Friday, February 28, 2014

Photo of the Day

Hercules (Reg Park) battles one form of Proteus in HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN

Cool photo.

Back on Monday!

Lobby Cards Set: REVOLT OF THE SLAVES

US lobby cards set for REVOLT OF THE SLAVE: I already posted this set years ago but this set is in better quality. Pretty much covers everything from the film except there are no close-ups of Rhonda Fleming, Lang Jeffries and Serge Gainsbourg, which would have made these cards even better.

Location : The Roman Walls of Lugo


From Wikipedia:

"Lugo, Spain, is the only city in the world to be surrounded by completely intact Roman walls, which reach a height of 10 to 15 metres along a 2117 m circuit ringed with 71 towers."

Interesting stuff. The Youtube video below is a stop-motion clip but it gives you a good idea how it looks like walking on it.




Thursday, February 27, 2014

Photo of the Day

Yvonne Furneaux is Semiramis in SLAVE QUEEN OF BABYLON

Great photo!

Tragic Stars: Soledad Miranda


Soledad Miranda made a couple of PEPLUM films including THE MIGHTY URSUS (1961, above). She was 18 years old when she made that film. By the time she was 27, with over 35 films to her credits, Soledad died in a car accident on a highway in Portugal in 1970. The Spanish actress was becoming a star in  Eurocult films such as SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY and VAMPYROS LESBOS. Today she has a fervent cult following amongst fans of that genre.

Posted at the TRAGIC STARS page.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Photo of the Day

Sophia Loren in AIDA

Some say this production is totally misguided. It is a curio alright (Lois Maxwell is also in it!) but I still enjoy watching it. Sophia's voice was dubbed. The thing that always makes me wonder is why they didn't hire Gina Lollobrigida who can actually sing, as seen here. Gina's singing is simply beautiful.

When PEPLUM goes porno

German poster for URSUS AND THE TERROR OF THE KIRGHIZ (aka Hercules - Prisoner of Evil).

That film starring Reg Park was reedited with some added sex scenes for LA VIE EROTIQUE D'URSUS or THE EROTIQUE LIFE OF URSUS released in 1973. Very obscure. No one as apparently seen it.


Then & Now : John Ericson

John in SLAVE QUEEN OF BABYLON; the only recent photo of John I could find on the internet

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Photo of the Day

A sultry Chelo Alonso in TERROR OF THE RED MASK

One of her best dance numbers.

POMPEII : disastrous on all fronts


POMPEII is getting clobbered from all sides: the reviews are pretty brutal and negative. The box office performance in North America has been dismal: a paltry $10 million during its opening weekend for a $100 budgeted production. From the looks of it, the production also looks historically inaccurate as one can see below: he's basically wearing a kilt.

With the failure of this film and the failure of the last HERCULES film with Kellan Lutz it seems the new wave of PEPLUM films are not capturing the audience's imagination.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Photo of the Day

A captured Ed Fury delights the female captors in WILD WOMEN OF WONGO

I'd love to interview Ed for his Italian PEPLUM films but also for this little cinematic 'Made in the USA' gem.

Movie Poster Mondays

German poster for AVENGER OF THE SEVEN SEAS

Beautiful.

HERCULES, SAMSON & ULYSSES - Dance sequence


I uploaded this dance number featuring the lovely Liana Orfei from HERCULES, SAMSON & ULYSSES.

I love this scene: Liana in the slinky dress, the fellow whipping about, the music, which is by the wonderful Angelo Francesco Lavagnino. Directed by the one and only Pietro Francisci.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Photo of the Day

The CGI-free setting of Rome from THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

Such an eye-filling spectacle.

I'm off for a while.

Steve Reeves as Superman


From looking at these two photoshoped images of Steve as Supes there's no doubt that he would have made an amazing SUPERMAN


The image above was colorized (not by me) and photoshoped into SUPERMAN from the image below.


Oops...


