Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Photo of the Day

Paul Richter is Siegfried in the 1924 silent version of DIE NIBELUNGER: SIEGFRIED

Last Saturday I posted an image from the so-called 1967 remake but its predessesor looks more interesting. Directed by cinema genius Fritz Lang. I haven't seen it yet but something tells me this is better than the 1967 version.

After they were PEPLUM stars

Kirk Morris in the 1970s...omg!

Separated at birth

Jeanne Valerie in SALAMMBO and infamous British strumpet Katie Price

In SALAMMBO, Jeanne was made to look like that. She usually doesn't look like her character in that film. They applied loads of bronzer and her hair was darkened jet black and her eyebrows were changes, etc. Katie Price aka Jordan pays people to look like that. Every time I watch this film I always think: What is Katie doing in this?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Photo of the Day

An intense looking Brad Harris in 79 A.D. - THE DESTRUCTION OF HERCULANEUM

One of his best PEPs. It just needs an uncut copy of this. The Spanish and French DVDs are severely cut.

Posted at PEPLUM X

Movie Poster Mondays

Thai poster for CERVANTES (aka Young Rebel) starring Gina Lollobrigida and Horst Buchholz

Very colourful!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Photo of the Day

Gianna Maria Canale in THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS

Made the same year as HERCULES, Gianna's star was on the rise in 1958 but oddly enough only 6 years after this Gianna would retire from the world of movie making. We have to appreciate every film and photo of her as she disappeared from the face of the earth afterwards.

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff

This is the book in which the new CLEOPATRA film starring Angelina Jolie will be adapted from. I haven't read it and I looked at reviews at Amazon. It seems the book is very academic (genealogical stuff...) and to some it's too boring while others wrote that it was fascinating and saucy. The author (correctly) takes the position that everything which was written on Cleopatra was penned by men and so some clever re-adjustments were needed to be made to have a more precise picture of her (how precise a picture one can make on someone who lived thousands of years ago of course).


The End

THE LOST WORLD OF SINBAD - Japanese (I'm assuming it says the end...)





PEPLUM TV Sunday April 28

Now broadcasting live!

No set schedule as I'll be playing films, extras and trailers!

Be there!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Photo of the Day

No, this is not an image from a Heavy Metal music video, this is a publicity photo for DIE NIBELUNGEN, TEIL 1 : SIEGFRIED starring Uwe Beyer and Karin Dor.

I played this film, in German with English subs, on PEPLUM TV today. Pretty elaborate production, with a built-in sequel after this. Aesthetically speaking I prefer Italiano productions, not that there's anything wrong with this. There's something about Italian PEPLUM films I automatically gravitate to. PEPLUM stars Terence Hill and Samson Burke are somewhere in this big robust fantasy film.

Location: Walton Castle

This castle, called the Walton Castle, would be a great location for a Medieval film. I'd love to live there too. Don't know if it was ever used for a film.

Then & Now : 1980s edition

Urbano Barberini in GOR; Urbano today

Zabou in THE PERILS OF GWENDOLINE; Zabou today

Friday, April 26, 2013

Photo of the Day

Maciste (Kirk Morris) is caught in between closing-in walls in MACISTE IN THE VALLEY OF THE THUNDERING ECHOES

I've just finished making a Fan Dub of this film and I'll be showing it on PEPLUM TV this weekend. Not the greatest PEPLUM by a long shot but even so it contains several truly original elements not seen in other films of the genre, including Kirk's unique garb. Fun film with Kirk in top form.

I also made a Fan Dub of MASSACRE IN THE BLACK FOREST which has one of the best all out battle in it. Along with these titles I'll other stuff which I've played before (fingers crossed) a few so PEPLUM TV should be interesting this weekend.

Image uploaded to PEPLUM X

100th anniversary of QUO VADIS (1913)

Considered by many to be the first worldwide blockbuster of cinema, QUO VADIS, made in 1912 and released in 1913, is one of the first 2+ hour long epic to draw audiences back 100 years ago. It stayed in a first class Broadway for nine months from April to December 1913.

Director Enrico Guazzoni would be a master filmmaker in the PEPLUM genre. One just has to look at his list of films to see how influential his films were (link). With titles like FABIOLA (1918), THE SACK OF ROME (1920), JERUSALEM LIBERATED (Mighty Crusaders), THE PIRATE OF MALAYSIA (1941), his films read like a comprehensive list of titles made during the PEPLUM explosion of the 1950s/60s. Sadly many of his films are considered lost. QUO VADIS is often cited as a "lost" film but it's not. There are several copies in to be found at cinemateques in different European countries. There are some clips on Youtube. The film, like so many of the silent era, has some interesting behind-the-scenes legendary stories including an extra eaten by lion.

The book by Henryk Sienkiewicz would be remade several times since the 1913 film.

Gustavo Serena as Petronius Arbiter and Amleto Novelli as Marcus Vinicius. Those roles were made famous by Leo Genn and Robert Taylor in the 1951 MGM super production.

The Roman Holidays animated series

Hmm...I've never heard of this before. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Photo of the Day

Clelia (Gabriella Pallotta) and other young women try to escape an Etruscan camp where they were held as willing hostages in THE COLOSSUS OF ROME (aka Hero of Rome)

Great suspenseful scene in one of the best Gordon Scott mini epics. The voice actress who does Gabriella's voice is a bit annoying (in a whimpy way) but this scene redeems her character.

