Ray Harryhausen homage through genetic mutations

A friend of mine recently blogged about strange birth defects in animals and included a link to an eye-popping slide show. I took a glance, and I was particularly impressed with the two-faced kittens, the conjoined-twin crocodiles, and the six-legged sheep.

I experienced a little déjà vu, however, when I was introduced to the two-headed tortoise and Cy the one-eyed kitten. I finally came to the realization that I was recalling one my favorite movies growing up…

It was The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, a 1958 Technicolor adventure movie whose monsters and stop-motion animations were conceived by creature-feature ubermeister Ray Harryhausen. (Harryhausen, incidentally, was a major influence on Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings), Joe Dante (Gremlins, Small Soldiers), and Tim Burton.) The film was also scored by Bernard Herrmann — my single favorite film scorer — who wrote the music for Citizen Kane, Psycho, Vertigo, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Taxi Driver, among others.

The following side-by-side comparisons make me think that God is a Harryhausen fan and just wanted to pay a little homage to 7th Voyage of Sinbad by creating these curiosities:


two_headed_turtle roc

Oh, and here’s a clip of the Cyclops’s first appearance in the film. The clip is chopped up, so it would probably help to know that the little cartwheeling fireball is a prepubescent genie with spiffy magical powers:

Damn, why don’t they make ’em like this anymore?

Anyways, as if that weren’t enough, in gathering the pictures for this post, I stumbled upon this illustration from Seattle artist Robert Rini:


Bad kitty!


2 comments so far

  1. Amanda on

    I like your thought that God watches 7th Voyage of Sinbad.

    I also like the photo of the figurine of the birdies — makes me sorry for the collector’s kids someday going through their parent’s e-Bay stashes.

  2. Jennifer Dziura on

    One thing I loved about the slideshow was that the turtles — both the ones with two heads coming out one side of the shell, and with one head coming out of each end — were just fine. The two-headed kittens and calves die in infancy, but turtles can live long, happy lives with any number of heads, it seems.

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