Monday, December 22, 2014

By the Gods!

Ulpia (Wandisa Guida) is pestered by Erika (Simonetta Simeoni) in HERCULES AGAINST ROME

I've just completed a fix on my Fan Dub of this film (I replaced the few scenes with the original Spanish audio with a much preferred Italian audio for the scenes where there was no English audio) so as I was rewatching it I can't believe what a bitch Erika is in this. Everyone is nice to her, including Wandisa's character, but she makes everyone's life that more miserable. Erika would be on a list of the Top Ten Bitchy PEPLUM characters!

Oddly enough, in this film, like a couple of other PEPLUM films, Wandisa is the main actress but she falls for a man other than the hero, like in GLADIATOR OF ROME where she co-stars with Gordon Scott but is the love interest of another man (which I thought wasn't good). In this film, Erika pesters Ulpia because she's jealous of the attention from Hercules (Alan Steel) for Ulpia but Ulpia falls for a Roman general played by Mimmo Palmara. So Erika was being a bitch for nothing, which makes her character seem even more bitchy. Aha! Erika is wonderfully played by Simonetta. Wandisa is great in this too even if how her character was written would be unflattering to most but Wandisa carries it off on point.

I love this film!

Movie Poster Mondays

Spanish poster for THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1959)

The artist didn't quite get Steve Reeves there. He looks constipated. But colourful poster nonetheless.

Friday, December 19, 2014

By the Gods!

Gordon Scott, as Goliath (Maciste in the original), is about to show his strength in GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES

He breaks a lot of things in this. One of Scott's best PEPLUM films.


Diabolical Farida (Hélène Chanel) stings Maciste (Kirk Morris) in MACISTE IN THE VALLEY OF THUNDERING ECHOES. He got the point.

Virna Lisi RIP

Virna with José Greci and Jacques Sernas in DUEL OF THE TITANS

Virni Lisi died on December 18. She was 78. Though her PEPLUM resume is not as extensive as other actors Virna starred in a couple of PEPLUM films including DUEL OF THE TITANS. She mostly made Swashbuckler or period pieces, such as THE BLACK TULIP and A VIRGIN FOR THE PRINCE. She branched out into mainstream Hollywood films appearing in the comedy HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE with Jack Lemmon.

Here's a compilation of photos I've posted of Virna on my blogs. What a sad day. RIP.

Posted at the BABES & BEAUTIES permanent page.

Virna and Steve Reeves on horseback in DUEL OF THE TITANS

Steve Reeves, Virna Lisi and Jacques Sernas for a party for DUEL OF THE TITANS


A THEN & NOW I made with a recent photo of Virna

Claudine Auger (KALI YUG - GODDESS OF VENGEANCE), Virna Lisi (DUEL OF THE TITANS), Ursula Andress (SHE), Marisa Mell (DIABOLIK)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

By the Gods!

Rock Hudson, as Harun, reaches for the golden blade in THE GOLDEN BLADE

One of those studio bound B-movies from the 1950s that kids would love but today's jaded audiences would probably laugh at. Rock is not bad in the swashbuckling scenes. There's a scene in this which makes me really laugh : when one of the various magicians hired by the Grand Vizier in an attempt to remove the sword from the column and fails. A film that doesn't take itself seriously. 


Nick Nostro directing a scene from TRIUMPH OF THE TEN GLADIATORS. Nick is holding super buff Pietro Torrisi. Then there's Aldo Canti (center), Emilio Messina, Salvatore Borghese (on the ground) and Dan Vadis. In the back, from the left, it's Jeff Cameron, Stelio Candelli and behind Emilio is Romano Giomini. Cool photo.

Monday, December 15, 2014

By the Gods!

The rebels from THE SON OF SPARTACUS (aka The Slave)

The front row: Benito Stefanelli, Ombretta Colli, Enzo Fiermonte and Steve Reeves.

This film has two different versions. I did not make a scene by scene comparison between the US and Italian versions yet (I will do it in the near future) but I know the US version has a generic score while the Italian one basically has the same score from DUEL OF THE TITANS, also starring Steve. I prefer the Italian one. The US version lacks the strength of the other version with this generic different score we've heard a million times in other PEPLUM films. The story needs a main theme which is lacking in the official MGM cut. I made a Fan Dub with the English dub but with the Italian score. That's the best version of the two. It's the same thing with HERCULES: I created a Fan Dub of HERCULES with the better widescreen image from a French DVD (which, unfortunately, is not uncut) and added the US English dub, replacing the International English dub (which has a terrible voice actor for Steve). IMO, my Fan Dub is the definitive HERCULES version. Also, like so many recent transfers the image from the Warner Archive DVD for SON OF SPARTACUS is way too dark. The aspect ratio is good but it's lacking on both of these points. 

Movie Poster Mondays


One of the few posters that shows all ten gladiators and not just Dan Vadis. Very colourful and action-packed, like the movies.

