Friday, March 5, 2021

By the Gods!

Praxiteles (Massimo Girotti) and Aphrodite (Belinda Lee) in GODDESS OF LOVE (1957; La Venere di Cheronea)

Finally got a beautiful copy of this movie in HD. All the copies I had of this movie was always murky or disappointing. But this one is wow! English subs included. It's from a streaming service. I really like this movie. Made before HERCULES (1958), it sorta signalled the incoming flood of PEPLUM movies shot in widescreen. Directed by Viktor Tourjansky.

Wardrobe Malfunction...in HD!

Brad Harris in 79 AD: THE DESTRUCTION OF HERCULANEUM (1962)

Permanent page updated: Wardrobe Malfunctions!

BY THE GODS!: MESSALINA French Blu-ray…

 


Some screengrabs from the French Blu-ray release of MESSALINA (1960)

@ BY THE GODS!


Thursday, March 4, 2021

By the Gods!

Agrippina (Fanny Magier) and Nero (Piotr Stanislas) in a scene from NERO AND POPPEA - AN ORGY OF POWER (1982).

I already reviewed this movie so I won't review it again. Or maybe I should? Because I finally got a copy with all the cut scenes re-edited into the most complete version yet. I watched this complete version along side the most complete version I had in my collection and I have to say that there were a lot of scenes removed. Some of them are sorta disturbing. Probably the ne plus ultra orgiastic Sex and Sandals movie of the 1970s/80s. It even out 'shocks' CALIGULA (1979) or CALIGULA - THE UNTOLD STORY (1982), which has plenty of disturbing scenes in that one. But this one is the peak. Thanks to Bruno Mattei.

As in many such movies, scenes from old PEPLUM movies were edited with the new raunchy stuff. I always enjoy watching these scenes. There are some funny scenes in it. PEPLUM actor Mario Novelli is credited in it but I can't find him anywhere. I've watched this movie a dozen times. 


Behind-the-Scenes


Steve Reeves staying pumped in between takes when filming of HERCULES (1958)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

By the Gods!

Jorge Mistral and Yvonne de Carlo, as Mary Magdalene, in THE SWORD AND THE CROSS (1958)

This is a nice shot with the clouds moving slowly in the background. This was shot outside. Not in studio with projected background. Must have taken a long time to set that up. De Carlo played Sephora in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956), one of the biggest box office hits of the 1950s. And like other actors in that movie (John Derek, Debra Paget, etc), her film roles sorta became more sporadic in Hollywood, hence her starring in this Italian production. Why didn't THE TEN COMMANDMENTS generate more roles for her? She would eventually appear in the popular TV series, THE MUNSTERS. BTW, this was released as MARY MAGDALENE in the US.

Musings!

Searching far and wide for all things PEPLUM! Luciano Marin and Steve Reeves in GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959)


A real PEPLUM TV?


In France, Canal+ has streaming services and one category is PEPLUM movies. It sorta looks like my Youtube channel. This is how a genuine PEPLUM TV would look like. The funny part is the categories. Below: they put HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN or GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON under History.
 



PEPLUM Podcast?

There so many things lacking in the PEPLUM community. It's not because of a lack interest. The interest is there: views at the blogs, Facebook/Twitter accounts, Youtube channels, etc, are all healthy. One of those things I wish would exist are podcasts on the PEPLUM genre. Podcasts are all the rage right now. Almost every independent journalist has a podcast today. It's one of the best way to monetize your work. I think I would like to participate in one but being all by lonesome self, I don't think my solo podcasts would be interesting. A good podcast needs at least two people having a conversation. 



New official merchandise! 


I'll be adding new merchandise at least once a month. 




Cinematic Confusion


A special 'Double-Feature': the cassette on the left is for HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD (1961), which was also released as HERCULES IN THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH, starring Reg Park. But the image is from HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (1961) also starring Reg Park. 

And the tape on the right is for HERCULES AND THE MASKED RIDER (1963) starring Alan Steel. The fellow on the cover is Steve Reeves from HERCULES (1958). Nice cover art, wrong film.


Have you seen this?
 

