Thursday, August 11, 2022

Musings!


Romulus (Roger Moore) is visited by Venus (Rosanna Schiaffino) and Mars (Jean Marais) in ROMULUS AND THE SABINES (1961)

I like almost all PEPLUM movies, including this one even if sorta leaves me indifferent. The production is excellent, the cast is brilliant. There are great scenes like this one, a dream sequence of sorts, which is the highlight of the entire movie even if it's brief. The only big problem this movie has is that it suffers from an identity crisis. Is it a comedy? A historical picture? A historical comedy about...rape? It didn't know how to approach the touchy subject. Even the trailers for the movie are confusing, trying to make it appear as a light, fun movie about the kidnapping of the Sabine women. La Dolce Ratto? PEPLUM comedies are almost always the same. Not funny in a ROTFL way but not clever enough to be viewed as a sophisticated production. Scenes of bare-breasted Sabine women were cut from the US release but can be seen in the French version, which has all the scenes intact.


Behind-the-Scenes


Lana Turner keeping warm on the set of THE PRODIGAL (1955). Below is the scene/costume in the movie.


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Clip of the week: HERCULES AGAINST THE SONS OF THE SUN (1964)


Mark Forest and Giuliano Gemma in action during the action-packed climax! 



Tuesday, August 9, 2022

HD Alert!


Massimo Serato and Jayne Mansfield in THE LOVES OF HERCULES (1960)

A screenshot from a HD print from a streaming service in Europe. The image clarity is stunning. The movie looks great. What's remarkable is how Jayne and Mickey Hargitay look slim or not as pudgy as in the older prints. Very odd. Not available on Blu-ray anywhere yet.


Vintage Article



Here's an old article on the career of Steve Reeves. Great set of photos.



Monday, August 8, 2022

Musings!


Maciste (Kirk Morris) is put to the test in ATLAS AGAINST THE CZAR (1964) 

The US version starts with a pre-credit message: KIRK MORRIS - The Legendary Atlas Now Known as "MACHISTE". The title is Atlas but in the movie he's called 'Machiste' or Maciste. This is one of many Feats of Strength scenes in this fun movie. It takes a while for Maciste to show up, and it's in a quite original way which adds to the lore of Maciste. Non-PEPLUM fans might think very little of these movies but for me, I absolutely enjoy them.
 


PEPLUM Movie Poster


French poster of SODOM AND GOMORRAH (1962) 

Nice artwork but it could basically represent any PEPLUM movie.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Image of week: DUEL OF THE TITANS


Julia (Virna Lisi) surrounded by her handmaiden Estia (José Greci) and Curzio (Jacques Sernas) in DUEL OF THE TITANS (1961)

Lobby Cards Set: THE WHITE WARRIOR


US lobby cards set of THE WHITE WARRIOR (1959) starring Steve Reeves, Scilla Gabel and others. Very good set with many cards showcasing Steve. The producers realized Steve was the best selling point of the movie and I'm sure this set drew attention to the movie, as it was designed to do.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Musings!


Millstone (Alan Steel) and Samson (Brad Harris) team up to topple the evil ruler in SAMSON (1961)

Though Brad was good in his starring role, imo, Alan Steel stole it from Brad. He was so much more charismatic and he eventually became a PEPLUM star. This movie was always available in a decent print so it's odd that a HD print of it hasn't surfaced yet. The French version is called SAMSON AGAINST HERCULES with Steel as Hercules. That's Irena Prosen.

Behind-the-Scenes


Steve Reeves and Sylva Koscina have fun on the set of HERCULES (1958)

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Clip of the week: THE MIGHTY URSUS


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



Tuesday, August 2, 2022

SPFX DEPT.


A scene from THOR AND THE AMAZON WOMEN (1963)

Matte paintings in Italian PEPLUM movies were pretty rare and whenever one shows up, I take notice. This night scene has Susy Andersen (in white) as a captive of the Amazons. Nice atmospheric work here. Dino Galiano is assumed to be the artist responsible for it.

