Thursday, July 20, 2017

By the Gods!

Nando Angelini greets Sandokan (Steve Reeves) in SANDOKAN - THE PIRATE OF MALAYSIA (1964)

Steve Reeves' Sandokan films are fun films, and this one is no exception. Good productions and above average scripts made these winners. In this scene, Reeves receives some clothes and Nando Angelini gives them to him, meeting him for the first time.

Just prior to this moment, a spectacular scene of people bringing the clothes to the royal palace was re-used in another Sandokan film, LE TIGRI DI MOMPRACEM (1970) starring Ivan Rassimov as the titular character.

Nando Angelini appeared in TONS of films in just a short span : over 80 in less than ten years. Before being a fan of the PEPLUM genre, I didn't know his name. Now, I can recognize him on sight.

Video of the week : URSUS - THE REBEL GLADIATOR - Fight


Fight scene from Ursus - The Rebel Gladiator starring Alan Steel, Gloria Milland and Umberto Silvestri.

Good scene.

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Preview clip : THE NORMANS


Preview clip of THE NORMANS starring Ettore Manni, Philippe Hersent, Piero Lulli and Raf Baldassarre

I just completed a Fan Dub of this and it will be uploaded to PEPLUM TV soon

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

By the Gods!

Peter Lupus manhandles Emilio Messina, as Halina Zalewska watches, in GIANT OF EVIL ISLAND (1965)

Lupus' screen name, back in those days, was Rock Stevens. He made 4 films in Europe before joining MISSION : IMPOSSIBLE TV series. This was his last Italian production. It's a fun film but those who are fans of Peter's unique physique will be disappointed since he keeps his clothes on during the entire film. Messina and Lupus duke it out after this moment.

Behind-the-Scenes

A behind-the-scenes photo of Martin Landau and Elizabeth Taylor preparing for a scene from CLEOPATRA (1963). R.I.P., Martin.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

By the Gods!

Marco Polo (Horst Buchholz) gets to know The Girl With The Whip (Elsa Martinelli) in MARCO THE MAGNIFICENT (1965)

Elsa died on July 8. She was 82. Elsa was one of the best thing in this odd fantasy version of the life of Marco Polo. She wore some outlandish costumes (see here). And her official name in this film is The Girl With The Whip. Elsa was in some other favourite films, including BLOOD & ROSES and OSS 117 TAKES A VACATION. She was a scene stealer. She didn't star in many PEPLUM films, in fact this is her only one, but regardless R.I.P. Elsa!

The purging of HERCULES (1958) from Youtube


HERCULES (1958), starring Steve Reeves and directed by Pietro Francisci, is a public domain film in North America. It's been like this for a long time. The film has been available on Youtube from TONS of different sources since it's a decent film that everyone can upload. Not anymore. Yesterday, I got a message from Youtube (above) that the only clip I had uploaded at my Youtube channel was now blocked worldwide. A company named ONE rpm Entertainment have claimed copyright infringement. Who are they? I have no idea but after looking into it, they're a third party who makes these claims on behalf of a subscriber to their services. So trying to figure out who exactly made this bogus claim is impossible.

I'm not the only one who's affected by this. As I've mentioned, HERCULES was available from tons of channels. Below, the screenshot on the left was taken yesterday. The screenshot on the right was taken today. So the channel VULTURE, which had the film yesterday, doesn't have HERCULES anymore. There are only two channels left that have it, AMPOPFILMS and RBM pictures (the other one is a Spanish version...I don't know if other languages are affected by this). I suspect it's one of these two channels that made this bogus claim.

Youtube is clearly becoming almost impossible to use. HERCULES is my favourite PEPLUM film, and one I should have at my PEPLUM TV channel, and yet I can't upload it because a shady company claims it has the rights to it. Even before this, there were two other companies that claimed it, including the company that manages the MST3K (Mystery Science Theater 3000) series. It's getting bad!



Monday, July 17, 2017

By the Gods!

Rufio (Martin Landau) and Mark Antony (Richard Burton) watch as Cleopatra's golden vessel arrives in Tarsus in CLEOPATRA (1963)

Martin Landau passed away on July 15. He was 89 years old. Though he enjoyed a prolific career, Landau made just a couple of PEPLUM films. His other big film was THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD. He's most famous for starring in NORTH BY NORTHWEST, MISSION : IMPOSSIBLE and SPACE : 1999 tv series (the Hitchcock classic and S1999 being favourites of mine). Landau gave a good performance in CLEOPATRA. RIP.

Movie Poster Mondays

Italian poster of THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1959)

Steve Reeves is shown as a gladiator and his character does end up in an arena but he's not a gladiator. I guess this is where the 'legend' of Reeves having played a gladiator started.

Friday, July 14, 2017

By the Gods!

Moira Orfei and Mimmo Palmara are an evil couple in THE TWO GLADIATORS (1964)

Moira passed away in 2015 and Mimmo died over a year ago. Two big genre stars who made a sexy, evil couple. I didn't do a full profile of Mimmo when he died last summer. I feel guilty about it because he's one of the big stars of the genre. Good, solid film. 


Retro Friday : When bad beards happen to good films

(originally posted April 2012)


Guy Rolfe in REVAK THE REBEL (1960)

Alfio Caltabiano and Erno Crisa in SEVEN REBEL GLADIATORS (1965)

Dan Vadis in HERCULES THE INVINCIBLE (1964)

Walter Grant in HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959)

Paul Muller and Giulio Donnini in CONQUEROR OF THE ORIENT (1960), which is a smorgasbord of bad beards

Thursday, July 13, 2017

By the Gods!

