Jason vs. the Hydra for Silver Screen Society’s July movie “Jason and the Argonauts”. Everybody always talks about the skeleton monsters from this movie but I think that the hydra with all of the heads moving independently is just as impressive.
In 2013, the world lost one of the most influential visual effects creators of all time. Ray Harryhausen perfected a method of stop motion known as “Dynamation”, which he used in various landmark films, such as Mighty Joe Young (1949), The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), and Jason and the Argonauts (1963), as seen above.
His work has inspired many animators over the years, and provided the impetus for stop motion animation to be used to create entire feature-length films, such as Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), right up to the works of Laika, LLC., who produced 2009’s Coraline, as well as the upcoming Box Trolls (2014).
His influence has also spurred on numerous homages in films from nearly every genre, including horror. In 1987, Freddy Krueger returned to theaters and nightmares the world over in ANightmare on Elm Street3:Dream Warriors. In a clear nod to the skeletal warriors from Jason and the Argonauts, Freddy’s spirit briefly inhabits his mortal remains in an effort to keep them from being properly buried, and thus put to rest. In 1992, director Sam Raimi would make an even more obvious reference to the same warriors in his horror/fantasy epic, Army of Darkness.
“I think all of us who are practioners in the arts of science fiction and fantasy movies now all feel that we’re standing on the shoulders of a giant. If not for Ray’s contribution to the collective dreamscape, we wouldn’t be who we are.” - James Cameron
One of the major influences on Army of Darkness was Ray Harryhausen’s stop motion animated skeletons. This was both prominent in the stop motion animation of the film and the puppets. At the request of director Sam Raimi, KNB EFX used the “Ray Harryhausen brow" on the puppets which clearly shows the inspired look from Harryhausen’s skeletons.
Rest in peace Ray Harryhausen. You were a true legend, and you will be missed.