Friday, August 18, 2017

By the Gods!

Renato Baldini and Gianna Maria Canale are tempestuous lovers in THEODORA - SLAVE EMPRESS (1954)

This film often gets polarized reactions : detractors find it absolutely ridiculous while fans believe it's absolutely sublime. It's sorta both actually. There are really over-the-top, quasi ridiculous scenes in it, such as Theodora in a chariot race. Historically, it never happened. Events happened at the Hippodrome which was part of the legendary riots between the Blues and Greens but the Empress never participated in a race. But I think this is what makes this film so memorable. Some might find it too campy in this regard but to me that's not necessarily bad. I think director Riccardo Freda wanted to boost the mythological aspects of the real Theodora and what's more amazing than a woman winning a chariot race? Gianna Maria Canale was married to Freda, which adds some fun meta aspects to the entire creative production. A playful Canale is always in control of the role. She's never overwhelmed by it. While Renato Baldini is unforgettable as her scorned lover. His role in this is one of my favourite things. He's the simple, unsophisticated lustful 'barbarian' who has only one thing on his mind : sex. The two are actually pretty much alike. Historical inaccuracies aside, I really enjoy watching this movie. The only negative things are the way animals were treated in it and the fact that it was not filmed in widescreen.

Retro Friday : Location - The Monsters of Bomarzo

(originally posted May 2012)

A park in Italy with larger than life sculptures. The location was sometimes used in PEPLUM films, like THE ADVENTURES OF HERCULES (last photo). Looks like a cool place.

Hannibal and his elephant

Thursday, August 17, 2017

By the Gods!

Gino Cervi negotiates a deal with Van Aikens from his roman litter in REVOLT OF THE SLAVES (1960)

That roman litter sure is decked out. Probably the most posh litter in any PEPLUM film, with the one in GOLIATH VS THE GIANTS a close second. I always like these scenes and this one happens at the very start of the film.

Video of the week : HERCULES AGAINST THE MONGOLS - Feat of strength

2 'feats of strength' scenes from Hercules against the Mongols starring Mark Forest, Jose Greci, Maria Grazia Spina and Howard Ross

Great scene!

As Youtube pulled ads from the majority of my uploads, it's now the time to support PEPLUM TV with paypal :

Trailer of the week : THE MAGNIFICENT GLADIATOR - Trailer - Mark Forest

Trailer for The Magnificent Gladiator starring Mark Forest and Marilu Tolo

As Youtube pulled ads from the majority of my uploads, it's now the time to support PEPLUM TV with paypal :

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

By the Gods!

Cameron Mitchell and Isabelle Corey in THE LAST OF THE VIKINGS (1961)

This is the ending to the film. A very entertaining movie. There were a bunch of Viking films made during this period and this is one of the best. Fighting scenes from this were also re-used in THE NORMANS. Mitchell made tons of films in Europe. As for Isabelle, her career lasted about 5 years before retiring from acting.


Stanley Baker and Anouk Aimee wait for a scene to be ready while filming SODOM & GOMORRAH (1962)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

By the Gods!

Mark Forest as Maciste in MACISTE VS THE MOLE MEN (1961 ; also known as The Strongest Man in the World or Mole Men against the Son of Hercules)

This movie is over-the-top, and that's a good thing. PEPLUM films of the Golden Era were often too timid in going for the startling stuff, well, not this film. There are at least a dozen starling scenes in this odd entry of the genre. The first time I saw this (with a bad copy), I thought to myself, 'Are they serious?' but now after seeing practically every movie made during that period, my admiration for it has skyrocketed. It's definitely Mark's 'crowning' achievement. I give it a ten out of ten. Full movie coming soon to PEPLUM TV.

‘Little Pompeii’ newly discovered in France

Archaeologists working in France have uncovered the remarkable remains of a Roman town from the first century A.D. during an excavation along the Rhone river near Lyon. Their finds are so pristine, in fact, that experts are calling the site a “Little Pompeii,” in reference to another more famous Roman-era city which was preserved like a time capsule beneath layers of volcanic ash after a historic eruption from Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.

