Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 13th, 2007
Theatrical Release Dates: Italy, 1959
Director: Carlo Campogalliani
Cast: Steve Reeves, Chelo Alonso, Bruce Cabot, Giulia Rubini, Arturo Dominici, Gino Scotti, Livio Lorenzon, Luciano Marin, Andrea Checchi
DVD Released: 2005
Approximate Running Time: 82 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 non-anamorphic widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Spanish
DVD Release: Warner Home Video
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL
Retail Price: $17.95
Synopsis: Barbarians rape and pillage the countryside as they conquer new lands. Enter a rebel named Goliath (Steve Reeves) who vows vengeance against these barbaric Barbarians for murdering his father. Along the way Goliath falls in love with a Barbarian princess named Landa (Chelo Alonso). Goliath finds others to join him in an attack against the Barbarians which only further enrages them. Out numbered Goliath and his followers storm the Barbarians main camp in a final bloody showdown.
Steve Reeves after the success of Hercules and Hercules Unchained instantly became an international superstar. In 1959 he would once again to the Peplum genre with the film Goliath and the Barbarians. Once again Steve Reeves shines as he is in top form. He flexes his muscles in between the scenes where he is wooing the ladies or being tortured by the enemy. Acting wise there is nothing new from Steve Reeves who by this time could have done these films in his sleep.
A lovely actress named Chelo Alonso plays Reeves love interest in the film. Most western audiences will recognize her as Dolores, Cuchillo’s girlfriend from the Spaghetti Western Run Man Run. She is perfectly cast as Landa a barbarian princess with seductive dance moves that can bring any man to their knees. This film also has a solid supporting cast which includes Andrea Checchi, Bruce Cabot and Gabriele Tinti.
The film was directed by Carlo Campogalliani who would direct a handful of these Peplum films. He does a good job with the cast and story he has to work with on Goliath and the Barbarians. Bitto Albertini who would later direct a few Black Emanuelle films worked as the cinematographer on Goliath and the Barbarians.
The plot tends to drag as it focuses more on spectacle and not enough time if spent on fighting scenes. Also this film sues one this genres most overused clichés revenge as the main plot point in further the story. The other main plot device the love triangle between Goliath, Landa and one of the barbarians is something that is not used to often in films like these and it ends up being one of the better parts of the film.
This DVD edition of Goliath and the Barbarians runs about eighty two minutes in Pal when converted to NTSC would equal about the eighty six minute time length of the films original English Language release. According to the IMDB the film also has running times of one hundred minutes in Italy and ninety minutes in France. I could not find anywhere what exactly these extras minutes consist of or if they are accurate running times.
Goliath and the Barbarians, is presented in an non-anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Colors and details look strong through out. Some of the darker scenes are no as sharp as the daylight scenes. Overall the source material used for this transfer is in great shape and print damage is virtually non-existent.
This release comes with two audio options English and Spanish. Both audio mixes are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. Overall both audio mixes may not wow you; still they are more then adequate. Also no subtitles options have been included with this release.
Extras fore this release include cast & crew lists and trailers for The Last Days of Pompeii & Ursus. Other extras include a photo gallery with six stills and liner notes about Goliath and the Barbarians in Spanish.
Goliath and the Barbarians is yet another non region 1 Peplum release that presents the film in its original aspect ratio and even though it is lacking in extra content this DVD release is a must have purchase if you are a fan Peplum’s especially since good editions of these type of films are so hard to come by.