Continuity goof seen in 7 SLAVES AGAINST ROME: the good guys (Pietro Ceccarelli, Nello Pazzafini, Mario Novelli (behind)) are about to blow the villain away. His clothes don't match in any shot: in the first shot above, the stripped colours are brown and taupe; when we see a shot of him from the front, his clothes are now green and in the last shot when he's blown away, it's now blue and grey. And the actor has a goatee. Considering the super fast editing of this entire moment (I uploaded it at Youtube) it's surprising there weren't more mistakes.



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Photo of the Day

Capys (Chelo Alonso) is about to kill an ineffectual soldier in MACISTE IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS

Chelo doesn't dance in this film, which, oddly enough, is a nice change since she's supposed to be a leader and leader don't usually dance but it still would have been fun if she did dance.

Vintage article

A one page article on Julie Newmar, credited as Newmeyer, from a magazine published in the 1950s. It's a small article but it shows one of the best scenes from SLAVES OF BABYLON.

Conan art

Cover art by George Barr

Here are two comic book artwork that were not inspired by Boris Vallejo or Frazetta. Both were made in the late 1960s. 

Cover art by Bernie Wrightson

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Photo of the Day

Travis Fimmel, as Ragnar Lothbrok, in VIKINGS

Travis used to be a model for Calvin Klein. The show is can be seen the History Channel and it's apparently a success. I don't have the History Channel so I guess I have to download it from somewhere (just joking). A show on Vikings makes sense as their history is quite colourful but many say this show is mostly historically inaccurate.

Then and Now : Claudia Mori

Claudia in URSUS IN THE LAND OF FIRE; A recent photo of Claudia

PEPLUM documentary idea


Two weeks ago I floated the idea of a Kickstarter campaign for a PEPLUM documentary. Even though  the poll was positive the response was a bit underwhelming. I'm working on the pitch right now (for Kickstarter or a production company), which should include a video. Anyway it's not a done deal by any means but BY THE GODS! would be the title. Now don't steal it.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Photo of the Day

Jim Dale is pampered by some Roman beauties in CARRY ON CLEO

This is a veritable PEPLUM cliché. Ridley Scott said that when he decided to make GLADIATOR he wanted to avoid cliched scenes like this one.

Who wore it best?

The high priest in COLOSSUS OF RHODES or the High Priest in FURY OF HERCULES

Old PEPLUM film in new Italian film


A film called IL FUTURO was released last year; the story is about an actor (Rutger Hauer) who used to appear in PEPLUM films and is now a recluse, living in his mansion a la SUNSET BOULEVARD. Some young criminals (pictured above, watching FURY OF HERCULES) want to rob the former actor. The one girl in the group tries to seduce 'Maciste' and that's the basis of the drama. They use clips from FURY OF HERCULES starring Brad Harris as a young Rutger Hauer. How does one go from Brad to Rutger, who simply do not look alike, is a mystery to me.

It's an Italian/Chilean/German/Spanish co-production.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Photo of the Day

Redway (Roldano Lupi) listens to what Nike (Marisa Belli) thinks is the best way to get info from David Robinson (Richard Harrison, not picture) in AVENGERS OF THE SEVEN SEAS

I like Marisa in this film, more so than Harrison's love interest, Michèle Mercier. She sports some deep tanner to make her look black or mulatto which some might object to but as long as the character she plays is not a stupid cliché I don't see a problem with it. Her character is underwritten but she's still captures one's attention whenever she's on screen.

Movie Poster Mondays

German poster for THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1959)

Epic poster for epic film.

PEPLUM Cliché - The Human Kebab


I uploaded this compilation of clips of a PEPLUM Cliché I call "The Human Kebab": a hero is so strong that with a single spear he's able to kill several bad guys in one instance or so strong the spear goes through objects to kill. I already uploaded this at my old Youtube channel but I've updated with new clips and re-uploaded to my new PEPLUM TV YT channel.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Photo of the Day

After killing a lion (left) Georges Marchal, as Asclepio, tries to survive some gladiatorial contest in THE WARRIOR AND THE SLAVE GIRL (1958)

This film is interesting for many reasons. First, it's directed by Vittorio Cottafavi, one of the best directors who worked in the genre. It's fast paced, the action is fluid and everything clicks. Second, the cast is truly amazing: Ettore Manni, Gianna Maria Canale, Marchal, etc. Third, the locations are excellent.

