In honor of the upcoming, big-budget remake of Clash Of The Titans and the continued stop-motiony wickedness of the 1981 original , COED presents a refresher course in some of the Greek Gods, Titans, and monsters that made the films (and Greek mythology in general) so great.
The Top Dog, Alpha Male, Big Cheese, Number One Horn Dog of the whole pantheon. He runs the show, gets the girls, and smites his enemies with his lightning bolt staff. This guy fathered just about every other god that came after him. The dude got around. Estimates vary, but Zeus had 100’s of kids by 100’s of different mothers. Unfortunately, Maury Povich would not be born for several thousand years, no one can say how many were his for sure. A true player, Zeus did whatever it took to get his freak on. We’re not talking about buying some flowers and springing for a meal or two. No, Zeus got serious. He lied, seduced, and threatened the girls he wanted. Hell, he even changed forms if that’s what it took to get a maiden to come around the back of the hayshed with him. He appeared as a bull, a shower of gold, and anything else he thought would open the legs of whichever poor Greek girl caught his fancy that day. Liam Neeson takes the role over from Laurence Olivier in the 2010 version.
One of Zeus’ many illegitimate offspring, Perseus was born to some queen that Zeus met at a tractor pull. Full of his dad’s badassery, Perseus grew up to be an ass kicker like his old man. A favorite of the gods, Perseus borrowed a magic sword from Hermes, a hat that made him invisible from Hades, and a mirrored shield from Athena in his quest to kill Medusa. In the 1981 movie, Perseus has to kill her so he can use her head to save his girlfriend from The Mighty Kraken. In the original mythology, he mostly does it to bust up his enemies. So to summarize, Perseus made his mythological bones finding and killing the hideous Medusa, and used her head to turn anyone who ever crossed him to stone, impress his girlfriend, and score a kingdom of his own. Not bad for an illegitimate little punk with a few friends in high places. Perseus was played by Harry Hamlin in the original movie. The remake makes a serious upgrade to Avatar’s Sam Worthington. To what heights of badassery he reaches in the remake are still unknown, but at least he won’t have the same terrible, terrible 80’s hair.
Although totally made up for the 1981 Titans and absent from the remake, Calibos still holds a goat-shaped place in many fans of the original’s hearts. He starts the film as a handsome prince with a dangerous addiction to brutally killing winged horses. Sure, we all like to get together with friends on a Saturday night, drink a few cold ones and maybe kill a winged horse or two, but Calibos didn’t know when to say “when.” After he slaughters Zeus’ entire flock except for Pegasus, Zeus punishes him by turning him into a stupid recurring character from one of Saturday Night Live’s worst seasons.
As if being turned into a half-man/half-goat abomination wasn’t enough, Calibos also loses his girlfriend Andromeda to Perseus. Even worse, Calibos’ mom steps in and arranges for Andromeda to be fed to the hungry Kraken. You know things are in the crapper when you need your mom to bail you out. Calibos finally bites it when Perseus cuts off his head on the way back to steal his girlfriend. Calibos’s downward spiral is just as tragic as it gory. Kids, no matter what your friends might say, and no matter how many rap songs you hear praising it, and no matter how many pro athletes you see doing it, just say no to hunting down winged horses. It’ll ruin your life.
In Greek legend, the famous winged horse Pegasus was fathered by Poseidon and born from the severed head of the slain Medusa. The Greeks had a thing about their gods being born from heads. Athena was said to have sprung fully grown from Zeus’ head after he ate her. Why the Greeks worshiped a dude who ate his own newborn daughter is another matter altogether. Anyway, back to the flying horse. In the original flick, Pegasus is the last survivor of Zeus’ flock of magical winged horses 8the ones Calibos got off on butchering) and serves as Perseus’ trusty steed. In the original myths, Perseus never rode Pegasus, preferring to get around on his pair of magical sandals. This was changed by later writers of the myths and adopted by the filmmakers since flying around on a winged horse looks a lot cooler than tip-toeing through the clouds on a pair of enchanted slippers.
