Thursday, December 18, 2014

Video of the week : TERROR OF THE RED MASK - Dance and whipping!



Video of the week : Dance and whipping scene from TERROR OF THE RED MASK starring Lex Barker, Chelo Alonso and Livio Lorenzon.

A 2 in 1 combo: for those who like dance numbers and those who like whipping scenes!

SAPPHO - THE VENUS OF LESBOS - First 10 minutes



The first 10 minutes of SAPPHO THE VENUS OF LEBOS minus the opening credits. The film stars Kerwin Mathews, Tina Louise and Riccardo Garrone. Directed by Pietro Francisci.

This is my favorite set of sequences in a row from any film of the PEPLUM genre.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

By the Gods!

Rock Hudson, as Harun, reaches for the golden blade in THE GOLDEN BLADE

One of those studio bound B-movies from the 1950s that kids would love but today's jaded audiences would probably laugh at. Rock is not bad in the swashbuckling scenes. There's a scene in this which makes me really laugh : when one of the various magicians hired by the Grand Vizier in an attempt to remove the sword from the column and fails. A film that doesn't take itself seriously. 





Behind-the-Scenes


Nick Nostro directing a scene from TRIUMPH OF THE TEN GLADIATORS. Nick is holding super buff Pietro Torrisi. Then there's Aldo Canti (center), Emilio Messina, Salvatore Borghese (on the ground) and Dan Vadis. In the back, from the left, it's Jeff Cameron, Stelio Candelli and behind Emilio is Romano Giomini. Cool photo.

Monday, December 15, 2014

By the Gods!

The rebels from THE SON OF SPARTACUS (aka The Slave)

The front row: Benito Stefanelli, Ombretta Colli, Enzo Fiermonte and Steve Reeves.

This film has two different versions. I did not make a scene by scene comparison between the US and Italian versions yet (I will do it in the near future) but I know the US version has a generic score while the Italian one basically has the same score from DUEL OF THE TITANS, also starring Steve. I prefer the Italian one. The US version lacks the strength of the other version with this generic different score we've heard a million times in other PEPLUM films. The story needs a main theme which is lacking in the official MGM cut. I made a Fan Dub with the English dub but with the Italian score. That's the best version of the two. It's the same thing with HERCULES: I created a Fan Dub of HERCULES with the better widescreen image from a French DVD (which, unfortunately, is not uncut) and added the US English dub, replacing the International English dub (which has a terrible voice actor for Steve). IMO, my Fan Dub is the definitive HERCULES version. Also, like so many recent transfers the image from the Warner Archive DVD for SON OF SPARTACUS is way too dark. The aspect ratio is good but it's lacking on both of these points. 


Movie Poster Mondays

Italian poster for TRIUMPH OF THE TEN GLADIATORS

One of the few posters that shows all ten gladiators and not just Dan Vadis. Very colourful and action-packed, like the movies.


Friday, December 12, 2014

By the Gods!

Pier Angeli and Rossana Podestà in SODOM & GOMORRAH

Probably my least favourite PEPLUM films from Europe. There's basically no story to this film. The film appears unrealistic because all the women are young and beautiful (see above). There's nothing wrong with some eye candy but because there are almost no old women in it the film ends up looking like a dream casting call for director Robert Aldrich a la Howard Hughes 'producing' the silly SON OF SINBAD with his harem of babes. The impressive male cast, which includes genre faves Rik Battaglia, Gabriele Tinti and Anthony Steffen, amongst others, all look-alike which made the viewing unnecessarily confusing. Only Giacomo Rossi Stuart stands out from the pack because he has blond hair!

And speaking of confusing, the actors' accents were all over the place: British, American, Italians speaking English, French speaking English, dubbed American voices. The Tower of Babel would have been jealous. Rossana Podestà's voice is dubbed by an American actress and she plays Stewart Granger's daughter. They could have at least hired a British actress for the dubbing to go along with Stewart's Brit accent. Oh well... But in the end, the film was not lascivious enough to live up to its title, which didn't please those who wanted debauched action, and it was too tawdry for the Christian folks at the time (maybe even today). A film that seemingly pleased no one, including me. Composer Miklós Rózsa disliked the film as well. There are some good things in it, including Anouk Aimée, who clearly knew the weakness of the film and camp it up for fun and there's a fabulous cast of Italian actors (see link). Sergio Leone was unofficially credited as one of its many co-directors but today he's officially listed. 


PEPLUM GIF animation : GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON


Goliath (Hercules in the original, Mark Forest) smashes the blood stone lodged-in on the God of Vengeance statue in GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON