Tuesday, January 31, 2017

By the Gods!


Last week, I posted a scene of the spectacular set from THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. Here's one from the 1981 version of CLASH OF THE TITANS. It's a combo set, model (the statue being the model) and possible matte painting. I really like these shots, which are nowhere to be found in today's films.

Then & Now : Lou Ferrigno

Lou in HERCULES (1983) ; a recent photo of Lou. He's 65 years old.

Monday, January 30, 2017

By the Gods!


There's Esther Brown, Woody Strode, Charlton Heston (as Moses), Yul Brynner, Cedric Hardwicke, and Anne Baxter. Great cast with campy dialogue.

Anne Baxter, as Nefretiri, comments on Esther Brown : "And such a BEAUTIFUL enemy!" Very entertaining, in more ways than one.

Movie Poster Mondays

Italian poster for THE SILVER CHALICE

Atmospheric artwork. The size of the silver chalice is so ridiculous (but that's the film's fault not the artist's)

Friday, January 27, 2017

By the Gods!

Gianna Maria Canale in GOLIATH & THE VAMPIRES

This screenshot is from a copy that I just got hold of. The image is not good. The image of the US DVD is terrible as well. I have 4 different versions and they're all terrible. I'm starting to think there's no actual good copy of this fun film anywhere. IMO, Gianna is the Queen of the PEPLUM genre. Like Steve Reeves, she epitomizes everything about the genre.

Retro Friday : ADAM & EVE at the Movies!

(originally posted January 2012)

Erminio Macario and Isa Barzizza in ADAMO ED EVA (1949). 

A 'battle of the sexes' anthology film. ..very odd.

Christiane Martel and Carlos Baena in the Mexican made THE SIN OF ADAM AND EVE (1956). Mexicans really love the Adam & Eve story. French actress Christiane became famous in Mexico, decided to live there, married a politician who then banned all of her films from being shown in theatres or on TV including this one.

Above & below :  Mamie Van Doren as Eve (!!!) and Martin Milner as Adam in THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ADAM AND EVE. Clearly a serious in-depth portrayal. Arf.

Michael Parks and Ulla Bergryd in THE BIBLE: In The Beginning...

Above & below : Definitely more serious that the Mamie version but still not really profound except for the creation of Adam scene.

And for the piece de resistance ultra beefy Jorge Rivero and one-hit-wonder Candy Wilson in the Mexican made THE SIN OF ADAM AND EVE (1969). I recently played this film on PEPLUM TV and got the BEST ratings the channel ever had. It's pure eye candy re: Jorge and Candy but with big plastic flowers and the actors walking backwards or holding sheep to avoid full frontal nudity, it's entertaining because of the display of flesh but also because it's unintentionally funny from beginning to end.

Mark Gregory and Andrea Goldman in ADAM & EVE VS THE CANNIBALS. A truly oddball version of the famous Biblical story. A combo of THE BLUE LAGOON and your typical trashy Italian cannibal film.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

By the Gods!

Lou Ferrigno is a buff Sinbad in SINBAD OF THE SEVEN SEAS

A film with a long history of production problems. It was initially supposed to be a TV mini-series but it was edited down to a 90 minutes or so 'film.' I put film in quotation marks because the end result is a confusing mess. The film is well shot and Lou is in top form but wow, it's bad!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

By the Gods!

Liana Orfei is Delilah in HERCULES, SAMSON & ULYSSES

Playing Delilah might be a daunting task for actresses. Delilah is one of the most famous characters of Antiquity (whether you believe in the Bible or not). Liana's take on the legendary character is different in that she's a more youngish, less mature version than those from previous films. Her cousin, Moira Orfei, also played Delilah (in SAMSON & THE MIGHTY CHALLENGE). Moira was more believable in playing cunning temptresses but had she been cast for this film, it would have overwhelmed it so they went for a less formidable version.


A behind-the-scenes photo of Steve Reeves getting ready to shoot a scene for the climax of HERCULES (1958)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

By the Gods!

Brad Harris in a terrible predicament in THREE GIANTS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (aka Return of the Gladiator)

In the early 1970s, there was a mini PEPLUM explosion, with a spat of films made between 1971 and 1974. The trend failed to catch on like it did back in the 1950s and 1960s. This film was released in 1971. I watched again recently and the script is very poor.  It's no wonder the trend failed. It's fun to watch, for a fan of the PEPLUM genre like me, but I doubt anyone else would like this.

Portus tour

Interesting archeological website of the famous port of Rome.

"Portus was the maritime port of Imperial Rome between the mid-1st century AD and the 6th century AD."

Monday, January 23, 2017

By the Gods!


Most likely a combo of model and sets. I love these scenes. They're so memorable, even if the film itself might not be. There's a similar set / model in CLASH OF THE TITAN but this one is better. They don't make sets like this anymore.

Movie Poster Mondays

French poster of SALOME

Beautiful artwork even if Rita's costume wasn't that revealing in the film

Thursday, January 19, 2017

By the Gods!

Alan Steel (aka Sergio Ciani) as a bound Hercules in HERCULES AGAINST ROME

Steel was often caught in these predicaments, like in HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN. One of the several Italian-born actors who became famous because of the PEPLUM genre. He passed away to years ago. I'm thinking of uploading this at my PEPLUM TV channel. Fun film.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

By the Gods!

