I don’t know about you but I’m pretty stoked about the upcoming movie “Wrath of the Titans”. The first one, “Clash of the Titans” was only okay so you would think I’d have learned my lesson about getting my hopes up that a sequel will be better than the original after the Ghost Rider debacle of this past weekend. I guess I’m a cup half full kind of guy and really believe that Hollywood can take what was a great concept and improve on it by learning from past mistakes. Even if the sequel is F’ing amazing though it will never be my favorite movie about the Greek hero Perseus, that honor belongs to the 1981 original Clash of the Titans. I was only 3 when this film came out so obviously I didn’t see it on it’s initial release but it wouldn’t have been long afterwards. I was still very young and impressionable when I first watched it and I believe it had a lasting effect. It was my first exposure to mythology and the concept of gods(plural). It was also my first exposure to giant sea creatures, flying horses and Medusa the serpent haired gorgon. There were so many cool creatures in that movie that my young mind was blown. By today’s standards it would seem very dated but I love that the creatures are all animated by stop motion courtesy of the brilliant Ray Harryhausen. Nowadays stop motion is only used stylistically but back then it was out of necessity. I liked the CG Kraken from the 2010 remake but it doesn’t come close to topping the spectacle of the amazing stop motion version designed and brought to life by Harryhausen in the original. I have to give coolest creature prize to the Kraken but a close second for me would be Charon. In greek mythology Charon is the ferryman who carries souls from the land of the living across the river styx to the land of the dead. In Clash he was portrayed as a skeleton in a ratty grey robe. He didn’t do or say much but goddamn he was cool.
Charon was the only Clash toy I had as a kid, while Doug had Perseus, Calibos and Pegasus. I’m not sure why this was the case as we usually split things down the middle. If he got Batman, I got Robin. If he got Lone Ranger, I got Tonto. Whatever the reason I didn’t care, Charon was all I needed. (Well except for Kraken, man I wanted that thing. One of the White Whales of my toy collection) The Charon figure is pretty simple with joints at the shoulders and one mid-section joint which allows him to sit. 3 points of articulation is pretty light, even for back in the early 80s. I don’t really think added joints would’ve necessarily made this a better figure though. The character was pretty stiff anyway. Sometimes toys of characters usually kept in the shadows can diminish the characters creepy factor or bring out design flaws but that is not the case here. Charon looks great and is still one of the creepiest figures I own. 7 out of 10.