Friday, October 20, 2017

My recent acquisitions + review



I purchased several books and DVDs over the course of last summer. I wanted to post about these purchases months ago but some of these items took over 2 months to arrive (if at all). Three DVDs took 2 months to arrive. One DVD never arrived and I was sent a replacement, only to receive the original DVD months after! I bought the UOMINI FORTI DVD on eBay at the beginning of August. They said it was shipped a few days after the purchase. I received it the first week of October!!! Needless to say, I'll never buy anything from Italy again. The postal service there is ridiculously slow.

Aside from UOMINI FORTI and THE BLACK DUKE, I already had all of these titles in my huge collection but wanted to see how these versions compared with what I already have. I'll reviews these purchases from time to time. I want the reviews to be a regular feature here at the blog. I'll also be updating my ULTIMATE MOST WANTED list and these purchases, including the books, help in sorting out that list.

(Just as a side note, all of these purchases were made before receiving any Paypal donations)

BOOKS :

ITALIAN SWORD & SANDAL FILMS by Roy Kinnard and Tony Crnkovich

IL GRANDE LIBRO DI ERCOLE by Steve Della Casa and Marco Giusti

PEPLUM - Il Cinema Alle Prese Col Mondo Antico by Francesco Di Chiara

EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY - Beginnings and Early Ionian Thinkers (nothing to do with films but just for the spirit of the genre)


DVDs :

Italian DVDs

MACISTE ALL'INFERNO (Maciste in Hell ; 1962) - Gotico Italiano edition

I TARTARI (The Tartars ; 1961) - Cristal D Film edition

IL GIGANTE DI METROPOLIS (Giant of Metropolis ; 1961) - Sinister Film edition

UOMINI FORTI (Iron Men) - Documentary - Istituto Luce

German DVDs

CESARE BORGIA (The Black Duke ; 1963 ) - VZ-Handelsgesellschaft mbH edition

SPARTACUS DER TITAN MIT DER EISERNEN FAUST (Colossus of Rome ; Hero of Rome ; 1964) - VZ-Handelsgesellschaft mbH edition

Spanish DVDs

JULIO CESAR - El Conquistadorde la Galia ( Caesar the Conqueror ; 1962) - Filmax edition

French DVDs

LES CLASSIQUES DU PEPLUM DVD set (5 films) - RDMV edition


My first review will be for the ITALIAN SWORD & SANDAL FILMS book. It will be a short review.


I purchased the digital edition of ITALIAN SWORD AND SANDAL FILMS. This book simply consists of film titles, credits, some reproduction of movie posters and nothing else. No reviews or comments. There are some tiny comments at the bottom of each title but they only describe distribution companies. No details about the films themselves.

If you're not familiar with the PEPLUM genre, or the Sword & Sandal genre, then this book might help as a one-stop source but I doubt anyone without some prior knowledge of the genre would buy it. And there are many other books out there on the PEPLUM genre with lists of titles but they also include comments and reviews. So who's going to buy this book? It's very odd. While scanning the book, I automatically noticed that there were titles missing. And the information printed is the same incorrect credit listings found at Internet Movie Database. This book even lists the French dubbing credits for some titles. Really? In other words, most of it is just padding.

So, a book of titles (with some missing) and credits (many with mistakes), a couple of illustrations and nothing else. If you need a list of titles, just look at the link here at the blog (which has been viewed over 13K times). Or simply go to IMDb. Both are free.

7 comments:

Scott Ochiltree said...

Interesting to read about your latest acquisitions.

Amazon's website in Italy has some good Peplums that are not sold by its US operation. Unfortunately, however, these DVDs lack either English dubbing or subtitles.

Someone is missing a serious marketing opportunity here.

Region codes do not bother me, as I have a fixed player, but ideally these films should also be offered in region code one.

orsh549 said...

I have just watched 2 nights ago on Amazon Prime a rather fun filled pirate movie from 1970 entitled THE CORSAIRS with a few PEP stars in it and the lead was played by rock singer last name Dean. There's another one from 1970 which I will be watching called THE FIGHTING MUSKETEERS. The movie was in excellent shape the colors were awesome. The dubbing was a little off, but fun to watch anyway. Amazon has several new additions that they added to their Prime line up and they are free to watch. WARRIOR AND THE SLAVE GIRL is one that I have already watched 2X and is a beautiful print in widescreen.

Brrrodie the Westie said...

The book you reference here (ITALIAN SWORD AND SANDAL FILMS 1908-1990) is shamelessly modeled after Gary Allen Smith's EPIC FILMS, in terms of layout, format, and just about everything else. I would not be surprised to see copy having been lifted, although I can't confirm it. Your criticisms are well-made.

The best of the bunch is IL GRANDE LIBRO DE ERCOLE ... detailed, absorbing with tons of photos. Buy an Italian dictionary to go with or use Google Translate pointing at copy, it's all in Italian!

PEPLUM Cinema said...

Scott, some DVDs actually say English dub included but when you check the DVDs out there's NO English track. I'll explain this in the reviews.

Orsh549, yes THE CORSAIRS is fun film. I'm in Canada and because of copyrights situation, Amazon Prime doesn't have the same titles as main Amazon site so I can't see any of these titles (even though I already have them).

Brrrodie, yes IL GRANDE LIBRO DE ERCOLE is quite a book. There are some particularities to it which I'll explain in my review. I particularly like the section with actors, and the little photos next to each name. Good idea.

Anonymous said...

Gary Allen Smith here and I am, quite rightly, upset that McFarland would issue a book which uses material I wrote for another of their books. This was pointed out in another book review of this book that McFarland actually had the nerve to send me last week.

On a happier note, I am always so happy to see others at this website who love these movies as much as I do. Keep up the good work John!

PEPLUM Cinema said...

Thanks Gary!

There's a disconnect going on somewhere because this book is insulting in so many ways that I truly don't know what some people involved with this release are thinking. Just buy Gary's EPIC FILMS and forget this one.

Luculus said...

To watch those movies and read those books in the right atmosphere, you should purchase a Caesar's bust (Toscano design) from Amazon. I hope to buy mine some day.
It's a pity but there also was a beautiful Athena's helmeted poster at the British Museum but precisely it is not available at present!