THE RAY HARRYHAUSEN SUPER-8 TRIBUTE SHOW Debuts May 18th at Wonderfest
Besides waiting for a favorite film to pop up on TV, what did movie buffs do before home video? That’s not a rhetorical question because I have the answer: Super-8 millimeter Films! I’m not talking about the kind our dads made of us on vacation in the 60’s and 70’s but the kind that were sold at stores and through mail-order that were condensed versions of popular feature films. Ken Films, Castle Films, and Blackhawk were just some of the distributors of these digest versions of famous movies. I remember the ads that ran in the back of “Famous Monsters of Filmland” magazine advertising mini horror films and I collected them as a kid. The 200 foot editions ran about eight minutes and the 50 footers just three and they were all silent. I have fond memories of my friends and I huddling in my basement watching REVENGE OF THE CREATURE and ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY screened on the wall as these little spools of film ran through my noisy super-8 projector. They were packaged in boxes with sensational, often lurid artwork (I vividly remember the box for THE SPIDER depicting a giant human skull pasted over the spider’s head. I hadn’t seen the film and for many years I thought THE SPIDER was a movie about a giant spider with a giant skull head and the concept haunted me. Frank Darabont’s THE MIST in 2007 had spiders with skull heads and I wonder if he was influenced by this spooky box art) and these have become very collectible now as most baby boomers around my age remember these crude but nostalgic home movie entertainments.
I’ve been collecting the Super-8 Sound films for over 15 years now and have amassed over 500 of them. The first Tuesday of every month I show a dozen or more at my Super-8 Movie Madness show at The Way Out Club.
I’m a big Ray Harryhausen fan and almost all of his films, with the exceptions of BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS, VALLEY OF GWANGI, and THREE WORLDS OF GULLIVER have been made available in the Super-8 Sound format (I’ve never run across a sound print of FIRST MEN IN THE MOON but have been told it was made). What’s great about condensed version of films like MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, and THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD is that all the animation highlights are intact and very little of the exposition.
I’ve been attending the Wonderfest Model and Hobby Expo in Louisville Kentucky for 22 years and it’s quite a gathering of model builders, special effects fans, and general movie buffs. Ray Harryhausen is a God to this group and was guest of honor at the convention on two occasions. I even had him sign a couple of my Super-8 boxes when I met him there.
Ray Harryhausen passed away earlier this week at age 92 and I have put together a show I’m calling THE RAY HARRYHAUSEN SUPER-8 TRIBUTE SHOW which will be making its debut at Wonderfest this Saturday, May 18th at 11pm. Admission is free to all Wonderfest attendees.
I have the following Ray Harryhausen films in the super-8 sound format:
MIGHTY JOE YOUNG
IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA
EARTH VS FLYING SAUCERS
20,000,000 MILES TO EARTH
JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS
7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD
ONE MILLION YEARS B.C.
SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER
GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD
A ‘Making of GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD’ Featurette
CLASH OF THE TITANS
And a Ray Harryhausen Trailer reel
This all adds up to about 5 potential hours of Harryhausen programming. JASON, 7TH VOYAGE, and GOLDEN VOYAGE are each divided up into four chapters each running 8 minutes. I also have a 20-minute GOLDEN VOYAGE cut dubbed into German with really good color.
Here’s what I’ll be showing May 18th at Wonderfest all projected on a big screen:
MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (17 minutes)
EARTH VS FLYING SAUCERS (8 minutes)
20,000,000 MILES TO EARTH (17 minutes)
7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD Cyclops vs Dragon (8 minutes)
MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (17 minutes)
JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS – Talos (8 minutes)
JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS – Skeletons (8 minutes)
GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD – ‘Making of’ Featurette (6 minutes)
SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER (17 minutes)
I may be able to squeeze another 7th VOYAGE short in but that’s about a 2-Hour show and will end around 1am. If there is still a crowd of Harryhausen-hungry fans (something tells me there will be) and someone fetches me some coffee, I will then screen my 3-reel, 50-minute cut of CLASH OF THE TITANS.
We’ve just put this show on the Wonderfest schedule just this week for obvious reasons and I thank the Wonderfest organizers for making a place in their programming for the first organized tribute to Ray Harryhausen. At last year’s Wonderfest I presented ‘The Super-8 Vincent Price Show in 3-D’, a show I had screened at several conventions and venues in 2011 when I was promoting ‘Vincentennial, the Vincent Price 100th Birthday Celebration’.
From the WONDERFEST Website:
Just Added! Rondo Award-winning Monsterkid Tom Stockman has risen to the occasion with an all-new retro-tinged salute to the work of the late Master of the Majicks, Ray Harryhausen! Tom wowed the ‘Fest last year with his Vincent Price Super-8 showcase and will be back, starting at 11PM Saturday night with an old-school Late Late Show collection of nostalgic 8MM digest versions of Harryhausen classics like Mighty Joe Young, Earth vs the Flying Saucers, 20 Million Miles to Earth, Jason and the Argonauts, 7th Voyage of Sinbad and more! See stop-motion animation as it was meant to be screened! Hear the clatter of projectors and let the magic flicker of 24 fps transport you back to a simpler era as you recall the thrills of discovering the magic of Ray Harryhausen for the first time all over again! Not to be missed!
The Wonderfest Website can be found HERE
I will be doing a 4-Hour version of THE RAY HARRYHAUSEN SUPER-8 TRIBUTE SHOW in St. Louis on July 2nd at the Way Out Club (25252 Jefferson in South St. Louis) as part of my monthly Super-8 Movie Madness series and have already been asked to do a four-hour version in September at a major Horror movie convention in Indianapolis. Stay tuned at We Are Movie Geeks for details on those events.