Friday, June 27, 2014

Photo of the Day

Eli Wallach plays The Shah of Khwarezm in GENGHIS KHAN (1965)

Eli passed away this past Tuesday. Eli didn't do many PEPLUM type films. In fact, I think this his only PEPLUM film. And I'm not definitely not a fan of it (I thought it was interminable) so I have to say that Eli's presence in the PEPLUM universe is minimal. Regardless, he was a great 'character' actor in other films. Loved him in almost everything he did even if the movie was terrible. He was unforgettable in THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, an 'unofficial PEPLUM film'. RIP, Tuco.

I'll be back soon enough!

PEPLUM GIF animation : HERCULES (1958)

Classic bending the metal rod/spear scene from HERCULES (1958) starring Steve Reeves, Sylva Koscina, Mimmo Palmara and Ivo Garrani

Jacques Bergerac, RIP

French actor Jacques Bergerac died on June 15. The handsome actor was mostly known as one of Ginger Rogers' many husbands. He only appeared in one PEPLUM film as far as I know, FURY OF ACHILLES, as Hector. A big role and he was very good in it. He could have easily done more PEPLUM films as his classic good looks perfectly suited the genre. RIP.

Jacques Bergerac, as Hector, and Gordon Mitchell, as Achilles, fight to the death in FURY OF ACHILLES

Jacques, along with Ginger Rogers, visits the set of HELEN OF TROY

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Photo of the Day

Alfio Caltabiano swings into action in COLOSSUS OF RHODES

Alfio is one impressive actor/stuntman. He was often cast as a villain which was just fine since his grovelling face, height and determined stride was always intimidating. Alfio plays a good guy in this film.

Zeus' Affairs

An interactive visuel representation of all of Zeus' affairs. It's amazing how the chart lays down every detail and every offspring. Hercules is second to last 'affair' on the circular ligne. I added the red arrow to indicate where Zeus is. Zeus was father to both Perseus and Hercules but Perseus came first. And Hercules' grandfathers are sons of Perseus, which this chart doesn't show. It's pretty twisted when you think about it : Alcmene was the mother of Hercules (with Zeus the father) and Perseus was Alcmene's great-great-great-grandfather, which makes Zeus her great-great-great-greatgrandfather or something like that (see Perseus' offsprings below). It's missing all these juicy details but it's still cool.

Future and Past PEPLUM stars!

The then new PEPLUM star Lou Ferrigno and past PEPLUM star Gordon Mitchell

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Photo of the Day

Sophia Loren plays Nisca and Cleopatra in TWO NIGHTS WITH CLEOPATRA (1954)

Somehow I forgot to add this film to the 'seeing double' cliché, which is a big oversight...ah! I'm adding it to the permanent PEPLUM Clichés page


This scene is from the Italian version of GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES. Amahil (Van Aikens) tries to get his way with Guja (Leonora Ruffo). It's entirely cut from the US copy and also the French copy that I have. This scene was definitely to risqué back then, certainly for a kids film.

Another PEPLUM blog internet first!

Wanna look like Hercules?

Here are some of the exercise routines Dwayne Johnson used in order to make him buff for his new upcoming HERCULES film


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

PEPLUM media

Photo of the Day

Taryn Power and Jane Seymour are bathing beauties in SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER (1977)

What's a PEPLUM film without the prerequisite bathing beauties scene?

This film came out the same year as STAR WARS and many made fun of it for being so 'backwards' compared to the more 'advanced' sic-fi film but all in all I think this film holds pretty well or plays better on the small screen. It has major liabilities : too many scenes filmed on location with stand-ins and the story needed to be more compelling, but as a 'quest' film I like it. It fits all the requirements. Fun film.


Steve Reeves, still in costume, walks to or from the set of one of the HERCULES films. 

Cool photo.

(a real behind the scenes shot...ah!)

Who wore it best?

Claudia Mori in URSUS IN THE LAND OF FIRE or José Greci in THE TEN GLADIATORS (this is the best screenshot I could get).

Monday, June 23, 2014

Photo of the Day

Kalervo Nissilä is the handsome hero in THE MAN OF 100 SWORDS (Sadan Miekan Mies, 1951)

This is a solid Finnish Swashbuckler with good production values and great sword fights. Kalervo Nissilä is one expressive actor.

Thanks to Boris for finding the title.

(This is a screenshot of a mysterious Finnish swashbuckler I have in my collection and I have no further info on it. The film doesn't have any opening or closing credits. There are no English subs. It does have a inter-title at the beginning explaining what it's about and it 's about Gustav II Adolf. That's all I know about it. If anyone has any info on this film please let me know)

Movie Poster Mondays

Spanish poster for SLAVE OF CARTHAGE or more known as THE SWORD AND THE CROSS.

Nice poster of a rare PEPLUM.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Photo of the Day

Raquel Welch is captured by a pterodactyl and is about to be fed to baby chicks in ONE MILLION YEARS BC

Hang in there, Raquel!

Back on Monday!


US lobby cards set for CLASH OF THE TITANS. This covers everything so it's pretty good. It's missing big stars though like Maggie Smith and Ursulla Andress, etc. Still it's good.


