Friday, August 28, 2020

PEPLUM Break


I take a break every two months and my last full time break was at the end of June so this is the time again.

Stay tuned!

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

By the Gods!

A leather-bound Hercules (Alan Steel) strikes a Roman soldier in HERCULES AGAINST ROME (1964)

A favourite of mine with Steel in fine action form. Leather suited Alan pretty well. He also wore leather in his most of his other films, like HERCULES AGAINST THE BLACK PIRATE (1964) or SAMSON & THE SLAVE QUEEN (1963). He wore it more often than any other PEPLUM star. In fact, it was his signature look. This movie needs to be released in HD and uncut. 

Recent acquisitions - summer 2020

Every summer, I sorta post about PEPLUM stuff I've bought. I didn't buy much this summer due to many reasons, one of which is, of course, the whole coronavirus situation. For the longest time shipping has slowed to a crawl in Canada, so it discouraged me from buying things. What I did buy I mostly really like, certainly the posters. Remarkably enough, the vintage posters from Italy were the least expensive things in this haul.


Movie Memorabilia:

Giant poster of GLADIATOR OF ROME (1962). It's so big I had to place it on my bed. It comes in two separate sheets. It's absolutely spectacular. I love it. I don't know where to put it but I'm glad it's in my collection. I paid $22.00 in US currency.

Not as big as GLADIATOR OF ROME but still very big, here's an original poster of THE GIANTS OF THESSALY (1961). It's in a fragile state. It's great. In SUPERTOTALSCOPE! Only $10.00 US.


Well, this one is stunning. Original Italian poster of SON OF SAMSON (1960). The artwork, everything, is eye catching. One of the best posters, PEPLUM or not, in my collection. I love seeing MACISTE in such bold lettering. This was the first Maciste movie since the silent era. Same size as the THESSALY one. Only $35.00 US! A steal!


Two Danish movie programs of Steve Reeves movies: HERCULES (1958) and MORGAN, THE PIRATE (1960). There are photos in these tiny programs which I've never seen before.


Books:

Filed with info but the writing is more focused on the political stuff than the movies themselves. I will use this as reference. Why the author focused on this subject remains a mystery (to me anyway). Only $12.00 US.


This book cost nearly $90.00. I sorta regret buying it. As I stated before, it reads more like a novel (author assumes stuff of how Freda thought or felt even though he wasn't there hen these things transpired. It's odd.) I was expecting a book with technical stuff, some anecdotes, and the usual but not this.


This book is a find. I never heard of it and came upon it by accident. It focuses only on Hollywood movies, which I was expecting, and it's filled with photos and looks pretty good. I'll read it soon enough. 


A soft-cover book filled with drawing which illustrates how people of Pompeii lived back in the day. Nice.


DVDs:


Two DVDs from SINISTER CINEMA. These are probably my last ones I'll buy from them. They are way overpriced and the shipping is insanely expensive. In total these two DVDs cost me $75.00 Canadian. Yes, you read that right. $32 US for both DVDs + shipping (over $20 US) and the currency conversion brings it to $75 in Canadian dollars. It's too much. But I'm glad I bought both. The GOLGOTHA is the only English version available anywhere (from my research) and the movie itself is excellent so I'm happy with this purchase. 

Even though I have multiple copies of SINS OF ROME (1953) none of them are complete (in the English dub, anyway). I bought the SOMETHING WEIRD version of this film a couple of months ago, which is complete but the audio is messed up. So I decided to buy the SINISTER one to see if it has all the missing scenes with good audio and it mostly does. So I'll use the audio from this copy and add it to the SOMETHING WEIRD one, fix it and it will be the most complete edition in English. The audio is fine but the image quality is terrible.



Merch:


I ordered some samples from the official PEPLUM TV store and I got this t-shirt, size extra large. The smaller the size of the t-shirt, the bigger the design will look. The bigger size t-shirt, the smaller the design will look. I also ordered a mug but it's either lost in the mail or delayed (I ordered it over a month ago!). I'm impressed by the quality of stuff from Teespring but the shipping sucks (I'm not responsible for it). Don't let this discourage you from buying merchandise though. Keep in mind of what is going on in the world in regards to the coronavirus pandemic. Also, I'll be adding new designs and stuff to the store in the coming months.

