The upcoming SON OF SAMSON Blu-ray from Kino Lorber has just gotten a price reduction at Amazon. It was priced as $24.95 before but now sells for $17.99. That’s a pretty good deal. If you haven’t pre-ordered it yet, do it now and support PEPLUM movies. Official release date: May 10.
Aside from big Hollywood titles, modest PEPLUM movies in 4K are few and far in between. One of the first Sword and Sorcery movies of the early 1980s is available in 4K, THE BEASTMASTER (1982) from Vinegar Syndrome. I have a soft spot for this movie.
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.
The new German Blu-ray edition of SODOM AND GOMORRAH (1962) is scheduled to be released next week, on December 9. Initially, it was supposed to have been released during spring but it has been delayed. The old German DVD release of this movie wasn’t that good with odd video artifacts reminiscent of old VHS transfers. Hopefully the Blu-ray won’t replicate these issues. Even so I’m taking a wait and see approach with this BD. The new Japanese BD is pretty good even though it’s not complete. Anyway, the German Blu-ray is not yet available on Amazon for pre-order so that’s that. Not a good sign. One should be able to pre-order by now.
There are more Blu-ray releases scheduled which I’ll mention in another post.
I recently purchased the Blu-ray for THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (1965) after I realized I didn’t have it on DVD or any other adequate format. Once I got it the Blu-ray didn’t work. It stops working in the middle of the movie. It’s not the Blu-ray player is not the problem as I played other movies on it afterwards. This is a bummer. I really wanted to view this movie in HD but now I can’t save it for my collection. I bought it on eBay from a seller with no returns. Oh well…
I came across an HD print of HERCULES THE AVENGER (1965) starring Reg Park as Hercules and Giovanni Cianfriglia as Antaeus. Now the clip is short but the quality of the print is jaw dropping. This movie has never been available in a clear print ever…even the Retromedia DVD is in poor quality. In widescreen but a terrible print. Seeing it in HD is amazing. I’ll have more in future posts, either here or at the main blog, once I get more information on it.
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.
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.