Best Visual Effects – 1973

My Nominations: Westworld. The Exorcist.

It’s somewhat surprising that after the Visual effects bonanza and disaster epics of the previous year that this year sees such a downturn. Perhaps it took that extra year for the industry to catch up – hence the onslaught which will be featured in this category next year. Westworld toys with robotics and sci-fi action, but our real winner is The Exorcist – using effects not merely to wow us, but to shock us with their realism and accompanying the plot and character. It’s almost safe to say The Exorcist is an effects driven film such is the power of the head spinning, stomach carving, spider walking, bed raising antics. But it’s more accurate to say that the effects are there to facilitate the descent of Regan and make us feel helpless and horrified.

My Winner: The Exorcist

Let us know your pick in the comments!

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Best Visual Effects – 1970

Official Nominations: Tora Tora Tora. Patton

Tora Tora Tora is the more action packed movie and has more obvious effects work – dated now of course, but fair for the time. Patton isn’t a film you think of when you think Visual Effects, but I get that they wanted to keep their nominations to certain types of movies.

My Winner: Tora!Tora!Tora!

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My Nominations: Tora!Tora!Tora! Beneath The Planet Of The Apes. Kelly’s Heroes.

It’s a new decade and the first decade where computer generated wizardry would come to the fore. That is in a few years time though, so for now we are making do with those maestros of puppets and pyrotechnics. As such, we look to War and Action movies for spectacle – sci-fi and horror were out of popularity at this point. It’s slim pickings this year, even with the various War movies – Kelly’s Heroes and BTPOTA both feature fairly standard effects.

My Winner: Tora!Tora!Tora!

Let us know in the comments which film of 1970 has the best Special Effects!

Best Visual Effects – 1969

Official Nominations: Marooned. Krakatoa, East Of Java.

Two clear nominations this year, and one obvious winner. While Marooned isn’t the quantum leap in quality that the previous year’s 2001 was, it mimicked that movie’s approach to realism with its effects. Krakatoa is an effects bonanza and due to the age of the movie it simply doesn’t hold up today – however the technical wizardry and ambition are deserving of the nomination.

My Winner: Marooned.

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My Nominations: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Where Eagles Dare. The Valley Of Gwangi. Marooned. Doppleganger.

Only the official winner makes it over to my list, joining a few other interesting choices. Both Where Eagles Dare and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service are action packed and therefore are filled with a variety of explosions and other more visual effects to make the action all the more realistic, while The Valley Of Gwangi is another Ray Harryhausen special, though this one is rarely discussed. Finally, Doppleganger (also known as Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun) sees some further realistic space and rocket effects from the team behind Thunderbirds. 

My Winner: Marooned

Let us know which film of 1969 you feel has the Best Visual Effects!

Best Visual Effects: 1968

Official Nominations: 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ice Station Zebra.

There was always only going to be one winner this year, right? It still looks amazing today, so imagine how impressive it was upon release. From the ships to the new techniques such as front projection, rotating sets, and on to the trippy light show, the work by Kubrick, Turnbull and the many many others is one of the most obvious Oscar wins of all time. Ice Station Zebra by comparison has a lot of good moments but they pale in comparison with the miniature work in particular looking out of date alongside Kubrick’s masterpiece.

My Winner: 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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My Nominations: 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ice Station Zebra. Destroy All Monsters. Planet Of The Apes.

Any nominations I put alongside 2001 are going to look silly so I’ll keep Ice Station Zebra, add in Destroy All Monsters for Kaiju fun, and Planet Of The Apes because why the hell not?

My Winner: 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Are there any other films released in 1968 which you feel deserves recognition for Visual Effects? Let us know in the comments!

Best Visual Effects: 1965

Official Nominations: Thunderball. The Greatest Story Ever Told.

An old school epic versus another edition of the upstart James Bond. Although Thunderball isn’t my favourite Bond with the underwater scenes being too slow, it does still top the work done on The Greatest Story Ever Told with the climactic explosion being particularly spectacular.

My Winner: Thunderball

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My Nominations: Thunderball. Battle Of The Bulge. The Flight Of The Phoenix. Von Ryan’s Express. Frankenstein Conquers The World. Planet Of The Vampires.

It wasn’t a stellar year for Visual Effects, and my nominations show that. Battle Of The Bulge and Von Ryan’s Express have fairly standard effects work, while Flight Of The Phoenix goes one further with its impressive crash work. Frankenstein Conquers The World has some interesting work with severed hands crawling around to add something different to the usual giant beast in background versus little people, houses, and cars in the foreground. Planet Of The Vampires similarly uses forced perspective to great effect as well as all manner of tricks forced by (and to shroud) the low budget.

My Winner: Thunderball

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Let us know in the comments which film of 1965 you fell has the best Visual Effects!

Best Visual Effects: 1964

Actual Nominations: Mary Poppins. The 7 Faces Of Dr. Lao.

While not necessarily and landmark year for visual effects, the 2 official nominations show advancement of the field and hold scenes which are still outstanding today. For the flight mechanics, merging of animations and other pieces, Peter Ellenshaw, Hamilton Luske, and Eustace Lycette won the award for Mary Poppins. As much as Mary Poppins did for visual effects, The 7 Faces Of Dr. Lao blows the competition out of the water. The invention on display is superb, but it is the variety of effects which cement this as my winner. On a much lesser budget than Disne’ys extravaganza, Jim Danforth’s exemplery stop motion work reflects the crazed mind of an escaped, under-your-bed lunatic. The work forshadows later films such as Clash Of The Titans, but the wizardry here is exquisite.

My Winner: The 7 Faces Of Dr Lao.

 My Nominations: Mary Poppins. The 7 Faces Of Dr. Lao. Goldfinger. Mothra Vs Goldzilla. 633 Squadron.

Added to my nominations come three films of varying effects bonanza-ing. Goldfinger arguably begins the love affair between Bond and gadgets, M vs G has a number of catastrophic fights between the Titans, while 633 Squadron features realistic air battles. It seems odd to me that any of these 3 films were left out of the official nominations.

My Winner: The 7 Faces Of Dr Lao.

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Who is your pick for the best visual effects of 1964? Let us know in the comments!