I still have other stuff on the way (I have a second GIANTS OF THESSALY poster I haven't received yet), delayed by the slowed down shipping caused by the coronavirus lockdowns. I'll mention these purchases in a later haul.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

By the Gods!

Salammbò (Jeanne Valérie) and Narr Havas (Edmund Purdom) are mortal enemies in SALAMMBO (1960)

This movie has been blocked and unblocked on Youtube more times than I can remember. Recently, it was playable on YT without any claims but now it's playable only with a copyright claim. I did a Fan Dub of this over-the-top PEPLUM, the only one available in English and widescreen, and well I can't play it anywhere. I like it. There are some really good stuff in it even though it's often overly boisterous, certainly in regards to the score. Director Sergio Grieco, who played it safe in previous productions, went all machismo with this one. It's quite fun to watch the director's transition into this uber virile director who went on to make other OTT macho movies like JULIUS CAESAR AGAINST THE PIRATES (1962) and later on with Eurospy movies like the 077 series with Ken Clark, such as SPECIAL MISSION LADY CHAPLIN (1966) which is really worth watching, and in the 1970s in addition of directing movies he also became a screenwriter,  including being one of the writers of THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS (1978). What a career!

Lobby Cards Set: REVENGE OF THE GLADIATORS (1964)

US lobby card set for REVENGE OF THE GLADIATORS (1964; La vendetta di Spartacus; also known as The Revenge of Spartacus) starring Roger Browne, Gordon Mitchell, Scilla Gabel and a host of other actors. Ok set but very repetitive. Almost no stand-out card. Cards 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8 are from the same scene. This set needed more variety. It is action-packed though. Not to be confused with the confused with the Mickey Hargitay movie.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

By the Gods!

Ursus (Samson Burke) confers with locals in VENGEANCE OF URSUS (1961)

A fun movie many have 'rediscovered' after seeing it for the first time in widescreen. It is a nice looking film. That's PEPLUM veteran Ugo Sasso on the left of Burke, and the kid is Roberto Chevalier. Probably Burke's best movie. He only made a handful. 

Different Titles: HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN (1964)

Today, HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN (1964) starring ALan Steel and Jany Clair. Not many selections but the major ones.

As you can see the Hero in the original version was Maciste, renamed Hercules for English markets since Maciste wasn't a marketable name.


Original Italian title. Translates as MACISTE AND THE QUEEN OF SAMAR


The English title. It puts the Moon men in the title, unlike any other titles out there.


The French title translates as MACISTE AGAINST THE ROCK MEN, not the MOON MEN.


Alan Steel in the classic PEPLUM movie.

Monday, August 24, 2020

By the Gods!

Pietro Torrisi and Hal Yamanouchi in BARBARIAN MASTER (aka The Sword of the Barbarian; Sangraal; 1982)

One of a handful of PEPLUM movies Pietro made in the 1980s during the Sword & Sorcery trend. Torrisi starred in PEPLUM movies 20 prior to this in such films as THE TEN GLADIATORS (1963). His career was resurrected decades later and made this 2nd PEPLUM explosion worth checking out, for fans of the Golden Era but also for fans of bodybuilding. He was in his early 40s, and thanks to his barely there costume, one could see he was still in pretty good shape. Hal Yamanouchi started his career in Italian exploitation movies in the 1970s and he's still pretty much working these days. Funny how things work out. I like all of Torrisi's 80s output. They're not great art but they're fun to watch. 

PEPLUM Movie Poster

French poster of THE GIANT OF METROPOLIS (1962)

Excellent artwork. So much stuff going on.

PEPLUM TV Official store



Friday, August 21, 2020

By the Gods!