A legend in countless ancient cultures, the Kraken is basically just a really huge squid that likes to destroy things. The ancients Greeks didn’t have much to say about Krakens, probably because he didn’t have sex with anything that moved and only ate other people’s babies. Oh, if only they’d seen some tentacle rape anime. Those Japanese squids might be the only creatures in the history of the world who could out-perv Zeus. In their version, Andromeda is chained to rock to be eaten by a sea monster called a cetus. In the first Clash Of The Titans, the Kraken (who comes from Scandinavian legend) is the sea monster that Calibos’ mom tries to feed Andromeda to in order to punish Perseus. Perseus defeats The Kraken by turning it to stone with Medusa’s severed head. Proving once and for all that you may not be able to fight fire with fire, but you sure as hell can fight a titan with a titan.
If anyone could give Zeus a run for his dirty dog money, it was King Of The Seas, Poseidon. Like any good sailor, Poseidon had a girl in every port and wasn’t afraid to take whatever or whoever he wanted whenever he wanted. But Poseidon didn’t love all the ladies. His chief rival was Athena the Virgin Goddess. Maybe it was the fact that the people of Athens liked her better (Can you really blame them? Athena offered them an olive tree and all Poseidon coughed up was a saltwater spring), or maybe he just didn’t trust any women who wouldn’t lift her toga for him. But whatever the reason, The Underwater Underboss had a serious hate on for her. It was this hate that drove him to mess up the floors something awful with Medusa in one of Athena’s temples. Have you ever tried to scrub Sea God spooge out of marble? The stuff just doesn’t come out. Say what you want about Poseidon, the guy knew how to get revenge.
The original super bitch, Medusa was a nasty looking woman who had snakes for hair. So horrible was her face, that one peek would turn you to stone. Why it exactly it turned your face to stone as opposed to just making you puke is never clearly stated. Once one of the hottest women in the ancient world, Medusa was transformed into the ugliest bowser in history after she crossed the goddess Athena by getting it on with Poseidon in one of Athena’s temples. Furious, but unable to punish Poseidon, Athena cursed Medusa with horrible, stony gaze. Since turning everyone who looked at her into solid rock put a serious damper on her social life, Medusa mainly just hung out with her sisters on their island. That is until Perseus came to town with a sharp sword, a magic shield and something to prove. Perseus cut off Medusa’s head and used it to turn anyone who had ever crossed him into stone. Then, as a final finger in the air to Medusa, he gave it to Athena to use on her shield. Although tragic, Medusa’s life has one very important lesson. No matter how much you want it, never get it on in church.
Brother of Zeus and Poseidon, Hades got royally screwed when the three of them were drawing straws to divvy up the world. Even though Hades was the oldest, Zeus got the sky with its lightning and cool birds. Poseidon got the seas with their sweet beaches and all-you-can-eat sushi, while Hades got stuck with the basement suite of Greek Mythology, The Underworld. Not only is the place damp and poorly lit, it’s also the place where all the dead people go. The underworld was so bad that Hades had to trick his future wife Persephone just to get her back to his place. Since he spent most of his time alone in his crummy apartment, Hades did what most bachelors do; he got a little weird. He stayed home most of the time, played Call of Duty, and generally freaked people out when he cruised around in his dark chariot pulled by four jet-black horses. The only thing more fearsome than his ride was the giant, three-headed dog Cerberus he had chained up outside the gates of hell. Hades didn’t make into the first Clash Of The Titans, but he’s going to be the main bad guy in the remake.
The Greek Goddess of Plot Development, Andromeda has two functions in all the legends she appears. One, be really hot. Not the girl-who works-at-Starbucks-who-wears-glasses-and-dresses-kind-of-weird-but-you-still-totally-would kind of do hot. We’re talking hotter than the hottest girl you’ve ever seen. Hot enough for dudes to risk their lives fighting hideous monsters just to get into the same room as her. Two, she has to be almost eaten by a sea monster. Accounts differ, but in every story Andromeda gets chained to a rock to be some old, ocean dwelling monster’s lunch. Perseus, full of desire to rescue a damsel in distress and profit sexually from it, goes on his quest to waste Medusa knowing that when he comes back he’s going to have scored some serious cred with Andromenda. Even though she had been promised to her uncle (gross!) in Greek legend and Goatboy in Clash Of The Titans, Andromeda shacks up with Perseus and they go on to live long, happy lives making babies and ruling the kingdom of Myncenae until they are die and are raised as constellations in the night sky. Beautiful people get everything.
If all this wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, check out the trailer for the new version. It’s in theatres April 2nd..
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