Friday, December 12, 2014

By the Gods!

Pier Angeli and Rossana Podestà in SODOM & GOMORRAH

Probably my least favourite PEPLUM films from Europe. There's basically no story to this film. The film appears unrealistic because all the women are young and beautiful (see above). There's nothing wrong with some eye candy but because there are almost no old women in it the film ends up looking like a dream casting call for director Robert Aldrich a la Howard Hughes 'producing' the silly SON OF SINBAD with his harem of babes. The impressive male cast, which includes genre faves Rik Battaglia, Gabriele Tinti and Anthony Steffen, amongst others, all look-alike which made the viewing unnecessarily confusing. Only Giacomo Rossi Stuart stands out from the pack because he has blond hair!

And speaking of confusing, the actors' accents were all over the place: British, American, Italians speaking English, French speaking English, dubbed American voices. The Tower of Babel would have been jealous. Rossana Podestà's voice is dubbed by an American actress and she plays Stewart Granger's daughter. They could have at least hired a British actress for the dubbing to go along with Stewart's Brit accent. Oh well... But in the end, the film was not lascivious enough to live up to its title, which didn't please those who wanted debauched action, and it was too tawdry for the Christian folks at the time (maybe even today). A film that seemingly pleased no one, including me. Composer Miklós Rózsa disliked the film as well. There are some good things in it, including Anouk Aimée, who clearly knew the weakness of the film and camp it up for fun and there's a fabulous cast of Italian actors (see link). Sergio Leone was unofficially credited as one of its many co-directors but today he's officially listed. 


Goliath (Hercules in the original, Mark Forest) smashes the blood stone lodged-in on the God of Vengeance statue in GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON

Same set, different films!

Same set, different films: MESSALINA and TIBERIUS. Both films were released in 1960. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

PEPLUM TV back on Facebook

In preparation for some upcoming 'thing' I've reactivated the Facebook account for PEPLUM TV. For those who have Facebook, check it out.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

By the Gods!

 Giacomo Rossi Stuart in full action in THE DEVILS OF SPARTIVENTO

To say that I love this film would be an understatement. You know the type of film that the second you see it you know you'll enjoy it well this is one of those films. Great cast, robust score by Francesco de Masi and fun action and the story has a twist to it which makes it stand out from the usual fare. Now if only there was a clean widescreen copy of this. Mine is in widescreen but from a fuzzy VHS source.

EXODUS reviews are now coming in...

...and some of them are brutal!

"This eye-rollingly bad movie is silly, sluggish and miscast." - New York Daily News

"When a swarm of super-crocs seize upon fishermen, turning the Nile into literal blood [...] perhaps you can briefly forgive Christian Bale's sketchily defined Moses." - Metro

"A grandly staged but soulless and mediocre retelling of Moses liberating the slaves of Egypt." - Impulse Gamer

"This is big screen filmmaking at its most traditional, a pageant of sight and sound that makes the trip to the theater completely worth it. Pity about the movie, though." - Badass Digest

Ouch! Those super-crocs killing men and turning the Nile into blood sounds ridiculous!

Previous article on EXODUS : link

EXODUS : GODS AND KINGS hits theatres this Friday.

Monday, December 8, 2014

By the Gods!

Babar (John Simons) and Hercules (Dan Vadis) wonder what's next in HERCULES THE INVINCIBLE (aka Hercules in the Land of Darkness)

Babar is one of the most annoying sidekicks in PEPLUM film history. The actor is credited as John Simons in the opening credits but he's not listed anywhere, including IMDb. Must be an alias. Dan is an action star in this but the fake beard sorta ruins it. I have this film in 5 different versions and yet none of them are pristine and uncut. I want to do a Fan Dub of it and I need a good copy. Oh well... Scratch that I've one great copy! Yeah!

Movie Poster Mondays

German poster for REVOLT OF THE SLAVES

The artist didn't quite get Rhonda's face.

Friday, December 5, 2014

By the Gods!

Micah (Edmund Purdom) gets whipped after a falling out with the PTB (Powers That Be) in THE PRODIGAL

This scene lasts a split-second in the film so it's great that there's a photo of this which captured the moment. Thanks to Gary for this very rare photo.

I've said it before and I'll always say it: THE PRODIGAL is a snoozefest. It's well mounted MGM production but hardly exciting on any level and Micah's character is hard to root for. So was this punishment justified? Aha!

Edmund would have made a great Jesus.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

By the Gods!

Sylva Koscina, as Clio, rides to her father's temple in SIEGE OF SYRACUSE

Ah the simple days when a pretty woman could ride nonchalantly around, to the market or anywhere, in a chariot.

I love SIEGE OF SYRACUSE but one of the criticism I have about it is that Sylva's role was merely a footnote, nothing more. It was severely underwritten. But she lit-up the story whenever she was on screen.


Kellan Lutz, as Poseidon, in a behind-the-scenes photo of the making of IMMORTALS