Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Photo of the Day

Screenshot from THE LOVES OF PHARAOH starring Emil Jannings (not him in the photo). Thought to be one of those silent films considered lost, it has been restored to incredible results. See the trailer below. A must see.

Restored Silent Film: THE LOVES OF PHARAOH - Trailer

A spectacular PEPLUM film directed by none other than Ernst Lubitsch starring Emil Jannings has been meticulously restored from a newly found nearly complete print. I have to say it looks AMAZING! Cannot wait to see it.

Cheesecake photo of Leonora Ruffo

Finally a sexy "cheesecake" photo of Leonora Ruffo, here from GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES. Love her, certainly since THE QUEEN OF SHEBA. Thanks Pasquale for the photo.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Photo of the Day


Pretty cool fantasy film that wasn't conceived as Sinbad in the original Japanese version but was sold as a Sinbad film around the world.

PEPLUM Muscleman test

Can you guess what decade this photo was taken?

I've removed information from the image that dates it and will show the full image on Thursday.

John Carter - Trailer

Combo Sci-Fi and Fantasy made up of mostly elements also found in the PEPLUM genre, this is the first trailer for the upcoming film adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs' JOHN CARTER OF MARS series of pulpy books. An endless number of comic book artists and painters have created works based/inspired on the books which has a fervent cult following. I've posted some examples on this blog, including the one posted just below (Warlord of Mars) and also here and here. Will it live up to the vision of ERB or the comic book artists' imagination?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Photo of the Day

Joakim Nätterqvist is ARN: THE KNIGHT TEMPLAR (2007)

A big Swedish production that was slated to be a miniseries then a movie for international audiences. I've seen it. It's ok. Nothing spectacular. Apparently the filming was plagued with production problems.

It seems I've seen this movie hundreds of times already...oh wait, I'm a PEPLUM fan so of course I've seen this film hundreds of times. Loads of cliches in it, which is usually good but some of the cliches were groaners. It seems a bit pointless after Ridley Scott's KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (2005).

Movie Poster Mondays

German poster for THE SWORD AND THE CROSS (Italian title: Le schiave di Cartagine)

Is this film in 3D? Arf. The dark haired lady is supposed to be Gianna Maria Canale and the painting doesn't do her justice.

GODS & KINGS to be directed by Steven Spielberg

Warner Bros wants Steven Spielberg to direct the story of Moses, from his birth to his death.

I've always compared Spielberg's populist films to those of Cecil B DeMille's so this is not surprising to me but it's doubtful he'll direct it because he has too many films to make right now. 


In an unrelated interview, Spielberg also mentioned how bad movies are today and he's not sure he'd watch many films made during the past 20 years.


Oh I agree, and, unfortunately it includes several Spielberg titles, including that wretched Crystal Skull flick. Arf.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Photo of the Day

FARAON (1966), a Polish film set in Ancient Egypt

I haven't seen it so I can say who's who but I believe that's Jerzy Zelnik as Ramses XIII. Would love to see it but I believe it wasn't dubbed into English.

PEPLUM inspired art

Art by Joe Jusko

One of the best piece of comic book art I've seen in a while. Just amazing. Would make a great movie poster for a PEP film.



Elizabeth Taylor and Rex Harrison: the screen's least sexy couple

Stewart Granger's big nostril doesn't help

In THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, Debra Paget was a slave to a slimy Vincent Price but when Vincent is killed her new master is Edward G Robinson. Some girls have all the bad luck.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Photo of the Day

Queen Gedren (Sandahl Bergman) and the all powerful talisman thingamajig in RED SONJA

Violeta Montenegro from CLEOPATRA

Brief dancing bit with Violeta Montenegro in CLEOPATRA (1963)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Photo(s) of the Day

The gods ready to kick ass in IMMORTALS.  Poseidon (Kellan Lutz), Zeus (Luke Evans) and Athena (Isabel Lucas).

I like the gear but not too crazy about the bird-like helmets. They remind me of the birdmen in ULYSSES AGAINST HERCULES, which is a cool over-the-top scene but not what I want to be reminded of when watching gods.

PEPLUM Recycling

This artwork has been recycled several times. Sometimes he's Hannibal and sometimes he's a Pirate. Here are two instances. I thought I might as well do a  banner for the blog with it while everyone is at it.

Upskirt - the male version

Cheeky PEP post: what's up with Italian PEP films and folks checking out what's underneath men's tunics? Don't think it's my dirty mind overacting. Here's photographic proof. And it's just a small sample.

Spanish poster for PERSEUS THE INVINCIBLE. That's a man in the foreground.

huh...this poster wouldn't be approved today.

Captivated by what?

Queen Onphale (Sylvia Lopez) clings to Hercules' leg.

In SALAMMBO (1961), Jeanne Valerie wakes up to a different view...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Photo of the Day



PEP Fans

Before they were PEPLUM stars: Angelo Zanolli

I came across this clip from ARRANGIATEVI on Youtube which stars Angelo Zanolli. Angelo appeared in 4 PEP films, including SON OF SAMSON (below with Mark Forest) where he played Pharaoh Kenamun. This is a sizeable role and I always wondered what happened to him. He was memorable in that film. I always thought he was excellent and had a dignified quality to him which was great for a Pharaoh. He also starred in HERCULES UNCHAINED, MORGAN THE PIRATE and MACISTE IN HELL. All great films. After MACISTE IN HELL, Angelo disappeared from the face of the earth. He appeared in ARRANGIATEVI before his Sword & Sandal flicks.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Photo of the Day

Rebecca Ferratti as Talena in GOR

Probably the best Sword & Sorcery babe of the 1980s.

