SON OF SAMSON pre-order…

SON OF SAMSON Blu-ray release by KINO LORBER is now available for pre-order at Amazon. This is great news.

SON OF SAMSON BD @ AMAZON

The BD is still available for pre-order in Canada but there’s still two months left so I’ll wait and see.

Below is the official artwork of the release. Looks great.

This Blu-ray release is a complete opposite of the KL attempted release of the ill-fated GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES.

About that SON OF SAMSON Blu-ray…

Kino Lorber has announced that they will have a Blu-ray release of SON OF SAMSON (1960) starring the late Mark Forest. This is great news! It seems now that distributors in North America have finally realized of the many beautiful prints in HD broadcasted on TV or from streaming services in Europe. Oddly enough, an HD print, in English and the original cut in Italian, are already available on the internet. I have both copies. They are stunning. The English copy is 85 minutes long while the uncut Italian one with English subs is 94 minutes. Adding these two new copies to my collection, I now have 11 different versions of this movie, including one from RAI which is also very nice.

Thanks to info from my friend in Europe, SON OF SAMSON is already available in HD on Amazon in the UK so these copies on the internet are most likely from this source. The screenshot above is from the copy I have. But where does the original Italian one, with English subs, comes from? It’s odd that the announcement from Kino Lorber coincided with the availability of this movie at one movie website (which shall remain nameless…to protect them). Regardless, if the Kino Lorber release is from the same source, it will be amazing. It’s one of the rare occasions when the Blu-ray of a PEPLUM movie will become available in North America before Europe.

And yes I will buy the Kino Lorber Blu-ray once it’s released.

That FURY OF ACHILLES Blu-ray…

I finally got the new FURY OF ACHILLES (1962) Blu-ray disc from GOLDEN NINJA VIDEO. The movie stars Gordon Mitchell in his best role. This disc also includes PERSEUS THE INVINCIBLE (1963) starring Richard Harrison, and THE TROJAN HORSE (1961) starring Steve Reeves.

The movies are not new prints scanned in High Definition. They are up conversions of previous DVD releases. To give you an idea, the PERSEUS one has the SON OF HERCULES song during the opening credits. The original release didn’t have that.

Why was this BD made? I dunno but one can watch these three movies via BD and not from the web I guess. The disc is only $12 so it’s not expensive. If you don’t have these movies then the price might be okay but be sure that the image quality is not High Definition. Personally speaking, since I already have all these titles in my collection, I really didn’t need this disc.

Here are screenshots of the movies.

THE TROJAN HORSE is available on AMAZON PRIME in Canada. It’s the image on the top left. The copy from the BD is on the bottom right. The version at Amazon is not perfect but it is much better that the one on this disc.

Those HERCULES and HERCULES UNCHAINED French Blu-rays…

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.

THE MAGNIFICENT GLADIATOR Artus Films DVD…

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.

Mark Forest

Marilù Tolo and Jolanda Modio

SWORD OF THE CONQUEROR German Blu-ray…

A German Blu-ray edition of SWORD OF THE CONQUEROR (1961), starring Jack Palance, Guy Madison and Edy Vessel, is set to be available on October 14, 2021. According to the Koch website, the English track is included along with Italian and German audios. The website touts that this is the first HD release of this title. Great news.

AMAZON.de

Jack Palance in SWORD OF THE CONQUEROR

What PEPLUM stories should become TV series?

From the myriad of stories and characters that would be great as a TV series, the first thing that pops-up in my mind is a series based on the Argonauts. Hercules would appear from time to time with each member of the crew getting storylines. It would very cool and fascinating. HERCULES (1958) was the first motion picture to focus on the fabled crew of the Argo. THE GIANTS OF THESSALY (1960) and JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (1963) were other movies which were based on the Argonauts. Those movies showed how we barely knew all the members of the crew. A TV series would give time to explore and expand all the adventures, old and new, the men experienced.

The actors are: Fulvio Carrara as Castor, Willy Colombini as Pollux, Fabrizio Mioni as Jason, Aldo Pini as Tifi, Steve Reeves as Hercules, Gabriele Antonini as Ulysses, Andrea Fantasia as Laertes and  Gino Mattera as Orpheus. From HERCULES (1958).

That DUEL OF THE TITANS German Blu-ray…

I’ve purchased the German Blu-ray of ROMULUS & REMUS (1961). It’s traveling halfway across the world right now. In the meantime, a great friend of mine sent me a digital copy of it while I wait impatiently for it to arrive.

The German BR has audio in Italian, German and *English*. Since I just received this HD print, I haven’t watched it from beginning to end but needless today it’s a thing of beauty. Here are some screengrabs.

Gordon Scott and Steve Reeves with cast. Very sharp image.

Crowd scene. Everything is so clear. It’s beautiful.

Another crowd scene, with Jose Greci, Virna Lisi and Jacques Sernas, and Franco Volpi (seated)

Virna Lisi

I’ll have a review of it in the near future.