This newly discovered residential and commercial complex, which was abandoned after a series of fires in the fourth century, is the once bustling city of Vienne, a notable stop along the route between Northern Gaul and the Roman empire in Southern France’s Gallia Narbonesis.

“We’re unbelievably lucky. This is undoubtedly the most exceptional excavation of a Roman site in 40 or 50 years,” archaeologist Benjamin Clement told the Guardian.

More at the site : Observer

Monday, August 14, 2017

By the Gods!

Cesare Borgia (Cameron Mitchell) dictates his will in front of his 'friends' during a banquet in THE BLACK DUKE (1963)

The cast from left to right : Maria Grazia Spina (back to us), Silvio Bagolini, Dina De Santis and Conrado San Martín. I finally got this rare film on DVD, and in English no less, even though my purchase was problematic, to say the least (more on this in a post tomorrow). The cast is a virtual smorgasbord of PEPLUM actors. It's a fun movie, different than the usual stuff. More about Cesare trying to foil his enemies' plans with intelligence and cunning than action. There are action scenes but it's more dialogue than anything else. Regardless, I was pleasantly surprised by this production, and Mitchell gives an excellent performance. The story has a sardonic tone to it which I enjoyed.

Movie Poster Mondays

US poster for the Italian film QUO VADIS? (1912)

This poster is registered in the year 1913. It says at the very bottom that this is to be used for cinemas in New York city, Chicago and St-Louis. In the 1951 film made by MGM, Lygia is not bound to a bull but to a post, which, imo, was wrong. This is so much more dramatic.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

By the Gods!

Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is left for dead in CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982)

One of the movies that brought on a second wave of PEPLUM films in the 1980s. They were called Sword & Sorcery but no one calls them that today. It and its sequel inspired tons of low budget movies, made in  the US and in Italy, for more than a decade. Personally, I thought it was way too slow and uninvolving. Regardless, it made a star out of Ahnuld. A sequel to the two films, called THE LEGEND OF CONAN, has been in the works for decades. It's still listed at IMDb.

Video of the week : HERCULES & THE PRINCESS OF TROY - Full movie

Full movie of Hercules & the Princess of Troy starring Gordon Scott, Diana Hyland, Gordon Mitchell and others.


Support PEPLUM TV with paypal :

Preview of the week : THE OLD TESTAMENT - Preview

Preview of The Old Testament starring Brad Harris, Mara Lane and Jacques Berthier

Support PEPLUM TV with paypal :

Trailer of the week : HERCULES (1958) - Trailer - Steve Reeves

Old trailer for HERCULES (1958) starring Steve Reeves and Sylva Koscina. Oldie but goodie.

Support PEPLUM TV with paypal :

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

By the Gods!

Malik (Giovanna Galletti) assists her Queen (Anouk Aimée) from her roman litter in SODOM & GOMORRA (1962)

That's Pier Angeli and a dismounting Stanley Baker behind Anouk. The slave at her feet is uncredited. I doubt a roman litter looked like that back in the day but it makes for an entertaining presentation. It just doesn't cover enough, certainly with a scorching sun above. I also don't think roman litters were called roman litters when this story took place, just litter. The mileage on this must be very low.

Part of the PEPLUM clichés series


A month or so ago I posted a screenshot of Gordon Scott battling with the monster from HERCULES AND THE PRINCESS OF TROY (1965). Here's an article on some of the behind-the-scenes action from this production. It's from Castle of Frankenstein magazine (thanks to HSC).

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

By the Gods!


This movie is a 'twin production' with MACISTE - GLADIATOR OF SPARTA (1964) which was released first in 1964. It's sometimes hard to tell them apart, even for me. The only big difference between those two films : SPARTA is more 'serious' and 'religious' than MAGNIFICENT. I mean, both productions have Marilù Tolo. A lot of the supporting cast is identical. The same fighting scenes appear in both movies. I personally prefer this one over SPARTA but just slightly. There are some stand-out scenes in SPARTA, including a fight between Forest and a gorilla in the Arena. Honestly, there's almost no difference between the two films but MAGNIFICENT is more sexy and breezy, not as slow. Forest's second to last film before retiring from the world of cinema.

PEPLUM Cliché : Unrequited love!

