Upcoming Blu-rays…

A new batch of Blu-rays will be released soon or early next year, most of them from KINO LORBER. They are all US releases.

GOLIATH & THE VAMPIRES (1961) starring Gordon Scott. The Blu-ray will be released as SAMSON VS THE VAMPIRES…why? I dunno. The prints currently available are mostly poor so a nice Blu-ray of this title is highly anticipated.

THE WAR LORD (1965) starring Charlton Heston. Excellent movie. Looking forward to this.

RASPUTIN – THE MAD MONK (1966). Maybe my favourite Christopher Lee / Hammer movie.

THE PERILS OF GWENDOLINE IN THE LAND OF THE YIK YAK (1984),  or just GWENDOLINE, starring Tawny Kitaen. Story starts in contemporary times and ends up in a lost civilization with female gladiators and a chariot race with women in lieu of horses. The second half is a must see for PEPLUM fans. For those who don’t know, boatload of female flesh and Brent Huff as the sole provider of male flesh. The emphasis is on nudity. Excellent soundtrack. Totally silly and yet entertaining. From the Just Jaeckin, director of EMMANUELLE (1974).

THE MAGIC SWORD (1962) starring Gary Lockwood. Classic film.

COBRA WOMAN (1944) starring Maria Montez, Sabu and Jon Hall. Can’t wait to see this!!! Love this movie! Incredible Technicolor.

THE WONDERS OF ALADDIN (1961) starring Donald O’Connor. This release will be interesting. I must say that I’m not a big fan of it but maybe the Blu-ray treatment will change my mind. There’s really good stuff in it but the story is lacking. I’m still happy for its BR release.

Rejoice…THIEF OF BAGHDAD in HD!

Great news on the Blu-ray front:  THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1961)  starring Steve Reeves, Giorgia Moll, Hedy Vessel and Arturo Dominici will finally get a proper HD transfer. This has been a long time coming. All DVD releases were terrible, which horrible pan & scan or faux widescreen aspect ratios, and murky image quality. This is one of my most sought after titles and it’ll be available in Germany. I’ve already ordered it. This Blu-ray also has the Italian, German and English audio. This is a great Christmas present. In fact, the movie has a very Christmassy feel to it so hopefully I’ll receive before the holidays. Thanks to Chris for this tip.

Link to Amazon.de : THIEF OF BAGHDAD

Check out the screengrabs.

How a Mark Forest movie became a Giuliano Gemma one…

HERCULES AGAINST THE SONS OF THE SUN (1964) is one of Mark Forest best PEPs. It’s colourful, action packed and the setting is sorta original. Giuliano is barely featured in the movie’s posters. Well, when the film was re-released in the 1970s all reference to Mark disappeared. It became a Giuliano Gemma movie. Giuliano is on the movie but he’s not the main star. Mark was. But by the 1970s, Mark had disappeared from the world of acting and Gemma was a popular star, thanks mainly to his Spaghetti Westerns. Even the VHS home release had Giuliano on the cover. Mark is nowhere to be seen.


ULYSSES in HD

I recently posted about getting the Blu-ray version of ULYSSES (1954), wondering which one to get: the German print or Japanese print. Well, someone (Alan) sent me a link to a HD version of a TV broadcast of the movie in France. It is gorgeous. Makes the movie look like a million bucks. I’m still wondering which Blu-ray to get but in the meantime this one will suffice. It’s only in French with no other language available. Starring Kirk Douglas, Sylvana Mangano and Umberto Silvestri. These screenshots don’t do it justice.

Which one to get…

Above is the German Blu-ray of ULYSSES (1954). It comes with 2 discs: one with a HD digital transfer from the original negative, at 100 minutes runtime, and the other is of a digital transfer with additional scenes, at 109 minutes. The audio included are Italian, German and English. The Blu-ray is region B, which means it’s not playable in standard Blu-ray players in North America.

On the other hand, there’s a Blu-ray from Japan, @103 minutes. The cover is amazing. The only audio: Italian. The Blu-ray is Region A which means it can be played with Blu-ray players in North America.

The deciding factor would be the price: the German one is 15.99 Euro while the Japanese one is 5100 Yen, or $51.00.

I really liked the HERCULES Blu-ray from Japan and I’m tempted in getting the Japanese one. Hmm…decisions. Why are Blu-rays so expensive in Japan?

What’s odd about this DVD cover…

This Spanish DVD set is interesting, not only for the titles included but the cover art.

The set includes:  THE TROJAN HORSE (1961), CORIOLANUS – HERO WITHOUT A COUNTRY (1964), HERCULES AGAINST ROME (1964), MACISTE IN KING SOLOMON’S MINES (1964), SLAVE OF CARTHAGE (1956; The Sword and the Cross) and SIGN OF THE GLADIATOR (1959).

Pretty good set. Aside from the fact that the movie from which the artwork comes from is not included in the pack, what else is peculiar about it? A true PEPLUM fan would know this.

The answer:

GOLIATH & THE DRAGON was the US version of VENGEANCE OF HERCULES aka La vendetta di Ercole. VENGEANCE OF HERCULES was re-edited for the North American market and additional scenes were added, including those with Mark battling the dragon and became GOLIATH & THE DRAGON which was never released in Europe. This Spanish DVD cover shows the artwork of a movie that was never released there.