When will be released in zone 1 and zone 2 a collector package DVD including what must definitely be called "the New Wordl SF trilogy of the years 80" that is to say : ANDROÏD + FORDIDDEN WORLD (Mutant) + GALAXY OF TERROR ?
All the three of them produced around 1980-1985 by Roger Corman, all of them full of ideas, directed by talented and intelligent directors, all of them written very well and very well edited too... I cannot believe that to screen such an excellent B-movie as FORBIDDEN WORLD, I have only my old Pan&Scan to 4/3 aspect ratio VHS SECAM recording in (quite good) French version. Interactivity, French subtitles, audio commentaries from producer Corman, actors and directors... urgently required for those 3 ones ! And many lobby cards and posters in supplement section too, please.
Quentin Tarantino may have seen ALSO this one : the gang boss does not want his men can identify themselves, and he wants them to choose (or he chooses for them : memory is not sure about that) names of numbers or colors or anything else. Remind you something ? It is clearly one source of one of the good ideas of Tarantino in RESERVOIR DOGS. Tarantino has seen many movies : he makes homage to the famous first dialogue line of DEATH TRAP / EATEN ALIVE / STARLIGHT SLAUGTHER (USA 1976) directed by Tobe Hooper in KILL BILL, and to many others movies he has seen in his own movies. He liked what we liked in the 60's & the 70's. And because of his "history of movies" memories, we can even re-discover such movies as this quite funny DAY OF THE WOLVES ! As Latin proverb says : NIHIL NOVI SUB SOLE (Nothing new under the sun) !
"Grizzly " must be seen, from now on, as a classic of "H pictures".
Released on August 25th 1976 in Paris (France)in glorious ToddAO-2.35.1 CinemaScope ratio and beautiful colors, GRIZZLY - French exploitation title : Grizzly, le monstre de la forêt - (USA 1975) directed by William Girdler was also available later in VHS SECAM in a mutilated 1.85 aspect ratio which involved a lack of letters at the beginning and the end of the credits.
But yet, movie was still worth to be discovered and screened but one who have missed its theatrical released. In the meanwhile, Canal + channel has shown it on for some evenings in - as I quite remembering - an alright 2.35 aspect ratio transfer. And that was all... till this DVD zone 1 release in... 1.33 Standard aspect ratio = "pan & scan" !!!
As far as history of video is concerned, it can be assumed that this "years 2000 circa" DVD edition of GRIZZLY is, by a dark irony of this technological age, the WORST edition ever, far below VHS and TV screenings of the years 1985 ! Incredible but true ! So I ask the question : why US distributors cannot find decent master material regarding this very good American B movie ? Why this remarkable piece of American horror movie of the XXth Century cannot be offered on DVD in a RESPECTED original aspect ratio ? It is the minimum offer expected today by "cinéphiles" market ! As a matter of fact, GRIZZLY is quite more than a B movie : truly a "part B-part A" movie, if looking its budget, magnificent scenery and natural locations photography camera work, ultra-violent gore special effects, and the presence of stars such as Christopher George & Richard Jaeckel & Andrew Prine (the two first ones are excellent as usual and the third one quite good though in a less important role and with less image timing presence)without forgetting the very good directing work of Girdler.
Girdler has been successful in trying to translate the mental and perceptual universe of the URSUS HORRIBILIS (Latin name given by Jaeckel to the Grizzly : scientific name ? I have not yet checked but such animal do exists still now in North Canada (British Columbia and Alaska, I guess : and people who work in those fields are very afraid when they check its track around) monster, in opposing it by the main way of scale variations to the human universe : he has been successful on earth in the same way as Spielberg had been so in the water and the result is as very much frightening and terrifying experience.
Some sequences are, by the way, absolutely original regarding to the quite similar thematic and aesthetic pattern to which GRIZZLY belongs. GRIZZLY is one of the most interesting variation of horror monster movies and has been quite underestimated by critics and historians of horror movies so far, in France of course at the time of its release but probably also in U.S.A. except by its public who liked it, and who was right to like it ! It deserves to be given a decent new video life on a new DVD edition that would at last, and at least, respect its original aspect ratio, preserving the beauty of this, from now on, classic horror movie.