MACISTE ET LES GLOUTONNES (1975). Directed by Jess Franco, this movie is also known under many other titles including LES EXPLOITS EROTIQUES DE MACISTE DANS L'ATLANTIDE. Franco made another 'Maciste' movie, also known as YUKA (1974). That one is different with even more confusing titles. I could have used this as a Cinematic Confusion. It's basically a soft porn movie set in jungle/forest with a man named Maciste, played by Wal Davis. This title translates as MACISTE AND THE GLUTTONOUS or FEMALE GLUTTONS. 


Movies I watched:

THE FIGHTING COSSACKS (1962)

It's okay but it's very repetitive. The character of the father is such a miserable character that he almost ruins the movie.

SAMSON AND THE SLAVE QUEEN (1963 - Zorro control Maciste)

I completed a Fan Dub of this. The hardest one I've ever made. The original English audio was in a terrible state and I did what I could with it. It's pretty amazing that I completed it. Now where to show it? Not on Youtube that's for sure. I watched it to make sure there weren't any major mistakes. A fun movie directed by Umberto Lenzi.

THE TARTARS (1961)

I'm thinking of doing a Fan Dub of this film. Not decent English print yet. It's good but at 80 minutes or so, it feels very short.

I don't watch just PEPLUM movies. I watched other movies.

FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET by Dario Argento and THE LOOTERS (1967) with Frederick Stafford. 


Answer to 'IDENTIFY THE MOVIE'


Last week's 'Identify the Movie' was finally solved by Orsh549. It was GOLIATH AND THE SINS OF BABYLON (1963) starring Mark Forest, and Mimmo Palmara and Livio Lorenzon as good guys.



Future Musings:

- A PEPLUM TV forum?

- List of PEPLUM books

- List of movies available in HD / Blu-ray

- PEPLUM Museum?

- A new Twitter account for actrices of PEPLUM movies?




Monday, March 1, 2021

By the Gods!

Fernandel in HONORE DE MARSEILLE (1956)


How to describe this movie? Since it stars Fernandel, it's a comedy of course. There are some musical numbers. And there are scenes which takes place in the past as the fabulist tries to describe the history of  his ancestors. It doesn't get more French than this. The scenes during the Roman era are colourful and quite elaborate. As far as I know, the film wasn't released in English. There are clips on the internet if you're curious to see it.

PEPLUM Movie Posters

Italian poster of ALI BABA AND THE SACRED CROWN (1962)

Simple and yet effective poster. Alsoknown as THE SEVEN TASKS OF ALI BABA.

Friday, February 26, 2021

By the Gods!

Patroclus (Ennio Girolami) finds a drunk and passed out Achilles (Gordon Mitchell) in FURY OF ACHILLES (1962)

Excellent scene in a very good PEPLUM movie. This needs to be in HD. Mitchell gives an excellent performance but the entire cast was excellent, including Girolami, who died 8 years ago this month

At the movies...

HERCULES (1958) playing at the Mount Dennis Theatre in Toronto. Great photo. Now they say the photo is dated 1958 which I think is an error since the movie was released in North America in 1959. I don't know if Canada got it earlier than the US but I doubt it.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

By the Gods!

John Richardson and Raquel Welch in ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. (1966)

Richardson died on January 5 at the age of 86. When  I heard news of his death, I was about to post on it but it slipped my mind and today I just remembered that I remembered his passing. Raquel is mostly cited for this movie but Richardson did a great job. Initially, the producers wanted Steve Reeves who declined the offer and even though the casting of Reeves and Welch together would have been amazing, Richardson did such a good job grounding the movie that I don't mind at all. He also starred in SHE (1965; below) with Ursula Andress, and THE VENGEANCE OF SHE (1968). R.I.P.!



Lobby Cards Set: BATTLE OF THE AMAZONS (1973)

US lobby cards set of BATTLE OF THE AMAZONS (1973) starring Lincoln Tate and Lucretia Love. The artwork is in color but the photos are in B&W. The movie is in color. The Amazon in the artwork is clearly Raquel Welch but she's not in it. The set is ok but it's hard to figure out the details. Not many Amazons in the set.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

By the Gods!


