Tuesday, January 31, 2023

HD Alert!


The German Blu-ray edition of HANNIBAL (1959) has a date. It will be available for purchase on March 9. I think I'll skip this one. At 27.99 Euros + an additional 22.49 Euros for delivery. a total of 50.48 Euros, that's a lot for one title. I like the movie but not that much. Anyway, I believe the HD print is the same as the HD print I already have in my collection. Here's a link for those who want to buy it. The Amazon page has some screenshots. Here's one with Victor Mature and Rita Gam.

 

HERCULES in the news...

Two discoveries of statues of HERCULES have occurred recently, one from late last year and one from last week!


Construction Workers Discovered a Mysterious Statue of Hercules Buried Deep in a Roman Sewer


Construction workers cleaning and repairing a 100-year-old sewer in Rome unearthed a life-size marble sculpture of a man dressed as the mythical figure of Hercules, identifiable by his lion skin headdress.

“I doubt anyone was expecting a find like this under these circumstances,” Jane Draycott, an archaeologist at the University of Glasgow who was not involved in the excavation, told the Miami Herald. “A nice surprise amongst the sewage!”


Link


2,000-year-old statue of Roman god Hercules unearthed

 


Archaeologists unearthed a well-preserved statue of the Roman god Hercules during excavations at a site in Greece's ancient city of Philippi.

A team from Aristotle University found the statue, which was in a few pieces but still in good condition, in an area that was once part of the Roman and Byzantine empires.

Link


Monday, January 30, 2023

Musings!


Kai Baker and Brent Huff in STORMQUEST (1987) 

Another low budget 'Sword and Sorcery' movie from the 1980s and filmed in Argentina. Brent was in GWENDOLINE (1984), which was about finding a lost civilization ruled by women. STORMQUEST takes place in a world were women rule. For some reason, there's a plethora of such 'women rule the world' in the PEPLUM genre. One could make a good festival with all of them. The movie is on Youtube but finding a decent print is nearly impossible so this screenshot was taken from the VHS copy. I had this title for years in my collection but never wrote about. Is it good? Not really but it's more entertaining than most S&S of the era. 


PEPLUM Movie Poster


French poster of THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1935)

Great poster. Preston Foster wasn't that fit but it's all good. 

Friday, January 27, 2023

Image of the week!


Phillipides (Steve Reeves) practices his swordsmanship in THE GIANT OF MARATHON (1959)

VHS Covers


Two VHS covers of THE THRONE OF FIRE (1983) starring Pietro Torissi and Sabrina Siani. Above is the Spanish cover and below is from Germany. Same movie, different selling points. The artwork for the German one was used for many other markets but with her breasts covered by hair or a bikini top. 

 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Musings!


The Golden Calf from THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956) 

One of the most iconic props in PEPLUM history. Whatever happened to the Golden Calf? Was it demolished or is it preserved somewhere? With Edward G. Robinson and Debra Paget. Debra is the only major actor who is still alive. 


Behind-the-Scenes


 Rik Battaglia checking he script on the set of ROLAND THE MIGHTY (1956)

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

SPFX DEPT.


A publicity still for IRONMASTER (1983) 

The movie is considered a low budget production but it actually has some fairly good effects in it, including this scene. Below is how it looks like in the movie. Paolo Ricci is credited for special effects, which, I assume, includes matte paintings.
 I have a quasi-HD copy of this and the effects hold up beautifully. Directed by Umberto Lenzi. 

 



The Goddess of Spring


Short animation from the early days of Disney. This is the telling of Persephone kidnapped by Hades, the animation takes a lot of liberties with this story. This is the Roman version of Persephone, Proserpina. Hades is Puto. The dialogue / singing are, oddly enough, in French. This animation is considered important as it preceded SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. 

Monday, January 23, 2023

Musings!


