Top 12 best Ray Harryhausen monsters, creatures and creations

Our 12 favourite creatures in tribute to the master of special effects, Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013)

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12. MIGHTY JOE YOUNG
From: Mighty Joe Young (1949)

A young Harryhausen helped his hero Willis O’Brien to design the wild gorilla, and studied footage of a real gorilla to help him design a convincing animal.

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11. SNAKE DANCER
From: The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad (1958)

It’s impossible to forget the dancing snake woman, whose serpentine limbs go out of control and almost suffocate her.

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10. FLYING SAUCERS
From: Earth Vs The Flying Saucers (1956)

The saucers themselves and the destruction they wrought would inspire Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks!, but they’re better here.

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9. GWANGI
From: The Valley Of Gwangi (1969)

Harryhausen’s passion project had one of his most memorable creations and arguably his definitive allosaurus in the hot-tempered dinosaur GwanGI.

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8. KALI
From: The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad (1974)

The six-armed, six-sword-wielding goddess is a terrifying opponent and a marvel of animation. It also has tremendous character despite its passive face.

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7. CRAB
From: Mysterious Island (1961)

Created from the shell of a real crab, the animatronic beast is a wonderful threat for our heroes as it towers above them, claws snapping.

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6. BUBO
From: Clash Of The Titans (1981)

In amongst the fantastical monsters and creatures of Clash Of The Titans is the robot bird Bubo. What’s it doing there? That doesn’t matter, it’s great.

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5. OCTOPUS
From: It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955)

The famous octopus with six legs that tears apart San Francisco combines Harryhausen’s economy and creativity.

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4. TALOS
From: Jason And The Argonauts (1963)

Giant living statue Talos looms above the Argonauts and is seemingly unkillable. However, the plug on his ankle is a big clue.

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3. CYCLOPS
From: The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad (1958)

The cyclops is certainly a formidable and savage foe. Arrows don’t seem to bother the creature that combines brute strength with relentless determination.

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2. MEDUSA
From: Clash Of The Titans (1981)

The snake-haired (and snake-bodied) monster was brought to petrifying life by Harryhausen, as Perseus desperately attempts to avoid her deadly stare.

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1. FIGHTING SKELETONS
From: Jason And The Argonauts (1963)

The stuff of nightmares create a brilliantly exciting action set-piece, as the terrifying skeleton warriors battle our heroes.

There’s more on the late, great Ray Harryhausen in the new issue of SciFiNow.