An ultra-violent and Shakespearian "Thriller" + "Poliziotti"
I agree with Sol2118's commentary : the chase car is close in effectiveness with those of Friedkin and Peter Yates'titles that he mentioned, and I would add also the amazing one in THE SEVEN UP [Police pursuance 7] (USA 1973) directed by Philip d'Antoni with Roy Scheider and Tony Lo Bianco. Besides, this Shakespearian plot including a murdered T.V. as "dea/deus ex machine" is directly connected with the great tradition of Film Noir. And it is Alberto de Martino under the pen-name of Martin Herbert who have done it ! In Canada, starring an incredible cast. This is enough to understand that this movie is mixing the best of both worlds : Italian "poliziotti" thriller and U.S. thrillers, at their most violent and deep backgrounds. The bank attack is amazing regarding the art of graphic cut - editing work - of violence on the screen. The final is also extraordinary. The rhythm itself of the movie is very strange and original : quite onirical sometimes and not only because there is a "flash-back" sequence shot as a nightmare. Between 44 magnum caliber and TV gang hardboiled encounter, Stuart Whitman plays a cool & sad character, a quite tragic one since it is a brother looking for his sister's murderer and learning that his sister was not at all an Angel sister (as Lautréamont said about Man in LES CHANTS DE MALDOROR), finally unveiling the darker from the dark. And as usual, of such a little masterpiece, no VHS and no DVD available worldwide except maybe the French VHS titled BLAZING MAGNUM in spite of the fact that the movie was released in France under the exploitation title of SPECIAL MAGNUM. And I agree also with the latest comment : there was, for sure, lower show on theaters than that one when it was released ! DVD soon : please !!
I have screened again tonight, in his memory, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (USA 1962) directed by Lewis Milestone. It is not a such commonly quoted movie in his filmography but it could be, all balanced in my memories of movie critic, his most wonderful performance of all : a deep and sharp "témoignage" - as we say in French - for humanity against inhumanity. I have screened that movie many times and each time I screen it, emotion and beauty are rising. Not only because of him : all the movie in all its aspects is reaching dramatic and aesthetic perfection. But mainly, if I should say so, because Brando manages, under the fine direction of this last Milestone directing work, during the first 157' of the movie, to bear on his shoulder the burden of humanity in front of a sadistic and inhuman being and to bear it in a rising tension till the breaking point - the mutiny itself. Rarely such part has been incarnated with such a talent and he overpasses the already memorable Gable's performance. Such a part was more difficult to play - according to me - than many of his acclaimed (and rightly acclaimed, of course)other previous and next performances.
Of course anyone who wants to know what is acting has to screen ON THE WATERFRONT, JULIUS CAESAR, his directing masterpiece western ONE-EYED JACK [I want to remind or let know its French beautiful exploitation title : LA VENGEANCE AUX DEUX VISAGES], THE GODFATHER, APOCALYPSE NOW and so many others.
Nevertheless, Brando will be forever ("à tout jamais") in my memory, the noble and human Lieutenant Fletcher rising for human value, alone and finally dying for preserving an idea of justice
It was shown in 2004 on Canal + TV channel in beautiful 2.35 CinemaScope and original Italian language with French subtitles. You can met not only Henry Silva (good as usual) and Thomas Milian (amazing part !) but also Claudio Cassinneli as Police inspector Sarti (cf. : LA POLIZIA A LE MANI LEGATE) and Nicoletta Machiavelli who stars "capo" of the abductor's girlfriend. Charming Nicoletta was directely linked with the Renaissance political philosopher Nicola Machiavelli ("The Prince", "Studies on Titus Livius", etc.) and was at a time herself thought to have been adbucted after having diseappeared for more than week from her San Lazzaro Castle near Bolognia where she lived near her father Nicolo Machiavelli. As usual, the great Dardano Sachetti has written a script full of violence with a evident touch of political and social concern : painting of the underworld is sharp, without any concession to good taste, full of dark humor and full of ultra-violence. Director of photography Luigi Kuveiller is allright as usual and the car chases are, as always with the good "poliziotti" movies - and it is the case, here ! - quite impressive ones. As usual also, great realism in the choice of guns as a reflect of the sociology of guns in Italy in 1976 among both police and thugs : reglementary submachine-gun Beretta M12 chambered in 9mm Parabellum, Semi-auto pistol Walther P-38 chambered in 9mm Parabellum, Semi-auto pistol Beretta M1951 chambered in 9mm Parabellum, etc. To be pointed out : the titles themselves at the beginning of the movie make the viewer thinks that he is looking at the wrong movie : you see a western (probably an italian one !) but camera zooms back to reveal that we are in a screening room of... a prison ! French exploitation title at the time of release in French Theaters : "LE TRUAND SORT DE SA PLANQUE".
I am quite surprised that 10 years after Martin Landau got a justified price for his acting of Bela Lugosi at Cannes - the directing and the whole movie themselves should have been rewarded as well in my opinion -there is not yet a DVD zone 2 available with French subtitles. It exists in Belgium and not in France ! It is a shame for such a nice hommage to classic horror movies, to a man who love them, who was very human and kind to an old and great star in her last years. This movie transmits the love of movies, the love of a man who was dedicated all his life to his dream of movie : it is another biography (with the James Whale's one) that cannot be forgotten by any classic horror movies fans. "Félicitations" to all those involved in that beautiful B.&W. hommage to love and cinéma, to dream and horror : a shakespearian movie, to say it in one word.
