By the Gods!

Cornel Wilde and Massimo Serato in CONSTANTINE & THE CROSS (1961)

This is one of the super productions from Italy. Many scenes from this were re-used in other movies. It's also one of those movies with the supporting characters /actors being more interesting than the main character. It's filled with great actors in supporting roles, including Massimo Serato who steals the show from Cornel. Another great support comes from Fausto Tozzi. Serato and Tozzi make me forget about Cornel. Notice the extra standing in the background. He's standing in that famous Roman statue pose. It's funny to see all these little details from filmmakers who try to make their epic film appear more 'Roman.'

Fotonovela: THE SINNER (part 9)


Part 9 of serialization of THE SINNER fotonovela starring Ruth Roman. Only two more instalments left. Click on image to see a larger size.







Added to the permanent blog page of THE SINNER


By the Gods!

Claudius (Barry Jones), Demetrius (Victor Mature) and Messalina (Susan Hayward) in a ménage-à-trois of sorts in DEMETRIUS & THE GLADIATORS (1954)

Claudius and Messalina barely had a relationship going on so it wasn't surprising that Demetrius began an affair with Messalina but I always thought this sudden change in Demetrius' character to be a bit odd. Messalina is meant to show his downfall but there should have been more drama between them to make him want to go through all the trouble. More sparks. Still, a highly enjoyable PEPLUM. In fact, one of the best made in Hollywood. A real PEPLUM through and through.

By the Gods!

Richard Harrison and Salvatore Funari in REVOLT OF THE PRAETORIANS (1964)

I've been getting reports that Richard Harrison had died when in fact the man who died, who is also named Richard Harrison, was a Reality TV star. This Richard is still with us. This is a fun film with some of the best 'thumbs up' numbers of any movie uploaded at my PEPLUM TV channel.

Behind-the-Scenes

Susan Hayward chit chats with Delmer Daves during the filming of DEMETRIUS & THE GLADIATORS (1954)

By the Gods!

Elisa Montés, Alan Steel, Lia Zoppelli and Nino Dal Fabbro in SAMSON & THE MIGHTY CHALLENGE (1964)

Made at the tail end of the PEPLUM genre explosion, production wise, I really like this film: the costumes, the sets, etc, all excellent. It's probably one of the last Italian PEPs that had an elaborate production and didn't re-us stuff like most films made during the end of the PEPLUM trend. Alan Steel (nee Sergio Ciani) was perfectly cast as Hercules. His sense of comic timing was excellent (this is a comedy). At one point in his career, Steel gained some weight (or became less buff) but he lost most of it for this movie. The daughter's character, Omphale, is truly annoying. At first, her hatred of Hercules is funny but her character is one note and her scenes quickly become tedious for the rest of the movie. But Lia and Nino's characters are fun throughout. Fun film with a terrible, unwarranted reputation.

By the Gods!

Gianna Maria Canale in CONQUEROR OF THE ORIENT (1960)

Gianna gets top billing even if her role is nothing more than a cameo. There's a big scene that was cut from the US print but even with this missing scene, her scenes were probably filmed in a couple of days. When people critique the PEPLUM genre as being low budget cheapies, I always disagree with them. But in this case, they're right. This was a very low budget production. My opinion on this is sorta ambivalent. There's no going around the film's low budget and its obvious limitations. And some of the direction is odd but I still like it because it follows the typical PEPLUM template. I did a Fan Dub of this and uploaded to PEPLUM TV.

Movie Poster Mondays

US half sheet of THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1935)

Aside from Basil Rathbone, there were no big stars in this PEPLUM of the 1930s (which were rare). They should have focused more on the destruction of Pompeii. This design was pretty much the standard for that era. I had a poster for original KING KONG and it looks exactly like this one.

PEPLUM Break


I'm taking a break next week. I usually take a break every two months and I just realized that I haven't been on a break since the beginning of April. Time flies when you're having fun!

I'll keep uploading stuff at ALL my PEPLUM TV channels so keep an eye on them.

I'll leave you now with King Leonidas (Richard Egan) from THE 300 SPARTANS (1962), saying "From this wall, we do not retreat!"


Fotonovela: THE SINNER (part 8)


Part 8 of serialization of THE SINNER fotonovela starring Ruth Roman. Click on image to see a larger size.







