The Top Ten Sexy Ray Harryhausen Monsters

The author contemplates his task.

This was a hard list to make! But a necessary one. So much competition! The anatomical perfection of the skeleton army from THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD… the muscular sheen of Minoton from SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER… not to mention the dazzling intellect and warm personal manner of the Grand Lunar in FIRST MEN IN THE MOON. Finally, the only characters who could be definitely excluded from the running were the giant squirrel in THE THREE WORLDS OF GULLIVER and Bubo the aluminium owl.


Tentacles… tentacles are sexy, right?


Maybe the one guy I’d go queer for. Spectacular upper body definition. As for the lower body… well, it’s a look, I suppose. Just imagine he’s wearing cowboy chaps.


Slinky. I love a woman with vertebrae instead of femurs. Picture the possibilities! Even if her face does put one in mind of Corporal Klinger from TV’s M*A*S*H. That’s why veils were invented.


The Greeks have a word for it,  and the word is “ah-woo-wa-woo-wa-wowa!”


There’s a clue in the name.


A woman with perpetually hard nipples. Because they’re made of wood. Splinters aside, that still seems more organic than silicone.


Six arms to hold you! Body of Jacqueline Bisset! Legs of Janeane Garofalo! Arms of Jacqueline Bisset AND Janeane Garofalo!


Kinda cute, if you like Iggy Pop.

2) Medusa from CLASH OF THE TITANS

Maybe CLASH OF THE TITANS was Ray’s male menopause movie? We get an unconvincing body double nude scene for Judy Bowker, Theseus’s mom breast-feeding him, and then this. All this nudity was a new thing for Harryhausen movies, and seems sort of unsuited to the kid audience… Still, Medusa may be lethal and reptilian, but damn she’s pert.

1) Mighty Joe Young from MIGHTY JOE YOUNG

Ah, ya big ape! Who among is can resist the might and musk of the giant gorilla? And since his “gorillahood” is pretty tiny, proportionate to the rest of his physique, you can be confident he won’t be too “boku”. At the end of the day, it’s his winning personality that counts.

Honorary mention: Kate Calendar’s skeleton from FIRST MEN IN THE MOON. Full-frontal x-ray nudity! Who wouldn’t want to jump on those bones?

You’ll note that I avoid speculating on which of the stop-motion figurines would make the best sex-toy (the Kraken, obviously — just add batteries and he’s a reptilian rampant rabbit), and I refuse to suggest titles for porno versions (JASON AND THE ORGYNAUTS, 20 MILLION MALES TO EARTH, IT CAME BENEATH THE SEA, that’s the kind of thing you just won’t find here). Still, I feel I’ve plumbed some kind of new low here. Tomorrow I attempt to claw back some kind of respect and innocence as I write up the incredible evening we had in London at the celebration of Mr. H’s 90th birthday.

25 Responses to “The Top Ten Sexy Ray Harryhausen Monsters”

  1. Arthur S. Says:

    I am sure that if you have faith in yourself, work hard, with fortune and friendship you will find a new low every day so as to make each preceding milestone perfectly normal and respectable.

    Honestly the sexiest monster I have ever seen is the Zombie in Tourneur’s film with Lewton, a movie that goes deep into the sensuality of Voodoo worship. After that there’s the automaton in ”The Thief of Bagdad”(the Korda & Co. version) which is quite explicitly homaged by Harryhausen in the design of Kali. Oh and the sexiest of them all is Jean Marais in ”La Belle et la bete” so much so that his cure at the end is an act of murder.

  2. david wingrove Says:

    For me, the sexiest animatronic monster in a Harryhausen film is Ursula Andress as the Goddess Aphrodite in CLASH OF THE TITANS. She stands about looking gorgeous – but she only speaks one line. Creepy!

  3. Harryhausen is redolent of the one thing missing from today’s CGI effects — imagination.

  4. What synchronicity! Just before I woke and switched on the computer, I had a dream I was being attacked by a strange bat which looked vaguely like 6). No, I’ve never been attacked by a bat IRL, though my elementary school had a nest of them in the boy’s lav.

