Tuesday, April 20, 2021

By the Gods!

Theseus (Bob Mathias) meets Amphitrite (Susanne Loret) in THE MINOTAUR (1960)

This scene comes out of nowhere in this otherwise solid production. The scene itself is not bad but it works more like a way to fast forward through plot points as Amphitrite narrates the events on land before Theseus has had enough. I always find this scene awkward. I don't hate it. It's just meh. I think the scene was supposed to evoke magic and an otherworldly feeling but there was too much dialogue going on...it needed more atmosphere, less talk. No idea where Suzanne Loret is. She only starred in 7 or so movies. 


Musings! (04-20)

Searching far and wide for all things PEPLUM! Luciano Marin and Steve Reeves in GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959)


Time off!

The one week I took off was much needed. It felt like a month, not a week. I love doing this blog and I've been doing it for over 10 years. The one problem I've noticed about doing blogs (I have other blogs than those dedicated to the PEPLUM genre) is that moment you stop updating them, views disappear fast and sometimes they don't come back...at all. The attention span of people is very short and it doesn't take much for followers to move on and go elsewhere. It's the one thing that's truly annoying about maintaining a blog. I do it because I have fun doing it but maintain it...or else I'm history. I might have to take a month off at one point, in order to jump start several projects I have...but thinking about it worries me.


New acquisitions


As you might have heard already, I've recently got two new Blu-ray releases, HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (1961) and DUEL OF THE TITANS (1962) German Blu-ray edition. I got these during my time off. Both have issues, with the CAPTIVE WOMEN being the most problematic but I'm still happy for their releases. Tomorrow I'll post my side-by-side overview of CAPTIVE WOMEN. 


Identify the movie!


Can you identify the movie from this scene?


Cinematic Confusion


Can you guess what's the original title of this VHS release? THE INVINCIBLE GLADIATORS is the VHS title of THE INVINCIBLE BROTHERS MACISTE (1964). The photos on the back are from the movie but the cover has very little to do with the movie itself. In fact, part of the artwork is a copy of MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (1987) with Dolph Lundgren. I have to get this cover.


Misspelled Credits


One of the odd aspects of the PEPLUM genre are the misspellings seen in opening credits. Like Cinematic Confusion, it's a fact of the genre one has to deal with. Here's one from the US release of HERCULES, SAMSON AND ULYSSES (1963). Can you spot the misspelling in this set of credits? I already posted this at PEPLUM Channel Facebook page.


Streaming Services


As more and more PEPLUM movies become available in HD, the one place where they show up are streaming services, mainly in Europe. I highly doubt that majority of PEPLUM movies will ever be release on Blu-ray so one has to accept this. The title above is TRIUMPH OF THE TEN GLADIATORS (1964) starring Helga Liné, Emilio Messina (right), Frank Oliveras and Romano Giomini (behind Helga). It's from a Spanish streaming service. The image is beautiful and it's taken from the HD print they have. The print itself is one of the best looking HD prints I've seen, certainly the colours, which are vivid and makes the movie stand-out. This print makes the new HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN Blu-ray release look tired, old and ugly. Why or why can't we get such beautiful prints in English here?

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This summer things will change a bit, hopefully for the better. The pandemic is still going strong here in Canada but if it's like last year, cases and deaths should go down during the summer months. Expect a few things taking shape during those months.

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I want to create a Twitter account celebrating the 'queens' of PEPLUM movies, like the MACISTE one I created which is popular. But I'm waiting until that account gets over 200 followers to create the one for actresses of the PEPLUM genre.

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Future Musings:

- List of PEPLUM books

- List of movies available in HD / Blu-ray

- PEPLUM Museum?

- A new Twitter account for actresses of PEPLUM movies?

- a Tik Tok PEPLUM TV account?



Monday, April 19, 2021

By the Gods!

The cast of DUEL OF THE TITANS (1961): Virna Lisi, Gordon Scott, Steve Reeves, Jose Greci, and Jacques Sernas

I know it's hard to see the actors with this screengrab but I did it just to show how dark images are in the new German Blu-ray release. Gernerally, I like this release. It's not as spectacular as the German Blu-ray of THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD (look at the banner above) or even the stunning HD copy of CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER from an Italian streaming service. But it's very good nontheless. There's something I've noticed in a lot of old movies transfered to HD or Blu-ray disc: night scenes are unusually dark. Now this scene is almost as dark as this one in the DVD release but in general there's some sort of transfer issue that doesn't translate night scenes correctly in these new Blu-ray releases. And this one is no exception. I'll have a full review of this Blu-ray release next week.


PEPLUM Movie Poster

French poster of HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (1961) 

Nice art. It translates as HERCULES CONQUERS ATLANTIS. I'll have a full review later on this week. 


PEPLUM TV Official store



NEW STUFF! 


Friday, April 16, 2021

Saturday, April 10, 2021

PEPLUM Break


I take a break roughly every two months and my last full time break was in January so this is the time again.

