Thursday, July 21, 2022

Son of Samson - Kino Lorber (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: Italy/France/Yugoslavia, 1960
Director: Carlo Campogalliani
Writers: Oreste Biancoli, Ennio De Concini
Cast: Mark Forest, Chelo Alonso, Vira Silenti, Angelo Zanolli, Federica Ranchi, Carlo Tamberlani, Nino Musco, Zvonimir Rogoz, Ignazio Dolce, Andrea Fantasia, Petar Dobric

Release Date: May 10th, 2022
Approximate running time: 88 minutes 53 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $24.95

"During the Persian rule over Egypt, the mighty Maciste (bodybuilder Mark Forest, Goliath and the Dragon) travels to the city of Tanis where the evil Queen Smedes (Folies Bergère dancer Chelo Alonso, Sheba and the Gladiator) rules with an iron fist and spreads misery across the land. Possessing legendary brawn and courage, Maciste leads a mass revolt against the queen and her tyrannical reign of terror." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 3.75/5

Son of Samson comes on a 25 GB single layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 20.7 GB

Feature: 19.5 GB

Though no information is provided about this transfer, the source used for this transfer is in great shape. Any source imperfections are minimal and very minor. The colors look very good, the image looks crisp, and the black levels are strong.

Audio: 3.5/5

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English, and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. There are no issues with background hiss or distortion; dialog comes through clearly, and everything sounds balanced. That said, range-wise, things can sound limited.


Extras for this release include an audio commentary by film historian David Del Valle and filmmaker/historian Michael Varrati, and a limited-edition slipcover.

Other extras include trailers for The Revolt of the Slaves, Arabian Adventure, Jack the Giant Killer, The Magic Sword, and Sinbad of the Seven Seas. 


Though it has been neglected when it comes to the Blu-ray format, Peplum was the first Italian cycle of films that gained a worldwide audience. Sure, Peplum, like most Italian film cycles, became derivative and oversaturated, which led to its demise. And yet, there is something oddly entertaining about peplums, especially when it comes to this film cycle's most celebrated films.

The protagonists' heroes were the one constant in Peplums. And though Hercules is the most recognizable name, other notable heroes include Goliath, Maciste, and Samson. Besides heroes, Peplums also made a household name out of several bodybuilders turned actors, most notably Steve Reeves. Another actor who made a name for himself in Peplum was Mark Forest, whose notable films include Goliath and the Dragon, Son of Samson, and The Lion of Thebes.

Content-wise, Son of Samson has all the elements that one would want from a peplum. Nonetheless, the end result is a by-the-numbers film in which the majority of the narrative revolves around Samson as he performs superhuman feats. Also, when it comes to the premise, Son of Samson goes with the all-too familiar slave versus master scernerio.

Fortunately, peplums are about spectacle, and because of this, any shortcomings are easy to forgive. That said, the main attraction of Son of Samson is Mark Forest, who physically more than fulfills his character's traits. Unfortunately, he lacks the onscreen presence that someone like Steve Reeves had in spades. Ultimately, despite its familiarity, Son of Samson can be a lot of fun.

Kino Lorber’s Son of Samson Blu-ray comes with a strong audio/video presentation and comes with an informative audio commentary, recommended.

Written by Michael Den Boer

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