Charles Laughton in I, CLAUDIUS

Scenes of Charles Laughton in I, CLAUDIUS, the legendary unfinished film directed by Josef von Sternberg. Here's a big speech scene. Some claim it's the best bit of acting by any actor. Below are scenes of Charles screwing up his lines. He looks confused.

Are they PEPLUM films?

A scene from KWAIDAN

Asian films set in Ancient times are often filled with sword fights and superheroes from mythology battling super nemesis with violence and colorful action and incredible stunts. Should they be considered part of the PEPLUM genre? Part of me says yes but another part of me thinks that a PEPLUM should be set in and around the Mediterranean, with Greeks, Romans, Gauls, Vikings and Egyptians and Persians, etc. Of course, there are those Euro PEP films which had Maciste traveling to China or Hercules battling Mongols or Inca warriors on the other side of the Atlantic.  But then when I think that I already have tons to cover with the hundreds and hundreds of PEP films right now that, personally, I think it would be too daunting to start including them.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Photo of the Day

Arena scene during climax of REVOLT OF THE SLAVES

Exciting film which has a lot to offer to fans of the PEPLUM genre

SALOME through the years

Salome is one of the most popular characters in movie history. There are at least 30 films made on the famous, or infamous, dancer. So here is just a small sample of actresses and films.

Theda Bara in her version of SALOME (1918)

No it's not Lady Gaga but Nazimova in her rendition of SALOME (1923)

Yvonne DeCarlo in SALOME WHERE SHE DANCED (1945) which is a Western not a PEPLUM but Yvonne has a dance bit as Salome. You can view her dance sequence here (oddly enough, it's backwards)

Rita Hayworth in SALOME (1953), probably the most famous film on the legendary character

Brigid Bazlen is Salome in KING OF KINGS (1961)

Jo Champa in SALOME DI OSCAR WILDE (1986)

Imogen Millais-Scott in SALOME'S LAST DANCE (1988)

Was Spartacus just a savage?

Was Spartacus just a savage?

Dramatically, Spartacus rode along the cheering ranks of his men. Then he stepped down and slaughtered his steed in full view.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Photo of the Day

Anita Ekberg and Victor Mature in ZARAK

The setting is more contemporary than the usual genre film but all the PEPLUM elements are there.

Movie Poster Mondays

US poster for SON OF SINBAD

I wonder what they're selling here...hmm...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Photo of the Day

Commodus (Christopher Plummer) makes a grand entrance in the spectacular ending from the FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. The stand-out moment.

A short review of the very long film:  Amazing production, good but not great cast, dire script.


The bust of Julius Caesar and a photo of Vladimir Putin

I'm certain Putin would love to be compared to Caesar while I doubt Caesar would love to be compared to Putin. Arf.

Egyptian PEPLUM films

Here are a few titles of Egyptian-made PEP films, which, would be a natural genre considering the setting and the culture. There's also the Egyptian version of KERIM SON OF THE SHEIK starring Gordon Scott, which I've already posted here.



scenes from VENGEANCE OF THE DESERT, also known as THE CRAFTY ONE

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Photo of the Day

A slave (George Bruggeman) watches Nero (Charles Laughton) enjoy eating a flower during the bloody Arena spectacle in SIGN OF THE CROSS.

QUO VADIS, DeMille style. Charles wanted to play Nero as effeminate ruler (i.e. as the near nude slave next to him indicates), which DeMille disagreed. The two apparently fought during production. Not one of my favourite PEPLUM films even if it has some great scenes within it. The script is muddled up. The film starts with the burning of Rome and then nothing about it...just to have the Christians demonized by it for the remainder of the story. But the ending, which can be seen as bleak is, in a way, its saving grace because it's such an uncommon one, certainly for Hollywood. Of course, there's the wonderful pre-code stuff, such as the photo above or Claudette's infamous donkey's milk bath scene. 

IMMORTALS clip - Brutal Battle

I haven't seen IMMORTALS yet so in the meantime...hmm...

Pietro Torrisi in CALIGULA

Yesterday, the Photo of the Day was from CALIGULA. Well, continuing on, I watched a clip on Youtube and lo and behold I noticed that PEPLUM star Pietro Torrisi was in it. CALIGULA is not listed at his IMDB profile. Maybe he's to embarrassed but that's him all right.

I created two Youtube mini profiles on Pietro. I guess I need to update them now. Link here and here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Photo of the Day

Caligula (Malcolm McDowell) arrives at the Roman Senate with his horse for Senator. 

I have to say that this photo is beautiful.

I haven't seen this film since the early 1980s. Anyway, I didn't like it back then, thought it was too sloppy but there's a reason for that as the film was hijacked from Tinto Brass and re-edited into a mess with wretched hardcore scenes. The sex/nudity didn't bother me. The violence was so over-the-top that it became silly even though some scenes were creative. I love Baroque films so I decided to buy the IMPERIAL edition with 3 DVDs and revisit it. It's probably not worth it but I watch anything with a PEPLUM theme/setting.

PEPLUM Behind the Scenes

SALOME star Rita Hayworth in a photo taken in the early 1960s. She still looked amazing.

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