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!"


PEPLUM TV Official store



NEW STUFF! 


Friday, April 9, 2021

By the Gods!

Unique fight scene with Daniele Vargas and Kirk Morris from TERROR OF THE STEPPES (1964)

This image from the movie was the logo of the streaming channel I used to run years ago at the now defunct Justin.tv site (below). I would show movies nonstop for an entire weekend. I really miss it. It was fun. I would work on stuff here at my place and watch movies with others while chatting with them. Justin.tv eventually closed and I didn't find a replacement for it. If I could do it again I would. Any lurkers here remember it?



At the movies...


Cecil B. DeMille's  CLEOPATRA (1934) playing at the Orpheum in October 1934 in Madison, Wisconsin.

All my PEPLUM Social Media / website links


Make sure to visit and follow all my social media accounts and websites...


PEPLUM TV official store



My PEPLUM TV blog (here) 

http://www.peplumtv.com/ 


PEPLUM TV Facebook account

https://www.facebook.com/PEPLUMTV


PEPLUM TV Youtube channel

https://www.youtube.com/c/peplumtv


PEPLUM TV Twitter account

https://twitter.com/PEPLUM 


PEPLUM channel Facebook account (personal) 

https://www.facebook.com/peplum.channel/ 


PEPLUM TV Pinterest



PEPLUM Xtra



PEPLUM.ca (a gateway only...for now)



By the Gods! blog

http://bythegods.ca/


Maciste Twitter account

https://twitter.com/MacisteMe





Thursday, April 8, 2021

By the Gods!

Richard Harrison, as Perseus, in PERSEUS THE INVINCIBLE (1963) 

The three marks of Jupiter on the left shoulder of Perseus. The aide notices the marks and brings Perseus to his mother, the Queen. This is a common idea/plot point in mythology and PEPLUM movies as well. A simple man who discovers he's actually the son of a God and the rightful ruler of a kingdom. These screen grabs are from an HD version in Spanish (from a streaming service). The Spanish version is different from the Italian / US version. Which version is the best? I prefer the Italian one but I must admit that the added scenes in the Spanish version are fun to watch. Richard Harrison is often dismissed by some as a PEPLUM star but personally, Harrison made some fun and even great PEPULM movies, including this one which has had a lasting influence greater than people are ready to admit. His Perseus, unlike the classically Greek-styled Harry Hamlin in CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981), is more in the All-American style. I like this movie a lot. 



Lobby card set: THE SON OF SPARTACUS (1962)


US lobby cards of THE SON OF SPARTACUS (1962), aka THE SLAVE, starring Steve Reeves, Gianna Maria Canale, Jacques Sernas, etc. Okay lobby cards set. Missing too many great scenes including those around the pyramids, on the boat, Steve in his 'avenger' clothes, etc. Could have been better. Maybe the movie was too 'expansive' for a simple 8 cards set. Best cards are 6, 8, and 9.  Card #1 could have been a great card but the awful print ruins the photo.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

By the Gods!


Matte paintings from HEROD THE GREAT (1959)

I watched this recently. Such a great production. Directed by the brilliant Viktor Tourjansky. The movie has an amazing sense of space, framing, etc. And these matte paintings show off the above average production. The one below is great. I watched the original Italian version and noticed the scenes that didn't make it in the US cut. Some extensive scenes. 



Musings! (04-06)

Searching far and wide for all things PEPLUM! Luciano Marin and Steve Reeves in GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959)

Should I take a break?

Personally, I'm exhausted right now. I need to take a break BUT the blog's stats are going through the roof. It's always when I'm about to take a break that things really explode. Just for today, the views are over 4000 and going higher. That ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS screengrab is really popular.

March has been a great month with nearly 55K views which is about 15K views more than the average. One day the blog got over 5K views. The sad part about this is I don't know where the views are coming from. I have a counter and the blog's counter but it doesn't tell me where the clicks are coming from.



Just to give you an idea...here are the stats for the past 3 months. I'm happy but exhausted.


Cinematic Confusion


This VHS cover is a hot mess. It's a cover for URSUS IN THE LAND OF FIRE (1963) starring Ed Fury but the front cover has Samson Burke from TOTO VS MACISTE. The image on the back cover is unknown to me. Probably SON OF SAMSON.


Can you guess the movie?


Can you guess what movie this is? Where it was made? etc...without searching the internet or internet movie database. The movie is on Youtube and I've tried to download it and I can't. They're using some sort of different technology. It's very odd. But the movie itself is not as 'sexy' as the cover suggests.


Recent acquisition


I just got this in the mail today. READ THE BOOK! SEE THE MOVIE! Written by the author of EPIC FILMS, Gary A. Smith. Looks like a fun read. 


Movies I watched...

