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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Maciste nella valle dei Re" or "Son of Samson" or "Maciste in the Valley of the Kings" or "Maciste the Mighty")

 

Directed by Carlo Campogalliani
Italy / France / Yugoslavia 1960

 

Marvel at great feats of strength and seduction in the pulse-quickening sword-and-sandal epic, Son of Samson. During the Persian rule over Egypt, the mighty Maciste (bodybuilder Mark Forest, Goliath and the Dragon) travels to the city of Tanis where the evil Queen Smedes (Folies Bergère dancer Chelo Alonso, Sheba and the Gladiator) rules with an iron fist and spreads misery across the land. Possessing legendary brawn and courage, Maciste leads a mass revolt against the queen and her tyrannical reign of terror. Director Carlo Campogalliani (Goliath and the Barbarians, Sword of the Conqueror) delivers the peplum genre goods in this breathtaking Color-and-Scope adventure, also known as Maciste in the Valley of the Kings.

***

Maciste travels to Egypt, where he leads a revolt against an evil queen. In Son of Samson, Maciste (Mark Forrest) -- scion of the famed muscleman -- travels to the Egyptian city of Tanis to checkmate villainous Queen Smedes (Chelo Alonso), who's persecuting the citizenry.

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 24th, 1960

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Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:28:53.828        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,248,405,247 bytes

Feature: 20,963,813,376 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1617 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1617 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,248,405,247 bytes

Feature: 20,963,813,376 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian David Del Valle and Filmmaker/Historian Michael Varrati
• Trailers


Blu-ray Release Date: May 10th, 2022

Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (May 2022): Kino have transferred Carlo Campogalliani's Son of Samson to Blu-ray. It can have a dull green cast in the opening scenes but this improves and colors carry a shade of depth through most of the film. It's surprisingly clean without undue speckles and detail is generally pleasing. It's a decent HD presentation that I appreciated seeing in this higher resolution. 

NOTE: We have added 88 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (24-bit) in the English language. Son of Samson has plenty of aggressive moments but they come through with modest depth. the drama of the film is often expressed by the score by Carlo Innocenzi (Mill of the Stone Women, and he many sword + sandal Italian films including Caesar Against the Pirates, The Vengeance of Ursus and Atlas Against the Cyclops),  sounding clean and generally consistent - the DUbs are stable. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray offers a new commentary by David Del Valle and Filmmaker/Historian Michael Varrati. They discuss the peplum genre, how Hercules kick-started the Italian film industry, how the film use extensive poetic license mixing the biblical with the mythological, how the productions always wanted an American star in the lead like a Steve Reeves, the DUBing and the Union utilized (ELDA), how the mention of Samson is only briefly in the English version although in the original film, Maciste had no relation to Samson, how Son of Samson was the first of the Maciste era (Mark Forest did seven of them.) They talk about how Mae West's burlesque show included many of the bodybuilders including Forest, describing this as a 'Myth opera', influencing Tinto Brass and hints of Mario Bava, how Terence Hill is, supposedly, in a bit part in Son of Samson and Del Valle and Varrati graciously dedicate the commentary to Mark Forest died a few weeks before it was recorded (January 2022.) He was 89 - RIP. It's an excellent commentary with David referencing talks he had with some of the participants including Forest who thought Son of Samson was his favorite. There are also trailer for similar sword and sandal efforts but none for Son of Samson.

Carlo Campogalliani's Son of Samson was mostly seen on TV for decades in weak pan-and-scan presentations. It's a pleasure to see this delightful early peplum in the glory of widescreen - and in 1080P. This genre attempted to emulate the big-budget Hollywood historical epics of the time, such as Ben-Hur, Cleopatra, Spartacus etc... Remarkable here is Cuban-born Chelo Alonso who was quite a 60s cult film heroine and sex symbol. Many of her films had a sensual dance scene (Son of Samson included.) She has quite a presence here as a kind of sword-and-sandal femme-fatale. She's smok'in. It's great to know we will be getting more of these gems in widescreen - hopefully with commentaries. I've already enjoyed The Revolt of the Slaves, Hercules and the Captive Women, Messalina, Sergio Leone's The Colossus of Rhodes, and Mario Bava's Hercules in the Haunted World on Blu-ray. This is a fun, comic-book-esque genre that offers plenty of nostalgia as part of a charismatic fantasy niche. The Kino Blu-ray is very much worth the indulgence, imo. 'More!' - we say!

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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