Added to the permanent blog page of THE SINNER


By the Gods!

Vladimir Sokoloff, Sabu and Daria Massey in SABU & THE MAGIC RING (1957)

Still looking for the color version of this hard to find movie, which is 61 minutes long. A B&W copy surfaced on Youtube a couple of years ago but it's not the same. I've already have a small list of titles I forgot to include in my ULTIMATE MOST WANTED List, which I'll be updating from time to time.

By the Gods!

The ending to THE QUEEN OF SHEBA (1952) starring Leonora Ruffo, Gino Leurini and Dorian Gray

I love this closing shot. Directed by PEPLUM maestro Pietro Francisci, who's films would define the genre. I made a permanent page with a visual overview of favourite themes and ideas on Francisci's films.

Behind-the-Scenes

An unknown starlet measures Steve Reeves' biceps in a publicity photo taken in Italy. There's a series of such photos of Steve with this unknown woman and they were used to drum up interest in Steve's rising stardom.

By the Gods!

Mathos (Jacques Sernas) is confronted by guards in SALAMMBO (1960 ; also known as The Loves of Salammbo)

The guards in this film are probably the least effective guards in any PEPLUM movie, and that's saying something. It always irks me that the guards were so often ineffective in these stories. This actually makes the hero look not heroic since the guards are so incompetent. The guards' costumes were often reused in other films. Sernas, who's a natural blond, got his hair coloured dark, along with his skin. and it's not really convincing. Since he wears next to nothing in the entire film, his appearance becomes a liability of sorts, even if, physically speaking, he's very fit and he's up to the challenge and goes through the many actions scenes with some exuberance. I like him and in this movie he's effective in many scenes but he's also over-the-top and overacts shamelessly in many other scenes. An entertaining film that's very uneven.

Non-PEPLUM PEPLUM movies


This movie is not a PEPLUM and yet...

By looking at this image, wouldn't you think it was a PEPLUM?

The costume sure look like those from a PEPLUM movie.

There's a scene filmed at that famous waterfall.

There's revelry, with handmaidens plying a man with libations.

There's even a dance number.

Our heroes are surrounded by men with lances! That's Fausto Di Bella and Sherry Buchanan.

As you can see, this is actually a (disco) science-fiction movie.

The original Italian title is GIOCHI EROTICI NELLA TERZA GALASSIA (1981) which roughly translates as EROTIC GAMES IN GALAXY THREE. This movie was retitled with a myriad of different titles, including STARCRASH 2. The only connection this movie has with the Luigi Pozzi opus is that it uses special effects from the original STARCRASH. But it's actually just a PEPLUM movie with a (then) new fresh coat of paint.

By the Gods!

Edmund Purdom, as King Sveno, in THE LAST OF THE VIKINGS (1961)

Excluding Hollywood productions, is this he most over-the-top performance in a PEPLUM film? Mind you, I like it but wow! It's amazing that in contrast, Cameron Mitchell, who's known to overact, appears subdued in this film.

Movie Poster Mondays

French poster of HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD (1961)

There are some really great posters for this movie. This one is ok. 

PEPLUM TV POLL: What's your favourite Brad Harris film?

What's your favourite Brad Harris 'Golden Era' PEPLUM film?

Take the poll at PEPLUM TV Community page.

For me, it would be a tie between SAMSON and 79 AD: THE DESTRUCTION OF HERCULANEUM, with GOLIATH AGAINST THE GIANTS a close third.


GOLIATH AGAINST THE GIANTS (1961)
Brad, as Goliath, with Gloria Milland 


SAMSON (1961)
Brad with Alan Steel


FURY OF HERCULES (1962)
This time, Brad played Hercules


79 AD : THE DESTRUCTION OF HERCULANEUM (1962)
Brad with Mara Lane

THE OLD TESTAMENT (1962)
Jacques Breathier with Brad


Non-Golden Era PEPLUM films, not included in the poll because of poll's limitations.

POPPEA'S HOT NIGHTS (1969)
Brad with his then wife Olga Berova


RETURN OF THE GLADIATOR (1971)
also known as THREE GIANTS OF ROME


HERCULES (1983)
Brad played a King in this production from the 1980s.


THE SEVEN MAGNIFICENT GLADIATORS (1983)
Brad co-starred with Sybil Danning and Lou Ferrigno