Goliath (Gordon Scott) gets handled harshly by a duplicate Goliath (Giovanni Cianfriglia) in GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES (1961) 

This classic scene, of two He-Men battling it out, is a stand-out. I created a compilation of wrestling scenes and uploaded it to Youtube. It includes part of this scene. For years, the identity of the actor battling with Gordon Scott was a mystery. Some have said it was Steve Reeves, which is ridiculous since Reeves couldn't do these stunts after an injury. Anyway, I figured it out and posted it here at the blog back in 2012. It's pretty much Giovanni Cianfriglia. He's still uncredited for this role but it's him. 

The movie was set to get a Blu-ray release but this much anticipated edition is still M.I.A.. The blu-ray.com website hasn't been updated since the announcement. 

Lobby Cards Set: ARABIAN ADVENTURE (1979)

Original UK lobby cards set of ARABIAN ADVENTURE (1979) starring Christopher Lee, Milo O'Shea, Puneet Sira, Emma Samms and others. Pretty good lobby cards set with nice images, including one from the famous magic carpet chase. Could have done without the one with Mickey Rooney though. A photo of the rose would have been cool. 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

By the Gods!

Mara Lane and Brad Harris in 79 AD: THE DESTRUCTION OF HERCULANEUM (1962)

Guess what they're talking about in this scene? Sex, of course. They used words acceptable back then to discuss the topic but that's the gist of it. This scene is often cut from certain editions, such as the Spanish DVD which cuts out the entire beginning of this moment. That's nearly 10 minutes from the original version. It's a great looking PEPLUM movie. The story is so so, like so many other Brad Harris movies. I like watching it just to watch it, not necessarily for the convoluted story. Mara Lane, sister of PEPLUM star Jackie Lane, is quite good in this and makes me wonder why she didn't have more roles.

BYTHEGODS!: ULYSSES (1954) Blu-ray review...

Quick review of the German Blu-ray edition.

BY THE GODS! 


Behind-the-Scenes


Behind the scenes photo from THE PRODIGAL (1955) with crew and actors, including Edmund Purdom. This photo is part of the official stills set. It's interesting in that Edmund is not wearing his costume (see below). So this photo is actually of the cast and crew rehearsing the scene. It's also interesting that there are two cameras.


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

By the Gods!

Ruth Roman and Gianni Musy in THE SINNER (1959)

A color photo from the rare black & white movie, which is still M.I.A.. I can't review it because I haven't seen it. Hopefully this movie will resurface one day. 

But I did translate a fotonovela of the movie, from French to English and you can read here at the blog. It's the closest thing to seeing it, well, sorta. 



Then & Now: Luciana Gilli

The beautiful Luciana in THE RED SHEIK (1962); Luciana from a recent interview.

Monday, August 17, 2020

By the Gods!

Goliath (Brad Harris) lifts a giant bolder in GOLIATH AGAINST THE GIANTS (1961)

Not to be spoilerish or anything, but the confrontation between Goliath and the giants of the title is mainly this scene in which the giants are standing on top of the boulder in which Goliath lifts up and throws down the cliff, killing the giants. Another short-lived confrontation even thought the title sells this potentially fiery confrontation. It's very anticlimactic for such an action packed movie. Anyway, compare the image above to how it looks like in the actual film. 

One of those rare films in which the hero's name is Goliath both in the Italian version and the English version. 


PEPLUM Movie Poster

Original Italian poster of GOLIATH & THE DRAGON* (1960)

They actually used Steve Reeves on the poster. I wonder how they got away with it. Great poster nonetheless.

* Goliath & the Dragon is the US version which is the same as La Vendetta Di Ercole but with added scenes. So, technically, it's the same movie and yet its not.

PEPLUM TV Official store



Friday, August 14, 2020

By the Gods!

Hercules (Frank Gordon) and Maciste (Kirk Morris) fight in the climax to MACISTE AGAINST HERCULES IN THE VALE OF WOE (1961)

The mysterious Frank Gordon. He has a substantial role in this movie and this is his only film and very little is known of him. It's quite the opposite with Kirk Morris. Kirk has never been in better form. This fight is frustrating: one expects the two musclemen to go at each other (it's the point of the title...), and when they do, the movie ends. It's way too short. A kooky 'comedy' not to be taken seriously at any level. 