  5. There was a lot of talk at the event about CGI versus stop-motion. Both are excellent tools. The real difference is partly in the industrial nature of filmmaking today, which often works against the personal touch being applied in a coherent manner.

    Alex Cox is very fond of the moment when the T-rex enters, scratching its ear like a dog in King Kong. He asked a Jurassic Park FX guy why there was nothing comparable in JP (I think there are some nice individual character touches from the creatures, but nothing as idiosyncratic as that, I’ll grant). The reply was that to make King Kong you basically locked Willis O’Brien in a room for a year. Nowadays it’s much more teamwork-based. While Harryhausen didn’t work entirely alone, he came very close to it, and nothing got into his films he didn’t want.

    So I’d say there’s lots of imagination at work in modern fantasy films, but it’s very rarely a representation of ONE PERSON’s imagination.

    Mark, I did film in a bat-infested medieval tower once, but we weren’t attacked. Bats are smart: they know we have the weight advantage, which is why we can’t fly.

  6. All things considered, I like bats over rats. We don’t have vampire bats in these parts so the only bat that’ll attack you is likely rabid (has rabies hit the island yet? I don’t keep up with that). Rats, on the other hand, can get very bold – when I was a child, my mother clubbed one that came at her with a handy carpenter’s level. You can say she leveled it. That is the worst joke I ever hope to tell here.

    I never had much admiration for CGI’d figures, they just don’t seem right, somehow. They look glazed and often make unnatural movements, enough so that I find it irritating (ex. Spider Man). Now, CGI in landscapes can look pretty good, but it’s nothing I haven’t seen done nearly as well in miniatures/forced perspectives/etc. from the old days. If it’s cheaper I get why they do it, but I’m still not convinced by it.

  7. Ah, Harryhausen; even the name is sexy.

    I guess he articualted the inartculate sexuality festering in the ids of 10 year old boys.

  8. RATATOUILLE and TOY STORY 3 have wonderful CG animation, but good stop-motion, e.g., CORALINE, has a weight and individuality that even the best CG seems to lack – what Henry Selick calls a “hand-made” quality.

  9. John Seal Says:

    Dare I suggest The Golden Showers of Sinbad?

  10. Christopher Says:

    I always thought the figurehead of the goddess Hera on the Argo in 1963-Jason and the Argonauts was kinda sexy..When it would open its big bedroom eyes and talk to Jason,out would come Honor Blackman’s voice..

  11. CGI always fights the problem of this weightless feeling, but there have been some really memorable creatures and sequences which overcame it. And in the tooniverse of The Incredibles or Ratatouille or the Toy Story films, where everything is CG, it doesn’t strike me as a problem.

    I’ve been getting quite a few suggestions by email for Harryhausen pornos…

    More info on the Blackman bust tomorrow!

  12. I must be slipping or being ill for a week has sapped my imagination. I can’t think of a single porno title. That’s not like me.

  13. Oh, come now! Clash of the Titties? Earth Vs the Flying Sissies?

  14. It Came From Beneath The Sheets

  15. The Beast from 20,000 ‘gasms.

  16. Might Joe Lunge.

  17. That should’ve read “Mighty Joe Lunge.”

  18. One Million Queers B.J.

  19. “Might Joe Lunge” is better! As long as it has a question mark at the end.

    The Three Worlds of Gobbler.

  20. First Men On the Mons

  21. Or the splatter version, Burst Vein on the Moon.

  22. kittypackard Says:

    Ahhh … yes. One of the many, many reasons I love your blog? I get to see words like “pert” and “medusa” in the same sentence, married together such effortless syntax it seems to me a wonder no one has done it before. (Although, I’m sure if I google “pert” and “medusa” I’ll get a disturbingly high volume of hits …)

    Anyway, THANK you for this post. An instant classic.

  23. Thank YOU.

  24. Helmuth, speaking for Boskone Says:

    Flesh Gordon.

  25. we have a word for sexy and its called ah-woo-wa-woo-wa-wowa?:p

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