New HD TV broadcast of HERCULES…

A new HD version of HERCULES was recently shown in Italy, on RAI (see screenshot above with the RAI logo), and it s now available at some websites. Hurray! Well, hold on there. The version is the exact same version as the Japanese Blu-ray, with that odd filter. The image is sharp but the filter gets in the way of enjoying it. The good thing is, someone added the English audio to it. The bad thing, it’s not the preferred English audio. Here’s a quick observation of this print:

Runtime:

The runtime of this new print is 1:38:54. The Japanese Blu-ray is 1:43:10. The Italian TV broadcast is in PAL which explains the shorter time but it’s the same print.

Audio:

The audio of the Italian broadcast is identical to the Japanese Blu-ray which is not good since it’s very weak.

Someone added the English audio to this print, and this one is robust and stronger than the soft Italian one.

The question is: who added the English audio to this Italian broadcast? I’m happy it was added but unfortunately, it’s not my preferred English dub. The one included on this print is the International English audio, dubbed in Italy. The version seen in North America, the ‘Avco Embassy’ version, is, imo, better. Even though there are some quirks in regards to the dialogue, the voices are more warm, less shrill than the International English version.

Steve Reeves and Sylva Koscina. Beautiful!

Intro:

This Italian broadcast doesn’t have ‘Joseph E. Levine presents’ at the beginning, which is correct since Levine acquired the movie while it was in cinemas in Italy. The Japanese version also doesn’t have the Levine intro.

Opening and closing credits:

The opening credit in this one is the original Italian version with the red mural and Italian text.

The International English version of it has an English version, with HERCULES as title with the red mural. But the US version is different with an animated opening credits. I like both but since this is from an Italian broadcast, the Italian version is to be expected.

The closing credit is whole other matter. Back in the past, movies had THE END when a movie concluded. In Italian, it’s FINE. Well, this copy doesn’t have the FINE closing credit. The Japanese Blu-ray also doesn’t have the FINE closing frame. The music, which culminates when FINE appears, is missing. The movie and score peter out and it fades to black. The US copy has a THE END and closing credit with lists of actors and crew.

Above: US version with THE END over Steve Reeves and Sylva Koscina. Below is the FINE with the robust score, familiar with all fans of this movie. In this new copy, there’s no FINE. The movie just fades to black before the crescendo followed by FINE. It’s the same on the Japanese Blu-ray.

Image:

The image is sharp and it’s always nice to see the movie at such a resolution. But if you have the Japanese Blu-ray, it’s not much of an improvement since they are the same.

Above: screenshot from the RAI broadcast. Below: screenshot taken from Japanese Blu-ray. They’re the same. It’s has that odd filter which softens the image, certainly the skin of the actors. It makes everyone ‘glow.’

I’m happy this copy exists but it’s not the actual version seen in movie theatres back in the 1950s. I don’t know why this movie is so plagued with odd aspects. Why is so difficult to get a proper copy without defects?

Maybe it’s cursed.

GOR German Blu-rays…

Germany seems to love the GOR movies starring Urbano Barberini. Even if the movies have yet to appear in any BD or DVD formats in the US, the German market is overflowing with them.

Here are 4 Blu-ray editions to select from:

This is the new Blu-ray release with both GOR and OUTLAW OF GOR. Release April 2023.

Blow are three different collectors covers of the same edition released one year ago.

This one claims to be uncut and it includes the Blu-ray and DVD discs.

And last…the DVD release.

Does anyone out there bought all different editions and what differs from one another?

Batch of new titles on Blu-ray…

A batch of new Blu-ray releases of PEPLUM titles from Germany has been announced. Getting all of these will be costly as Amazon Germany adds Shipping & Handling.

THE MONGOLS – In German and Italian only

Link

THE LION OF ST MARK – In German and English

Link

CONSTANTINE AND THE CROSS – In German and Italian only!

Link

THE SON OF SPARTACUS (aka The Slave) – In German, Italian and English!

Link

THE GOLDEN FALCON – In German only

Link

And there’s the HANNIBAL Blu-ray I already mentioned before. There’s also a new boxset of GOR and GOR II from Germany that was released in January.

Are you ready for 4K?

Are you ready for PEPLUM movies in 4K?

There are already titles, all of them from Hollywood, that are available in 4K, such as SPARTACUS (1960) and THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956). See Youtube video linked above. The scene they used for the comparison (below) is not impressive. I see some different, mostly clarity, or less fuzzy, but of all the scenes they could have used from THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, they used that one? Mind boggling. Oh well…

 

As usual, Hollywood big titles are getting the 4K treatment first. There are few PEPLUM movies from Italy on Blu-ray so the prospect of seeing HERCULES (1958) in 4K are not in the immediate future.

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

German DVD issue…

I pre-ordered the German¬†two pack DVD set with REVENGE OF THE GLADIATORS (1964) starring Mickey Hargitay, and SEVEN REBEL GLADIATORS (1965) starring Roger Browne. I got confirmation from AMAZON.de in July that the DVD was shipped. I was happy. There are few DVDs or Blu-rays on the horizon and I wanted to see the quality of the image for both movies. Well, today I got an email from AMAZON.de saying that I got a refund for the DVD because it was returned. I was baffled. So I checked ny AMAZON.de account and yes, I got the refund. The DVD was apparently returned to Amazon. I never got it so I’m not the one who returned it. Maybe it had something to do with the disastrous floods in Germany. Regardless, I re-ordered the DVD again. Let’s hope this won’t happen again.

ROMULUS & REMUS finally ships!

The seemingly endless drama over the release date of the German Blu-ray of DUEL OF THE TITANS (1961) is finally over. The BRs have been shipped. At least in Europe.¬†This edition, which was always ‘out of stock’, is now in stock. I should have more info on it next week, including screen grabs. Stay tuned!

HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN Blu-ray pre-order…

HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (1961) Blu-ray is now available for pre-order.

AMAZON.COM

AMAZON.CA

The official page includes beautiful screenshots of this upgrade. As stated at the website, the new 4K transfer is from a 35 mm print, not a Technirama print.

They even restored the original US trailer.

This looks like a great release!

The Film Detective