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(aka "Erik the Conqueror" or "The Invaders" or "Fury of the Vikings")

 

directed by Mario Bava
Italy 1961

 

In 1961, director Mario Bava (Rabid Dogs, Kill Baby Kill) turned his hand to the historical adventure genre, capitalising on the recent success of 1958's Kirk Douglas vehicle The Vikings. The result was a colourful, swashbuckling epic of treachery, heroism and forbidden love: Erik the Conqueror.

In 786 AD, the invading Viking forces are repelled from the shores of England, leaving behind a young boy Erik, son of the slain Viking king. Years later, Erik (George Ardisson, Juliet of the Spirits), raised by the English queen as her own, becomes Duke of Helford, while across the sea, his brother Eron (Cameron Mitchell, Blood and Black Lace) assumes leadership of the Viking horde and sets his sights on conquering England once again, setting the two estranged brothers on a collision course that will determine the fates of their respective kingdoms...

Featuring a bombastic score by frequent collaborator Roberto Nicolosi (Black Sunday) and memorably co-starring the stunning Kessler twins (Sodom and Gomorrah), Erik the Conqueror showcases Bava's immense talent for creating awe-inspiring spectacle with limited resources. Now restored in high definition for the first time, Arrow Video is proud to present this cult classic in all its original splendour.

***

Italian director Mario Bava took a brief hiatus from horror films to make this fairly interesting Viking-themed adventure. Iron (Cameron Mitchell) is a Viking leader whose long-lost brother Erik (Giorgio Ardisson) was raised by Queen Alice of England. Alice's counselor, Gunnar (Andrea Checchi) betrays her and helps the Vikings take over, while the shipwrecked Erik is nursed back to health by Rama (Alice Kessleri), the twin sister of Iron's wife Daja (Ellen Kessleri). Naturally, Erik returns home and must fight Iron and defeat Gunnar in order to save the country. It doesn't quite work out that way, however, as the ruthless counselor kills Iron, leading the Vikings and British to join forces with Erik and take Gunnar down.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 7 December 1961 (Italy)

Reviews                                                           More Reviews                                                      DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Anchor Bay (The Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Anchor Bay (The Mario Bava Collection) Screen Caps!

(Anchor Bay (The Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Arrow Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT)

Box Covers

 

   

 

   

   

Also on Blu-ray, from Arrow, in the UK:

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

Arrow

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:29:51 1:30:08.361
Video

2.32:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.63 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 34,251,451,697 bytes

Feature Size: 29,257,403,136 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.87 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4- AVC

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

Bitrate:

 

Anchor Bay (The Mario Bava Collection)

 

Bitrate:

Arrow Blu-ray

 

Audio Italian Mono, English Mono

LPCM Audio Italian 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 768 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.32:1

Edition Details:
 Audio commentary with author Tim Lucas
 Audio interview with actor Cameron Mitchell (29:21)
 U.S. trailer (1:56)
 German trailer (4:13)
 Poster & still gallery
 Mario Bava bio & filmography (by Richard Harland Smith)

DVD Release Date: October 23, 2007
Keep case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Video

 

Disc Size: 34,251,451,697 bytes

Feature Size: 29,257,403,136 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.87 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4- AVC  

 

Edition Details:

 New audio commentary by Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava All the Colors of the Dark
 Gli imitatori, a comparison between Erik the Conqueror and its unacknowledged source, The Vikings (12:06)

 Star Cameron Mitchell talks with Tim Lucas (audio only) from 1989 (1:03:23)
 Original ending (1:24)
 Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
 FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Kat Ellingerd

 

Blu-ray Release Date: August 28th, 29th, 2017
Transparent
Blu-ray case

Chapters 13

 

 

Comments

ADDITION: Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray August 2017: This is being simultaneously released by Arrow on Blu-ray in both Region 'A' + 'B'. Regarding differences in the US and UK Blu's - This appears to be as Michael Brooke informed us on Facebook about Day of Anger: 'As the producer of Arrow's release, I can confirm first hand that the UK and US discs are absolutely identical: we only paid for one master, so there's no doubt about this at all! Which means that no matter which package you buy, the discs will play in any Region A or B setup (or Region 1 or 2 for DVD - and in the latter case the video standard is NTSC, to maximise compatibility). The booklets are also identical, but there are minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.' Erik the Conqueror is the same case.

The Arrow Blu-ray is advertised as a "Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative", and it is GORGEOUS! You can see the improvement next to the 2007 SD transfer - far richer colors, much more information in the frame - all all four sides, authentically darker, deep black levels... it's stunning image in 1080P. I saw only a brief vertical scratch (see last capture0 that only lasted a minute... otherwise exceptionally clean and beautifully thick visuals... WOW!

Linear PCM 1.0 channel in the choice of English or Italian (24-bit). The sound is solid - flat, clear and with the usual post-DUB charisma. Effects don't carry a ton of weight and stress the high end - which we presume to be authentic.  The score is by Roberto Nicolosi (Eye in the Labyrinth, Caltiki, Black Sabbath, Black Sunday, The Girl Who Knew Too Much). It adds a subtle atmosphere of mystery and sounds supported via the lossless.  Incidentally, the US version score was by Les Baxter (Tower of London, X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, Panic in the Year Zero, and the US versions of Baron Blood, The Beast Within). There are optional English (SDH) subtitles that are more detailed than the DVD and the Blu-ray disc, as previously stated, is region FREE,

We get another information-filled audio commentary by Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava All the Colors of the Dark where Erik the Conqueror is described as being as visually ravishing as anything Bava ever did. He describes sets, performers and we even hear snippets from Cameron Mitchell from the included interview on a few occasions (3?) during the fabulous commentary. Gli imitatori, is a dozen minute comparison between Erik the Conqueror and its unacknowledged source, The Vikings. Arrow include the hour-long 1989 audio-only interview with star Cameron Mitchell talking with Tim Lucas. He is an intelligent, articulate individual and shed some valuable light on Bava and the film. We get to see the original ending if anyone is keen and the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys. For the first-pressings there is a collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Kat Ellingerd.

This is wonderful, not a Bava Giallo but it has all of the director's ingenuity, magnificent colors, camerawork, lighting and plenty of action. It's as brilliant a film as is the Arrow Blu-ray package. Our highest recommendation - but with extreme anticipation!

 -Gary and Gregory

 


 Menus
Anchor Bay (The Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC

 

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Anchor Bay (The Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

Subtitle sample


1) Anchor Bay (The Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay (The Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (The Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (The Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (The Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Visible Scratch


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 
Box Covers

 

   

 

   

   

Also on Blu-ray, from Arrow, in the UK:

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

Arrow

Region FREE - Blu-ray


 




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