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!

1 comment:

Brrrodie the Westie said...

Good call ... Daniella MAKES this movie. Every time she comes on the screen the scene lightens up. It's the only "palace intrigue"-genre movie that I can sit through.

Plenty of floggings ... Placida demands to see Sabina (José Greci) and when she appears late -- shy Sabina has a crush on the centurion -- Placida says to Sabina "You're so bad I'm inclined to have you whipped again!" Soon after this she flogs screaming Sabina right in front of the Centurion ... and in the next scene, massages ointment into Sabina's flayed back and shoulders.

Later, when the barbarian prince Atawulf's favorite tries to interfere with Atawulf's passion for Galla Placida he hurls the favorite onto his bearskin bed and savagely flogs her while she implores "YES ATAWULF, LASH ME LIKE AN ANIMAL! DEVOUR ME! I AM YOUR SLAVE! TAKE MY LIFE IF YOU WANT BUT DON'T LEAVE ME TONIGHT!" He then pounces on her and takes her savagely.