Directed by Piero Pierotti (and Hugo Fregonese)
Starring Rory Calhoun, Yoko Tani, Camillo Pilotto
Early next year, Kino Lorber will bring Marco Polo (1962) to Blu-Ray. The English-language version included scenes directed by Hugo Fregonese. American International distributed it in the States with a new score by Les Baxter.
This one’s been hard to track down over the years (I’ve never seen it), so a nice hi-def version will be quite a treat.
Category Archives: AIP
Directed by Piero Pierotti (and Hugo Fregonese)
Directed by Riccardo Freda
Starring Gordon Scott, Yôko Tani, Hélène Chanel
It’s great that these peplum pictures are turning up on Blu-Ray, and Kino Lorber has announced an upcoming release of Samson And The Seven Miracles Of The World (1961).
Designed to use sets designed for Marco Polo (1962, also with Yôko Tani), this was a Maciste picture elsewhere in the world — Maciste (Gordon Scott) was renamed Samson in the English dubbing for the UK and US. In the UK, the title was shortened to Samson And The Seven Miracles (1962). It sends Gordon Scott to the Orient where he has to come to the aide of a Chinese princess. The earthquake in the final reel is pretty cool.
Released in Italy in late 1961, it was almost 1963 before AIP put it out, re-scored by Les Baxter — and with yet another incredible poster by Reynold Brown. I’m sure Kino Lorber will give us something to make us forget those horrible pan-and-scan 16mm TV prints.
The disc will include both the longer international cut and the shorter AIP version — and a commentary from Tim Lucas. Coming in August. Can’t wait!
The first episode of The Carbon Arc Podcast is up and running — with Mr. Phil Hopkins of The Film Detective as our guest.
You can click on the thing up top to hear/see it on YouTube, or you can find it on podcast-y corral things like Podomatic.
Hope you enjoy it.
Directed by Mario Bava
Starring Barry Sullivan, Norma Bengell, Ángel Aranda, Evi Marandi
Mario Bava’s supremely creepy Planet Of The Vampires (1965) is getting a new 2K restoration (with expanded supplemental stuff) from the folks at Kino Lorber. Even though their previous Blu-Ray was quite nice, this is very good news indeed.
Written by Ib Melchior, Planet Of The Vampires a bit more going for it than most, script-wise, that a lot of Italian science fiction movies, which tend to not make much sense. But with Mario Bava, it’s the visuals we’re concerned about, and Planet Of The Vampires doesn’t disappoint. This thing’s got enough style and atmosphere (and fog) for 20 movies (and oddly enough, no vampires). I see a lot of this film’s influence in Alien (1979), with a heavy dose of It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1957) thrown in.
VHS copies of Planet Of The Vampires in the Eighties replaced the original score with some dreadful synthesizer stuff. The MGM DVD and the later Kino Lorber Blu-Ray restored the music from the original Italian and AIP versions. Highly recommended.
Screenbound in the UK has announced a cool Blu-Ray set: The Films Of Michael Reeves. Many see Reeves’ death at just 25 as a huge blow to British cinema. His last film, Witchfinder General (1968, AKA The Conqueror Worm in the States), was terrific and showed that he had incredible potential.
From the press release: “This ultimate Blu-Ray collection includes both of his iconic works (Witchfinder General and 1967’s The Sorcerers), along with the first-ever Blu-Ray release of The Castle Of The Living Dead, where he was part of the scriptwriting team… completing this stunning collection is the brand new feature-length documentary The Young General, featuring Ian Ogilvy.”
Reeves’ The She-Beast (1966) is already available on Blu-Ray
Directed by Bruno VeSota
Starring Edwin Nelson, Joanna Lee, Alan Frost, Cornelius Keefe, Leonard Nimoy
As a kid, I spent more time studying TV Guide than my stuff for school. I was looking for was stuff like The Brain Eaters (1958), and when something turned up (often on WRAL’s Sunrise Theater), it was like I’d won a contest or something. While I love great movies like The Searchers (1956) or Citizen Kane (1941), it’s junk like The Brain Eaters than turned me into the movie nut I am today. Bet it worked that way for a lot of y’all out there, too.
So, it’s with a lot of nostalgia and glee that I report that Scream Factory is bringing The Brain Eaters to Blu-Ray later this month — in a limited edition of just 1,500 copies.
The story goes that actor Bruno VeSota wanted to direct, so he turned to Roger Corman. With Corman’s help, The Brain Eaters was made for less than $30,000. They got a distribution deal with AIP who paired it with Bert I. Gordon’s The Spider (1958) — and cooked up a great ad campaign for ’em (see the poster up top from Benson, North Carolina’s Benton Card Company). By the way, Scream Factory has already done a Blu-Ray of The Spider.
A big metal spiral-shaped thing turns up in rural Illinois, then people end up dead with weird parasites attached to the back of their necks. It’s got a bit of an Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956) thing going on — and was eventually wrapped up in a plagiarism suit from Robert A. Heinlein, who claimed The Brain Eaters ripped off his 1951 novel The Puppet Masters. And Leonard Nimoy’s name is misspelled in the credits, but he didn’t sue.
You don’t really recommend a movie like The Brain Eaters. You already know if this is your kind of thing. You can bet Scream Factory will have it looking as good as it’s ever gonna look, so grab one before they’re gone!
You couldn’t pay me to go to San Francisco today, but I would love to have been there in May of 1964. Look at this great twin bill — Mario Bava’s Erik The Conqueror (1961) and Hercules And The Captive Women (1963).
All that, and Jimmy Payne, a former Mr. America, was dropping by!
Directed by Ib Melchior
Starring Preston Foster, Philip Carey, Merry Anders, John Hoyt, Joan Woodbury, Delores Welles, Forrest Ackerman
Who can resist a picture from American International in 1964 that gives you a Playboy Playmate (Delores Welles, June 1960), hideous mutants and Forrest J. Ackerman and promises to let you “SEE women use the Love Machine to allay the male shortage!”
Ib Melchior’s ideas were too big for his budget, but he still managed to pull off a pretty big-looking sci-fi flick. This thing just oozes mid-century, early 60s cool — from the costumes and hairstyles to the sets and the tacky Pathécolor (shot by the great Vilmos Zsigmond).
Scorpion Releasing is bringing this crazy thing to Blu-Ray, distributed by Kino Lorber, in April. Highly recommended.