Category Archives: Mario Bava

Blu-Ray News #263: Goliath And The Vampires (1961).

Directed by Sergio Corbucci & Giacomo Gentilomo
Starring Gordon Scott, Gianna Maria Canale, Jacques Sernas, Leonora Ruffo, Annabella Incontrera, Mario Feliciani

After their terrific Blu-Ray of Mario Bava’s Hercules In The Haunted World (1961), I was hoping Kino Lorber would keep the peplum coming. Well, with Goliath And The Vampires (1961) coming in early 2020, there’s at least one more in the works. This one has Gordon Scott as Goliath and was co-directed by Sergio Corbucci (there’s some debate about how much input he actually had). Dino De Laurentiis is credited as executive producer — I think it’s the only one of these pictures he did.

AIP released it here in the States, but didn’t get around to it until 1964. Reynold Brown’s poster art was typically beautiful. Like Hercules In The Haunted World, Goliath And The Vampires stirs a little Gothic horror into the usual peplum stew, which I always appreciate.

These movies looked like crap when I saw them on TV in the late 70s and early 80s — usually faded color and always a brutal pan-and-scan job on the ‘Scope camerawork. Can’t wait to see this one looking like it should. Recommended.

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Filed under 1961, AIP, DVD/Blu-ray News, Gordon Scott, Kino Lorber, Mario Bava, Reynold Brown, Sergio Corbucci

Blu-Ray News #249: Hercules In The Haunted World (1961).

Directed by Mario Bava
Starring Reg Park, Christopher Lee, Leonora Ruffo

Nobody can elevate a cheap movie quite like Mario Bava, and for my money, his Hercules In The Haunted World (1961) is the best of the peplum movies. And Kino Lorber is elevating the whole thing with this two-disc set — you get the European, the UK and the US versions (three, count em!), restored from the camera negative. There’s a commentary from Tim Lucas, an interview and trailers. And it’s all coming in October. Can’t wait.

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Filed under 1961, Christopher Lee, DVD/Blu-ray News, Kino Lorber, Mario Bava

Blu-Ray News #191: Blood And Black Lace (1964).

Directed by Mario Bava
Starring Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Paul Frees, 30 of the most glamorous girls in the world

VCI is bringing Mario Bava’s Blood And Black Lace (1964) to Blu-Ray here in the States with a slew of extras, some of them carried over from VCI’s previous DVD.

This picture is worthwhile for Bava’s use of color alone. Then consider that the whole thing was done for about $150,000. It’s really incredible.

This is one of the great Paul Frees’ finest hours, as he provided most of the male voices for the English-dubbed version.

Coming in October. Highly recommended.

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Filed under 1964, DVD/Blu-ray News, Mario Bava, VCI

DVD/Blu-ray News #5: Planet Of The Vampires (Terrore Nello Spazio).

Planet of vampires HS sized

Directed by Mario Bava
Starring Barry Sullivan, Norma Bengell, Ángel Aranda, Evi Marandi

Halloween’s always a great time of year for video-collecting horror and science fiction fans. This year is no exception. Added to a release roster that already includes The Legend Of Hell House (1973) comes Mario Bava’s supremely creepy sci-fi movie Planet Of The Vampires (1965), on Blu-ray and DVD from Kino Lorber.

Planet-of-the-Vampires-zombie-alien-vampire

Italian science fiction films, to me anyway, never seem to make any sense. Ever see Wild Wild Planet (1965)? This one, written by Ib Melchior, has a bit more going for it than most, script-wise. But it’s always Bava’s 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 in the Eighties replaced the original score with some dreadful synthesizer stuff. The MGM DVD restored the original music featured in the Italian and AIP versions. Can’t wait to see what Kino Lorber offers up. Highly recommended.

Don’t you love that Reynold Brown poster art?

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Filed under AIP, DVD/Blu-ray News, Kino Lorber, Mario Bava, Reynold Brown