Very sympathetic piece of French "cinéma-bis" as well as French "popular cinema of quality". The color photography of Bangkok using FranScope - equivalent of the CinemaScope - is wonderful and one is always surprised to check how this city has changed since 1964 : amazing shots of Shilom, and of the first "car behind car" streets in the center. Hunnebelle shots all the aspects of Thailand with a sure sense of good filmaker : jungle, city, lost temple. As for the genre, it is a subtle mixing of spy movie, horror movie (Robert "LE VAMPIRE DE DUSSELDORF" Hossein is amazing in mad doctor), erotic movie (Pier Angeli & Dominique Wilms are beautiful). Kerwin Matthews is "honorable" though maybe a little less "à l'aise" than Frederick Stafford in the leading role. Recently released on French cable in beautiful new prints respecting the original size, this full serie of O.S.S. 117 "made in France" but "shot outdoors" between in the 60's is quite refreshing and keeps an unaltered charm so far... Whit not a DVD release in a collector coffret including all the movies of the serie, somme commentaries and some original poster and lobby cards reproductions ?
a new video master in Tohoscope widescreen available
First a correction : the making year and distribution release year in Japan of MATANGO is 1962 and not 1963. It is of course a very good movie from Inoshiro Honda, the father of "Kaiju Eiga" and every cinephile knows what that means. Besides, it is a "Kaiju eiga" (= "monster movie" as trasnlated in English) quite closer to horror than to science-fiction, even it is also a sci-fi, including mentions of the atom research in the ghost boat in which the survivors are living. It is closer to BINJO TO EKITAI NINGEN [L'HOMME H] (Jap. 1958) than to GOJIRA (Jap. 1954), both directed by Honda, if you want to have a comparative idea. Anyway, it is a very original movie in Honda carrier. Even it can remind, as a cultivate reader mentionned it, a W.H.Hodgson's novel. But were the Japanese scriptwriters aware of that source ? Interesting question. I am glad to announce you that in France, a smart distributor has bought the rights from Toho and distributed that movie in a beautiful Cinemascope complying with 16/9 TV screening : it has been shown on Canal + private famous French TV but I do not think it is available on DVD or video.
It was around one or two years ago and we have been able to discover it in original japanese langage with French subtitles : beautiful master and beautiful movie. Honda is my favorite horror and sci-fi movie director with regard to history of Japanese movie. I have recently written an "Elementary filmography of Kaiju Eiga" in which Inoshiro Honda has of course the main place, as far as Toho is concerned. MATANGO is a masterpiece.
I have put the hand of a bunch of promo-reels (running time of each one is 2' average) put on a VHS, with a good video report, in English speaking version for most of them and in French for at least one of them (I have not checked all of them since I got this treasure VHS by a cinephilic miracle) , of almost 40 Italian westerns, peplums, medieval, pirates, jungle, horror, thriller, polizioti, etc. movies shot between 1955 and 1986 but most of them covering 1960-1970. Amazing treasure. Most of them are not pan & scanned and offers cinemascope. Some of them are 1.66 and 1.66 = 16/9. Among them, the promo-reel (2' approximatively) of this Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, one the great peplum directors, starring Sylva Koscina and the sultry Gianna Maria Canale... : when such a movie will be restaured and offered in full running time. The promo-reel that I just looked at gives me a deep will to see more of it. Directing work is classic, cinemascope picture beautiful, landscapes and scenery somptuous ! This one is a Medieval and violent story about crusades.
Who died yesterday or yesterday yesterday, actually. And one of the best part also of Stéphane Audran [with LA FEMME INFIDÈLE [also directed by Claude Chabrol - France 1968]... I totally agree with the commentaries displayed here, especially with the first one written in 1999 from Houston, if I remember well... Jean Yanne was a popular and successful director of comedies but, well directed as he is there by Chabrol, he was a high-class comedian. This part, if he had done only this one, would be good enough for having him. remembered. This original French version of the JACK THE RIPPER theme (though no prostitute is involved so far) is one of the most original of the history of movies from the beginning till today. LE BOUCHER has not at all the "baroque" aesthetic and "crescendo" dramatic aspect of the masterpieces of British Horror movies directed by Robert S. Baker and Monty N. Berman (1958) or James Hill or Peter Sasdy or even by Sir Alfred in FRENZY... but it is a full continent in itself - as well as, though in a totally different way, LES NOCES ROUGES or NADA by the same director. Chabrol is, in fact, one of the best directors of French cinema from the 60's to the 70's : after it is decreasing level after 1975 but sometimes going well again (LA CÉRÉMONIE)...
