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Gorgo (1961)

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 


One of the better non-Japanese giant monster movies is streeting in March on Blu-ray via VCI Home Entertainment. According to the specs, this is a "restored" version.

Gorgo has always suffered from a very problematic source print for previous home video laserdisc and dvd releases - very dark and crushed blacks and overall low resolution. In fact, VCI previously released this movie on dvd about a decade ago from the Roan source.

If I recall correctly, word is a film collector has or had a very good quality 35mm IP print and has refused to allow it's use without companies like The Roan Group (they wound up using a regular scratchy 35mm theatrical print via wet gate scanning for LD release) ponying up a prohibitive amount of money. Will be interesting to see the results although I don't expect much.

Special Features:

"Ninth Wonder Of The World: The Making Of Gorgo" a new documentary by Daniel Griffith
Gorgo - Video Comic Book and Comic Book Cover Gallery
Extensive Lobby Card & Poster Gallery
Photo Gallery
Gorgo Toys & Collectibles Gallery
Production Notes
Original Theatrical Trailer
Pressbook Gallery
Star Cin� Cosmos - French-language "fumetto" (comic book)
Before & After Restoration Video
post #2 of 17
What little I saw of VCI's Dark Star BD failed to impress me in the slightest. Over compensating a less then ideal source with noticeable dnr is a bad idea.
post #3 of 17
Man in a suit. Meh. But whatever floats yer boat.

And speaking of dark, I saw it as a child in a drive-in theater. The last half-hour you couldn't see anything.
post #4 of 17
The 35mm Technicolor print I ran a few years ago looked great. I hope VCI was able to access original materials and not use a theatrical print as their source again.
post #5 of 17
Well, I can check this off my "hoping for a Blu-ray" release list. Saw this in a theater not too long ago and all they did was take the DVD and then stretch it across the screen. It was, uh, not pretty. Hopefully this is a winner. Love the movie.
post #6 of 17
This (along with "The Giant Behemoth" were my favorite giant monster movies of the 1860s. I even used to read the GORGO comic books that were published back then. So hearing of this release is a pleasant surprise. I'll wait for reviews...but if they have better source materials and it's not overly DNR'd...I'm in. Unlike most monster movies of the time, they didn't try and shoehorn any ludicrous love-interest for the male star. Plus, if I recall, GORGO has the REAL Dr. Heywood Floyd!
post #7 of 17
When they first released this on DVD, they listed it as 16x9, which it was not. I emailed them and told them of their error and
they proceeded to tell me I was wrong.

Since they didn't know anamorphic from non-anamorphic back then, they probably will use the same DVD print and try to pass it off as
a BD.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Watched this one tonight. A VERY mixed bag on this release as expected.

First and foremost - the transfer.... There's never been a really good print of this movie presented on home video and that still holds true with this Blu-ray release. It appears multiple sources may have been used or just 3/4ths of the reels are in lousy shape. It doesn't help that this movie features some really terrible optical blue screen work. Much of the opening scenes have an optical "fog" effect layered over the effects work to hide how cheesy they are which can make whole scenes incredibly murky and grainy.

Add to that there's a lot of public domain or "library" footage mostly of army and navy action that's been seen in dozens of other movies that looks pretty rough. Add to that the source(s) used for this transfer looks very rough and VCI appears to have really run the gamma, color saturation and EE filters on full-tilt boogie to make what they had to work with presentable (although the "Restoration" split screen comparison looks suspect at best - I mean some clips in the same scene look like they have a green filter over the original image!). I have no clue if this is the same source VCI used for their previous dvd release as it's so worked over digitally. So there's a lot of blown out, over saturated color which actually magnifies the poor blue screen work in some scenes.

But... late in the movie around the time when Mama Gorgo makes landfall in London, the picture quality improves dramatically, mostly to do with the man-in-suit footage that does surpass any previous home video release. I mean, it's no "Lawrence Of Arabia" but the last 15 minutes look decent compared to the rest of this presentation. Plus, it *is* really in 1080p - VCI got that right.

What makes this possibly worth a buy is actually the extras. Those in charge of putting the bonus material together came up with a lot of nice stuff lovingly assembled. There's scans of the first Gorgo comic featuring art by the instantly recognizable Steve Ditko who work here surpassed much of what he later did for Marvel on titles like Spiderman and Dr Strange. Images of toys and rare garage model kits, some interesting production notes and a short feature on the movie as well as a soundtrack option with no dialog (I hate to call it a music only track).
post #9 of 17
I just watched the Trailers from Hell 2 DVD, and movie-wise, this looks pretty decent for a giant monster flick. It'll never have a fantastic picture, but I may get it just for kicks.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_R_STL View Post

I just watched the Trailers from Hell 2 DVD, and movie-wise, this looks pretty decent for a giant monster flick. It'll never have a fantastic picture, but I may get it just for kicks.

It's certainly enjoyable if you're a fan of the genre (which I am). I've always had a soft spot for the music score and appreciate the more relatively novel aspects of the film and characters. It's a shame that the film has always looked so marginal. A major reason is the optical work - much of it is ambitious (in one scene the viewer can barely make out tiny figures rotoscoped into the collapsing model bridge falling into the river as Gorgo destroys it) but due to budget, time, quality of work... more often then not, certain scenes look really bad with heavy blue screen outlines and oppressive grain due to multiple film stock used to compose scenes. In contrast, the late 50's - early 60's Japanese Toho Godzilla and other genre films while also suffering from sometimes dodgy to terrible optical compositions, look much better preserved and represented on various home video releases through the years.
post #11 of 17
Just watched it and it looks great, so throw away those POS DVDs from VCI. It ain't gonna get any better than this.
post #12 of 17
The man-in-a-rubber-suit monster flick I'd love to see on blu-ray, but probably never will: The Green Slime. That one gets better every time I watch it biggrin.gif
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_R_STL View Post

The man-in-a-rubber-suit monster flick I'd love to see on blu-ray, but probably never will: The Green Slime. That one gets better every time I watch it biggrin.gif
Good luck. That one took forever just to get to DVD.
J
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_R_STL View Post

The man-in-a-rubber-suit monster flick I'd love to see on blu-ray, but probably never will: The Green Slime. That one gets better every time I watch it biggrin.gif
That one was actually kids in monster suits. smile.gif
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_R_STL View Post

The man-in-a-rubber-suit monster flick I'd love to see on blu-ray, but probably never will: The Green Slime. That one gets better every time I watch it biggrin.gif

Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ9ff9ccwcA
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by eweiss View Post

Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ9ff9ccwcA

Thanks, but the DVD works fine smile.gif
post #17 of 17
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Gorgo-Blu-ray/64184/#Review

I looked at the few sites that had caps and none would I quantify as good, poor source excuses aside and while not as bad as Dark Star I do not care for VCI's (or whoever did it) heavy filtering.
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