Matte paintings from A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS (1945)

Simple and yet effective matte shots. The top shot appeared in other movies. These shots really don't last that long on screen. Making these paintings took hours only to appear for a few seconds in the final cut. The movie was nominated for an Oscar for its special effects. Lawrence Butler was responsible for these.




Musings!

Searching far and wide for all things PEPLUM! Luciano Marin and Steve Reeves in GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959)


Commenting on comments

Quick notes on comments here at the blog. I've noticed that at Facebook or Twitter, the comments there for my accounts are pretty good and positive (I know, Twitter is usually very toxic). Most comments here at the blog are courteous and interesting. Commenting here has always been moderated since the blog gets a ton of spam. I rarely deleted non-spam comments, whether they're positive or negative. But for a while now the blog has received an increasing amount of comments made in 'bad faith'. Starting in 2021, I decided not to publish everything.

- Repetitive comments
- Overtly sexualized comments. 
- Comments that completely contradict what I wrote, which tells me they didn't read what I wrote
- 'Drive-by' commenting: comments with the purpose of not being engaging to the topic or anything.

The blog has for many years been the target of an insane number of other blogs which are X-rated or 'adult' in nature. I don't mind that but it in turn attracts unsavoury comments. I don't mind if someone says that an actress is sexy or an actor is handsome. The entire PEPLUM genre is built on beefcake and cheesecake. I get that but sometimes comments go too far. In other words, I don't care about your handmaiden fetish.

Well, that's it!

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Cinematic Confusion


VHS cover of THE GIANTS OF THESSALY (1960) with art from THE TROJAN HORSE (1961). Why?


Identify the movie


Can you identify the movie from this screengrab? Extra points if you name the actor or actors starring in it.

ANSWER: Orsh549 got it. It's from GOLIATH AND THE SINS OF BABYLON (1963). Here's another screen grab of the movie with Mimmo, Mark Forest and Livio Lorenzon. Good job, Orsh!




Twitter accounts

The new MACISTE Twitter account is going great. The stats are already amazing. Make sure to follow it.










I highly recommend these twitter accounts:

One of the most interesting Twitter accounts. By Carole Raddato.





This Twitter account is simply amazing. History comes to life. I can't recommend this Twitter account enough.

Here's Queen Zenobia.



Here's Queen Zenobia played by Anita Ekberg in SING OF THE GLADIATOR (1959)



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The fun thing about the new batch of PEPLUM movies available in HD is those wardrobe malfunctions are pretty obvious now.

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I'll have new merchandise next week. Too late to publish today.

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As you can see I set the fonts to 'default' and the size at medium. Larger than medium makes the formatting of the blog almost unusable. 



Future musings:

- New official PEPLUM TV merchandise

- A PEPLUM TV podcast?

- A PEPLUM TV forum?

- List of PEPLUM books

- List of movies available in HD / Blu-ray?


Monday, February 22, 2021

By the Gods!

John Hennigan as Hercules in HERCULES REBORN (2014)

I decided to watch this movie because it's available on Amazon Prime. I almost never watch anything there (here in Canada) because the selection is not really interesting. With that being said, I watched it, knowing that this is a THE ASYLUM studio production. As I watched I thought 'well, it's not so bad..." but 20 minutes later I had to stop watching it. It was just being repetitive and it seemed like they had one set for the entire 'story'. I put story in quotation marks because there's really no story here. Movies from ASYLUM are notoriously cheap but they could actually do something interesting if they had a good story (which they didn't follow the actual story of Hercules) and more sets or locations. I don't mind low budget movies but this was just too much. I'm a PEPLUM fan but even I couldn't finish this.

PEPLUM Movie Posters

Original Italian poster of SANDOKAN THE GREAT (1963)

Great poster. There are so many different artworks for it though. Hard to choose which is the best.

Friday, February 19, 2021

By the Gods!

Anthar (Kirk Morris) rescued Princess Soraya (Michèle Girardon) in ANTHAR THE INVINCIBLE (1964) 

This is from the Blu-ray release. It was one of the first PEPLUM movies released in HD. Kirk made a ton of movies during this period, with this one being one of the 5 movies he starred in 1964, and then in a few years...nothing. Sadly, Michèle Girardon's film career was short-lived since she committed suicide a few years later. The US title, DEVIL OF THE DESSERT AGAINST THE SON OF HERCULES, is dreadful. ANTHAR THE INVINCIBLE is the real title.