It was made the same year as HERCULES (1958) so it came out at the right time. It's also one of those pre-1960s PEPLUM which sorta changed and became more violent, at times more cartoony. The big liabilities are the editing (it's a bit sloppy) and the peculiar storyline which is difficult to summarize. But it's definitely worth watching, in widescreen.

My one question about this scene: what kind of footwear is Marchal wearing? They're not sandals. Hmm...

Back on Monday!

Cinematic Confusion


I'd like to see the film portrayed in the artwork of this poster. It's for THE TEN GLADIATORS and honestly it doesn't look like anything in the film. José Greci is a blonde in the film. Confusing.

Lobby cards set : SAPPHO THE VENUS OF LESBOS

US lobby cards set for SAPPHO THE VENUS OF LESBOS (aka The Warrior Princess): ok set. The colours are bizarre (typical for Columbia Pictures) and there are two 'artwork' cards but the photos are ok even if the 2nd one is a scene which has apparently been cut in the US version.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Photo of the Day

An exasperated Seneca (Vittorio De Sica) negotiates his price of loyalty with Nero (Alberto Sordi) in NERO'S BIG WEEKEND (1956)

Gorgeous film, amazing cast, fun film filled with colorful moments. Not an laugh-out-loud comedy but amusing nonetheless. They filmed two endings for this. One of the best pre-HERCULES PEPLUM films. Also known as NERO'S MISTRESS.

The Musketeers BBC TV series



New BBC series based on the Alexandre Dumas novel with loads of action, explosions, etc. You'd think that after the tepid box office results of the THE THREE MUSKETEERS movie made in 2011 and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson would have discouraged anyone to adapt that often filmed story again but no. It's looks action packed for sure.

New book on the PEPLUM genre


It's in Italian but it's good to see that people are still writing about the genre. Below is the front and back cover. The poster art on the back cover is interesting with some Cinematic Confusion (Maciste with artwork from HERCULES UNCHAINED?). You can see the authors at this link.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Photo of the Day

Jacques Herlin and Pascale Petit in THE SWEET SINS OF SEXY SUSAN (1967)

A period sex comedy which spawned a couple of films. I've never seen either them. Pascale doesn't play the titular role of Susan but she could have. I wanted to post this picture simply because Pascale is beautiful here.

KICKSTARTER poll result


Here are the results of the Kickstarter poll I posted a week ago: link

Thanks to those who voted yes. 16 is a low number though considering the blog gets between 800 and 1200 visits a day. I'll work on the proposal for the project but I want to make sure there's some real support behind it before green-lighting it.

Black actresses in PEPLUM films

PEPLUM films were surprisingly inclusive when it came to black actors. They might have had roles as slaves or handmaidens but they were often more visible than in Hollywood films. Here's a list of female actors in genre films. I'll post on black male actors sometimes soon.


Above and Below: Dolores Francine in REVOLT OF THE SLAVES who had one of the biggest roles for a black woman in PEPLA. Below: Serge Gainsbourg with Dolores.


Janine Hendy in MACISTE VS THE MOLE MEN; Janine had major roles in several PEPLUM films, including the THOR/TAUR films with Joe Robinson. Janine also danced in a couple of PEPs.

Gloria Hendy as Tulac in MACISTE VS THE MOLE MEN

Edith Peters in CARTHAGE IN FLAMMES; Edith also appeared in other titles including FURY OF ACHILLES and the completely crazy ROBIN HOOD AND THE PIRATES in which she dances and sings. Loopy fun film.

Pam Grier in THE ARENA

Beryl Cunningham (right) is a slave for sale in ANTHAR THE INVINCIBLE

A dancer from HERCULES AGAINST THE SONS OF THE SUN; the only female dancer credited at IMDb is Audrey Anderson so I assume that's her name.

The following are dancers and slaves played by unidentified actresses:

Dancer from ALONE AGAINST ROME. She's also in another film which eludes me right now. She had a very distinctive body.

Dancer from THE LAST ROMAN

Dancer from KERIM SON OF THE SHEIK