Wednesday, September 30, 2015

By the Gods!

Alan Steel (aka Sergio Ciani) as Millstone (aka Hercules in original) in SAMSON

Alan had a (big) supporting role in SAMSON, with the titular character played by Brad Harris. The two had great chemistry together and they would make another film, FURY OF HERCULES, though Alan's role wasn't as prominent. I wish they had made more films together, with better scripts.

In this scene, Millstone and Samson have been duking it out. Samson fell into a basket of apples, took a bit from an apple he grabbed and throws it to Millstone, who also takes a bit from it. I always thought that scene was, hmm, odd. Definite subtext going on there. Personally I wouldn't eat an apple from which someone already took a bite from.

The pendant he's wearing would be important to Samson later on in the story but oddly enough Samson doesn't notice it now.

Anyway, Alan dyed his hair for this film. He's a redhead and he looks very different with dark hair. The PEPLUM star died recently and I still have the sads.

GAME OF THRONES : ripping off the PEPLUM genre

Everyone is raving about GAME OF THRONES, everyone except for me. I find the whole thing derivative. I just can't get into for many reasons, with the main one being the vivid sense of deja vu I get whenever I've tried to watch it. It's like a grand buffet of every PEPLUM made, from the Golden Era to the Sword & Sorcery films of the 1980s.

The most glaring example of a near direct copy is the scene from THE LAST OF THE VIKINGS with Edmund Purdom torturing George Ardisson, who's nailed on a St-Andrew's Cross. The scene was almost entirely copied in an episode of GOT : the bad guy looks like Edmund Purdom (same crazy style of acting) and the hero is nailed to a St-Andrew's Cross. It's incredible.

The GOT character in the top comparison is known as the Red Woman, like the Sybil from HERCULES, played by Lidia Alfonsi.

There are more examples than these three but they're enough to show the extent of the plagiarism going on.

It's sad that people can't enjoy old movies anymore. If they'd actually watch them, rip-offs like these scenes would provoke an uproar.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Clash of Steel

PEPLUM X Tuesdays

Gérard Barray - Gianna Maria Canale - Gonzalo Cañas - Irán Eory


PEPLUM X Tuesdays

Sophia Loren


PEPLUM X Tuesdays

Vladimiro Leib - Romano Ghini

Androcles and the lion

PEPLUM X Tuesdays

Jim Backus - Jean Simmons - Victor Mature

The White Warrior

PEPLUM X Tuesdays

Steve Reeves

Temple of a Thousand Lights

PEPLUM X Tuesdays

Wilbert Bradley - Richard Harrison

Monday, September 28, 2015

By the Gods!

Aesop (Turhan Bey) woos Delarai (Merle Oberon) in NIGHT IN PARADISE

One of the few genre films from the 1940s (if one disregards the popular Arabian films), it cost a lot of money to make and it bombed at the b.o.. It's not bad but I wonder what was the target audience for it. It's not like Arabian films even though, like Arabian adventures of the 40s, it's shot entirely in a studio. The film is glacially slow and it has more of an early 1930s feel to it. I like Turhan. Totally overlooked as an actor but I'm not too crazy about Merle, who looks like his mother in many scenes. It's a difficult film to figure out.

Movie Poster Mondays

Italian poster for Pietro Francisci's ATTILA

Beautiful poster. One of the best I've seen. Sophia hated making this movie.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

By the Gods!

Samson (Maciste in original ; Alan Steel) is confronted by Zorro (Pierre Brice) in SAMSON & THE SLAVE QUEEN, also known as ZORRO VS MACISTE

The recent passing of Sergio Ciani, aka Alan Steel, is so sad to me. All the PEPLUM stars are dying and no one is interviewing them. Pierre Brice also died earlier this year. This film is the best of Alan Steel's 'Strong Man' Swashbuckler films.

I'm taking some time off (not because of his passing). Back soon!


Pagan dance sequence from SOLOMON & SHEBA starring Gina Lollobrigida and Yul Brynner. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

By the Gods!

Rex Ingram is the genie in THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1940)

Great fantasy which was, in part, responsible for the glut of Arabian adventures of the 1940s, which today, in our PC world, might not seem ok but I love them nonetheless. Nice miniature set.


The cast of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS hangs around Cecil B. DeMille. The cast : John Carradine, Martha Scott, Charlton Heston, Olive Deering and Nina Foch.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

By the Gods!

Richard Harrison and Nazzareno Zamperla in the exciting climax from GLADIATORS SEVEN

I like this film and the ending is action-packed but I feel this movie is padded, certainly during the ending where we see endless scenes of the gladiators climbing cliffs.

Movie Poster Mondays

Italian poster of SLAVE GIRLS OF SHEBA

Action packed poster for a very hard film to find. I have it but in B&W and in poor quality.

Friday, September 11, 2015

RIP : Sergio Ciani aka Alan Steel

Sergio in action in HERCULES AGAINST ROME

Sergio Ciani, aka Alan Steel, died on September 5. He was 80 years old. He's one of my favourite PEPLUM stars. Very unique, amiable and yet could be menacing as well. He made the PEPLUM universe that much more cool. Sad.

Here's a brief summary taken from the HEROES & BEEFCAKE page :

Alan Steel, born Sergio Ciani, was one of several PEPLUM stars that was actually born in Italy and not imported fro another country. Big, beefy and red-haired, this Italian strongman made his screen debut in THE GIANT OF MARATHON wrestling with Steve Reeves. Faster than you can say Maciste, Sergio started appearing in his own mini-epics and became one of the most familiar faces that played Hercules and Maciste. Though most of his films are pure escapist fare, Alan did play a couple of serious PEP roles, including his impressive outing as Commodus in THE REBEL GLADIATOR.


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, 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).

Alan starred in a small role along with Steve Reeves

Alan co-starred with Brad Harris

Daria (Luisella Boni) is weary of Kaldos (Alan Steel aka Sergio Ciani) in FURY OF HERCULES

Alan Steel, as Commodus, shows who's the master of gladiatorial action in THE REBEL GLADIATOR

Alan with José Greci and Dan Vadis


Alan with Massimo Serato and Moira Orfei

Alan Steel as Hercules



Two tavern whores fight over Hercules (Alan Steel) in HERCULES AGAINST ROME

Queen Samara (Jany Clair) tempts Hercules (Alan Steel), or vice versa, in HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN

Sergio Ciani (aka Alan Steel) played a sorta dense Hercules in this comedy

Alan Steel fighting Nadir Moretti

Alan fighting Nello Pazzafini


Thursday, September 10, 2015

By the Gods!

Lisa Gastoni, as Princess Tamall, in THARUS - SON OF ATTILA

I'm a huge fan of Lisa mainly because of her tempestuous performance as Messalina in THE LAST GLADIATOR (Messalina vs Son of Hercules). Here, she doesn't look anything like Messalina and in other films, she often looks completely different. She's a real chameleon. Good film that needs a proper transfer.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

By the Gods!

Geneviève Grad and Steve Reeves in SANDOKAN THE GREAT

A stalwart couple in this action pack film. Geneviève appeared in many PEPLUM films before disappearing from the face of the earth in the early 1980s. Geneviève, where are you? This is one of Steve's best films even if the story is super simple.


PEPLUM superstar Steve Reeves tries to stay in shape for his many muscular epics.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015