Actor Profile: ALDO BUFI LANDI


Continuing with profiling supporting actors of Italian/Euro PEPLUM films. This time the spotlight is on Aldo Bufi Landi or simply Aldo Landi. You might not now his name but you definitely saw him in one of his many PEPLUM movies. He alsmot always played supporting roles, never leading. His best roles are in CORIOLANUS: HERO WITHOUT A COUNTRY (1964) and TRIUMPH OF MACISTE (1961).  This profile is an overview of his PEPLUM movies only. He acted in over 100 productions with nearly 20 PEPLUM ones. I like him and he was always excellent in his roles.


IL CONTE DI MATERA (1958)

Aldo in a small role in this movie starring Giacomo Rossi Stuart (lifted arm)


CAVALIER IN DEVIL'S CASTLE (1959)

One of his first roles in a action/ PEPLUM movie. It's quite good but Aldo's role was minimal. As minimal as it was, he stood out from the crowded pack and eventually became a famous face in Italian movies.


THE LAST OF THE VIKINGS (1960)


Above and below: Aldo has a substantial role in this classic PEPLUM starring Cameron Mitchell (below). Aldo plays a good guy.



ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS (1961)


Above and below: another classic PEPLUM movie starring Gordon Mitchell. The character Aldo plays helps Atlas throughout the movie.



TRIUMPH OF MACISTE (1961)


One of his most famous roles in which he played Themail, the right hand man to the evil queen. His grounded performance helps the movie tremendously.


Above and below: Themail watches the classic 'Feat of Strength' of Maciste being pulled by horses. Thermal is frustrated with Queen Tenefi (Liuba Bodina). who is clearly fixated with Maciste.



SEVEN SEAS TO CALAIS (1962)


Above and below: this excellent production starts with Aldo. Great way to start a movie. Unfortunately, he doesn't last long in it. But Aldo is memorable in the brief role.




THE BLACK INVADERS (1962)

A good performance by Aldo in this rare movie.


TERROR OF THE BLACK MASK (1963)

This movie has a crowded cast and Aldo is part of it. A fun movie directed by Umberto Lenzi.


SAMSON AND THE SEA BEAST (1963)

Aldo co-starred with Kirk Morris again but he's a good guy here.


SAMSON AND THE SLAVE QUEEN (1963)


Above and below: Aldo played the usual role in this fun action-packed PEPLUM. Samson and Aldo's character have a violent confrontation during this scene.



SWORD OF REBELLION (1964)

Aldo plays another role as the right hand man of bad guy, played by Ivano Staccioli


CORIOLANUS: HERO WITHOUT A COUNTRY (1964)


Aside from TRIUMPH OF MACISTE, this is most definitely one of Aldo's best roles. He gives a good performance.


Above and below: Aldo is given a rare chance to play romantic role as he's in love with Livia (Angela Minervini), the sister of Coriolanus (Scott). A nice change of pace for the actor.




TOTO VS THE BLACK PIRATE (1964)


A small role, almost a cameo, for Aldo in this Toto comedy. Fast paced dialogue between the two. Aldo was uncredited. That's Maria Grazia Spina below.



DESERT RAIDERS (1964)

Aldo co-starred with Hélène Chanel in this serious desert adventure. This is the third movie he made with Kirk Morris.


SANDOKAN AGAINST THE LEOPARD OF SARAWAK (1964)

Aldo has a small role as a mystic 


MYSTERY OF THUG ISLAND (1964)

Aldo played a soldier in this South Asian adventure. Blink and you might miss him.


ERIK THE VIKING (1965)

Giuliano Gemma, Elisa Montés, and Aldo co-star in this Viking adventure. After a couple of small roles Aldo finally gets another easy role. He easily steals the show from the rest of the cast.


THE ADVENTURER OF TORTUGA (1965)


Above and below: Aldo's last substantial role in a genre role. He Would continue acting well into the 1970s but not in the PEPLUM genre. Below: that's Guy Madison in the background.