Friday, August 1, 2014


US lobby card set of ALONE AGAINST ROME: yes, this proves the film was released in theatres back then in North America. Aside from the awful colors this card set would have intrigued my curiosity. There's only one weak card, no 3, while the others are all solid. Slightly above average set.


Christopher Plummer, as Commodus, makes his entrance as Emperor of Rome. Grand scene.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Photo of the Day

Judith (Isabelle Corey) joins Holophernes (Massimo Girotti, far left) and his men who are watching a fight between a cobra and mongoose in HEAD OF A TYRANT

I like the costumes here, ornate in a Baroque kind of way. Massimo's hair is braided which was rare back then making the already serious looking Massimo look even more severe. The fight between the animals was, unfortunately real, which horrifies Judith. I don't know if Isabelle witnessed the actual deadly fight. I don't want to show it too.

Location : Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California

Alabama Hills, in California, was the location for THE ADVENTURES OF HAJJI BABA (1954) starring Elaine Stewart and John Derek. The locations were well used even though they didn't look too 'Arabian'.


So I was watching TROY the other night and I just can't believe how many mistakes there are in this big production. Just look at this simple scene: in the top shot, soldiers on foot and horseback are running towards the middle of the field, where the entrance is, with no one coming from the opposite direction but then in the next shot, we see men on horseback galloping wildly where there were none just a second ago. What a sloppy film!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Photo of the Day

The pirate ship from THE PIRATES OF BLOOD RIVER

This is the only shot which indicates that there are pirates from a ship. They added palm trees in the obvious matte painting even though the rest of the film was shot somewhere in the UK, not the Caribbean.

This shot makes me laugh. Talk about penny-pinching filmmaking. This is a Hammer film and one rarely hears how cheap and bad their films are even though they were really low-budget productions but you constantly hear how trashy and stupid Italian PEPLUM films are even though those films had  actual *real* ships and had actual action on said *real* ships. Trashing Italian-made films is just xenophobia and this is just a good example of the double-standard.


Director Mervyn LeRoy has fun with Buddy Baer while filming QUO VADIS.

PEPLUM Rules continues...

posted at the permanent PEPLUM Rules page

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Photo of the Day

Olympius (Anthony Steel) and Galla Placidia (Daniela Rocca) plan some scheme while enjoying the sun in REVENGE OF THE BARBARIANS

One of my favourite PEPLUM films with an unfortunate title. REVENGE OF THE BARBARIANS sounds ominous and bloody but it's actually a pulpy quasi-cerebral story, of brains and cunning over violence and brawn. The title should have been something else, like THE DAYS AND NIGHTS OF GALLA PLACIDIA, which would have been more accurate.

I have this film in 4:3 frame with pristine image and a widescreen version with a somewhat dark, muddy image taken from a British broadcast(screenshot above). I wish the widescreen version was as pristine as the 4:3 one.

It's a rare non-romantic/non-action PEPLUM where the lead is female and controls the direction of the story. Though there is action here and there this is more of a drama than standard action fare. And the drama is surprisingly, at times, sexual and kinky.

In other films Galla Placidia is always portrayed as an evil old woman but not in this story. The folks behind this film were either big Galla Placidia fans, or Daniela Rocca fans and wanted her to have a good lead role. And Daniela doesn't disappoint: she clearly relished the experience of playing the main role.

The verbose dialogue for the English dubbing is, again, surprisingly clever. Good stuff!

Roman soldier gear

Here's what a typical Roman soldier wore back a few thousand years ago. Of course there are some variations depending of the period and who ruled at the time. 

Weekend Box office

LUCY, at $45 million, outmuscled HERCULES, opening at 3,590 theatres, with $29.9 million. Directed by Brett Ratner and starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The reviews are mixed. Here's a sample:

"The movie is plagued by a split identity: It's half-slog, half-Mel Brooks."

"We still haven't gotten the Hercules film we fully deserve, but this version is entertaining enough."

"While the end result is palpably stupid, it's not as terrible as one might expect."

"...the acting is wooden, the storytelling clunky and the incessant slaughter is less than compelling."

""Hercules" has a rousing beginning. Too bad the movie didn't include more of that."

"A big-budget misfire of a sizeable order, a visually busy but emotionally dead endeavor that wearies the viewer with endless computer generated special effects while failing to provide a scintilla of human interest."

"A turbo-charged update of the Italian sword and sandal epics that Steve Reeves and Reg Park used to make in the Sixties."

"Utterly generic."

Well it's surprising LUCY did so well but I guess THE LEGEND OF HERCULES starring Kellan Lutz maybe diminished the box office strength of this one. I guess there won't be any sequels.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Photo of the Day

Steve Reeves is Captain Morgan in MORGAN THE PIRATE

I recently posted a GIF animation sequence from this film (see here) and after watching the film again I couldn't help but be surprised how young looking Steve appeared even if this was his SEVENTH film he made in a row. Steve looked exhausted and thin in THE GIANT OF MARATHON but I guess he took a nap after that production because he looked much refreshed in this follow-up film. Fun colourful Swashbuckler I could watch a million times.

Movie Poster Mondays

Original Finnish poster for THE MAN WITH 100 SWORDS

Serviceable poster which showcases the film's best asset: the sword fights. I recently posted about this at the blog: here


I recently uploaded THE GIANTS OF THESSALY in full and this sequence is one of the best of the PEPLUM genre.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Photo of the Day

Queen Sharain (Debra Paget) listens to the exotic voice of Karina (Yma Sumac) in OMAR KHAYYAM

Yma Sumac (wiki) was a Peruvian singer with an exotic way of singing and had a wide vocal range which was perfectly suited for the Sword and Sandal genre. Her style of singing was coined 'exotica music'.

Another great week ends so back on Monday!