Friday, November 24, 2017

By the Gods!

I'm taking a break next week. I always take a break every two months (or I'll go crazy!) and will come back for more weeks before the Christmas period.

I'll keep uploading stuff at ALL my PEPLUM TV channels so keep an eye on them.

I'll leave you now with King Leonidas (Richard Egan) from THE 300 SPARTANS (1962), saying "From this wall, we do not retreat!"

Thursday, November 23, 2017

By the Gods!

Iloosh Khoshabe and Gia Sandri in THE INVINCIBLE BROTHERS MACISTE (1964)

Sandri's character in this film is difficult to define. Is she good or bad? Iloosh, who plays the older Maciste brother, is drugged up at the moment and is under her spell. Sandri's character is using him for her own gains, including sex (though only implied). On the surface, these stories seem innocuous but today there's a good chance stories like this wouldn't be allowed. A fun and odd movie, with Iloosh in top form.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

By the Gods!

Edmund Purdom, as Ibrahim Pascià, in SULEIMAN THE CONQUEROR (1961)

How many people have seen this film? It is obscure. It reminds me of CONQUEROR OF THE ORIENT (1960), in terms of budget and storyline. The lady in the background, though with some sizeable screen time, remains uncredited. I like Edmund Purdom. Whenever he's on screen, the film is interesting but alas he's not in big part of the film.


Kids converge around Steve Reeves during the filming of HERCULES (1958)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

By the Gods!

Reg Park turns into a monster in HERCULES, PRISONER OF EVIL (1964)

This is such an odd entry in the PEPLUM genre. The original title was URSUS AND THE TERROR OF KIRGHIZ, which is not very marketable. Even if there were Ursus movies prior to this one, it's so different than the other Ursus movies that there's really no connection. And it certainly is not a Hercules story. The film is in some sort of strange limbo. I feel a new title is in order. Many scenes were taken from THE SEVEN REVENGES (1961). To make things even more bizarre, scenes from this film were edited into a porn film in the 1970s called THE EROTIC ADVENTURE OF URSUS!!!

Coming soon to all PEPLUM TV channels!

Identify this film!

Can you identify this movie from this screenshot?

Steven got it : it's from GLADIATORS 7

Monday, November 20, 2017

By the Gods!

Karin Dor, as Brunhild, in WHOM THE GODS WISH TO DESTROY (1966)

The beautiful Karin passed away on November 6. She was 79 years old. This was her big PEPLUM genre film (and its sequel). Karin was also a Bond girl in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (1967). She worked nonstop up until 2015. RIP.

Movie Poster Mondays

Original Italian poster for what became GOLIATH & THE DRAGON (1960)

In the original version, there's NO dragon. US distributors wanted to add scenes with a dragon, to make the film more enticing to kids. Personally, I prefer this version of the US one. The dragon is not really necessary. I enjoy watching the US version but this one is more serious (or as serious as this psychedelic film can be perceived). I thought of doing a Fan Dub but it's impossible to upload this film on Youtube. It's blocked on two fronts : in the US version, the score they added to it is still copyrighted. And some company as some sort of additional claim to it. So I uploaded the European cut at my new PEPLUM TV WORLD channel, in Spanish.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

By the Gods!

The three Mongol brothers, played by Howard Ross, Ken Clark and Nadir Moratti, confront Hercules (Mark Forest ; Maciste in the original version) in HERCULES AGAINST THE MONGOLS (1963)

I just uploaded a Fan Dub I made at PEPLUM TV and wanted to use this screenshot as thumbnail for the video but Youtube rejected it. In fact, I can't use the thumbnail options anymore. Youtube has been acting in a very belligerent and odd way these past weeks (more on this next week). I really like this film, for many reasons, but, as this screenshot shows, the use of widescreen is exceptionally good. It feels more like a film of the 1970s than a film of the early 1960s. Director Domenico Paolella made a string of PEPLUM films in the 1960s (11 to be exact), and this one is great fun.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

By the Gods!

Isa Barzizza and Erminio Macario in ADAM & EVE (1949)

A battle of the sexes comedy seen through many famous (or infamous) parts of history. This is one good looking film. Produced by Dino De Laurentiis. For now, as far as I know, there's no English track or even subs. Pity.


Steve Reeves arrives in Athens to film SANDOKAN - PIRATE OF MALAYSIA (1964). That's Dakar on the far left.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

By the Gods!

Willian Shatner as Alexander in ALEXANDER THE GREAT (1963)

This was a TV pilot which was never picked up. It had a great cast so obviously the series couldn't have continued on. It would have been too expensive. Is it good? Is it bad? Adam West said it's one of the worse things he even appeared in. I uploaded it to the main PEPLUM TV channel this weekend but changed my mind. This belongs more at PEPLUM TV RETRO than the main channel. Shatner's acting is the same as always.

