When the sexual revolution exploded in the late 1960s and on to the 1970s, a new kind of PEPLUM films were being made : the X rated kind.
This new trend of having soft-core or hardcore porn films set in Antiquity was something unimaginable just a few years back, during the Golden Era of the genre. An endless number of films were made and the trend would continue on well into the 1980s certainly after the most notorious film of them all, CALIGULA was released in 1979 and made headlines all over the world.
Sex and PEPLUM films seem to be made for each other : orgies were common in Roman times. People wore skimpy clothes or nothing at all. But there's a world of a difference between suggesting something sexy and showing something explicit. For the most part though, the majority of Italian PEPLUM sex comedies of the 1970s had nudity in them and were sexy but they rarely used explicit sex to sell their films.
Except for CALIGULA, the quality of these films were pretty low grade and few of them are noteworthy. But they are an interesting footnote on the genre. More on this subject in the following weeks.
Permanent page : The real PEPLUM X
Scenes from THE NOTORIOUS CLEOPATRA (1970)