At the movies...

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956) playing at the Velasco theatre in Velasco, Texas. Look at the little Moses at the top there. 

 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

By the Gods!

Kirk Morris as Maciste in TRIUMPH OF MACISTE (1961)

I'm currently reading a book on the Maciste movies of the silent era. It's meticulously researched. But looking at the index I don't see any mention of the resurgence of the Maciste character in the 1960s. The Maciste character was so popular back then that the actor who played him in CABIRIA (1914), Bartolomeo Pagano, changed his name to Maciste. He made dozens of Maciste movies but most of them were set in contemporary times, not in the distant past. Aside from a couple of movies, most of the Maciste movies were not PEPLUM at all. And yet the character became famous, later on, as a major character of PEPLUM movies. From what I've read, the author is fixated with CABIRIA and Maciste having influenced Federico Fellini and his movies. In fact, the author starts by writing about Fellini and Maciste in the Acknowlegments chapter. From what I can tell, no mention of any PEPLUM movies of the 1960s with Maciste (unless the author didn't index it). It's very odd. How can someone write a book on the influence of Maciste on Italian culture and not mention the popular Maciste movies of the Golden Era. Again, not respect for the genre.

Bartolomeo Pagano in MARVELLOUS MACISTE (1915). This was the first Maciste movie made after CABIRIA. It's set in modern times, not in the past. 

Lobby Cards Set: GOLIATH AND THE SINS OF BABYLON (1963)

Original US lobby cards set of GOLIATH & THE SINS OF BABYLON (1963) starring Mark Forest, Jose Greci, Mimmo Palmara and host of other actors. Very good set. Even though there are two cards for the same scene (the famous Goliath sprawled with spears around him), it's still a good set. The chariot race is missing though. I'm not too sure about the use of yellow but overall I'd want it in my collection.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

By the Gods!

Hercules (Alan Steel) lifts up a soldier and is about to toss him into a barrel in HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN (1964)

This photo above shows the scene (below) from a slightly different angle and different framing. I love the way it's framed in the movie but I have to say that it also seems incomplete compared to the photo above. Seeing his feet pressed against the staircase while lifting up the man gives the scene a lot more power. Steel actually lifts up the stuntman without any assistance. Yes, he was strong. Fun, colourful film. 


Behind-the-Scenes

Pier Angeli poses with a prop from THE SILVER CHALICE (1954)


Monday, August 10, 2020

By the Gods!

 Jesus (Robert Le Vigan) is judged by Pontius Pilate (Jean Gabin) in GOLGOTHA (1935) 

This rare PEPLUM movie from the 1930s is pretty good. It's a French production and I have the French version but I'm currently watching the English dubbed version and it's excellent. One of the best dubs ever made. It almost sounds like the original production was in English. It's also one of the best Biblical movies I've ever watched. It's a short but there's something great about a production from the 1930s, which were meticulous with so many details, that makes it extra special. The runtime for the original is 95 minutes. This English copy is 92 minutes. Overall, it's a classy production. Also known as BEHOLD THE MAN.

PEPLUM TV Official store





PEPLUM Movie Poster

Belgian poster of SLAVES OF BABYLON (1953)

Beautiful poster. I want it.

Friday, August 7, 2020

By the Gods!

Jerome Courtland and Lisa Gastoni show their love for each other in THARUS - SON OF ATTILA (1962)

Nothing says love like a burning building! Anyway, this movie is often overlooked and some who know about it don't like it. Personally, I like it. It's not the greatest PEPLUM ever but it's very entertaining. It's not boring that's for sure. Lisa is still with us while Jerome died in 2012. 

Lobby Cards Set: THE SILVER CHALICE (1954)

Original US lobby cards set of THE SILVER CHALICE (1954) starring Jack Palance, Virginia Mayo, Paul Newman and all. Very good set. An excellent selection of scenes which showcases all the major actors. It makes the movie look good. Thumbs up!