Warner Archive: The Black Scorpion (1957)

They’re big. They’re bad. They scuttle along in caverns miles beneath the Earth 3 Stars

The Black Scorpion (1957)
New 2018 1080p HD Remaster
Run Time 88:00
Subtitles English SDH
DTS HD-Master Audio 2.0 Mono – English
ORIGINAL ASPECT RATIO – 1.78:1, 16×9 Widescreen
B&W
BD 25
Special Features: “Stop Motion Masters” with Ray Harryhausen; Las Vegas Monster and the Beetlemen test footage; Harryhausen’s Dinosaur sequence from “The Animal World”; Giant Monsters Trailer Gallery; Theatrical Trailer (HD)

They’re big. They’re bad. They scuttle along in caverns miles beneath the Earth – until an earthquake opens paths to the surface. Now, these monsters of genus Arachnida are invading our world with deadly force! With top special effects co-designed by King Kong’s Willis O’Brien, The Black Scorpion is horror with a sting more lethal than the king-sized ants that overran Los Angeles’ sewers in the classic Them! Can humankind survive these invincible juggernauts? That fate rests on the shoulders of Hank Scott (1950s monster-movie stalwart Richard Denning) as the creatures rip a train from its track, snatch a helicopter from the sky and, in the film’s most gripping sequence, battle each other in their subterranean lair.

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Kevin Collins

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35 Comments

  1. Interdimensional

    I don't suppose any of the special features will be HD? The Harryhausen Animal World and Pete Peterson footage made the original dvd release an absolute must-have. That disc was a real testatment to Peterson's talent.

    THE ANIMAL WORLD is available in its complete 80-minute form through the Warner Archives, on DVD only. Trust me, though, the Harryhausen sequence (9 minutes) is the only worthwhile thing about it.

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  4. Just received and watched the Blu-ray of “The Black Scorpion” tonight.
    The encoding is poor,
    and this only adds to making all the many (and might I add, many) opticals look even worse than they should:
    All the dissolves stay in the lower rez optical from the beginning of the shot going into the dissolve and all the way to the end of the shot coming from the dissolve — Yes, I know it was done a lot in the 1950s).

    But, opticals aside (which is a baked in problem), the encoding on this disc makes for some shots (even those not in an optical) look messy.

    Weakest job that I have even seen from Warner Brothers.

  5. aPhil

    Some people may not notice, but I could not help.
    It is still nicer to have than the 1.33 DVD.

    And I said encoding, but it has a good bit-rate and it may be the master for the Blu-ray. Again, many may not notice. I would be interested in other opinions

  6. Here is part of the review from George Reis at DVD Drive-in. He has been reviewing since Laserdisc days so I always trust his reviews:

    Through the years, Warner always seemed to give attention to THE BLACK SCORPION, as it was previously available on VHS, laserdisc, and then on full frame DVD. Several years ago, the Warner Archive Collection re-released the film on made-on-demand DVD (finally in widescreen), and now in this noticeably better-looking Blu-ray. The film is presented here in 1080p HD in a fitting 1.78:1 aspect ratio (previous boxy, full frame transfers appeared awkward). The black and white image is very crisp with rich detail, and there’s healthy filmic grain structure on display. It also features good grayscale, deep black levels with plenty of shadow detail. For a 1950s B movie, the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is pretty clear and solid. Optional English subtitles are included.

  7. I watched the disc last night and I can confirm what Phil is saying about the encoding. What's strange is that the encoding quality is affected moreso in the beginning and the end of the film while the middle of the film looks very good. When the encoding quality is bad, it looks worse than my Vudu HDX stream. When it's fine, it's easy to see that this was a brand new scan performed by WAC. Hopefully, WAC will issue a replacement.

  8. Open it and enjoy it.. these fanboy nerds with their encoding issues is straight from the blu ray dot com delusional nut job anal retentive perfectionist crowd .. the reviews of the release from professional reviewers are all satisfactory…
    Im not watching it to see a repairman on a telephone poll
    The presentation is fine…
    People like Revgen who go apeship spending hours on forums posting with screencaps of a mere second of a film and post everywhere ruin it for everyone else who watch on their blu ray players and say it looks fine
    Put this in your screencap pipe and smoke it

    http://www.dvddrive-in.com/reviews/a-d/blackscorpionmod56.htm

  9. dpippel

    My copy was just delivered from Amazon, and I'm trying decide whether or not I should open it or just send it back.

    I'm keeping mine.

    I believe it's still overall better than the old DVD, which is open matte instead of widescreen.

  10. TheSteig

    Open it and enjoy it.. these fanboy nerds with their encoding issues is straight from the blu ray dot com delusional nut job anal retentive perfectionist crowd .. the reviews of the release from professional reviewers are all satisfactory…
    Im not watching it to see a repairman on a telephone poll
    The presentation is fine…
    People like Revgen who go apeship spending hours on forums posting with screencaps of a mere second of a film and post everywhere ruin it for everyone else who watch on their blu ray players and say it looks fine
    Put this in your screencap pipe and smoke it

    http://www.dvddrive-in.com/reviews/a-d/blackscorpionmod56.htm

    Your attacking post crossed the line with our forum posting guidelines.