Delilah (Hedy Lamarr) tries to figure out Samson (Victor Mature) and his formidable God-given strength in SAMSON & DELILAH (1949)

Basically, the movie is 90 minutes of a sneaky Delilah trying to get to Samson's secret, who mostly plays coy, up until it was time of the reveal. I like this film and it's entertaining but let's face it, Samson & Delilah is not a complex story and could have easily been told in a short story format. But Cecil B. DeMille toyed with audiences by having the two actors (sexually) flirt which each other for minutes on end.

Video of the week : SAMSON AGAINST THE SHEIK - Feat of strength


'Feat of strength' scene from 'Samson Against the Sheik' starring Ed Fury and a host of other actors Good scene!

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PEPLUM stars profile : THE MESSINA BROTHERS


Roberto and Emilio Messina were actors and stuntmen, and they sometimes even worked in tandem. Here are two examples : first clip is from COLOSSUS OF THE ARENA and the second clip is from TRIUMPH OF THE TEN GLADIATORS

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

By the Gods!

Olympia (Marilù Tolo) seduces Maciste in MACISTE - GADIATOR OF SPARTA (1964)

This is Marilù's only dance number for her PEPLUM movies. It's very short and nice but it's quite apparent that she wasn't 100% comfortable with her moves. She was 20 years old when she made this film. Amazing. The 'official' English title is the ludicrous : The Terror Of Rome Against The Son Of Hercules. I prefer the Maciste one. 

Behind-the-Scenes

A candid photo of Steve Reeves during the filming of THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1961)


Tumblr post : THARUS - SON OF ATTILA





Tumblr post : Joe Robinson





Tumblr post : THE LION OF THEBES





Tumblr post : THE QUEEN OF SHEBA





Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Special showing of COLOSSUS OF RHODES



A special showing of COLOSSUS OF RHODES will take place tomorrow, Wednesday night at the Balboa Theater in San Francisco, CA

For PEPLUM fans in the area, make sure to check it out! Thanks to Kai Wada Roath

For more info, check out the FACEBOOK page

By the Gods!

Mark Damon tries to survive in THE 100 HORSEMEN (1964)

A quasi experimental film directed by Vittorio Cottofavi, who also directed HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN and GOLIATH & THE DRAGON. I'm certain most of the film was ad-libbed. It doesn't feel solid even though the story needed some structure. It's very 'off the cuff.' Like other Cottofavi films, it's a mix of comedy and violence that might be off putting to some viewers. Mark Damon made several films in Europe before moving back to the US and produce Hollywood films like MONSTER and WILD ORCHID!

RIP : Joe Robinson

Joe Robinson passed away on July 3rd. He was 90 years old. Good looking and in top form, Joe was seemingly made for the PEPLUM genre. Though he was limited as an actor, he had obvious screen presence and was always a positive addition to any production. Joe retired after appearing as a killer in the James Bond film, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER. RIP mighty Joe.

ERIK THE CONQUEROR (1961)

Joe was a supporting player in this film, which was a mistake. He should have been the star. Oh well...he co-starred with Cameron Mitchell (below)



BARABBAS (1961)

Joe had small part in this super-production. He played a beefy gladiator, favoured by Jack Palance (above). It's a shame his role was so brief because Joe was perfect as a gladiator. Below is Joe with other actors, including Vittorio Gassman and Anthony Quinn. Great photo.


URSUS & THE TARTAR PRINCESS (1961)
Joe played Ursus in this film. One of the few blond PEPLUM heroes. 

TAUR THE MIGHTY (1963)

Joe co-starred with Harry Baird in TAUR THE MIGHTY, a pseudo Tarzan-like production which had to change name and title after Edgar Rice Burroughs estate threatened to take the producers to court. Very little of Tarzan remained in the final production. A wacky movie that could only have been made during the PEPLUM craze. It also starred Bella Cortez as the evil Queen (below)




THOR & THE AMAZON WOMEN (1963)

An unofficial sequel of sorts to TAUR. This time the name changed to THOR and it also starred Harry Baird and other actor from TAUR. A battle of the sexes set in some unspecific time in the past. Like TAUR THE MIGHTY, it's very over-the-top and wacky. In other words, very entertaining.



Joe with Primo Carnera in A KID FOR TWO FARTHINGS (1955). Made before the PEPLUM explosion, both men would eventually end up in PEPLUM productions.

Monday, July 10, 2017

By the Gods!

Pascale Petit, as Cleopatra, schemes some history with Apollodorus (Franco Volpi) in A QUEEN FOR CAESAR (1962)

This, imo, is how a PEPLUM should be : a pulpy version of history. As long as it's entertaining, what's bad about it? The relationship between these two (characters and actors) is fun. Directed by Piero Pierotti and an uncredited Viktor Tourjansky, who I think is wonderful. Coming soon to PEPLUM TV.

Movie Poster Mondays

Spanish poster of CAPTAIN SINDBAD (1963)

This poster is for a re-release, from the 1970s. The artwork is a collage of different artwork from different films. In the center, it's Steve Reeves from THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1961). The flying horses are also from the Reeves movie. Then on the left there are scenes from THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1973). And on the top right is an actual scene from this film starring Guy Williams. Talk about Cinematic Confusion.