Amazon Prime Canada movie selection is terrible, certainly in regards to PEPLUM movies. Here’s what’s available when searching ‘HERCULES’
Not much. Well, there is the French version of THE MIGHTY URSUS, called LA FUREUR D’HERCULE (1961) starring Ed Fury. So I watched it and it says at the bottom of the movie it’s in HD.
Taking screenshots of Amazon Prime from my computer is impossible. The screen is black or blank. So. I took a photo of the images with my iPhone.
The photo is fuzzy because the motion of the movie but I have to say that the quality of the image itself is pretty good. Not perfect but better than anything out there. It resembles the German DVD but at a higher resolution and less cropping on the sides. The opening credits are in German but the movie itself is in French. Anyway, it’s a nice surprise. Runtime: 1 hour 31 minutes.
I’ve been looking for this rare board game based on the blockbuster BEN-HUR (1959) epic on eBay and someone finally posted one for sale…at $472 US (or 400 Euros). It’s in Spanish from Spain. It’s in pretty good condition but as much of a PEPLUM fan I am, I wouldn’t pay that much for one.
I recently got the ARTUS FILMS release of THE MAGNIFICENT GlADIATOR (1964) starring Mark Forest and Marilù Tolo. This is definitely the best print yet that is until an HD print is made available. I like this film. It has everything a PEPLUM movie should have. I like watching it but the copies I have in my collection (7 different prints) are fairly ordinary in quality. This one definitely beats all previous releases. The Italian and French tracks are on it. No English track. The runtime is 91 minutes 28 seconds. I have a Fan Dub print in English at 95 minutes. The runtime at IMDb is at 95 minutes. It seems this French release is uncut since it’s in PAL format, at 25 frames per second, which would make a 95 minutes long movies at 24 FPS be roughly 91 minutes at 25 FPS. Recommended.
If you’re not familiar with ARTUS FILMS, a French film distribution company, you can have a crash course on their titles at their Vimeo channel. The channel has trailers and even VOD you can rent. PEPLUM movies and other genres. Of course, the movies are not in English but it’s an excellent glimpse into the PEPLUM genre. I just ordered THE MAGNIFICENT GLADIATOR DVD. Hopefully the image on the DVD is as good as the clip below.
As I stated in my last post, the German Gladiator 2-pack was canceled and I was refunded. I didn’t return it or ask for a refund. It most likely was lost during the terrible floods that besieged Germany. So I re-ordered it and I finally got it today. Is it worth buying? For those who only watch movies in English…no. It’s not worth it. There’s only the German dubs in this pack. Not even the Italian versions are included. And there’s no English dub as well. For me, as a PEPLUM mega fan, I’m glad I bought it even though it’s pretty much the same as what’s available out there. Here’s a quick round-up. The size of the screenshots reflect the differences in resolution.
SEVEN REBEL GLADIATORS
The movie is the same as the Italian DVD but at a higher resolution and in German only.
José Greci. The prints are identical but the German one is at a higher resolution.
The runtime between the two prints are virtually the same, minus a minute or so with the German print. 1024×572 is the resolution, which is higher than the print from the Italian DVD.
Note: I incorrectly named this movie as SEVEN SLAVES AGAINST ROME in previous posts. I corrected it.
REVENGE OF THE GLADIATORS
Now this one IS different than what’s available out there but it closely resembles the Italian copy I have from an Italian TV broadcast. The German print from the 2-pack is overly saturated and not as sharp.
Rodalno Lupi and Renato Baldini. The German print has more info on the left side but less on the right side than the Italian one.
The runtime is very different. As usual, the German print is cut. Its runtime is 82 minutes (PAL) while the Italian copy is 93 minutes (also PAL). That’s a whopping 11 minutes removed from the German print. I have to check it out further to see what was cut. The resolution for the German print is at 1000×428. Again, this resolution is higher than the one from the Italian TV broadcast.
Note: the runtimes posted at the Amazon.de page are incorrect.
Regular reader Joe mentioned that HERCULES (1958) and HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959) are available on Youtube in 4K. He provided the links to two separate channels. The prints there are pretty good. Are they truly 4K though?
The versions available at the Youtube channel are:
HERCULES is the International English version, available on the French DVD. It’s not the Avco Embassy English dub.
As for HERCULES UNCHAINED, it’s from the German DVD. Many scenes are cut, including Ulysses telling Hercules he’s fighting Antaeus, which are identical to the cuts found on this German DVD.
Both movies were uploaded to their respective channels yesterday!
Thanks to Joe for the quick updates on these uploads.
The never-ending saga of the GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES (1961) Kino Lorber Blu-ray release has been shelved indefinitely. KL announced the tentative release back in November 2019 and has been delayed repeatedly up until they couldn’t pretend anymore. I’m not surprise about this announcement. I’ve chronicled the entire saga since day one here at BTG so this announcement is not a shock. Disappointment, yes, but shock, no. It seems those who have the rights to the movie didn’t want KL to get their hands on it. So, it boiled down to a rights issue. I hope Kino Lorber, which is a great distributor, learns a lesson here. Don’t announce a release if the legalities haven’t been fully finalized.