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2 items from 2016

Happy Birthday Ray Harryhausen – Here are His Ten Best Films

29 June 2016 3:36 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, Sam Moffitt, and Tom Stockman

Special effects legend Ray Harryhausen, whose dazzling and innovative visual effects work on fantasy adventure films such as Jason And The Argonauts  and  The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad  passed away in 2013 at age 92. In 1933, the then-13-year-old Ray Harryhausen saw King Kong at a Hollywood theater and was inspired – not only by Kong, who was clearly not just a man in a gorilla suit, but also by the dinosaurs. He came out of the theatre “stunned and haunted. They looked absolutely lifelike … I wanted to know how it was done.” It was done by using stop-motion animation: jointed models filmed one frame at a time to simulate movement. Harryhausen was to become the prime exponent of the technique and its combination with live action. The influence of Harryhausen on film luminaries like Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, and »

- Movie Geeks

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Drive-In Dust Offs: The Vampire (1957)

25 June 2016 10:38 AM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

Horror in the ‘50s tended to lean towards the sci-fi end of the spectrum. And why wouldn’t it? This was the atomic age, and hiding under your school desk during a bomb drill (the safest place to be!) was scarier than any monster Hollywood could muster. So as a form of social moralizing (or an excuse to display giant, mutated lizards on screen), filmmakers merged the fear of nuclear annihilation with the need for entertainment. Most filmmakers, that is. Paul LandresThe Vampire (1957) is a deliberate ride through the (mostly) human condition, small in scope but surprisingly big on emotion. Just don’t expect any vampires, radioactive, sparkly, or otherwise.

What you do get is a story much closer to Stevenson than Stoker, a simple riff on Jekyll and Hyde shot through a cautionary tale about America’s then growing concern with pill poppin’. The Vampire is more concerned »

- Scott Drebit

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