Not bad but should have contained a few more stand-out scenes from the film, like the one on the beach. I guess that was too racy. The best card is the top right one. BTW, this film is impossible to obtain in English.
Here's the opening credits between two different versions of THE GIANT OF MARATHON: one is the French LUX version and the second one is the US MGM version. In the French version the font is different and the title is, oddly enough, in English?!?!
French LUX version
US MGM version
French LUX version
US MGM version
French LUX version; in this version the wrestling between Steve Reeves and Alan Steel is not hidden behind credits as much as in the US version.
US MGM version; the crowded credits stays like this throughout the wrestling bit
I'm not historian and I can't claim to be an expert in furnitures but this sofa/bench seen in FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE is, imo, way too modern to be seen in Antiquity. It looks good but is it realistic? Any experts out there?
Scene from HELEN OF TROY (1956), taken from a European lobby card
In the movie, this scene looks slightly different: the camera is straight in the middle and at a much lower level, which robs this crucial sequence of all of its spectacle. With the lower camera angle you just don't see the stuff as clearly as you see in this photo.
Great poster that embellishes a bit from the actual film; the artist made Pierre Brice look like a little kid. I'm going to make a banner of this. I'm currently working on a Fan Dub of this rare film as I finally got hold of the film with an English dub. Woo-hoo!
The matte painting process for BEN-HUR (1959). The artist uses a B&W photo taken from the sequence itself and created the painting around it on a sheet of glass. The black space is actually a clear part of the glass where the live action will appear in. I always loved these.
A month old article on what's good and what's bad about current PEPLUM productions. Written by Jason Apazzo, of Libertas Film Magazine, a blog that does articles on the PEPLUM genre on a irregular basis which I always seem to miss. The article is fun and even though I agree with a few points (certainly the one about the Goddesses and CGI armies) I have to say that I disagree with most of the rest. The comments section is close at the Libertas web site but people can still reply at Huffington Post (cough!). Here's what I wrote (abbreviated at HP):
Well I agree with some points but I mostly disagree with the article on many points, certainly the most important aspect: Spoiled Heroes with Super-powers and Abs.
If you look at old PEPLUM flicks, one of the main characteristics was the hero was often if not always shirtless, showing abs, showing legs, etc. Steve Reeves, Mark Forest, Ed Fury, Gordon Mitchell, Alan Steel, etc all displayed their physiques. They weren't called musclemen films for nothing. Heck even Charlton Heston was often with nothing but a so your complaint that today's heroes are obsessed with abs rings false because it's simply traditional to the genre but also because today's heroes do not show a lot of skin certainly compared to films made 50 years ago (you'd think it would be the opposite).
Except for 300, the SPARTACUS tv series and few other titles, the heroes in current Sword & Sandal films are covered from head to toe: Sam Whatshisname in CLASH OF THE TITANS remakes (as shown in the photo in the article!). Russell Crowe in the (overrated) GLADIATOR. The list goes on and on. I'd rather watch the old films because they had a much healthier attitude towards display of skin than today.
I agree that fake digital armies are a let down but the same thing can be said about big digital monsters. The Kraken in the CLASH OF THE TITANS remake was terrible. Because they can make anything with digital imagery doesn't mean it'll actually work in the final film.
Another aspect which you didn't mention is that today's films are way too serious. IMO, what makes old PEP films fun to watch is the often jovial aspects which are simply none existent in super serious films like TROY, IMMORTALS, 300, SPARTACUS tv series, etc. They are so oppressively serious that I find them claustrophobic, borderline unwatchable. Give me a Pietro Francisci film anytime over these films. Pietro knew how to balance humor with action and drama with some kitsch and camp along with the beefcake and cheesecake.
I finally got hold of an official DVD of MARS - GOD OF WAR, one of my favorite PEPS and was ready to ditch the VHS copy to oblivion but then I watched it and in many parts it's so damn dark, you can't see anything. Does anyone who makes these transfers even watch the film they just printed? Seriously, the VHS is fuzzy and the image wobbles and the sound buzzes but at least we can see something. In the "bright" scenes the sharpness of the DVD wins hands down but the DVD is way too dark. And, just a note, except for the fist example with Roger Browne, the other screenshots of the DVD were taken from a rip that I brighten. The first screenshot, with Roger, shows how dark it is directly from the DVD.
Aphrodite/Venus is often used in films/film titles to evoke beauty and love but it's rarely about the actual Greco-Roman goddess. In PEPLUM films, Aphrodite/Venus is synonymous with beauty/love the same way Goliath or Samson is synonymous with strength and heroism.
Tina Louise is Sappho - the VENUS of the island of Lesbos
Jackie Lane appears as VENUS in MARS - GOD OF WAR but it's only a mirage
Belinda Lee is as beautiful as Aphrodite in GODDESS OF LOVE
Isabelle Corey and Irene Tunc (below) from APHRODITE GODDESS OF LOVE
Both women are an amalgamation of APHRODITE/VENUS
Valerie Kaprinsky is the beauty comparable to Aphrodite in, well, APHRODITE