"Hammer Studios is known for its particular brand of horror films, but in the early sixties they also ventured into the realm of adventure. Four of those titles are included here. PIRATES OF BLOOD RIVER is a swashbuckling potboiler, with Christopher Lee as a one-eyed pirate, and Sinbad's Kerwin Matthews as the persecuted hero who saves the town that rejected him from treasure seeking mauraders.
DEVIL-SHIPS PIRATES has a clever premise, a Spanish privateer that sailed with the Armada runs ashore near a small and remote British town and terrorizes the populace, tricking the hapless villagers into believing (at least for a while) that the Armada defeated the British navy and the rest of England is now occupied by the victorious Spaniards. This clever IT HAPPENED HERE touch from screenwriter Jimmy Sangster makes DEVIL-SHIP special, as does Christopher Lee's performance as the absolute nastiest villian he's ever played in his long and distinguished career.
Two dark masterpieces are on the second disk. THE TERROR OF THE TONGS, with Christopher Lee as the evil head of the Red Dragon Tongs, is set in nineteenth century Hong Kong. When the Red Dragons murder a British sea captain's teenaged daughter, they unleash a reckoning they never imagined.
The second film on disk two is STRANGLERS OF BOMBAY, the "true" story of the Kali Cult in India. This film is the only black and white entry in this set and it stars no major Hammer actors, yet you'll be rivited by a suspenseful story that really draws you in. Though this was made decades ago, be warned, STRANGLERS is not for the faint of heart. This story was "remade" in the 1980s with James Ivory behind the camera and Pierce Brosnan in front of it, titled THE DECEIVERS.
Jimmy Sangster, Hammer's premier screenwriter, offers commentary, along with a Hammer film historian. Trailers are included, along with some wacky supplemental material. The widescreen transfers are excellent on all four films. Kuddos to Sony Home Video for this release. Now, guys, when are you going to release THE GORGON on DVD?
Glad to see "The Stranglers" on DVD finally!
Patrick W. Crabtree | Lucasville, OH USA | 06/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wanted to specifically point out my enthisiasm for "The Stranglers of Bombay". I've been trying to acquire this great 1960 Hammer film for a long time and, finally, it's now available!
This movie is shot in black-and-white and runs for 80 minutes. As I mentioned, this is a Hammer Studios film. It was directed by Terrence Fisher and conveys a sort of story about the Thuggees of India, a murderous religious cult.
Guy Rolfe plays Captain Harry Lewis, a seasoned British officer who trys to persuade the East India Company to investigate a situation where people have disappeared -- he is ignored. Lewis is replaced by an incompetent for all his troubles so he investigates the matter on his own. George Pastell plays the role of the High Priest of Kali.
The big picture is that this is yet another story of British mis-management of one of its colonies, in this case, India.
This is a very rare film and, for this movie alone, this movie set is worth the price. Highly recommended! "
Hammer films long awaited titles released on DVD!
DR. FOREMAN | BOSTON,MA | 05/03/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Any fan of Hammer films and/or Christopher Lee cannot wait to snatch up this rare item. Be aware casual Hammer Film fans these are not Horror films but action/adventure. Many familiar Hammer actors and directors. So if you are a completist of the Golden Age of Hammer like myself,snatch up this DVD collection."
Icons of Adventure
Hattie Shepherd | Kent, England | 06/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm literally speechless! The set is so beautiful- superb prints! We finally get to see the pirates in the ambush pit - the british censor took it out of the prints showed at the movies in England, so that was a first! Tongs was the biggest pleasure, having only seen elderly,faded prints on rare occasions on TV -now we have it in all its glory, and with out mate Jimmy Sangster's comentary too.What more could we ask for! Thanks America for cherishing them for us and letting us have them back again.Congrats to all concerned, and thanks to Amazon for their safe and quick delivery"
This is the Hammer top notch DVD ralease of the dekade!
Robert Curunoski | Melbourne - Australia | 06/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From one of the greatest Hammer Columbia Titles finally surfaced on the DVD market, it's a must for all Pirate/Swashbuckler and Hammer Fans. 3 Movie staring with the great Christopher Lee disc 1: He plays on both a ruthless Spanish buccaneer, the first movie is "Pirates of Blood River",a great movie off all, with splendid costumes and set and real location, a pirate yarn with co string Kerwin Mathews if you can remember him as Sinbad, from (Seventh Voyage of Sinbad) Lee is a pirate, with an eye patch and a useless arm, he really pulls this roll off as a real buccaneer. With great fencing sword duals and action. The second movie is :Devil-Ship Pirates" he is a Privateer, a real dreadful and caning one, with real galleon and great cinematography and swashbuckling action. Disc 2: "Terror of the Tongs", a great perphomence by Lee as the Tong Lords, with great peices of sets and art. The second movie is "Stranglers of Bombay" a real deal masetpeice, tells the true story behind the Tuggee cult the follower of Kali, that inspired Steven Spilberg and rinvent the stry with Indiana Jones and the Temlpe of Doom. It's just outstanding lovely set that you can own from the Hammer Productions Library. The picture quality of all 4 movies is the best out there you ever can get it, colours are strong with great contrast you can't even compare it with today's new released movies on DVD. They are made in High Definition Masters, with bautifull anmorphic widescreen presentation. . A must for collector's on Pirates and Swashbuckling action.
I carriage Sony to release sooner the other Columbia titles, from the Hammer Production on DVD, just right after their planned Icons of Horror set, and to do their justice same as on the Icons of Adventure Set. My suggestions: "Icons of Sin-Fic/Historical Adventure" Disc one: "Sword of Sherwood of Forest" double dill with "Creatures the World Forgot" Disc two: "Scarlet Blade" double with "Brigand of Kandahar".
This can be great set, released at the time or sooner with the upcoming Ridley Scott Nottingham the story about Robin Hood.