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Goliath against the Giants 
Written by: on October 19th, 2006

Theatrical Release Dates: Italy, 1961
Directors: Guido Malatesta
Cast: Brad Harris, Fernando Rey, Gloria Milland

DVD Released: 2006
Approximate Running Time: 92 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Italian
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: RHV
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL
Retail Price: $21.95

Synopsis: Goliath (Brad Harris) plans on returning home after the conclusion of a bloody war that lasted five long years. In his absence Burkhan (Fernando Rey) has taken over his home land and he doesn’t want to lose control of his throne at any cost. On the night before his voyage home Goliath narrowly escapes death at the hands of two assassins. The next morning Goliath sets sail via a sea voyage to his home land. Along the way he meets many hardships and loses several friends. Goliath rushes home when word reaches him about Burkhan’s treachery. Will Goliath be able to defect Burkhan and free his people from his evil rule?

Goliath against the Giants was made in the same year as Samson which also stars Brad Harris. Goliath against the Giants was directed by Guido Malatesta who spent most of his career directing peplum’s or films of a more fantastical nature like Tarzana, the Wild Woman and Samoa, Queen of the Jungle. Malatesta’s direction is pretty straight forward outside of a few interesting set pieces.

Goliath against the Giants really pulls out all the stops as it tries to throw in every thing it can and then some. The film starts off with a bloody battle before shifting into something that resembles Jason and the Argonauts. There are sea creature, giants Cyclops men, a gorilla and a bevy of fighting Amazonian women. The special effects that involve the creatures in the film are so ludicrously bad that one has to wonder how audiences reacted to them forty years ago.

The plot is really all over the place. Enjoyment while watching this film is best found by letting yourself indulge in this whacky adventure. Brad Harris plays the mighty Goliath and he has several standout moments where he gets to show his physical prowess. This film like all Peplum’s that came before it has your atypical villain and this time around his name is Burkhan, the usurper and he is wonderfully portrayed by Fernando Rey. Ultimately Goliath against the Giants is an average Peplum film that never really sets itself apart from the rest of the pack.

The DVD:

Goliath against the Giants is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Colors look strong and nicely saturated throughout. Details look sharp in the back ground and fore ground. The print used for this transfer nearly flawless with no major print damage. It is always bets when ever possible t watch Peplum in their original aspect ratio and Goliath against the Giants looks amazing in its original total scope dimensions.

Goliath against the Giants comes with two audio options Italian and English. Both are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. Outside of some minor instances of hiss dialog is crisp and music and effects sound evenly balanced. While the inclusion of the Italian language track is a nice addition the lack of English subtitles is unfortunately.

Extras for this release are limited too the films original trailer in Italian with no English subtitles and a eighteen minute interview with director Gianfranco Parolini. The interview is in Italian and comes with removable English subtitles. Gianfranco Parolini has a sharp memory as he talks about the various stages of his career including an encounter with Sergio Leone on The Last Days of Pompeii. Of note this interview is also included as part of RHV’s Samson DVD release. Also this release comes with a booklet with a list of the cast & crew, info on the transfer for this release and a bio & filmography for the Goliath character and the various movies made about him.

The Peplum genre is by far and away the most overlooked Italian film genre when it comes to the DVD format. RHV’s Goliath against the Giants is a solid release that presents the film in its original aspect ratio and if you are a fan of peplum you will want to add this one to your collection.

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