This interesting movie was supervised by Louis Malle.
The only weak point of the casting is Romy Schneider who is slightly over-acting. Beautiful B&W camera work and music. Directing work is directly influenced by Robert Bresson (LES DAMES DU BOIS DE BOULOGNE ; UN CONDAMNE A MORT S'EST ECHAPPÉ) & Louis Malle (ASCENSEUR POUR L'ÉCHAFAUD ; LE FEU FOLLET) : distant, "fire under the ice" style, sharp, precise, contained. The story is quite intelligent (an right-wing anti-communist idealist militant betrayed by his chief after a political assassination attempt + love story in which Romy Schneider is torn apart between him and his left-wing childhood friend : they will "fight in the island" to death, using Walther P-38 pistols) and time treatment managed by the editing work is superior art. One of the best movies made in France by the 1960's but it is necessary, when screening it, to not miss one sequence, even a short one, in order to be able to enjoy the subtle atmosphere construction. To be fully understood, this movie requires you to be aware of the political situation of France at that time.
A forgotten but a "must see" Italian "Poliziotti" movie
Shot in a beautiful techniscope and released in France with the quite bizarre title "BOITE À FILLETTES" on the print (VHS cover gives LA POLICE A LES MAINS LIEES as box title !) though there is no virgin nymph involved by the plot whatsoever, it is a rare and interesting testimony of the political situation in Italy near the 75's. Atmosphere is quite dense and heavy, since it tells the story of a judge (Athur Kennedy) and a Police officer (Claudio Cassinelli) wandering between "Red Brigade" and "Black Section" of Secret Services on the other wings... the bombing sequence is very well-made and the Milano outdoors takes are, as usual in Italian thriller of that time and genre, very realistic. Very pessimistic and dark movie since Franco Fabrizzi dies, then Arthur Kennedy is said by end titles to be soon murdered (good side) and all the bad ones too are dying except their undercover (not for the spectator)leaders.
I cannot believe that MAROONED is not available on DVD zone 1 ! It is purely unbelievable ! I saw it in the 70's when I was around 10 years old on French TV to illustrate the weekly and famous "Dossiers de l'écran" [can be translated in English by "Screen Files"] very serious talk-show that my whole country looked at each week. Remember that in France, at that time, we had only two public TV channels !!! So you can imagine the audience ratio for such a "talk-show + illustrating movie" : next day, at school, all my fellows and me were invariably talking of the movie we have seen at the so-called "Dossiers de l'écran". Most of us went on sleeping after the movies and we did not care too much about the debate after... MAROONED [French title : Les naufragés de l'espace]has never been released since that evening on French TV (neither public nor private ones), cannot be found today (if ever it was ?) in VHS with French track nor with French subtitles... I even wonder if the French "Cinémathèque française" has in Paris a 35mm print of that movie today : they never show it !!
It is, in my memory, far more serious than 2001, more modest of course and more human too - less "formaliste" as we say over here. The editing work and the 2.35 ratio cinemascope size, the actor's work, the suspense : everything is perfect. It is one of the best John Sturges movies - with his westerns, of course, such as THE LAST TRAIN FOR GUN HILL - and the serious script, the documentary aspect of the film reminds me strongly this other very good Sturges - I mean ICE STATION ZEBRA [Destination Zebra, station polaire] (USA 1968) starring Rock Hudson. I think that MAROONED is also better than THE RIGHT STUFF because not too long and focusing the action with unity of time. When a US distributor will release it on DVD with a remastered and perfect 2.35 or 16/9 image (please do not forget the French track or the French subtitles !), I will be the first to announce the good new to my fellow younger French critics who have simply never screen it at all !
Directed by the cinematographer of THE GODFATHER and starring 2 good actresses. Storyline is quite interesting and camera job impressive. It is an original movie. As it was a Warner release (and as I have the Warner Home Vidéo VHS in French version) I wonder how the former commentary can wonder if it was released in vidéo ? Besides, it is the perfect example of a, by now, rare title, which sould be offered again on DVD with sharp image quality and, of course, French soundtrack or subtitles !
Maybe his most deep and beautiful movie... I am sad to see that the former comment does not acknowledge all the deep and classic meaning of the script (William Faulkner was involved an he is not a small name of American Litterature), the quality of the acting work (maybe, also, the most fabulous part acted by young Joan Collins in all her great career) and the talent of the great operators Russel Harlan and Lee Garmes. And I am astonished and also sad to check that there is no DVD available for such a movie. It is almost incredible...