Comic book heroes inspired by action stars?

Are comic book artists inspired by real life action stars like in this example Mike Henry from the Tarzan films of the 1960s? I remember seeing a comic book and the lead hero looked exactly like Steve Reeves even though the story wasn't a PEPLUM story or anything to do with Steve. Maybe the great Joe Jusko, who lurks around these parts, can answer this for us.

I'm aware that if a comic character resembles a real actor then royalties come into question but I've seen too many photos from films (like the Brad Harris one below) that were clearly used to trace the look of an actor for a character or at least influenced artists out there.

This photo is from a Brad Harris film called KING OF KONG ISLAND. When I saw this I thought "Hmm...this looks like it came straight out of a Richard Corben comic book!" Brad Harris looks like Den here.

After-set activities

Dan Vadis and Moira Orfei posing for a magazine.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Photo of the Day

Linda Cristal as Akis in THE PHARAOHS' WOMAN

Linda is a bit too immaculate here for the role, looking like she just stepped out of the cleaners. Regardless, this film is interesting. Just look at the title. There's a subtle distinction in it. I haven't seen any good copies of this except for the VHS dupe from a TV broadcast. Hopefully, it'll be released on DVD in widescreen in the near future.

Whatever happened to...?

...RED SONJA project starring Rose McGowan as the titular character? It was set to be released in 2009, before the CONAN THE BARBARIAN remake but never got made. Rose was dating Robert Rodriguez at the time and he was supposed to direct it but the two broke up and it never got made. Like I always say, never mix business with pleasure!

PEPLUM Rules #12 - 15

Uploaded to the PEPLUM Rules page!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Photo of the Day

Karim (Steve Reeves) and Amina (Giorgia Moll) find happiness after finding the blue rose in THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1961)

Beautiful black & white photo of a very colorful film. There still hasn't been a definitive and satisfactory DVD release of this film. It was available on DVD in Italy and Germany but the image was terrible or cropped. This film is available on different channels on Youtube and you can see for yourself that none of them are close to DVD quality.

Liana Orfei sings

PEPLUM star Liana Orfei sings. 

Art vs Film

Art by Carl Bloch (posted at PEPLUM X)


PEPLUM film VENGEANCE OF URSUS starring Samson Burke

Monday, April 22, 2013

Photo of the Day

Fiery climatic battle from MASSACRE IN THE BLACK FOREST

Like so many PEPLUM films of the era, this film was shot back to back with another, IN THE SHADOW OF THE EAGLES. It utilises some of the same sets (with new ones) and some of the same cast (with some gone and new actors added). Fun for fans of historical flicks this would be called a Historical PEPLUM even if it has all the trademarks of a typical Italian production.

Movie Poster Mondays

Italian poster for SAMSON

Gorgeous poster. This is one of many poster for this film and the artist has a "unique" style of oversizing hands and feet.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Photo of the Day

Hercules (Lou Ferrigno) is turned into a giant by Circe's magic due to a challenge by the King of Africa in HERCULES (1983)

This separation created the two continents of Africa and Europe. Thank the gods for the existence of this endlessly entertaining goofy film.

Same set, different films

Above & below: From COLOSSUS OF THE ARENA. This exterior set has been used in several films during the PEPLUM explosion.

From THE TITANS (aka My Son, The Hero)

From COLOSSUS OF ROME (aka Hero of Rome)

Cinematic confusion

Greek DVD cover for MASSACRE IN THE BLACK FOREST. If I was a PEPLUM fan who prefers these films with bodybuilders in them well purchasing this DVD would be a disappointment. There's no muscular fellow in this film. In fact, it's one of the most serious or straightforward films from the genre. Cameron Mitchell can hardly be considered muscular. Anyway, very incorrect artwork.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Photo of the Day

Kathy Ireland and Dwier Brown in MOM & DAD SAVE THE WORLD

Straight out of ULYSSES AGAINST HERCULES. Nothing more to say.


Steve Reeves, Virna Lisi and Jacques Sernas for a party for DUEL OF THE TITANS. There's a little wolf on top of the cake.


As a fan of the PEPLUM genre watching HERCULES UNCHAINED is a fun experience for the many cameos in it. Here are some examples.

Fabrizio Mioni had a main role in HERCULES, as Jason (see yesterday's photo of the day) but in its sequel, HERCULES UNCHAINED, he had a cameo, as one of Queen Onfale's unfortunate lovers. He's barely recognizable in this from his previous PEPLUM films.

Like Fabrizio, Mimmo Palmara starred in HERCULES and returned for HERCULES UNCHAINED, as Polinices but his role is basically a cameo. Often shot in the dark (see image below, profile) or something covering his face, they deliberately tried to make Mimmo as unrecognizable as possible.

Future PEPLUM superstar Sergio Ciani, aka Alan Steel, first appeared in HERCULES UNCHAINED. Often erroneously credited as Steve Reeves' stuntman/body double in THE GIANT OF MARATHON (see previous post), Sergio, or Alan, was Reeves' stuntman in a few scenes in HERCULES UNCHAINED, as shown in the screenshot directly below. Alan does appear, face in full view, in a couple of scenes (above).

Giuliano Gemma on the left. His name is not listed at IMDb.

Giuliano Gemma again

Ugo Sasso