PEPLUM actor Mark Forest died on January 7 at the age of 89. He made 12 movies, all entertaining and fun. I wrote a comprehensive overview of his career and his movies at the main PEPLUM TV blog. Make sure to check it out.
None of his films have made it on Blu-ray. Many of his movies have been broadcast in HD but never published to Blu-ray.
SCHEHERAZADE (1963) starring Anna Karina (below) and Gerard Barray is available on Blu-ray. It was released last September. I didn’t buy it yet. I’ll buy it next year (haha!). Anyway, it looks good. Audio and subtitles in French only. It was released in the UK and Canada as SCORCHING SANDS.
I just got the new SINS OF POMPEII (1950) Blu-ray from France. The Blu-ray worked fine (haha!). The shipping was very fast. And the price reasonable. I’ve examined the movie to give a quick overview of this release.
According to IMDb, the original runtime is 110 minutes. The new BD is 98 minutes. The previous DVD, also from France, was 94 minutes long. So there’s a discrepancy with runtime, which I haven’t checked in detail since I only got the BD yesterday. The extras are barebones. This HD release has two short documentaries, one on the Italian cinema highlighting the movie itself and the other has something to do with propaganda films made to showcase France and its culture (???), both narrated by the same expert.
The image is nice but the image of the DVD was also nice. The beginning of the movie they state that the movie was ‘fixed’ or restored in 2017. The prints are virtually the same. The only big difference, and it’s a big one, is the resolution. To compare, I placed screenshots of the new BD version next to the old DVD. The size difference is amazing.
Was it worth buying? Yes, since the movie now looks great in a higher resolution but this transfer offers no new surprises, well, except for the cover which is stunning.
I don’t have this specific Spanish DVD of HELEN OF TROY but I love the cover art. It’s one of my favourites DVD covers and the best of any release for this 1956 epic directed by Robert Wise.
the SODOM AND GOMORRAH German Blu-ray is still not available even though it says at Amazon.de that it’ll be available on December 9, 2021. This release has already been delayed a couple of times, and as I anticipated, it’s still not available.
Addendum: someone who lives in Germany was able to get it for me….from Amazon. I guess Amazon.de don’t people from outside of Germany to buy it. Anyway, I will give a thorough review of it once I get it.
SODOM AND GOMORRAH (1962) starring Stewart Granger, Pier Angeli and a host of European actors is available on Blu-ray in Japan!
I purchased it and it’s already on its way.
The runtime is only 117 minutes and not the 150 + plus one. Regardless, I’m curious to see the image quality.
Front and back covers. Not the best quality. Hopefully, the film itself will be excellent. I’ll keep you posted on this.
Here’s a glimpse of the PEPLUM titles playing in May 1960
GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS
SOLOMON AND SHEBA
How cool is that!
As I posted on the main PEPLUM TV blog, there’s a new Blu-ray of HANNIBAL (1959) in Japan. Unfortunately, Amazon won’t ship it outside of Japan. I wonder what the image quality is. Hopefully not as uneven as the HERCULES / HERCULES UNCHAINED ones. There are no screenshots of the movie. Did anyone out there bought it?
The back cover shows that it’s copyrighted by Minerva Pictures and it’s in Full HD.
A contact of mine who lives in Europe communicated with ARTUS FILMS about their much delayed HERCULES (1958) and HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959) Blu-rays and it seems the entire endeavour is a no-go. The releases have been abandoned or cancelled.
It’s odd that this is happening to these Steve Reeves movies, which are still popular to this day. The trend of advertising an up coming release without having final closure on the deals is annoying. The packaging was excellent but what’s the point of claiming these titles when the thing wasn’t finalized behind the scenes? It’s very odd way of doing business.