 




Then & Now: Giulia Rubini


 Giulia in GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959); a recent photo of the actress

Monday, August 1, 2022

Musings!


Daniela Rocca is Galla Placidia in REVENGE OF THE BARBARIANS (1960) 

This is one of my favourite PEPLUM flicks and I just uploaded it to my Youtube channel. The image is okay but a bit too dark. A beautiful copy in HD would be great. The dialogue and twists and turns in this film are very entertaining. Daniela's best PEPLUM role. Is it historically accurate? Not all of it and yet it's all well made and flows beautifully. Never a dull moment.  


PEPLUM Movie Poster


Original Italian poster of THE WARRIOR AND THE SLAVE GIRL (1958) 

Nice poster that captures the movie's essence.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Image of the week!


The death of Agnese (Wandisa Guida), carried by Vibio (Lang Jeffries) and cherished by Fabiola (Rhonda Fleming), brings about a change in REVOLT OF THE SLAVES (1960)

VHS Covers


VHS cover of MASSACRE IN THE BLACK FOREST (1967) from the Netherlands. Cover has very little to do with this movie. The artwork is from THE TEN GLADIATORS poster.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Musings!


Hercules (Mark Forest) is the Hero in HERCULES AGAINST THE BARBARIANS (1964)

If someone asked me to define the PEPLUM genre, I would flippantly say: everyone is dressed except the Hero. Okay, that's a generalization but even in Hollywood pictures, like THE TEN COMMANDMENTS or BEN-HUR, the Hero is often without clothes a bare minimum of clothing. The Italian movies took it to an all different level. In this movie, Mark's costumes are actually pretty varied. I might highlight this in one post but in general he's all muscled up and ready for adventure. This is one of two so-called Twin Productions (article), with HERCULES AGAINST THE MONGOLS being the first of the two, and BARBARIANS being made after. While MONGOLS is non-stop pure action, and one of my favourites, this one, even though it's filled with action, is more of a Fairytale-style, with evil lurking in every corner. The contrast between the two movies is cool, the two films directed brilliantly by Domenico Paolella. I love MONGOLS and BARBARIANS but the action in MONGOLS edges out the action in BARBARIANS while the tone and atmosphere in BARBARIANS edges out MONGOLS. 
Mark is great in both, and he was really the focus of these movies and he knew it and revelled in it, making these movies some of the best of the PEPLUM genre.

Behind-the-Scenes


 Kirk Douglas on the set of SPARTACUS (1960)

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Clip of the week: THE SILVER CHALICE (1954)

Simon Magus (Jack Palance) thinks he's god! With Virginia Mayo.


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

HD Alert!


There are no new titles to be released on Blu-ray on the immediate horizon so this is just a reminder of the new SAMSON AND THE 7 MIRACLES OF THE WORLD Blu-ray will be available on August 16. It stars Gordon Scott and directed by Riccardo Freda. The image below is from the Spanish DVD.



Vintage Article


Article on John Derek on his role in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956), with Charlton Heston there, in some bodybuilding magazine of the 1950s with an extra: a photo of Steve Reeves with a caption stating of upcoming movies with Reeves.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Musings!


Sandro Moretti, Leonora Ruffo, Mark Forest and Philippe Hersent in a cast photo of GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON (1960)

Great cast of actors who probably wondered what they were doing in this movie. I love this movie but it is goofy at times. It's also sorta psychedelic as well before the psychedelic movement of the late 1960s. Director Vittorio Cottafavi loved experimenting with things and this movie has a lot of experimental moments. Two versions of this exist: The original Italian version and the US version, which added the dragon. It's available on Prime Video in Italy but it's not in high definition. 


PEPLUM Movie Poster


Original Italian poster of THE GIANTS OF THESSALY (1960) 

Colourful poster of great movie!