Monday, March 20, 2023


A gladiator (Marco Tullio Cau) celebrates a victory in the presence of Berenice (Sybil Danning) and Clodius (Donald Pleasance) in WARRIOR QUEEN (1987)

Another PEPLUM movie of the 1980s that combines sex, violence and stock footage from movies of the Golden Era to create something odd. Is is a porn movie? The 79 minutes version doesn't include explicit sex scenes but it has loads of nudity and an extended orgy scene. 
There's a purported 92 minutes version with added sex scenes. I already had this in my collection but it was a 4:3 version. I just got a HD copy of this and it's surprisingly good looking even though the quality of the movie remains the same. Produced by Joe D'Amatoe. Marco Tullio Cau is impressive on screen. There are some good fight scenes in it.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Original Italian poster of SAMSON AGAINST THE SHEIK (1962) 

Colourful poster with a great rendition of the recently deceased Ed Fury. 

Friday, March 17, 2023

Image of the week!

The assassination of Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison) in CLEOPATRA (1963)

Beware the Ides of March!

VHS Covers

Two VHS covers of HERO OF BABYLON (1963) starring Gordon Scott and Moira Orfei. Above, the Spanish version and below is the German one. Same movie, quite a difference in style and art. Both are great. They're quite accurate to the movie, unlike many VHS covers.

Thursday, March 16, 2023


Hercules (Gordon Scott) stands next to a sea monster he just played in HERCULES AND THE PRINCESS OF TROY (1965)

This is one of the best monster creations made for a film or TV show and yet it's virtually unknown. The first time I saw this and saw the monster in action I was "Why haven't I heard of this before?" I'm aware that this is a failed TV pilot and has fallen into obscurity but still...the detailing on it is incredible. Monster created by Carlo Rambaldi.


Arnold Schwazzeneger and Sven-Ole Thorsen goofing around on the set of CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982). Sven and Arnold were friends and Sven worked on other film projects together.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Clip of the week: TRIUMPH OF MACISTE (1961)

Antea (Cathia Caro) revives Maciste (Kirk Morris) and he proceeds to go on a rampage.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023



Hercules (Kirk Morris) and Samson (Iloosh Khoshabe) bring down a temple during the movie's climax. I like this scene. Even though one can see the temple is a model, the way it falls apart and tumbles is well made. I also like the fact that they shot this outside and not income studio. They could have added some dusts to make it look old and dusty but aside from that it looks good.


Colin Farrell: ALEXANDER nearly destroyed my career...

The media went over Colin Farrell's career with the Oscar buzz for his critically acclaimed movie, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN.

The one thing Colin admitted was that his starring role in the 2004 epic ALEXANDER nearly destroyed his career. He was so devastated by the response from critics and moviegoers that he nearly quit acting altogether. 

I reviewed this movie and stated how much I didn't like it, to say the least. I wasn't alone on this. The production had some interesting aspects to it but the casting, the pacing, the script made this movie almost unwatchable. The TELEGRAPH article is behind a paywall so I won't link it here. Here are two other articles on this. It's not the first time a PEPLUM movie nearly destroyed an actor's career.

Devastated Colin Farrell almost quit acting after notorious flop 'I thought I was sh**e'

The Historical Drama That Almost Ruined Colin Farrell's Career

Monday, March 13, 2023


Mark Forest as Maciste in MACISTE - THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD (1961)

Initially, I was underwhelmed by this movie but I quickly realized that the terrible print I viewed was really what made it so. Once I saw a beautiful print, it quickly became one of my favourites. This scene alone places it on top of the best PEPLUM movies ever: Maciste is put to the test by the Mole people. If he fails in holding the slabs, he will be killed and his friends will also be impaled and crushed by the heavy slabs. Truly surreal Feat of Strength. A must see in widescreen.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Original Italian poster of HERO OF BABYLON (1963) 

Photo montage or a fotobusta-style poster with nice color images from the movies. I like it.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Image of the week!

Glaucus (Gordon Scott) introduces himself as Hercules to Demeter, Queen of Micenae (Rosalba Neri) while Medea, Queen of Tyro (Alessadra Panaro) and Penthius, General of Micenae (Arturo Dominici) look on in HERCULES AGAINST MOLOCH (1963)

The mystery of HERCULES (1953)

Major Cinematic Confusion.

I accidentally came across a listing of a Filipino movie called HERCULES at IMDB. It apparently was released in 1953. I never heard of this. Its IMDB listing is sparse. I was highly skeptical of this but then I found a comic book based on it. 


I'm like "Ok, what is this?"

I found the comic book at a blog and one comment said that there's no such thing as HERCULES released in 1953 but another movie called PALASIG released in 1952. 