Rosanna Schiaffino and Sidney Poitier in THE LONG SHIPS

A Hollywood take on the PEPLUM genre : very boisterous and over-the-top. I find it a difficult film to get into because it's so turned-up and campy but PEPLUM regular Rosanna Sciaffino makes things more fun to watch for fans of Italian productions. This Columbia pictures was shot in Yugoslavia. One of the few genre films Sidney made during that period.


Charlton Heston shows off his son as a little centurion to Jack Hawkins during the filming of BEN-HUR. Cute.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

By the Gods!

Russell Crowe in action in GLADIATOR

The career of everyone involved with this film have faded into near obscurity (by choice or not). Crowe is not A-list anymore. His last two films, NOAH and ROBIN HOOD, weren't massive hits. He's to appear in a yet another remake of THE MUMMY, playing Dr Jekyll(!). That film stars Tom Cruise. Aside from THE MARTIAN, director Ridley Scott hasn't had a big hit since then. And Joaquin Phoenix is too busy dating 19 year old girls. GLADIATOR won best film back in 2000. It must have been a really poor year. Since I'm a big fan of the PEPLUM genre and know everything about them, GLADIATOR wasn't really that special to me. It was a huge hit though and it did sorta re-ignite a new PEPLUM explosion but the output has been sporadic and the qualityvaried tremendously. Do you think Hollywood will remake this film (which was an indirect remake of countless films from the 1960s)?

Identify the movie!

Can you identify this film from this image?

Monday, January 16, 2017

By the Gods!

Dan Vadis and his nine gladiator friends in TRIUMPH OF THE TEN GLADIATORS

I won't name all of them here. You can view the cast at this previous post : identifying the ten gladiators.

Fun film, a bit on the sloppy side, certainly in regards to the use of stock footage from other films. It's filled with brawny action. If you don't like that kind of stuff, then TRIUMPH is definitely not for you. I like them. There were many films with sets of rebels or gladiators back in the Golden Era of the genre (GLADIATORS SEVEN, SEVEN SLAVES AGAINST ROME, etc) but the Ten Gladiator films are in a league all of their own thanks mainly to the direction of Nick Nostro and the larger-than-life presence of Dan Vadis.

Movie Poster Mondays

Spanish poster of SAMSON & DELILAH

The poster contains a spoiler. Well, everyone knows that cutting Samson's hair will make him lose his strength but still...when you think about it, the premise (Delilah trying to figure out the secret to Samson strength) is a pretty thin one for a full feature film.

Friday, January 13, 2017

By the Gods!

Rex Harrison as Julius Caesar and Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in CLEOPATRA (1963)

An unlikely couple if there ever was one. Peter Finch was originally cast in the Julius Caesar role which would have been better. Rex was miscast as Caesar. He sounded like a school principle. And Taylor and Harrison have no chemistry at all. One of the films that signalled the end of the PEPLUM genre (along with FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE). Could the genre lived on if this film hadn't been made? Maybe...maybe not.

Retro Friday : ROME - Eternal Cinematic City

(originally posted February 2012)

I always love it when a movie states in bold letters or graphic that we're in ROME!








Thursday, January 12, 2017

By the Gods!

Melody O'Brian dances for her life while Jack Palance, bound to the mast, watches on helplessly in REVAK THE REBEL (aka The Barbarian)

An unintentionally funny scene. The dancing rivals the one in COLOSSUS AND THE HEADHUNTERS. An odd production, it's apparently a failed TV pilot for a potential series(!). Rudolph Maté, who also directed THE 300 SPARTANS, missed the boat on this one. It is very entertaining but not very convincing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

By the Gods!

Enrique Irazoqui as Jesus Christ in THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW

Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. An interesting take on the story of Jesus, with a cinema vérité style that only Pasolini could do. I like it but it's mostly a film of its time. It's not that it hasn't aged well, it actually has. It's just this style of filmmaking, which I love, has seen its time pass by. The films has been uploaded by many people on Youtube.


Richard Burton uses his cigarette to light up the Stanley Baker's cigarette during the filming of ALEXANDER THE GREAT. The two were best friends.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

By the Gods!

Jay Robinson, Jean Simmons and Richard Burton amidst the grand set of THE ROBE

The first film shot in CinemaScope. The sets in this film are grand. They needed to be since they had to fill the widescreen image. I prefer the sequel, DEMETRIUS & TE GLADIATORS. It is good but there's a certain lack of conviction to it that prevents it from being great.

Color photo from SIGN OF THE CROSS

This is the only color photo taken from the set of SIGN OF THE CROSS, which was filmed in black & white. It was used for an advertising campaign for Coca-Cola. I wonder if COKE knew about how racy this film was? That's Fredric March, Claudette Colbert and Cecil B DeMille. Anyway, nice colours.

Monday, January 9, 2017

By the Gods!

Iole (Sylva Koscina) and her handmaiden (Luciana Paluzzi) are bared from leaving their room in HERCULES (1958)

The career of both actresses exploded with offers after starring in this worldwide hit. Sylva had the higher profile career but Luciana starred in James Bond film, THUNDERBOLT, as a Bond girl and the trashtastic THE GREEN SLIME. Like Steve Reeves as Hercules, Sylva is perfectly cast as Iole. I can't imagine anyone else player the role.

Movie Poster Mondays

Italian poster of JACOB & ESAU

Extremely rare Biblical film...so rare that I've never seen it. If someone knows where I can get it please email me.