At a time when most major stu­dios are either phas­ing out cat­a­log title releas­es or just shunt­ing them off to new DVD-R divi­sions, it’s nice to see some com­pa­nies are still will­ing to give the col­lec­tor their due with real, pressed discs of vin­tage mate­ri­al.  Shout Factory is one of those com­pa­nies and their line of 20th Century Fox reis­sues offers good val­ue for mon­ey, fre­quent­ly bundling two titles for the price of one or adding extra fea­tures — and retain­ing a cat­a­log title price what­ev­er the case.

Their recent release of Sky Riders and The Last Hard Men is a good exam­ple of their 20th Century Fox line.  Both films are pre­sent­ed on DVD in nice-look­ing anamor­phic trans­fers that make the most of their Cinemascope imagery: the Greek set­tings of Sky Riders come through with vibrant col­ors while the arid Western vis­tas of The Last Hard Men are nice­ly defined.  The orig­i­nal mono mix­es are retained for both films and each sounds fine.

Extras are lim­it­ed on this set, prob­a­bly due to the fact that both titles are pre­sent­ed on one dual-lay­er disc.  That said, Shout Factory has seen fit to flesh out the last bit of space on the disc with a trail­er and a t.v. spot for each film.  All are pre­sent­ed full-frame: The Sky Riders trail­ers are ori­ent­ed around the thrilling stunts in the last half-hour while the the­atri­cal spot for The Last Hard Men odd­ly (and wrong­ly) pitch­es it as being in the vein of High Noon.  The t.v. spot for the lat­ter gets it right, sell­ing the film’s grit­ty nature and omi­nous­ly promis­ing “Only One Will Survive!”  The only hic­cup in the extras depart­ment is that stills gal­leries men­tioned on the back of the disc are nowhere to be found.

Overall, this is a great lit­tle pack­age for the price, espe­cial­ly when you con­sid­er that nei­ther film has ever been avail­able on DVD before in the U.S.  James Coburn fans and afi­ciona­dos of 1970’s tough guy mate­ri­al in gen­er­al should def­i­nite­ly look into get­ting this cost-effec­tive, gen­er­ous set.

To read Schlockmania’s film review for Sky Riders, click here.

To read Schlockmania’s film review for The Last Hard Men, click here.