M6Video, SNC, and Warner Bros France have just released several titles in their "La Collection Peplum / Aventures" series. Each disc contains two movies in their correct screen ratios with a choice of Italian or French language and French subtitles. They also include original trailers, many with French subtitles; the quality is excellent.
The ones I picked up are:
Le Géant de Métropolis (Il gigante de Metropolis, 1961), dir. Umberto Scarpelli, starring Gordon Mitchell, Liana Orfei, Bella Cortez
La Terreur des Kirghiz (Ursus, il terrore dei kirghisi, 1964), dir. Antonio Margheriti, starring Reg Park
Maciste en enfer (Maciste all’inferno, 1962), dir. Riccardo Freda, starring Kirk Morris, Hélène Chanel
Maciste dans les mines du roi Salomon (Maciste nelle miniere di re Salomone, 1964), dir. Piero Regnoli, starring Reg Park, Wandisa Guida
Maciste contre Zorro (Zorro contro Maciste, 1963), dir. Umberto Lenzi, starring Pierre Brice, Alan Steel, Moira Orfei, Wandisa Guida
Zorro au service de la Reine ( Zorro alla corte d'Inghilterra, 1969), dir. Franco Montemurro, starring Spiros Focas, Franco Ressel
Erik le viking (Erik, il vichingo, 1965), dir. Mario Caiano, starring Giuliano Gemma, Gordon Mitchell, Eduardo Fajardo, Elisa Montes
Hercule contre les tyrans de Babylone (Ercole contro i tiranni di Babilonia, 1964), dir. Domenico Paolella, starring Peter Lupus, Helga Line, Anna Maria Polani
I'll say again that these are excellent quality, and really good value. You can get them from Amazon.fr
The following title has been delayed:
Samoa reine de la jungle ( Samoa, regina della giungla, 1968), dir. Guido Malatesta, starring Roger Browne, Edwige Fenech
L’Esclave de l’Orient (Afrodite, dea dell’amore, 1958), dir. Mario Bonnard, starring Isabelle Corey, Anthony Steffen
Also in the series, which I have now ordered, on account of the excellent quality of the others are:
Catherine de Russie (Caterina di Russia, 1963), dir. Umberto Lenzi, starring Hildegarde Knef, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
La Charge des Cosaques (Agi Murad il diavolo bianco, 1959), dir. Riccardo Freda, starring Steve Reeves, Giorgia Moll
El Kébir fils de Cléopâtre (Il figlio di Cleopatra, 1964), dir. Ferdinando Baldi, starring Mark Damon,Scilla Gabel
Joseph vendu par ses frères ( Giuseppe venduto dai fratelli, 1960), dir. Luciano Ricci, starring Geoffrey Horne, Belinda Lee, Robert Morley, Terence Hill.
I've edited this post to include more detailed information which I cut and pasted from Breccio's note on the SW Board. Thanks for all the typing Breccio.
Fabulous news for us peplum fans! But I'm afraid that I'll never get them for the fact that i don't undersand French and Italian.
This is the time when, someone enters the scenery and helps us with an English audio dub.
So HPD, when will you start making fan based projects? It would be a great service to us peplum fans.
I have nothing to trade, but i'm sure we can work something out.
At least think about it, HPD.
I am very uncomfortable with the issue of fan-dubbing. The very act of ripping into a DVD in order to manipulate the material is illegal. It says so on the DVD.
If I rip into a DVD and alter the subtitles into English, or add an English track, I am performing an illegal act. I don't think it's a big illegal act, but I'm not supposed to be doing it.
If I make one copy of the DVD for my own entertainment, then I don't feel so guilty. If I make a copy for the friend who supplied me with an English VHS of the movie I edited, then I think I'm being reasonable.
Any more copies after that... Well, in no time I could be doing a deal with Xploited to sell my work for $19.99 like the famous Franco Cleef, or dealing in bootleg DVDs on e-bay. And that is so illegal and immoral, that I don't want to go anywhere near it.
So basically I'd find it useful if people who create fan dubs could explain to me how they overcome the guilt, and how they deal with request for copies of their work. Maybe I can find something on the distribution side that works for me.
The only fair way that I could come up with will probably be greeted with derision, but here goes:
Let's say you want my fan dub of HERCULES CONQUERS ATLANTIS. (This is all theory, I'm not suggesting I have one).
What you'd have to do would be to order your own copy of the original French DVD
and post it to me. I would then send you the fan-dub.
The benefit of this would be that the company that invested in producing the DVD in the first place would get more sales. This would probably then prompt them to release more Peplum DVDs.
With foreign-subtitled movies, you wouldn't need to send me the DVD, you'd just rip your own foreign DVD as per the guide on the Eurospy page, and I'd email you the English subtitle.srt file for you to combine with the DVD.
The problem with distributing fan-dubs is that it's the most boring part of the process. Going to the post office with a few dozen packages for various parts of the world doesn't fill me with excitement. Whereas synching up language tracks is immensely fulfilling. So I don't think I can ever be interested in distribution. I'd rather someone else did that.
Anyway, whilst I'm wrestling with the trilemma, and hoping for guidance (I'm getting attacked on the SW board over the same question), I suggest you contact Bill Connolly via his Spaghetti Cinema Website here... http://home.earthlink.net/~scinema/
I've heard that he has his finger on the pulse of what is available. And of course, once you get a fan dub from him, you can then be your own distributor.
This is a tricky area. My take on it is thus: I don't have any problem with fandubs at all, as long as there's no profit involved. Therefore, supplying them to people who have had some kind of input or trading them for other films is fine. Selling them on EBay or Xploited or Cinecity or wherever - that I'm more uncomfortable with.
As has been said, most of these are for extremely rare films that aren't available on DVD with any kind of English option and are unlikely to be so, and a lot of people simply aren't willing to pay money to buy a DVD which is in a language they don't understand. So, for instance, someone doing a redub of one of these French DVDs and then doing swaps of it with other collectors; I just don't think that would have a huge impact on the actual sales.
If, on the other hand, someone does a redub and then the film is released properly - such as with $10,000 Blood Money, for instance - I think most proper fans will actually buy it in addition to the redub they already have. And I think this actually acts as a spur for companies to make their product more compulsive. So, for instance, I don't buy a Koch dvd just because it has a film with English options (if it does), but also because it's a superior print and / or has additional material.
That's my view, anyway.
Have to say I'm in total agreement with our illustrious leader on this one - I have no prob in buying foreign product (if it comes with subs ) but if it's in it's original language then it isn't going to make a great deal of sense if I either don't speak, or at least have a smattering and/or comprehension of said language.
I'm all for fan dubs if they are not being sold for a profit and as Matt says it's the only way in some cases to get your hands on incredibly rare product - there's still a number of incredibly rare/early "Giallo's" eg A Rather Complicated Girl that I'm still desperate to get my hands on !
It it a bit of a contentious issue & I can understand your reticence, HPD.
But all power to these companies for making these products available .