(1969/Warner Archive Blu-ray)
B+ Sound: B+ Extras: C+ Film: B
This Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their
Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
an inspiration on the lackluster 'flop that could have been amazing'
(2011), the 1969 western fantasy Valley
takes a wild west movie formula and mixes it with supernatural
beings, in this case, Prehistoric creatures, including dinosaurs
including flying Pterodactyls, Triceratops, and of course a vicious
T-Rex that goes by Gwangi (executed by Hollywood Special Effects
Innovator Ray Harryhausen), and other sights beyond imagination.
Archive presents the film in a well-remastered version on Blu-ray
disc with an eye popping transfer, making a film shot so many decades
ago looking brand new, even more than you would expect. If you're a
fan of goofy Western B-Movies and (then-groundbreaking) stop motion
animation, this is a film that is worth revisiting in this release.
In many ways, this is a good example of what Jurassic
would have looked like had it been made in the late 1960s, in such
stars James Franciscus, Gila Golan, Richard Carlson, Laurence
Naismith, Freda Jackson, and Gustavo Rojo. The film is directed by
Charles H. Schneer who also collaborated with Harryhausen on 1955's
Came From Beneath the Sea
(reviewed elsewhere on this site) among their other fantasy
collaboration Schneer produced.
there's the story. It's known as ''The Forbidden Valley'' - a place
in the old west where creatures long thought to be extinct roam.
When a beautiful young cowgirl named T.J. (Golan) inherits an unusual
miniature horse from the Valley, her rich yet reluctant man Tuck
Kirby (Franciscus) thinks it could be the ticket to save her
struggling Wild West Live Show. Tuck decides to lead a group to see
where the horse came from and ignoring the warnings of a blind Gypsy
Woman, the group travels into the scenic wild west and into The
Forbidden Valley, where a monstrous T-Rex named Gwangi
is at the top of the food chain. When the group use their resources
to capture the creature, they take it back to the Wild West show and
it opens to a huge crowd. However, when Gwangi
escapes - all hell breaks lose!
in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1,
the image on the disc is quite impressive with highly rich colors,
amazing depth, fine detail and obviously sourced from great 35mm
materials. The special effects look fantastic and appear to have
been touched up a tad. Too bad Harryhausen isn't around to enjoy
this disc. Along with the superb image is a lossless DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 2.0 Mono track with a score by Jerome Moross that is
epic and genre appropriate.
Retrospective documentary ''Return
to the Valley''
Original Trailer in HD
Gwangi and Vanessa (DVD easter egg)
the story borrows elements from King
Valley of Gwangi
is B-Movie fun and a fascinating time capsule in the art of special
effects. One can only imagine that Spielberg was inspired by this in
some way for the first two Jurassic
films. I wouldn't be surprised if this gets eyed for a remake in the
wake of Kong:
success, which could be interesting.
order this Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for it and many
more great web-exclusive releases at: