Friday, July 29, 2016

By the Gods!

John Drew Barrymore courts Scilla Gabel in THE DEVILS OF SPARTIVENTO

A beautifully shot film with one of the blondest couples in any genre film. Barrymore was really thin when he filmed many of his Italian films and he sometimes looks sorta sick in this but he nonetheless had a great presence. Same thing with Scilla, who was Sophia Loren's body double prior to being an actress. Really enjoyable film.

Retro Friday : PEPLUM Fotonovelas








SWORD & THE CROSS (aka Mary Magdalene)



Thursday, July 28, 2016

By the Gods!

Steve Reeves, as Karim, is the THIEF OF BAGHDAD

A nice change of pace for the usual muscleman epic Steve made prior to this one. He's still a strong man and his physique is displayed from time to time but the tone is different than his other brawny adventures. Reeves often complained that people only remembered him for those films or mainly for HERCULES and in a way he was right.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

By the Gods!

Gianna Maria Canale vows revenge for the death of Balduccio (Piero Palermini) in COUNT UGOLINO (aka The Iron Swordsman (TV title))

Very rare film, directed by Riccardo Freda who would marry Gianna and make several films together. As with Freda films, it's very well directed. One of the alternative titles is The Gay Swordsman, which a different film also directed by Freda and starring Gianna.


Film crew is preparing scene for HERCULES UNCHAINED along with Steve Reeves getting prepped. Rare photo.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

By the Gods!

Hercules runs away from the Hydra in Disney's HERCULES

I'm not a big fan of the Disney version of Herc. It's fun but it's too knowingly into itself to be thoroughly satisfying. But my main complaint is that I really don't like the way Hercules was drawn. The TV show from the 1960s was more fun than this, albeit not on the same level, technically speaking.

Then and Now : Sandra Milo

Sandra in HEROD THE GREAT ; a recent photo of Sandra

Monday, July 25, 2016

By the Gods!

Hercules (Mark Forest) tries to get out of his imprisonment in HERCULES AGAINST THE MONGOLS

I like this scene. It's brief but it's spectacular. Mark was a pro with these strongmen moments which are 'de rigueur' in these kind of films. Fun flick!

Movie Poster Mondays

Italian poster of SAMSON & THE SEA BEAST

Colorful poster. That looks like Margaret Lee but he doesn't look like Kirk Morris. This scene in the film itself is quite hilarious.

Friday, July 22, 2016

By the Gods!

Hercules (Kirk Morris) fight with Samson (Iloosh Khoshabe) in HERCULES, SAMSON & ULYSSES. Directed by Pietro Francisci.

My previous Youtube channel had to be closed because of some stupid meddling from the TPTB. The most popular upload on that old channel was this scene. Nearly 1.5 million views. I tried to upload it again on my new PEPLUM TV channel but it's sorta giving me problems. I'm going to try to make a work around it and see if I can upload it properly. Youtube sucks. This scene is great, brilliantly directed by Francisci.

Retro Friday : PEPLUM Character Names

(originally posted on March 10, 2011)

From SAPPHO ~ THE VENUS OF LESBOS, directed by Pietro Francisci. One of my favorite list of characters names for any movie. Sappho, Phaon, Hyperbius, Melanchrus, Laricus and of course Actis, who's my favorite character in the film. The names for the original Italian version is slightly different but still cool. I added this at the Special Features page.

Here's who played who:

Tina Louise

Kerwin Mathews

Riccardo Garrone

Enrico Maria Salerno

Alberto Farnese

Susy Andersen

Thursday, July 21, 2016

By the Gods!

Yvonne Furneaux and Jean Claudio star in CHARGE OF THE BLACK LANCERS

Yvonne plays another ruthless Queen-type who ascends to power through strife and back stabbing.  Jean Claudio looks like a combo Jean Marais and Edmund Purdom. Good actor.Well made. Well made. More consistent than SLAVE QUEEN OF BABYLON. More solid than SLAVE QUEEN OF BABYLON, which I like but I admit it's a bit weak in parts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

By the Gods!

Mario Girotti, aka Terence Hill, plays Tsour in CARTHAGE IN FLAMES

I like these big assembly hall scenes with the entire cast all decked out in fancy costumes. The work of the extras, and there are many here, is a tedious one. Terence Hill's best film buddy, Bud Spencer, died recently. The two men are tied together for all eternity even though they never made a PEPLUM film together.


Steve Reeves provides some relief to Liana Orfei while filming WAR OF THE TROJANS

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

By the Gods!