    Conduct
    10. No personal attacks. We expect all members to treat each other with consideration and respect. While we encourage lively debate, we do not allow personal attacks. This includes direct attacks, such as name-calling, as well as indirect attacks, such as repeated baiting of a member in a provocative or belittling manner. If you believe that you have been subjected to a personal attack, or have witnessed one on another member, please see the section on Dealing with Problems for instructions on how to proceed.

    Any further such personal attacks by you will be met with more than just a warning. So lets stop that type of forum behavior now!

  11. TheSteig

    Open it and enjoy it.. these fanboy nerds with their encoding issues is straight from the blu ray dot com delusional nut job anal retentive perfectionist crowd .. the reviews of the release from professional reviewers are all satisfactory…
    Im not watching it to see a repairman on a telephone poll
    The presentation is fine…
    People like Revgen who go apeship spending hours on forums posting with screencaps of a mere second of a film and post everywhere ruin it for everyone else who watch on their blu ray players and say it looks fine
    Put this in your screencap pipe and smoke it

    http://www.dvddrive-in.com/reviews/a-d/blackscorpionmod56.htm

    you are so right and I watched it last night and it was excellent quality and people waiting for a re-press all I can say is it will never happen as there is nothing to re-press …. great little movie it is so good so enjoy it before it gets sold out…..

  12. commander richardson

    you are so right and I watched it last night and it was excellent quality and people waiting for a re-press all I can say is it will never happen as there is nothing to re-press …. great little movie it is so good so enjoy it before it gets sold out…..

    Thank you ! I'm not much for a one person crusade to ruin any given release, particularly when there is just one person who is making all the noise – this is just generally speaking. Maybe a few dozen or a few hundred who notice something the same thing- that's a different story
    I watch blu rays for the beauty and entertainment of the film and not to go bonkers over anything minor.
    Sometimes I think expectations are a little too high when it comes to older movies.
    And my golden rule is to see the film myself. That's how I discovered audio issues and other glitches with Army of Darkness, Halloween 4, Sadie Mckee and others that I received replacement discs for. Ive seen many complaints about issues which many don't see or even care about over the years, including the dreaded slipcover debates ! 🙂

  13. Watched it last night and I was pleased overall. However, there are indeed some encoding issues here. One example is the very noticeable macroblocking from 10:00-13:00 minutes. This has nothing to do with the source. These are compression artifacts.

  14. dpippel

    Watched it last night and I was pleased overall. However, there are indeed some encoding issues here. One example is the very noticeable macroblocking from 10:00-13:00 minutes. This has nothing to do with the source. These are compression artifacts.

    That's why even the recent review over at blu ray dot com never even mentioned it and if anyone would catch it, they would. I guess I must be blind lol

  15. My posted warning was ignore, therefore, some posts have been deleted and disciplinary action has taken place. Let me post our forum guideline once more about "Conduct". In bold, you will notice an excerpt about no "Baiting" other members as a way to indirectly attack them in a belittling manner. Such behavior will not be tolerated on this forum.

    Conduct
    10. No personal attacks. We expect all members to treat each other with consideration and respect. While we encourage lively debate, we do not allow personal attacks. This includes direct attacks, such as name-calling, as well as indirect attacks, such as repeated baiting of a member in a provocative or belittling manner. If you believe that you have been subjected to a personal attack, or have witnessed one on another member, please see the section on Dealing with Problems for instructions on how to proceed.

  16. My posted warning was ignore, therefore, some posts have been deleted and disciplinary action has taken place. Let me post our forum guideline once more about "Conduct". In bold, you will notice an excerpt about no "Baiting" other members as a way to indirectly attack them in a belittling manner. Such behavior will not be tolerated on this forum.

    Conduct
    10. No personal attacks. We expect all members to treat each other with consideration and respect. While we encourage lively debate, we do not allow personal attacks. This includes direct attacks, such as name-calling, as well as indirect attacks, such as repeated baiting of a member in a provocative or belittling manner. If you believe that you have been subjected to a personal attack, or have witnessed one on another member, please see the section on Dealing with Problems for instructions on how to proceed.

  17. Bob Cashill

    CineSavant weighs in: https://trailersfromhell.com/the-black-scorpion-2/

    This second professional review is all I need to know. This reminds of when amateur reviewers thought something was wrong with the Them Blu Ray when it turned out the pervious DVD releases were all squashed which made everyone fatter and the blu ray got it right. Its great to hear that the cavern sequence in black scorpion that was heavily damaged on the DVD is now pristine. This is not a minor upgrade from the DVD but a major one.

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