I've acquired so many new titles via the internet, from my most excellent source, and I watched so many of them that I don't even remember which one I watched. I did watch these:


SON OF SPARTACUS (1962) starring Steve Reeves


In Italian and in high definition. Amazing how a beautiful HD print can make a movie, even in an other language, fun to watch. I've watched this movie so many times in English (and mostly bad prints) that it didn't matter if it was in Italian (which I can understand to a certain extent).


HERCULES AGAINST ROME (1964) starring Alan Steel

In Italian and in high definition. A beautiful print. I love this movie. I never get tired of watching it.


I didn't do any retouching for both screengrabs. See the 'By the Gods' post above for another movie I watched.


Have you seen?


LES GAULOISES BLONDES (1988). A parody of the ASTERIX AND OBELIX comic books. This is a recent discovery. I have never heard of this title before. And yes there's nudity (it's a French movie). What a find! 


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Maybe one of the reasons the blog's stats are very healthy these days is due to these Musings! 

Do you like this recent feature? I have fun writing them.

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I'm still waiting for the arrival of the ROMULUS AND REMUS German Blu-ray. It's a pain to wait but I'm patient. At least I have the digital copies. But I want to wait for the disc to review it. 

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Future Musings:

- A PEPLUM TV forum?

- List of PEPLUM books

- List of movies available in HD / Blu-ray

- PEPLUM Museum?

- A new Twitter account for actresses of PEPLUM movies?



Monday, April 5, 2021

By the Gods!

Atlas (Gordon Mitchell) holds up a crumbling infrastructure in ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS (1962)

The closest thing to something Atlas would do. The title was changed from MACISTE IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS to ATLAS because Maciste was not a marketable name outside of Italy or Europe. Atlas' story has never been done yet. The 1961 ATLAS has nothing to do with Greek mythology. Why hasn't Atlas made it yet to the big screen? This screen grab was taken from the Spanish DVD I recently purchased which is pretty sharp but it's not HD. An HD print of this will definitely surface one day since this is one of the perennial faves of fans of the PEPLUM genre.

PEPLUM Movie Posters

Original Italian poster of DEFEAT OF THE BARBARIANS (1962)

Great poster...that's Moira Orfei alright but the rest doesn't really reflect the movie itself.



Friday, April 2, 2021

By the Gods!

Jesus (Claude Heater) crucified in BEN-HUR (1959)

Easter weekend is upon us so that means a long weekend. For those who celebrate the holiday, have a happy and blessed Easter!

SWORD OF THE CONQUEROR score by Carlo Rustichelli



As I stated recently in my Musings!' one thing I've overlooked in the PEPLUM genre are soundtracks. I did embed soundtracks during the beginning of the blog but sota moved on with them but I feel some soundtracks should be in the spotlight. The soundtrack for SWORD OF THE CONQUEROR by Carlo Rustichelli, full of character and verve, even if the movie itself is sorta bland, certainly for a PEPLUM movie with such a cast and director. The annoying part of this excellent soundtrack is the fact that it was used and re-used by other PEPLUM movies after it was release that it has become a sort of a pain. You see, Youtube has copyrighted this score and all movies with the score have been blocked on the platform. That's a lot of titles. Oddly enough the movie itself is still available here and there on some old channels but if one uploads any movie which has this core, it will be blocked. I've had to remove over a dozen uploads from my channel because of this.

Great soundtrack...if a bit overused.


BY THE GODS!: That DUEL OF THE TITANS German Blu-ray…


 I'm still waiting for the physical disc but in the meantime I got digital copies of it. Includes screengrabs...

Only @ BY THE GODS!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

By the Gods!

Sergio Fantoni and Rosalba Neri in ESTHER AND THE KING (1960)

The main actors are Richard Egan and Joan Collins but this pair is more interesting. Not that there's anything wrong with Egan and Collins but as it's often the case in many PEPLUM movies, the secondary characters are often more lively or interesting than the lead actors and their roles they have to play. The best example would be QUO VADIS (1951) with Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr eclipsed by the Leo Genn / Marina Berti pairing.


Behind-the-Scenes

The cast of VULCAN - SON OF JUPITER (1962): Bella Cortez, Iloosh Khoshabe, Annie Gorassini and Roger Browne

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Clip of the week: HERCULES THE INVINCIBLE (1964)

Dan Vadis as Hercules. Cool scene! 


If you can't view it click the link below

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

By the Gods!

Delilah (Hedy Lamar) and Samson (Victor Mature) in SAMSON AND DELILAH (1949)

Is this a movie about hair? 'Gee, your hair smells terrific!'

The story of Samson and Delilah has been told and retold many times at the movies. Has it been done right yet? Many will say that this version is the best one. It was a huge hit. It can't be topped. It helped re-ignite the interest in PEPLUM movies with the general public. I disagree. I like it and watched many times but it is sorta corny in spots. What keeps this one in the minds of people are the two stars. There aren't that many stars today that would be comparable to Lamarr or Mature.