Hannibal (Victor Mature) consults his men in HANNIBAL

The men are Franco Silva, Mirko Ellis and Rik Battaglia. To say that this is a poorly directed film would be an understatement. It has excellent production values and an amazing cast but the direction (or lack of direction) is murky and sloppy. By the time Victor made this, he resigned himself in making these films. He's good but he's doing through the motions. The supporting cast is excellent but they have very little to do. Franco Silva appeared in several PEPLUM films prior to this one, including one of my favourites, QUEEN OF SHEBA. I have three copies from three different countries and not one version matches. To get THE definitive version of this movie seems unlikely.

Then & Now : Anna Karina

Anna in SCHEHERAZADE (1963) ; a recent photo of Anna

Monday, July 18, 2016

By the Gods!

Ulysses (Georges Marchal) is put to a series of tests by crazed King Lagos (Gianni Santuccio) in ULYSSES AGAINST HERCULES

This is one of my favourite scenes in the entire PEPLUM genre. The best role Marchal ever had in his extensive list of roles of the same genre, and Santuccio steals the show in his brief but unforgettable as the insane rule of a bizarre kingdom. The face in the background looks like the floating face in ZARDOZ.

Movie Poster Mondays

Italian poster for SCHEHERAZADE

Colorful poster for a super serious film. This is not a 'fun' film.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

By the Gods!

Venus (Annie Gorassini) tries to tempt Vulcan (Iloosh Khoshabe) in VULCAN - SON OF JUPITER

The one thing going for this film : sex. That's about it. A very sexy movie but story wise it's meh.

No posts tomorrow so back on Monday.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

By the Gods!

Nefer (Bella Darvi) playes with Sinuhe (Edmund Purdom) in THE EGYPTIAN

A curio of a film which makes me wonder what audience FOX had in mind when they green-lighted this? It's not bad but for me it's not a film that's on my list of repeat viewing flicks. The film is not religious by any means. In fact, I think the film was made by an atheist. The one thing that I really like about it is how it's so different than what they did back then. It's basically a big budgeted existential Hollywood epic. The story of Bella Darvi is a tragic one of sorts. I wrote about her story at the TRAGIC STARS permanent page. British actor Edmund Purdom would have a long career in PEPLUM films. He even moved to Rome on a permanent basis.

Identify this film!

Can you name the film from this screenshot?


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

By the Gods!

Martha (Rossana Podestà) tries to get some sense into Mary Magdalene (Yvonne De Carlo) in THE SWORD & THE CROSS

As expected, Yvonne plays the temptress while Rossana is the pious one. Though it's understandable that Yvonne is the 'bad' one since it was sorta difficult to see Rossana in that light, it's still some bit of miscasting there, certainly when Rossana was much younger and had a lead role in HELEN OF TROY just a few years prior. Still looking for a nice widescreen copy of this one.

Roman "trading" tablets found in London

Roman tablets discovered during an excavation in London include the oldest hand-written document ever found in Britain, archaeologists have revealed.

The Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) said it had deciphered a document, from 8 January AD 57, found at the dig at Bloomberg's new headquarters.

The first ever reference to London, financial documents and evidence of schooling have also been translated.

Over 700 artefacts from the dig will go on display when the building opens.

According to MOLA, the tablets reveal the first years of the capital "in the words of the people who lived, worked, traded with and administered the new city".

Director Sophie Jackson said the findings had "far exceeded all expectations" and would allow archaeologists "to get closer to the first Roman Britons".

UK's oldest hand-written document at Roman dig

Monday, July 11, 2016

By the Gods!

Luisa Rivelli and Gordon Mitchell in TREASURE OF THE PETRIFIED FOREST

A very obscure PEPLUM film based on German folklore. It's an almost entirely studio bound film and it's not that interesting. It's not bad but watching it and you sorta wonder where they're going with this. BRENNUS - ENEMY OF ROME, which also stars, is so much better than this.

Movie Poster Mondays

Yugoslavian poster for ALI BABA & THE SACRED CROWN

Pretty rare poster for a pretty rare film. Nice enough.

Friday, July 8, 2016

By the Gods!

Steve Reeves, Anne-Marie Baumann and Guillermo Marín in THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII

Baumann and Marín are a couple in this film. As it always is in these movies, the husband and wife don't like each other so when Reeves is placed in between the two, the strength of their relationship is tested. Filmmakers always had a knack of having Reeves in bed. In fact I made a compilation of clips with this. Great film.

Retro Friday : Bud Spencer

(originally posted on March 31, 2011)

Bud Spencer, aka Carlo Pedersoli, was the first Italian to swim the 100 m freestyle in less than one minute. He achieved this on 19 September 1950. Spencer participated in the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, reaching the semi-finals in the 100 m freestyle (wikipedia).

Spencer would have a brief cameo in QUO VADIS in 1951 and one of his first speaking roles in HANNIBAL. Amazing how Bud would turn out.

Bud died on June 26 while I took some time off. He was 86 years old. This is a mini-tribute to his PEPLUM career.

Peter Ustinov and Bud Spencer in QUO VADIS