Vanna White as Venus in GODDESS OF LOVE (1988; TV)

The movie starts with Zeus banishing Venus because she knows nothing about love. She's turned into a statue which ends up in a museum in modern times. The statue is stolen and ends up at some party and becomes alive after David Naughton places a ring on one of her hands. Critics weren't too kind to it.
 Has anyone seen it? It's on Tubi TV.

PEPLUM Movie Poster


German poster of THE ROBE (1953)

Nice portraits of actors. 

Friday, January 20, 2023

Image of the week!


Hercules (Steve Reeves) and Queen Omphale (Sylvia Lopez) together, in happier times, from HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959)

Lobby Cards Set: HERCULES AGAINST ROME


German lobby cards set of HERCULES AGAINST ROME (1964) starring Alan Steel. Almost every photo has Alan in it so this is a great set. It could have had one card with Wandisa Guida and / or Mimmo Palmara but overall, this is a fun set.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Musings!


Gianna Maria Canale and Massimo Girotti, as Spartacus, in SPARTACUS - SINS OF ROME (1953)

This epic movie, directed by Riccardo Freda, is in Black & White. Remarkably enough, most PEPLUM movies were shot in colour than in B&W. This photo, with colour added, shows how the movie might have looked like in colour. Colourization of old B&W movies are more often terrible than good with the exception of the one they did for THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1935) which is actually pretty nice. I'd be curious to see a colourized version of SINS OF ROME but I personally love the B&W. It makes it look grittier. 


Behind-the-Scenes


Giuseppe Tosi, Buddy Baer and Arthur Walge on the set of QUO VADIS (1951). Buddy Baer played Ursus in the movie while the two other men played wrestlers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Clip of the week: SOLOMON AND SHEBA

Queen of Sheba (Gina Lollobrigida) 'invites' King Solomon (Yul Brynner) in SOLOMON AND SHEBA (1959)



Tuesday, January 17, 2023

HD Alert!



The Blu-ray edition of MARCO POLO (1962) from Kino Lorber is available for pre-order at Amazon. It's only $17.99 in the US. It's $33.44 in Canada! 

IIt will be released on February 7, so that's in less than 3 weeks from today.


 

Rory Calhoun as Marco Polo (screenshot not from Blu-ray)


Gina Lollobrigida R.I.P.


Legendary Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida died on January 16 at the age of 95. This is very sad. At that age, I thought she would live forever. :-) I'm a big fan and not just her PEPLUM movies. 

Gina wasn't just a beautiful woman, she was also a dancer, a singer, a photographer and a sculptor. Rest in peace. Gina!


 

A sultry Gina starred in FANFAN LA TULIPE (1952)



Gina starred with Errol Flynn in CROSSED SWORDS (1954)



Gina played Esmeralda in THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1956) with Anthony Quinn. She was excellent in this. The dance sequence is memorable.



 

SOLOMON AND SHEBA (1959) was one of Gina's biggest films, starring Yul Brynner as Solomon. Her costumes were out of this world. 


 






Gina played Pauline Bonaparte in IMPERIAL VENUS (1962)

 

Horst Buchholz and Gina starred in CERVANTES (1967)


List of movies:

AQUILA NERA (1946)

FANFAN LA TULIPE (1952)

CROSSED SWORDS (1954)

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE-DAME (1956)

SOLOMON AND SHEBA (1959)

IMPERIAL VENUS (1962)

CERVANTES (1967)


Monday, January 16, 2023

Musings!


Hercules, Helena and Newton in THE MIGHTY HERCULES (1963 - 1966) 

I was a late fan of the PEPLUM genre, having seen my first PEPLUM movies after buying the 50 Warriors DVD set in 2007. When I watched THE MIGHTY HERCULES as a kid, little did I know that the series was inspired by HERCULES (1958) and Steve Reeves. I still like this cartoon. I like the simplicity of it and how it's more PEPLUM-like than most things from Hollywood. Does anyone else like it? What's your memory of it? Made in Canada!


