Tuesday, January 24, 2012

PEPLUM Imagery in the mainstream media

The final episode of the UK version of DANCING WITH THE STARS started with contestants being transported in chariots...why? I dunno but the Sword & Sandal imagery is alive and well today.


abdul666 said...

"the Sword & Sandal imagery is alive and well today."
And it's good!
Then, were the chariots pulled by 'Gwendoline-like' girls, it would be 'Gor' imagery :)

I saw a lot of peplum movies in my youth, and despite the nostalgia value I can't say I miss the Greek hoplites (supposed to represent Trojan warriors or Roman legionaries) with modern boxer shorts under their tunics and tan wristwatch lines (or even, I'm afraid, actual wristwatches!). But I've fond memories of the credits of 'Helen of Troy': the background image: a group of 'Greek' cavalrymen seen from behind, and the leftmost horse was defecating during the entire credits (I guess they passed the same sequence in a loop).... 56 years later I still merrily remember the vision!

abdul666 said...

Some may feel you are 'overgenerous' including swashbuckling (3 musketeers, pirates) movies in your list. Taking into account the technological level of warfare I'd stop before the generalization of gunpowder weapon -which would allow 'The Cid' but theoretically exclude 'The Miracle of the Wolves' and 'Quentin Durward'? On the other hand, when 'extra-Western European' 'archaic' types such as Tartars are featured ('With Fire and Sword')....
Do you use the general plotline and presence of archetypes as your criterion?

Given that Hercules (or was it Maciste?) met vampires, the borderline between Sword & Sandal and Sword & Sorcery is also very fuzzy. Are 'Conan the Barbarian' and 'Excalibur' "peplum"? Now, the Hercules and Xena TV series obviously are?

I don't have your list on-screen while typing, but Eastern Europe did -and does- a lot of rather epic 'peplum' movies, from 'Alexander Nevsky' to 'The Column'.
And what about Chinese, Korean and Japanese movies? Can 'Kagemusha' and 'Red Cliff' be deemed 'peplum'?