Aug 29, 2016

Fathom Comes to Blu-Ray from Kino Lorber

Hot on the heels of their impressive Modesty Blaise Blu-ray, Kino Lorber will be releasing the 1967 Raquel Welch spy caper Fathom in high definition. Fathom ("starring Raquel 39-22-33 Welch," as the trailer voice boldly declares) is one of the more entertaining female-driven spy films of the era. While journeyman TV director Leslie Martinson (Mission: Impossible) doesn't aim as high from an artistic standpoint as Modesty's Joseph Losey did, he concocts a far superior film thanks to a fairly straightforward and, crucially, coherent plot, a charming, indefatigable leading lady, and lots of game supporting turns from the likes of Tom Adams (The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World), Ronald Fraser (Sebastian), Richard Briers, Greta Chi (Coffin from Hong Kong), Anthony Franciosa (Matt Helm) and Blaise's Clive Revill in a stupendous, scene-stealing turn as the villainous Serapkin. That's not to say that Lorenzo Semple, Jr.'s (Never Say Never Again, 3 Days of the Condor) script (which is extremely loosely based on Larry Forrester's considerably grittier novel) doesn't eventually devolve into expositional voiceover over endless shots of a small airplane flying above European scenery, but it's got enough great setpieces to make up for that in spades. Modesty Blaise turned out to boast quite a few extras. Sadly there aren't that many announced for Fathom, but at least it will include a commentary track by film historians David Del Valle and Steve Peros and a trailer gallery (presumably including the one I quoted above). I really hope it also ends up having a gallery of promotional imagery, because Welch's bikini inspired a number for fantastic posters for this film (including the Japanese one they cribbed for this disc cover).

Kino's Fathom Blu-ray hits shelves October 25 with a suggested retail price of $29.95, but you can currently pre-order it on Amazon for just about half of that.

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