If there's a Filipino version of Hercules (not the SAMSON AND DELILAH from the 1980s) then I would think it would have ben released in the 1960s, after the success of the HERCULES (1958), the Steve Reeves version. The look of the poster at the top is more 1960s than early 1950s. As for the comic book, again, it might just be a knock-off. The whole thing is shrouded in mystery.

If anyone has a clip or some genuine info on this please leave a comment.

Thursday, March 9, 2023


Jack Palance is REVAK THE REBEL (1960) 

This scene is after Revak fought with a man to the death. It's a good scene but the action is sped up, which is unfortunate because it makes the scene look campy. Jack was 41 years old when he made this movie. He was often cast as villains so playing the hero was a nice change for him but he was an unlikely 'good guy.' But since he's a good actor he was able to overcome this. The movie is entertaining but it has many unintentionally funny scenes. One of Jack's costumes is the ugliest ever seen in a PEPLUM movie (not this one though)


Reg Park, dressed as Hercules, gives a cake to Fay Spain for her birthday on the set of HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (1961)

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Clip of the week: THE MIGHTY URSUS (1961)

Ursus (Ed Fury) gets caught in another trap but don't worry he gets out of it!

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

HD Alert!

I finally got the Blu-ray edition of MARCO POLO (1962). I watched it and it's very entertaining even if it's a bit derivative. The release is near perfect. The only big issue is the fact that the copy is the International English Dub version and not the US version with the Les Barker score. It seems getting a hold of an original US version of PEPLUM movies are a thing of the past. I suspect few will ever show up. I will have a review and a Different Versions post in the coming weeks.

Ed Fury, R.I.P.

Ed Fury died on February 24 at the age of 94. He was one of the big stars which came from the US to star in several Italian PEPLUM films during the height of its popularity around the world. Ed was a *legendary* physique model and appeared in countless muscle and physique magazines in the 1950s. He also had bit parts in movies like FEMALE ON THE BEACH (1955) before heading for Rome. The handsome star appeared in 3 URSUS movies. I liked him. Acting wasn't really his thing but the camera loved him and he always looked great and seemed to have a good time. Having lived so long, I also thought he'd live forever. Rest in peace, Ed!

For more pictures, check out the HEROES AND BEEFCAKE permanent page of the blog.

Above and below: before heading for Rome, Ed appeared in WILD WOMEN OF WONGO (1958)


Ed starred with Rod Taylor and Dorian Gary (above) in COLOSSUS AND THE AMAZON QUEEN (1960). Fun film.


Above & below: THE MIGHTY URSUS (1961) was Ed's biggest role yet. It starred Cristina Gaioni. One of my favourite PEPLUM movies.


Ed in THE SEVEN REVENGES (1961). Probably Ed's most serious role. Great film. The first image above is from this movie.


Ed with Moira Orfei and Alberto Lupo in URSUS IN THE VALLEY OF THE LIONS (1961), first sequel to THE MIGHTY URSUS.


Ed in MACISTE CONTRO LO SCEICCO or SAMSON AGAINST THE SHIEK (1962). This was his only movie as Maciste. The character's name was changed to Samson for the US market.

Ed in the third and last Ursus movie: URSUS IN THE LAND OF FIRE (1963) starring Luciana Gilli (below). Like all Ursus movies, this one is quite violent. This was his last movie made in Rome.


Ed was famous model before appearing in movies. Here are a few of his appearances or cameos.


Above and below: Ed was part of the promotional campaign for the US release of FABIOLA (1949). He didn't star in the movie.


Ed had a cameo in ATHENA (1954) also starring future PEPLUM star Edmund Purdom.

Ed had a bit part in GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) starring Jane Russel.


Ed is credited for DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS (1954) but I can't find him in the final movie. Here's a candid photo of Ed with Susan hayward who played Messalina.


After returning to the US, Ed's acting career didn't go anyway even if he starred in some big productions. Ed can be seen in the background of a STAR TREK episode with William Shatner.


Ed was a famous physiques model before acting. Here's one of many covers with the handsome man.

Monday, March 6, 2023


Gordon Scott in HERO OF BABYLON (1963) 

It always amazes me how a hero gets pierced by an arrow and staggers to safety and proceeds to topple a villain and his kingdom. This is a PEPLUM cliché. It's usually on the chest but it's basically the same thing. Nothing stops our hero, not even a major flesh wound. This is one of my favourite Gordon Scott's PEPLUM movies. He's in top form and is believable in all of his endeavours, including this one. 

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Original Italian poster of QUEEN OF BABYLON (1954)

Gorgeous poster!

Sunday, February 26, 2023


I take a break roughly every two months so this is that time again. Last full break was back at the beginning of January. 

So stay tuned!

I'll leave you now with King Leonidas (Richard Egan) from THE 300 SPARTANS (1962), saying "From this wall, we do not retreat!"

