Category Archives: Kino Lorber

Blu-ray News #391: Planet Of The Vampires (AKA Terrore Nello Spazio).

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.

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Filed under 1965, AIP, Barry Sullivan, DVD/Blu-ray News, Kino Lorber, Mario Bava

Blu-Ray News #381: Shamus (1973).


Directed by Buzz Kulik
Starring Burt Reynolds, Dyan Cannon, John P. Ryan, Joe Santos, Larry Block

Burt Reynolds is in his early-70s prime in Shamus (1973), a cool private eye picture co-starring Dyan Cannon. Kino Lorber will be bringing it to Blu-Ray later this year.

Burt’s a pool-shooting PI hired to track down some stolen diamonds. Naturally, he gets into all sorts of trouble along the way.

Shamus has great NYC location stuff and a pre-Rockford Files Joe Santos. Director Buzz Kulik worked steadily in TV, directing lots of outstanding TV movies (such as Brian’s Song). Shamus is one of his few theatrical films. Recommended.

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Filed under 1973, Burt Reynolds, Columbia, DVD/Blu-ray News, Kino Lorber

Blu-Ray News #379: Human Desire (1954).

Directed by Fritz Lang
Starring Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford, Edgar Buchanan, Peggy Maley

Human Desire (1954) is small-town noir as only the great Fritz Lang could do it — and Kino Lorber is bringing it to Blu-Ray later this year.

Glenn Ford’s a train engineer who gets involved in murder, blackmail and about every kind of seediness you can think of — all thanks to Fate and Gloria Grahame.

Lang and DP Burnett Guffey come up with some stunning widescreen visuals, especially around the railroad yard. And while it’s not quite the seedy masterpiece The Big Heat (1953) is — which first brought Lang, Ford and Grahame together — it shows how Lang’s stylistics can elevate substandard material. (There were all kinds of problems with this thing as it came together.)

I’m a huge fan of Lang’s Hollywood pictures, film noir and trains, so this one’s a real favorite. Highly recommended.

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Filed under 1954, Broderick Crawford, Columbia, DVD/Blu-ray News, Fritz Lang, Glenn Ford, Kino Lorber

Blu-Ray News #375: Son Of Samson (1960).

Directed by Carlo Campogalliani
Starring Mark Forest, Chelo Alonso, Vira Silenti, Angelo Zanolli

Kino Lorber has announced that they’re prepping another Italian peplum picture for Blu-Ray, Son Of Samson (1960). It will be available later in 2022.

Inspired by the success of Hercules (1959) starring Steve Reeves, Italian producers starting hiring American bodybuilders — Mark Forest, in this case — and putting them in sword-and-sandal “peplum” pictures as fast as they could. Son Of Samson is one of the better ones.

Those of us who saw these movies on TV have no idea what they looked like in theaters — many in Scope and Technicolor. And that’s why Blu-Ray releases like this are such a treat. Thanks to Kino Lorber for wrestling up so many of these!

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Filed under 1960, DVD/Blu-ray News, Kino Lorber, Mark Forest, Peplum

Blu-Ray News #373: Samson And The 7 Miracles Of The World (1962).

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.

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Filed under 1962, AIP, DVD/Blu-ray News, Gordon Scott, Kino Lorber, Peplum

Blu-Ray News #368: Edgar G. Ulmer Sci-Fi Collection.

Man, I can’t wait for this! Kino Lorber has announced a three-picture Blu-Ray set of Edgar G. Ulmer science fiction movies, coming in late March. Of course, Mr. Ulmer was a master at making a decent movie for an insultingly paltry amount of money and time. Just look at Detour (1945) or The Naked Dawn (1955) for evidence of that. These three science fiction things show that same level of ingenuity, along with Ulmer’s habit of giving bigger parts to actors normally seen in second lead or character parts.

The Man From Planet X (1951)
Directed by Edgar G, Ulmer
Starring Robert Clarke, Margaret Field, William Schallert

Shot in a week on leftover sets from Joan Of Arc (1948), you’d think that the biggest line item in the budget was the smoke machine, since the picture uses tons and tons of fake fog to approximate a Scottish moor and hide things they don’t want you to see. The alien’s suit is really cool and the overall effect — from the fog to the spacesuit to the alien’s musical language — is creepy as hell. 

