Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Krakatoa East of Java [Blu-ray]


(Bernard L. Kowalski, 1968)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Cinerama Productions Corp.

Video: Kino Lorber



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:11:54.828

Disc Size: 22,763,690,783 bytes

Feature Size: 22,625,765,376 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.50 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 12th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1698 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1698 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)



English, None



• Five trailers of other films





Description: The Epic Adventure that Shook the Earth to its Core! In Singapore harbor, 1883, Captain Chris Hanson (Maximilian Schell, Judgment at Nuremberg) of the Batavia Queen embarks on a perilous search for sunken treasure off the island of Krakatoa. To find a fortune in rare pearls, he must brave a boiling sea, douse an uprising by a horde of convicts, and outwit a greedy crew desperate for more than their fair share... only to confront the most devastating and catastrophic volcanic explosion the modern world has ever felt creating giant tidal waves that engulf the island and endanger all aboard the Batavia Queen. TV veteran Bernard L. Kowalski (Stiletto) directed this widescreen spectacle that featured a splendid cast that included Diane Baker (Marnie), Brian Keith (The McKenzie Break), Sal Mineo (Rebel Without a Cause), Rossano Brazzi (South Pacific), John Leyton (The Great Escape), J.D. Cannon (Cotton Comes to Harlem) and Marc Lawrence (Custer of the West) with a rousing score by Frank De Vol (The Dirty Dozen).



The Film:

Smartly scripted, well paced and, for the most part, solidly acted, this is a much better film than its latter-day Sunday afternoon TV slots might suggest. What really lifts it is its cinematography. Clever use of filters, lighting and smoke create a shifting landscape that becomes truly alien and a mood far more effective than anything that could be conjured up with the standard flashes and bangs. The weirdness of it is genuinely disturbing, building a sense of fear and impending danger in the latter third, when the crew's aged boat may prove the only hope of safety for endangered islanders. A couple of twee subplots at this stage may distract somewhat from the overall tension, but rarely has the horror of mass destruction been conveyed so effectively with so little.

Yes, Krakatoa is actually west of Java, but only if you go the short way round. This film may not get full marks for accuracy but it's willing to go the distance to deliver one of the best volcano stories out there.

Excerpt from theEyeForFilm located HERE

A guilty pleasure, Krakatoa, East Of Java's principal claim to fame is its title, which erroneously places its subject on the wrong side of the island. Directed by Bernard Kowalski, whose rare non-TV credits include Attack Of The Giant Leeches (1959), and SSsssnake (1973), the film is probably his best, aided immensely as it is by some excellent widescreen cinematography emphasised with some convincing location shooting - facts rarely allowed for in the usual criticisms of a film which in addition was cut by almost 30 minutes for an American re-release. Allowing for the passage of years, the special effects, largely achieved through miniatures and blue screen work, range from passable to excellent. Even now, in this era of eye watering CGI, there's still a fascination is seeing how well such a catastrophe was portrayed. Doing justice to the original events, however - one of the greatest eruptions ever known, leading to perhaps the single loudest noise ever heard on the face of the Earth from the main paroxysm, and a resulting 120 foot high tsunami killing over 30,000 - inevitably was going to be near impossible.

Excerpt from VideoVista located HERE

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

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Krakatoa: East of Java looks exceptional.  This was one of the epics shot in the Cinerama process. It was in Super Panavision 70 and this 1080P image looks stunning. This Blu-ray image is very tight, super-clean, crisp and shows impressive colors and detail. There is plenty of depth and the 2.35:1 widescreen presentation is impressive. What a marvelous video image - kudos to the cinematography, as well.
























Audio :

Where the 70 mm theatrical had a 6-Track (Westrex Recording System), Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1698 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. There are plenty of effects in the film - massive explosions, fire, sea-faring vehicles etc. They sound quite deep and ominous at times.  Frank De Vol's (The Flight of the Phoenix, The Dirty Dozen, Kiss Me Deadly, The Big Knife (1955), What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?, McLintock)  score is suitable in supporting the film's adventure and advance it's epic qualities.  There are optional English subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Only five trailers of other films.



Krakatoa: East of Java is a slap-dash boy's adventure, low on accuracy, but high on wholesome fun, thrills and action. It sports a strong cast; Maximilian Schell, Diane Baker, Brian Keith, Rossano Brazzi, and Sal Mineo, great costumes and impressive photography. The bare-bones Kino Lorber
Blu-ray seems a great way to see this spectacle in 1080P. A commentary would have been an appreciated addition, but I was thoroughly entertained by the film - as were my sons. Recommended!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 37% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

September 8th, 2017


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze





Hit Counter












DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!