Friday, February 24, 2023

Image of the week!

Antea, Queen of the Amazons (Gianna Maria Canale) and Jason (Fabrizio Mioni) are in love in HERCULES (1958)


In today's example of different versions found in my collection, the spotlight is on SAMSON AND THE 7 MIRACLES OF THE WORLD (1961) starring Gordon Scott, Yoko Tani, Gabriele Antonini, Hélène Chanel and a host of other actors. Directed by Riccardo Freda.

It was time to compare versions with the recent release of the Kino Lorber Blu-ray edition, which is great. Almost nothing bad to say about it except for the fact that the US print is, contrary to claims, missing. There is a US edition included in the Blu-ray release but it's not taken from the actual print but a well made Fan Dub: they took the English audio track from the US release, which includes Les Baxter's score, and edited down to match the audio and edit of the original US release. It's nice but it's not the same. Also, the image is sorta very dark in many scenes, which seems to be a standard problem with these Blu-ray transfers.
Unfortunately, this Blu-ray edition doesn't have the original Italian audio as an extra, just the International English Dub on the uncut print with the original score by Carlo Innocenzi and the redubbed version with the Les Baxter score (and some Carlo Innocenzi bits...) in the US 'Fan Dub' cut. To give an example of the differences between the two English dubs, in the International English Dub, Gabriele Antonin's character is named Chew while in the US Dub, he's called Cho. 

Note: European PAL is 25 frames per second while NTSC is 24 frames per second, like how the movies were shown in movie theatres. At 25 FP, the runtime is abbreviated. The original runtime of the uncut version at 24 FPS is 95 minutes. The same movie, uncut, as PAL is 91 minutes. The original runtime of the US cut is 77 minutes and 3 seconds.

The actors in screengrabs below: Gabriele Antonini, Yoko Tani and Gordon Scott.

Original uncut version from the Kino Lorber Blu-ray (2022). 

Runtime: 95 minutes 38 sec

Aspect ratio: 1980 X 804

This print is uncut and in English but the audio is different than the US version.
 This one has the International English Dub.


'Fan Dub' version of the US cut from the Kino Lorber Blu-ray (2022). 

Runtime: 76 minutes 7 sec

Aspect ratio: 1920 X 804

The voices and dialogue of the US cut has different dialogue and voice actors. I prefer this one over the International English Dub which is good but not as interesting. The runtime is one minute shorter than the original US cut which is 77 minutes and 3 secs.


Original Italian HD TV Broadcast with French Dub (2020) 

Runtime: 91 minutes 52 sec (PAL)

Aspect ratio: 1280 X 534

This is a 'Fan Dub' with the French audio added to an Italian HD TV broadcast of the movie. This edition has the Italian and French dubs.

Original Italian with English subtitles (2019) 

Runtime: 91 minutes 52 sec

Aspect ratio: 1080 X 432

This is a Fan Sub. English subtitles were added to this print by a fan out there. Same print as the Italian DVD (below) but set at a higher resolution.

Spanish DVD edition (2021) 

Runtime: 91 minutes 52 sec (PAL)

Aspect ratio: 1018 X 432

Pretty much the standard Italian DVD print but from a Spanish DVD. Italian audio also included.


Original Italian version source unknown (2011) 

Runtime: 91 minutes 32 sec (PAL)

Aspect ratio: 704 X 336

Missing opening credit of Gordon Scott - Yoko Tani. One of the earliest prints I got. Most likely from a VHS.

French VHS release (2017) 

Runtime: 91 minutes 10 sec (PAL or SECAM)

Aspect ratio: 720 X 334

A VHS source in widescreen. Runtime is different. 

Spanish edition with Spanish and Italian audio (2017)

Runtime: 91 minutes 52 sec (PAL)

Aspect ratio: 720 X 304

A standard edition same as the Italian DVD.

French edition Fan made (2016) 

Runtime: 91 minutes 52 sec (PAL)

Aspect ratio: 720 X 304

Another French Fan Dub. Print most likely taken from Italian DVD (below). Italian audio is included in this MKV file.

Italian DVD edition (2017) 

Runtime: 91 minutes 52 sec (PAL)

Aspect ratio: 720 X 304

This print is pretty much the standard print that was available form many years. Many have made special Fan Dub or Fan Sub editions with this copy.

Original US cut from the 50 Warriors DVD Pack (2008) 

Runtime: 77 minutes 3 sec

Aspect ratio: 624 X 368

This is the 'public domain' print available of the US rlease. It differs greatly from the original Italian uncut International English Dub version. The ten minutes intro is entirely cut. This DVD version is partially widescreen which is rare for US editions.

Notes: the years listed are not the years these editions became available but the year I acquired them. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray edition is the first HD version to be commercially available anywhere in the world.