The Amazing Transparent Man (1960)
Directed by Edgar G, Ulmer
Starring Marguerite Chapman, Douglas Kennedy, James Griffith, Ivan Triesault

Beyond The Time Barrier (1960)
Directed by Edgar G, Ulmer
Starring Robert Clarke, Darlene Tompkins

Ulmer did these two pictures back to back over two weeks in Dallas, Texas, for Miller-Consolidated Pictures. Robert Clarke, the star of The Man From Plant X, had just directed and starred in The Hideous Sun Demon (1960). He was the producer of Beyond The Time Barrier and brought in Ulmer to direct. When Miller-Consolidated Pictures went broke, AIP bought these up (for pretty much just the lab costs) and released ’em as a twin bill. 

Seeing these in high definition is gonna be a real treat. Highly, highly recommended.

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Filed under 1951, 1960, DVD/Blu-ray News, Edgar G. Ulmer, James H. Griffith, Kino Lorber, William Schallert

Blu-Ray/4K News #366: Touch Of Evil (1958).

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Filed under 1958, Albert Zugsmith, Charlton Heston, DVD/Blu-ray News, Janet Leigh, Kino Lorber, Orson Welles, Universal (-International)

Blu-Ray News #365: Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949).

Directed by William Castle
Starring Howard Duff, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea, Tony Curtis, John McIntire, Gar Moore, Leif Erickson

Kino Lorber is continuing their terrific noir Blu-Ray series Film Noir: The Dark Side Of Cinema with Volumes VI and VII.

Volume VI contains John Brahm’s Singapore (1947), with Fred MacMurray, Ava Gardner and Roland Culver; George Sherman’s The Raging Tide (1951) with Shelley Winters, Richard Conte, Stephen McNally, Charles Bickford, Alex Nicol and John McIntire; and William Castle’s Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949).

In Castle’s picture, Federal agents need Johnny Evans (Dan Duryea), who’s doing time in Alcatraz, to rat on some drug dealers and hit men. Johnny’s not to hip to the idea. It’s a solid effort from Castle. Recommended.

Volume VII will contain Byron Haskin’s The Boss (1956) starring John Payne; Sidney Salkow’s Chicago Confidential (1957) with Brian Keith, Beverly Garland and Dick Foran; and Dana Andrews, Dick Foran and Marilee Earle in Jacques Tourneur’s The Fearmakers (1958).

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Filed under 1956, 1957, 1958, Ava Gardner, Beverly Garland, Dan Duryea, Dana Andrews, DVD/Blu-ray News, Film Noir, Fred MacMurray, George Sherman, Jacques Tourneur, John Payne, Kino Lorber, Richard Conte, Tony Curtis, Universal (-International), William Castle

Blu-Ray News #362: Love-Slaves Of The Amazons (1957).

Written & Directed by Curt Siodmak
Starring Don Taylor, Gianna Segale, Eduardo Ciannelli, Harvey Chalk, Wilson Vianna

Kino Lorber has announced an upcoming Blu-Ray release for Curt Siodmak’s Love-Slaves Of The Amazons (1957). It’s a little over 80 minutes of the usual “guys end up someplace (planet/island/jungle) populated entirely by women” thing. Of course, the women want to enslave the men for their own vile purposes.

It’s got some shooting in Brazil, in Eastmancolor, and a poster by the great Reynold Brown (the art’s up top). Is Love-Slaves Of The Amazons terrible? Maybe. Is it wonderful? Absolutely. Coming sometime in early 2022.

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Filed under 1957, Curt Siodmak, DVD/Blu-ray News, Kino Lorber, Reynold Brown, Uncategorized, Universal (-International)

Blu-Ray News #356: Village Of The Giants (1965).

Produced & Directed by Bert I. Gordon
Starring Tommy Kirk, Johnny Crawford, Beau Bridges, Joy Harmon, Robert Random, Tisha Sterling, Toni Basil, Ron Howard, The Beau Brummels

Another movie about big stuff from Bert I. Gordon. This one marries Gordon’s typical size-related theme to a Beach Party atmosphere. It’s coming to Blu-Ray from Kino Lorber later this year.

A group of teenager eats some stuff called Goo and “zoom to supersize.” The gang of 30-foot-tall juvenile delinquents then terrorize the small town of Hainesville. It’s mostly played for laughs, adding in cool elements like The Beau Brummels, music by Jack Nitzsche, Ed Roth’s Surfite and the worst fake giant legs you’ve ever seen. Some of Village Of The Giants was shot at Universal on the same town square set we know from It Came From Outer Space (1953), Gremlins (1984) and Back To The Future (1985).

The whole thing is a lot of dumb fun. Recommended.

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Filed under 1965, Avco Embassy, Bert I. Gordon, DVD/Blu-ray News, Kino Lorber