Vampires and zombies

Ancient Greece was depressingly short on vampires, zombies and ninjas, though they were well stocked for pirates.

Ninjas of course are just totally the wrong culture.

Zombies don't work out because once you're in Hades, there's no coming back, so living dead isn't a concept; they did however manage to have quite a few psyches wandering the earth.

Vampires again are the wrong culture.  Though if vampires are your thing, I note that regular reader of this blog Carrie Clevenger has a vampire novel appearing next year, which she announced via an interview with her main character.

On the plus side, they did have titans, ladies with stony expressions and snakes for hair, various demigods, three-headed dogs, cyclops, minotaurs  etc.  Also the odd god and goddess.  My favourite movie of ancient, mythological Greece isn't the recent stuff about Alexander and Troy.  My fave is definitely the original Jason and the Argonauts, complete with special effects that were incredible for their time, and for my money, remain more dramatic than the smoother but less interesting computer generated effects.  Here's the famous fight with the skeletons (yes, I know they're not Greek).  Keep in mind, this entire scene was done with stop-motion cinematography.






11 comments:

Matthew MacNish said...

I always loved the original Clash of the Titans, as a kid, but this one is really good too.

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

I always loved that movie and that scene especially! Glad you posted the clip.

Amalia T. said...

I would love Jason and the Argonauts a lot more if they made any kind of chronological sense with the rest of mythology. As long as I live and write, I will never, EVER touch the Argonauts if I can help it.

Even if the skeletons aren't Greek, isn't the sowing of dragon's teeth a thing? or am I thinking of something else?

Lexi said...

The skeletons acted a lot better than the cast. I've never seen so many wooden reaction shots. And Medea, so sixties in appearance, leaving with a tiny flounce...

But triffic animation from Ray Harryhausen.

Steph Schmidt said...

Ray Harryhausen's zombie corpse is welcome to come fix present Hollywood's return to real film tricks and not the heavy reliance on cg.

I wonder how many other people got hooked on ancient Greece with Jason and the Argonauts as their gateway?

Ricky Bush said...

My vote's for Jason and crew, and a cyclops can whip a zombie or vampire any day.

Gary Corby said...

Cyclops just doesn't seem to get the same brand recognition as the others. He needs to talk to his marketing team.

Cerberus on the other hand appears quite frequently, not least as Fluffy. It's funny how some things gel and others don't.

The acting is rather Sixties, but then, that's when it was made.

Amalia's quite right that the story's inconsistent with a fair amount of other mythology. Theseus and Heracles on the same boat? Right.

Even so, if you had to pick just one myth that had the best chance of being based on reality, this might well be it (Not counting the cool skeletons).

Meghan said...

Alas, Krakens also did not make an appearence in Ancient Greece, no matter what Clash of The Titans proclaims. :(

Carrie Clevenger said...

Thanks for the nod Gary. I found a comic based on vampires in Rome, but you're right Greece had enough supernaturals as was...

Taymalin said...

Hmm, I have a plot that hinges on someone being able to leave Hades with the permission of Persephone. It's a take on the story of Orpheus and Eurydike, but I'm going to have to take more liberties with the mythology than I originally thought. No zombies though :)

Gary Corby said...

That's called artistic license. It's legal! If you did that though, you might want to make her husband Hades angry with her when he finds out.