Scene from SPARTACO - SINS OF ROME starring Massimo Girotti. Great scene.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Photo of the Day

A man (Vassili Karis) is tied to a spinning wheel as target practice for spear throwing in BRENNUS - ENEMY OF ROME

This is a mini-BRENNUS festival today!

A fun moment in an otherwise serious PEPLUM film. The men wear such short tunics that nothing is left to the imagination. In fact, this film contains more 'mooning' scenes than any other PEPLUM films. It's amazing that this wasn't seen as bad back in the day but today many people would complain. This is one of those films I can watch over and over again without getting bored with it. Top notch PEPLUM.

PEPLUM illustration

From Wikipedia: When Brennus attacked Rome, Marcus Manlius Capitolinus was alerted to the Gallic attack by the sacred geese of Juno.

This illustration is part of some ad campaign for Liebig meats (viande Liebig), which showcased other famous moments of history.

This moment was portrayed twice in PEPLUM films, including BRENNUS - ENEMY OF ROME and REVENGE OF THE BARBARIANS.

Can the real Brennus please stand up!

On the left is the likeness of Brennus (Wikipedia), 4th century BC despot who sacked Rome; on the right is Gordon Mitchell as Brennus in BRENNUS - ENEMY OF ROME. It was well know that the original Brennus had a big moustache and long hair, like most northern Barbarians. Mitchell certainly looks mean and intimidating enough to play Brennus but he doesn't look like the actual Brennus, too clean cut.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Photo of the Day

Hercules (Peter Lupus) is about to bring the city of Babylon crumbling down in HERCULES AGAINST THE TYRANTS OF BABYLON

If only it was so easy to destroy a city. But then even if it existed one would have to find a man strong enough, like Hercules, to make it work. Ah!

After work activities

Chelo Alonso attending some event in Italy. She looks really pretty.

Gloria Milland - Stabbing Queen

For some strange reason, the beautiful Gloria Milland (née Mara Fiè) played roles with a tendency of stabbing men, whether they're suitors or villains. The scene above is from GOLIATH AGAINST THE GIANTS, where Gloria is about to stab Goliath (Brad Harris). Here are a few examples.

Love Gloria, knives or no knives.

FURY OF ACHILLES (with Gordon Mitchell; you can view the clip here)



And then there's...

In THE REBEL GLADIATOR, Gloria is part of a stabbing scene but she's not the one holding the knife. José Greci is about to kill Commodus (Alan Steel) and Gloria pleads to her to not go through with it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Photo of the Day

A 'cast of thousands' scene from LAND OF THE PHARAOHS

The first third of this film is quite serious and spectacular, almost documentary like in its soberness as it showcases, in grand details, how people lived back then and at the 40 minute mark Joan Collins shows up and it becomes campy. The tone of the film changes drastically. Director Howard Hawks disowned the film which flopped at the box office. It's not even remotely bad to the point of wanting to forget it but the film's direction is a bit confused and it's not difficult to understand why he regretted making the film.

Newspaper ads from around the world

I love these newspaper ads from around the world. These titles are totally original and odd at the same time. What is LOS TRES INVENCIBLES? Well it's the Spanish title for GOLIATH & THE SINS OF BABYLON. Why 3 Invincibles? I dunno. Above is SAMSON & THE 7 MIRACLES OF THE WORLD.


Continuing with our series of Best PEPLUM Villains, here are Chirone (Alberto Lupo) and Princess Freda (Rosanna Schiaffino), the gruesome twosome from THE MINOTAUR. The two cruel villains conspire nonstop and will do anything to get what they want, including throwing victims to the killer mythical beast. What's interesting about Rosanna's role is that she plays the evil Princess but she also plays her twin sister Ariadne (bottom image) and the juxtaposition of those two throughout the story is probably the best thing about this colourful PEPLUM epic. Bad Rosanna or Good Rosanna, it doesn't matter I like them both.

As for Alberto, well the polyvalent actor was often cast as bad guys and he's pretty effective in this film. Alberto can do no wrong even when he's bad. His death, one of the most brutal in any PEPLUM film, is quite memorable.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Photo of the Day

Duncan Regehr as Lydon the Gladiator in THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1984) mini series

A very 1980s looking gladiator. Duncan is a Canadian actor so I probably should include him in the list of Canuck PEPLUM actors.

Movie Poster Mondays

French poster for the silent version of THE QUEEN OF SHEBA

The film is considered lost which is ashamed but at least the posters are still with us. The chariot race pictured here is considered very spectacular.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Photo of the Day

Remus (Gordon Scott) and Romulus (Steve Reeves) are duelling brothers in DUEL OF THE TITANS (aka Romulus and Remus)

The two men actually look like brothers here, which is not always the case in the actual film. Certainly thanks to their arms and legs. The two strongmen always seemed to compete with each other over who had the smallest waistline. The David Beckhams of Antiquity!

Back on Monday!

Vintage article : VULCAN - SON OF JUPITER

This article on VULCAN - SON OF JUPITER might have been part of a pressbook but it was reprinted in a magazine back in the day.

PEPLUM GIF Animation : Demetrius & the Gladiators

Susan Hayward, as Messalina, being her bitchy self, forcing 'guard' Victor Mature, Demetrius, to pick up the pieces. Pure PEPLUM moment.