One of the biggest clichés of the PEPLUM genre is not a muscular hero heaving boulders or bending metal but that of unrequited love. I'd say nearly all films of the PEPLUM genre has this cliché or some variation of it. Since the lead is most often male, the one doing the pinning is a woman. But there are many stories were the lonely Queen is being wooed by a man who wants nothing but be her husband (and ascend to power!).

Here's just a small sample of titles with this cliché.

Posted at the permanent PEPLUM cliché page

Sinuhe (Edmund Purdom) pins for Nefer (Bella Darvi) in THE EGYPTIAN (1954)

The movie's entire story is based on the unrequited love Sinuhe has for Nefer, who leads him to spiritual and financial disaster. Purdom also starred in THE PRODIGAL (1955), another story of a man abandoning everything for a woman.

Astra (Gianna Maria Canale) wants Goliath (Gordon Scott ; Maciste in original) in GOLIATH & THE VAMPIRES (1961)

In one of the most intense and sometimes bizarre 'love' story, the human side of the often evil Astra shines through with her adoration for Goliath.

Kirk Morris and Hélène Chanel in MACISTE IN HELL (1962)

Almost all of Kirk's films has a woman pinning for him while he remains aloof and distant.

Cameron Mitchell and Franca in THE NORMANS (1962)

Mitchell's character is after the Queen, who keeps her distance.

Queen Smedes (Chelo Alonso) pines for Maciste (Mark Forest) in SON OF SAMSON (1960)

The Queen wants Maciste and though he briefly enjoys her company, they never live together happily ever after.

Anne Baxter and Charlton Heston in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956)

"Oh Moses, Moses!" says Nefretiri as she longs for Moses' love but he wants nothing to do with her. Classic example of this popular cliché.

Monday, August 7, 2017

By the Gods!

Leonora Ruffo, Gordon Scott and Jacques Sernas are victorious in GOLIATH & THE VAMPIRES (1961)

The ending to this popular PEPLUM film : is it really good? Everyone is dead except for these three. This includes Goliath's entire village. There's something oddly sad about this ending. Yes, Kobrak has been defeated but at what price? Still this is one of the most popular title of the genre. Even those (many) who don't like PEPLUM films like this one.

Movie Poster Mondays

Italian poster of THARUS - SON OF ATTILA (1962)

Great poster. Captures the movie's climax.

Friday, July 28, 2017

By the Gods!

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

I'll be back soon enough

PS : If any PEPLUM star die while I'm away, R.I.P..

PEPLUM TV social media

This blog is the main source of all things PEPLUM TV but there's more than this blog. Make sure to check out the other social media sites.


Man sure to subscribe for all the latest movies and clips exclusive to PEPLUM TV


In the past 2 months or so the PEPLUM TV channel gained over 4.5 million views!!! And gained well over 5 thousand new subscribers!

Unfortunately, just this past week, Youtube sorta 'ghosted' my channel, meaning that people, mainly subscribers, can't see that I've uploaded new videos, including the new films posted below. It's important to support the channel. Send out links to the videos to friends and other fans of the genre.

And please don't take it upon yourselves to contact Youtube to complain on my behalf. This is what caused this problem.


Tons of photos from PEPLUM films


Follow all things PEPLUM with Twitter


And last but not least there's always Facebook. Share images and links with other Facebook accounts

Additional sites :


Google +

Dailymotion (rebooted)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

By the Gods!

Maciste (Kirk Morris) is put to the test in MACISTE AGAINST THE CZAR (1964 ; Atlas against the Czar)

Fun film with Morris in top form. This is one of many time Kirk played Maciste, the mysterious and timeless Angel-like man with super powers. The way Maciste is introduced in this film is great and unique. There are a lot of memorable scenes, including the moment from this screenshot. My only problem with it is that there's some obvious padding here and there but it's a minor gripe over an overall entertaining film. If everything works out as planned (i.e. copyright), I will be uploading this on PEPLUM TV. So support the channel!

Video of the week : SAMSON AGAINST THE SHEIK - Full movie

Full movie of 'Samson against the Sheik' (or Maciste against the Sheik) starring Ed Fury, Erno Crisa, Piero Lulli and Mara Berni


Support PEPLUM TV with paypal :