Jackson even used the resources of WETA to have items like his rubber coated figures digitally scanned before they decompose. How many creative people have died in obscurity, forgotten? Or, if they are remembered, it’s years after they’ve passed when the acknowledgments do them little good. In that respect Harryhausen was very fortunate.

    His films certainly influenced my childhood. And should senility ever strike me (Mogg forbid), I suspect my memories of his fabulous creatures will be some of the few I retain.

    Sincerely,

    Bill

       10 likes

  10. Tom Carberry says:

    Still one of my all time favorite movies is “Beast from 20,000 Fathoms”. After all these years it still looks great. RIP, Ray.

       5 likes

  11. MSTie says:

    RIP, Mr. Magic.

       3 likes

  12. Mr. B(ob) says:

    I’ve loved Ray Harryhausen’s films since I was a child and that fondness has not diminished over the decades. We own a dozen of his films on DVD. Jason and the Argonauts is still my favorite fantasy film of all time. Thanks to Mr. Harryhausen for the joy and inspiration he brought to so many people.

       3 likes

  13. Insect Man #47 says:

    I agree with everyone here who has said that Ray Harryhausen changed the movie industry. I was just showing my son the skeleton fight from JATA last week, and explained how it was created frame by frame, and he was blown away. The Beast from 20,000 fathoms is a classic – who can ever forget the monster/rollercoaster scene? RIP Harry – you made a lot of lives a lot of fun!

       5 likes

  14. ck says:

    #10

    I remember seeing The Beast From 20,000 fathoms as a kid. It
    was really scary, esp. when the policeman tried to take
    out the dinosaur with a pistol (bad move, btw, bringing a pistol
    to a bazooka fight).

       3 likes

  15. Kenneth Morgan says:

    One of my favorite Harryhausen movies is “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad”. It’s noteworthy that his work holds your attention and doesn’t let go in a movie that also features Tom Baker and Caroline Munro. And, let’s face it, the fight with the six-armed statue of Kali is pretty much the blueprint for the later Kenobi/Grevious fight in “Revenge of the Sith”.

       3 likes

  16. itsspideyman says:

    I stand corrected Loran. Thanks. :)

       0 likes

  17. sauron says:

    How different my childhood would have been without him… shudder….
    Thank God he did what he did!

       4 likes

  18. Goshzilla says:

    Not much to add that hasn’t been said better, other than that Harryhausen is on my very short list of trusted names. Allow me to demonstrate with a brief playlet:

    Me: “Hey friend, whatcha watchin’?”

    Friend: “Harryhausen movie.”

    Me: “There go my plans for the next couple hours. Slide over.”

    …aaaaand end scene. Harryhausen is a guarantee of quality entertainment. He won’t be missed – he left his legacy with us.

       4 likes

  19. Bigzilla says:

    Valley of Gwangi – best dinosaur movie EVER.

    Enough said. Thanks, Ray, for the memories.

       3 likes

  20. MarcusVermilion says:

    I’ve always been a fan of Harryhausen. A big thrill for me was seeing “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad” on the big screen when I was seven years old. Those stop motion figures were great! As a tribute I watched it last night on the smaller 43 inch screen. Still thrilling. Yes, there are great effects done with computers but in many cases Ray’s stop motion affects can’t be beat!

    He will be missed :(

       2 likes

  21. radioman970 says:

    stop motion
    RIP sir

       1 likes

  22. schippers says:

    I’m metaphorically pouring one out for Mr. Harryhausen. Clash of the Titans is one of my favorite movies from my childhood.

    His effects work is simply outstanding. Those creepy flying saucers in Earth vs. the Flying Saucers are better than any other alien spacecraft in terms of menace and personality.

    It’s too bad he never really made a “good” movie. The ones he worked on were frequently entertaining, but always radically flawed (Jason and the Argonauts just sort of…ends, for example).

       3 likes

  23. ToolAssist says:

    It’s very sad to learn of his passing – as an aspiring stop-motion animator, he was someone I’d always looked up too. I actually met him not too long ago, and it will now be a moment I’ll remember for inspiration. :(

       2 likes

  24. Keith in WI says:

    Ray’s creatures were so often characters in the films, they had definite personalities, and showed emotion. I can’t think of too many (any?) CGI creatures that conveyed emotion in the same sense as Ray’s creations did. Not a real surprise that none of his movies were given the MST3k treatment – perhaps there was a certain respect for the work that he did, that the writers and staff did not want to taint, what are generally very entertaining films. He will definitely be missed, it is just sad that he did not make anything after Clash of the Titans (the only one I saw on the big screen – at the drive in no less). The public was changing, however, and it was probably for the best as his special effects work was already being panned when “Clash” was released as it was being compared to the more technical effects of the day. I know I would have enjoyed anything he released. His mind was sharp until the end, however, and I always enjoyed listening to interviews with him as he had a great way of describing his work and his creations. RIP

       2 likes

  25. Of No Account says:

    Let’s not forget Mighty Joe Young! Half the time I couldn’t tell you what actors where in a movie, but if Ray did the effects, it was bound to be great. In fact, his creations often conveyed far more emotion than anyone in the film.

       2 likes

  26. Hey Cabot! says:

    The Angry Video Game Nerd did a wonderful tribute to Ray Harryhausen:

    http://cinemassacre.com/2012/08/22/ray-harryhausen-tribute/

       2 likes

  27. Richard the Lion-Footed says:

    Had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Harryhausen a few years back at the San Diego Comic-con.
    It was in the dealer room so we just sat and talked for about a half hour.
    Actually I sat and he not only talked, but said things. Rare in the entertainment industry.

    What I noticed about his films is that he was aware of size. Unlike the CGI artists of today, who have 50 foot monsters whip around like there is no inertia, Harryhausen’s Talos lumbered and creaked and had the sense of size about him. Even though it was really a 12″ model, on screen you believed it reached the sky. His work was that good.

       3 likes

  28. sauron says:

    If only for Talos the man is my hero.Talos…whew.

       1 likes

  29. cold calling says:

    Paragraph writing is also a fun, if you be acquainted with afterward you can write
    if not it is difficult to write.

       0 likes

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