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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Devil's People" or "The Devil's Men" or "Land of the Minotaur")

 

Directed by Kostas Karagiannis
Greece / United Kingdom / United States 1976

 

This offbeat horror film, starring genre icons Peter Cushing (The Revenge of Frankenstein, Star Wars), Donald Pleasence (You Only Live Twice, Halloween), and Luan Peters (Twins of Evil, Doctor Who), and featuring a score by the legendary Brian Eno, tells of a Satanic cult, led by Cushing, that is abducting tourists for ritual sacrifice – and only Pleasence’s priest can save them.

An eccentric, bloody cult shocker, The Devil’s Men (also known as Land of the Minotaur) makes its world Blu-ray debut, presenting both the original and US cuts of the film in a new 2K restoration from the original negative, and accompanied by new and archival extras, including a feature-length Super 8 version of the film.

***

Young people have been disappearing in the vicinity of the castle of Carpathian ex-patriot Baron Corofax (Peter Cushing, NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT), which is built above the ruins of a pagan temple presided over by the Minotaur. When Beth (Vanna Reville), Tom (Robert Behling, CUJO), and Ian (Nikos Verlekis, GIRL OF PASSION) disappear while searching for the secret entrance into the temple, Irish priest Father Roche (Donald Pleasance, THE DEVIL WITHIN HER) summons New York private eye Milo (Kostas Karagiorgis, DIAMONDS ON HER NAKED FLESH) to investigate - along with Ian's girlfriend Laurie (Luan Peters, THE FLESH AND BLOOD SHOW) - the village near the castle. Soon, they are on the run from hooded assailants eager to sacrifice them to the Minotaur...

An American-British-Greek co-production, THE DEVIL'S MEN - released in the US as LAND OF THE MINOTAUR - is pretty much a low-point for Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasance (both of whom probably took the job for the holiday). The scenario of American TV scripter Arthur Rowe - whose teleplay for the KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER episode "Legacy of Terror" depicts Aztec sacrifices in modern day Chicago - relegates the minotaur relegated to a stand-in for the devil, with Cushing's Carpathian baron's old gods no match for Pleasance's Irish priest and his cross and holy water (Karagiorgis' New York detective is utterly useless - even as hired muscle - and seems to be a co-production concession). What atmosphere the film possesses is almost entirely due to the electronic score of Roxy Music frontman Brian Eno (well, except for the end titles vocal) in conjunction with the arid and desolate locations. Behling's ISLAND OF DEATH co-stars Jane Ryall (MYKONOS ILLUSIONS) and Jessica Dublin (VOODOO DOLLS) have small roles.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 11th, 1976

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Also available from Indicator:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:34:24.950     
Video

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,551,047,546 bytes

Feature: 27,083,492,544 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.84 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 1100 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1100 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary and :

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

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Indicator

 

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,551,047,546 bytes

Feature: 27,083,492,544 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.84 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio commentary with critics and authors David Flint and Adrian J Smith (2022)
The John Player Lecture with Peter Cushing (1973, 92 mins): archival audio recording of the legendary actor in conversation with David Castell at the National Film Theatre, London
This Life and the Next (2022, 7:48): producer Frixos Constantine reflects on working with great actors and making the film
Feature-length Super 8 version (1:33:20)
Land of the Minotaur trailer (2:34)
Land of the Minotaur TV Spot (0:32)
Image gallery: promotional and publicity material
Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet featuring a new essay by Andrew Graves, an archival interview with star Donald Pleasence, extracts from original promotional materials, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits


Blu-ray Release Date:
February 21st, 2022
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Indicator Blu-ray (February 2022): Indicator have transferred Kostas Karagiannis' The Devil's Men to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "new 2K restoration from the original negative". There are two presentations of the film: The Devil’s Men (94 minute,) the original cut; and Land of the Minotaur (86 minute), the shorter US theatrical version. These are seamlessly branched and the quality is the same for both cuts - on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. It looks quite pleasing, clean and a huge leap beyond the DVDs, compared HERE. There is strong detail in close-ups, realistic colors with depth and the 1080P image is consistent throughout.

NOTE: We have added 66 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Indicator use a DTS-HD Master 1.0 channel mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. The Devil's Men has aggressive moments; some violence (murder), screams, and the ritual sequences that come through authentically flat with minor depth. There is an intriguingly pulsating score by Brian Eno (who contributed to Y Tu Mama Tambien, Trainspotting, Dune, Love, No Telling, The Lovely Bones Velvet Goldmine,  Antonioni's Beyond the Clouds, Derek Jarman's Blue. Jubilee), sounding unique and eerily supportive via the lossless transfer. Indicator offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Indicator Blu-ray offers a new commentary by David Flint (author of Sheer Filth!: Bizarre Cinema, Weird Literature, Strange Music, Extreme Art) and Adrian J. Smith (Movies and Mania). They are pretty good discussing the cast, related films and the Greek-based production features. It does seem like a relatively easy vacation for Cushing and Pleasence with the latter, surprisingly, being paid more. You can also access a 1.5-hour John Player Lecture with Peter Cushing that fans will appreciate. He is honest, classy and always a delight. This Life and the Next is new and spends 8-minutes with producer Frixos Constantine who reflects on working with great actors and making the film. Indicator include the full-length Super 8 version of The Devil's Men as a novelty. There are trailers and a TV Spot for Land of the Minotaur and their usual interesting image gallery of promotional and publicity material. The package does have a limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet featuring a new essay by Andrew Graves, an archival interview with star Donald Pleasence, extracts from original promotional materials, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits.

Kostas Karagiannis's The Devil's Men is kind of a dud but in the hands of Indicator there is more here to be keen on with the commentary and other supplements. Donald Pleasence as a priest does remind me of John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness. He suits the role and, while I don't usually like Cushing as a dark villain, there is some appeal in that area as well in this Satanic, occult, 70's horror.  Cheese/schmaltz but the leads can carry it for enough interest. Let's not forget the gals; Vanna Reville (as Gelsomina), Anna Matzourani and the ample Luan Peters (Lust for a Vampire.) There is enough interest to indulge again. The Indicator Blu-ray is at their usual impeccably high standards. As complete a package as anyone could want. Recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


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Subtitle Samples -  Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

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1) BCI/Eclipse (Crypt of Terror Double Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Also available from Indicator:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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