The Wonderful Worlds of ray harryhausen Vol 1
Stop-motion guru’s early hits
released 18 sepTeMBer 1955/1957/1960 | pG | Blu-ray
Directors robert Gordon, Jack sher, Nathan H Juran Cast Kerwin Mathews, Kenneth Tobey, Faith domergue, William Hopper
Harryhausen fans expecting his usual monsterpacked fantasies may feel shortchanged by this trio of early films. 20 Million Miles To Earth is prime Harryhausen, but the other two are notable for their lack of stop-motion set-pieces. It Came From Beneath The Sea’s beastie is camera-shy until the finale, while The 3 Worlds Of Gulliver offers only a wheezy squirrel and a crocodile.
This is a mopping-up exercise, collecting the remaining Columbiareleased Harryhausen films for their UK Blu-ray premieres. As a bonus, It Comes and 20 Million Miles are presented in both their original black and white and colourised versions. And it is a bonus. While colourisation is often a dirty word, the results genuinely give the films new life.
20 Million Miles is the best by far, with a fast-growing Venusian lizard trashing Rome. The stodgy It Came has lots of military types looking more wary of a liberated female scientist than a giant “sixtopus”. Gulliver, meanwhile, is a gaudy take on the Lilliput and Brobdingnag sections of Jonathan Swift’s novel. It’s quaint and cheesy, but it ain’t no Sinbad.
Extras Oodles – mostly from previous releases, but with new interviews where filmmakers wax lyrical about Ray. There are commentaries for It Came... and 20 Million..., plus archival material and an 80-page booklet. Dave Golder
Gulliver’s Kerwin Mathews spent eight hours tied down for the scene where he wakes on a Liliputian beach.