Brad Harris, R.I.P.

Last Tuesday, Brad Harris died at the age of 84. He was one of the 'muscular' PEPLUM stars that came from the US who made a series of movies in Europe. Brad often worked with director Gianfranco Parolini. After the genre died, he appeared in Spaghetti Westerns and a ton of Eurospy films. Brad also appeared in SPARTACUS (1960) but I still can't find him in that Hollywood production. RIP!


Above and below : Brad, as Goliath, with Gloria Milland and, below, Fernando Sancho. Fun, colourful film. Not bad for a first starring role.

SAMSON (1961)
Brad played a variation of Samson in this Gianfranco Parolini production. Alan Steel co-starred and played Hercules, renamed Millstone in the English version.

This time, Brad played Hercules in this Gianfranco Parolini film.


Above and below : Brad with Mara Lane. This is, hands down, my favourite Brad Harris film. The story is almost non-existent but the film is gorgeous. Director Gianfranco Parolini surpassed himself with this production.


Above and below : Jacques Breathier with Brad, as Simon. Another film directed by Gianfranco Parolini. Below is a clip from the movie I uploaded at PEPLUM TV.

Brad with his then wife Olga Berova

also known as THREE GIANTS OF ROME

Brad played a King in this production from the 1980s.

Brad co-starred with Sybil Danning and Lou Ferrigno in this PEPLUM version of SEVEN SAMURAI and the western, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.

Monday, November 13, 2017

By the Gods!

Massimo Serato and Chelo Alonso in THE PIRATE AND THE SLAVE GIRL (1959)

This is one of the rare instances in which Massimo plays a good guy. This movie is entertaining. Some have called it the worst PEPLUM film ever made (far from it). I have an English copy of this but it's in poor quality. I might upload it to PEPLUM TV RETRO one day. I might also upload a Fan Dub of it but it will take some time. A Fan Dub is adding the English track to an entire film that's in another language. The problem with PIRATE & THE SLAVE GIRL is that they made two different versions : one for the US market and one for the European market. The image of the European market doesn't match with the audio taken from the US version. It will take a Herculean effort in editing to complete the Fan Dub. We'll see. As seen in the screenshot above, the image of the Europe version is stunning so it might worth doing a Fan Dub in the long run. 

Movie Poster Mondays

Australian poster of CARTHAGE IN FLAMES (1960)

Good, colourful artwork. This is one film I can't upload on Youtube. It's blocked worldwide (even though there's one channel out there that has it). 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Brad Harris, RIP

Brad in FURY OF HERCULES (1962)

PEPLUM actor Brad Harris died yesterday at the age of 84. He made several PEPLUM films before moving on to other genres, such as Eurospy films. I'll have a complete profile of his career next Tuesday. In the meantime, here's a clip from one of his best films, SAMSON (1961). He fights with Alan Steel. RIP.

Friday, November 3, 2017

By the Gods!

Tulia (Susy Andersen) and Aderbad (John Drew Barrymore) hypnotized Rhama (Ida Galli) into their cult in ROME AGAINST ROME (1964)

Another good film to watch on Halloween night. It doesn't have that many scary moments in it but it's super atmospheric and sinister, which Aderbad creating an army with deceased soldiers and turning them into zombie-like warrior, in order to topple Rome. A cool idea on a limited budget. I like it but I think it's one of the few PEPLUM film that could be remade into a great movie.


Here's my first batch of reviews of recent purchases I've made and wrote about it here.

I'll be reviewing 3 DVDs. They are all from Europe. As in most titles, I already had these films in my collection. I was intrigued in buying for different reasons, mainly for better, clearer versions of what's already available before.

IL GIGANTE DI METROPOLIS (Giant of Metropolis ; 1961) - Sinister Film edition

I already have this film in different formats, most notably the French DVD with a beautiful transfer. Since that DVD only had Italian and French dubs, I made a Fan Dub of it (and will soon upload it to PEPLUM TV) with the English track. I'm happy with it but when I saw that this copy of the film had the English dub as part of its menu, I decided to buy it and compare it with my Fan Dub. Well, the info on the packaging (and info at Amazon) is a lie.

There's NO English track on it. I've included a close up of the DVD back cover and, as the yellow arrow shows, it says INGLESE. I was really disappointed with this purchase. The DVD itself is excellent and the print is good (but not as good as the French DVD release) so I don't have any complaints about it over this aspect. It's just that the makers of this DVD (intentionally?) duped buyers like me into thinking it had something it clearly doesn't have. I give the DVD release 4 out of 5 but for someone expecting an English version, I give 1 out of 5.

