From The Land Beyond Beyond

What is the first thing you look for when you open that bumper Christmas edition of the Radio Times in December?

As a long time fan of Ray Harryhausen’s brand of stop motion-films, I always look to see how many of his films are on. I may have them all on DVD now, but old habits die hard.

One of the stars of those films was Kerwin Matthews. He was Harryhausen’s original Sinbad in The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad in 1958, and returned as Lemuel Gulliver in The 3 Worlds of Guliver in 1960. He was the first to fight with a Harryhausen skeleton, never mind the two headed Roc, the Cyclops or the Dragon he had to convince us were really there in front of his sword. In 1975 a young Kevin O’Neill turned that Sinbad movie into a comic strip in the third issue of Legend Horror Classics monthly poster magazine to tie in with the film’s cinematic re-release in the UK.

Matthews was also Jack in 1962’s Jack The Giant Killer, an attempt by producer Edward Small to replicate the success of the Charles H Schneer / Ray Harryhausen productions by using the star, villain and director of The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad and a young stop-motion animator called Jim Danforth. The movie has its own charm but somehow it just doesn’t make the Harryhausen grade.

Kerwin Matthews died in San Francisco on July 5th. He was 81.

Categories: Obituaries

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