PEPLUM Movie Poster


Spanish poster of THE TITANS (1962; aka My Son, The Hero) 

This movie is a PEPLUM adventure / comedy. Does it look like a comedy from this poster? 

Friday, January 13, 2023

Image of the week!


Aeneas (Steve Reeves) fights against Ajax (Mimmo Palmara) in THE TROJAN HORSE (1961)

At the movies...


TRIUMPH OF MACISTE playing at a movie theatre presumably in France. I don't know what the HERCULE STORY is about. On the right there's a list of PEPLUM movie titles on display. 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Musings!


A mourning Sappho (Tina Louise) is confronted by Hyperbius (Riccardo Garrone) and her brother, Laricus (Alberto Farnese) in SAPPHO - THE VENUS OF LESBOS (1960; aka The Warrior Empress)

Love this photo. The costumes and sets in this movie are great. Sappho (Louise) is mourning the death of her best friend Actis, and Hyperbius shows up to talk about marrying her or the state of their 'relationship.'  The acting is very good, helped with an excellent dubbing in which the non English speaking actors read their lines in English, making the dubbing appear seamless. And the movie used Tina's voice, unlike her other PEPLUM movies, SIEGE OF SYRACUSE (1960). As excellent as that movie is, not using her voice was a mistake. Anyway, SAPPHO is one of my favourite PEPLUM movies. Hopefully, it will show up in HD and in English somewhere.


Behind-the-Scenes


A lady from the wardrobe department fixed Steve Reeves' costume on the set of SANDOKAN - THE PIRATE OF MALAYSIA (1964)

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Clip of the week: ULYSSES AGAINST HERCULES

Ulysses (Georges Marchal) is challenged by demented King Lagos (Gianni Santuccio), using a young woman (Raffaella Carrà) as target in ULYSSES AGAINST HERCULES (1962). One of my favourite scenes in a PEPLUM movies.


Tuesday, January 10, 2023

SPFX DEPT.


Proteus attacks Hercules in HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (1961) 

This scene of Proteus morphing into a lizard monster and subsequently changing into different animals, including snake or condor, in order to attack Hercules (Reg Park, below) is great. I know today some will find the fx goofy because it's not CGI but I love the lizard/monster suit. It's definitely one of the highlights of the movie and one of the best scenes of the PEPLUM genre.
 


11,000-Year-Old Wall Carving in Turkey


A very old relief was recently found under a building(s) which might date back 11000 years in a town in Turkey. The relief shows a man surrounded by leopards. The buildings around it were demolished for the archeological site. 

"In Saybur├ž, Turkey, an archaeologist discovered an 11,000-year-old scene carved into a wall. It’s one of the oldest narrative depictions in the archaeological record.
 
The narrative scene depicts five figures: two humans, a bull, and two leopards. One of the humans is holding a snake, or rattle, in its right hand. The other human figure is holding its penis. A full description of the narrative scene, along with interpretations of its meaning for the Neolithic community that created it, is published in Antiquity’s Project Gallery."



Link

Monday, January 9, 2023

Musings!


Obro (Gordon Mitchell) fights off some cannibal men in THE GIANT OF METROPOLIS (1961)

Italian cinema has always been fascinated by cannibals or cannibalism. Is this the first mainstream movie with cannibals on display and in action? I know there are Morlocks in THE TIME MACHINE (1960) but, if I recall correctly, you don't see them trying to eat someone who's still alive. Effective scene but a bit over-the-top. There's an Italian movie called ADAM AND EVE VS THE CANNIBALS from the 1980s which sums up the whole Italian cannibal trend: even Adam and Eve were not safe from cannibals! THE GIANT OF METROPOLIS is great PEPLUM sci-fi!

PEPLUM Movie Poster


Original German poster of COLOSSUS OF THE STONE AGE (1962; aka Fire Monsters vs Son of Hercules)

Great poster! I love these German posters which are minimalistic and to the point.