Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 1st, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1995
Director: Sergio Martino
Writers: Sergio Martino, Sauro Scavolini
Cast: Giuliano Gensini, Michael Velez, Natascia Castrignano, Donald Hodson, Antonella Troise, Ramona Badescu, James Thuell, Anibelca Garcia, Roberto Ferrerasi, Ron Spyre
DVD released: December 14th, 2010
Approximate running time: 97 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English, Dolby Digital Stereo Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
What do you get when you combine a post apocalypse future and a island paradise with Fishmen. You get a convoluted mess that tries to together two unrelated films, Island of the Fishmen and 2019: After the Fall of New York. Sure both films were directed by Sergio Martino and this is about all these two films have in common with The Fishmen and Their Queen. Even though Sergio Martino has had a steady career as a director. His post 1970’s films like so many of his contemporaries suffered greatly from their lack of resources. Due to the decline of the Italian film industry in the 1980’s.
One has to wonder how this film ever came about? It is a pseudo sequel to Sergio Martino’s 1979 film Island of the Fishmen. And in the sixteen years in between the two films he spent the majority time working on forgettable television films. With his only film from this time period that had any lasting impact being 2019: After the Fall of New York. So basically it appears that the sole intention of making this film was to capitalize on the popularity of these two aforementioned films. The cannibalizing does not end there is a lot of footage from those two films that has incorporated into the plot of The Fishmen and Their Queen.
The plot revolves around two adolescents, who overcome insurmountable odds and escape from New York. Along the way the meet an old man name Socrates, who takes them to a island that has remained untouched to the nuclear fallout that has decimated the rest of Earth. Even though the Island appears to be a paradise. They soon learn otherwise when they encounter an evil queen and her fishmen.
There is a fairy tale aspect to the story at hand. So it should come as no surprise that this film is geared towards an adolescent audience. The characters are one dimensional and they often find themselves in the most ridiculous situations. The performances are generally awful. With the only performance leaving any lasting impression being Ramona Badescu in the role of fishmen’s diabolical queen.
The Fishmen and Their Queen is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that frames the image in a 1.77:1 aspect ratio. This film was also released on DVD in Germany Marketing Film and that release also framed the image in a 1.77:1 aspect ratio. Judging by the framing of the image and that two different releases of this film present the film in a 1.77:1 aspect ratio. This would appear to be this film’s intended aspect ratio. Even though this film was originally shot with the idea of being shown on Italian television. Aspect ratio’s aside, this is very good transfer has vibrant colors, black levels fare well and details look crisp throughout. The source used for this transfer is in great shape, edge enhancement is kept in check and the image remains stable throughout. This new release from Mya Communication is on par with the aforementioned release from Marketing Film.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Italian (no English subtitles). There are no major issues with either audio mix. Both are in good shape as dialog is always clear and balanced.
Extras for this release are limited to a gallery of stills. Overall The Fishmen and Their Queen gets a strong audio / video presentation from Mya Communication.
Mya Communication DVD
Marketing Film DVD
Marketing Film DVD