JULIO CESAR - El Conquistadorde la Galia ( Caesar the Conqueror ; 1962) - Filmax edition

This is a Spanish release. I already had 4 different versions of this title before getting the Spanish one.  There's an English audio track available on it (unlike the previous DVD above, the track is there). The audio, though, is weak and tinny. It needs a good boost to make it stand out. The image quality is not that great. It's widescreen but the incorrect aspect ratio. And the image is washed out. To simplify this review, I'll compare it with the other versions I have.

Spanish version (DVD)
Image is washed out and the aspect ration is incorrect, cropped at both ends. Lets compare it to other copies I have. The running time is 97 minutes and 18 seconds.

French version (DVD) 
Running time : 91 minutes and 23 seconds

German version (VHS)
Running time : 100 minutes and 35 seconds

UK version (TV broadcast)
Running time : 96 minutes and 28 seconds

US version (public domain)
Running time : 98 minutes and 08 seconds

As you can see, the quality of this Spanish version is not that great. The best is the French DVD : even though it's cropped at the bottom and top, and slightly cropped at the sides, the widescreen aspect ratio is correct. The image is a bit dark but the details are good. A close second would be the German version, which, remarkably, is from a VHS source (!). This image doesn't seem cropped at ll. The UK version is also good but the image is cropped and the details are soft. And the worse of the bunch is, of course, the US version which is in the public domain. So, the Spanish DVD is just above the US version in terms of quality (sound and image). It's definitely a step above the public domain copy but it way too bright and the image is poor.

As for the running time, or length of the film, it's a bit more complicated since US copies run at 24 frames per second while in Europe, it's often at 25 frames per second or slightly different. This change in 'frames per seconds' automatically affects the length of the film. Since not one of them matches, with the French one being the shortest, this tells me that scenes have been cut in almost all versions except for the US version (The German version has an extra long end credit added to it).

Since the longest one is the US version and, as it's often the case, it's the one I'll use to compare the other versions. The UK version is also pretty close to the actual length but the TV channel which showed the film often cuts scenes here and there. I'll have to compare them to see where and how they all differ from the US version.

Even if the quality of the image from this Spanish DVD is not that great, I'm still happy I purchased it. I will help me in making a suitable Fan Dub, by comparing it with other versions but also because the opening credits are in English! I rate it 2.5 out of 5. For those not in the business of doing Fan Dubs, they might want to steer clear of it though.

SPARTACUS DER TITAN MIT DER EISERNEN FAUST (Colossus of Rome ; Hero of Rome ; 1964) - VZ-Handelsgesellschaft mbH edition

This German DVD of HERO OF ROME (or Colossus of Rome) is excellent. I have almost nothing bad to say about it except that the image could have been a bit more 'punched up' or richer. Just to give it some perspective, look at the screenshots below : the image quality of this German DVD is identical to the UK TV broadcast, which was shown in standard definition. I'm not complaining. It's nice but since the TV broadcast usually lose resolution when transferred to any format, I wished the German DVD had been better. Both are most likely from the same source.

The great thing about the DVD is that the running time, at 86 minutes, is nearly 5 minutes longer than the UK version, at 81 minutes and 57 seconds (the US public domain version is 88 minutes and 39 seconds long). This German DVD also includes the original Italian trailer, which is fab. Rating : 4 out of 5.

(as a side note : that German title doesn't make a lick of sense! What does Spartacus have to do with this story?)

More reviews in the near future.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

By the Gods!

Hercules (Steve Reeves), Ulysses (Gabriele Antonini) and Orpheus (Aldo Fiorelli) plot a way to get their fellow Argos from the Amazons in HERCULES (1958)

Almost every scene in this Pietro Francisci film is memorable and / or iconic. In this moment, Hercules takes charge of the situation, even carrying several crew members back to the ship by himself.  Next week, I'll make a 'Post of the week' on this film. I'll include recent uploads to my two Youtube channels and explain what's going on with issues pertaining to this public domain film.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

By the Gods!

Luisa Mattioni, Giorgia Moll and Dada Galeotti are Sabine women in ROMULUS & THE SABINES (1961)

Plenty of cheesecake in this 'battle of the sexes' comedy, which was a popular theme with PEPLUM films. Giorgia Moll had starred in other films, including the Steve Reeves version of THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1961). Though not prominent enough to be considered the Queen of PEPLUM cinema, she was a stand-out in her own way. Dada also appeared in some other movies of the genre, which can only be described as sporadic. And Luisa Mattioni went on to marry Roger Moore, who was the star of this film.


Pascale Petit enjoys a meal on a break of filming A QUEEN FOR CAESAR (1962)