Friday, December 29, 2017

Happy New Year!

I wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

By the Gods!

Steve Reeves is MORGAN THE PIRATE (1960)

As 2017 comes to a close, there are many things I learned about uploading films to PEPLUM TV. One of them is that this excellent adventure is blocked worldwide. I cannot upload it. Even recent films don't get that kind of treatment. The other interesting thing I learned in 2017 is that I CAN upload short clips of films that are usually blocked, like MORGAN THE PIRATE. Personally, I would prefer uploading the entire movie but the one good thing about this is now I can make video profiles of stars or directors, showing mini-clips from a usually blocked title. This frees me a lot. I know some people hate 'Quick clips' but for no there's no way around it. And now since I discovered this, I can make profiles of Steve or any other actor. Making an incomplete profile of a PEPLUM celeb or creator seemed silly to me. It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time and now I can. Expect a couple new things for 2018.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

By the Gods!

Cleopatra (Pascale Petit) and Achilles (George Addison) fall in love in A QUEEN FOR CAESAR (1962)

A fun pulpy take on Cleopatra, with a very diminutive Pascale Petit (haha) in this movie co-directed by Piero Pierotti and the great Viktor Tourjansky. This film has a definite Tourjansky feel to it and I wouldn't be surprised if the bulk of the production was directed by him. He specialized in female-centric stories like this one. In this film, George is an unlikely romantic lead but Pascale is charming as a young and mischievous Cleopatra. I like it. I uploaded it to my PEPLUM TV channel.


Serge Nubret and some extras have fun during the filming of MY SON, THE HERO ( 1962 ; aka The Titans)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

By the Gods!

Alazhar (Raoul Bova) journeys with the Three Wise Men : Caspar (Billy Dee Williams), Balthazar (Joachim Fuchsberger) and Melchior (Daniel Ceccaldi) in THE FOURTH KING (1997)

Based on the story of the Three Kings in the Bible, this story speculates that there was a fourth king, played by a young Bova. The copy I have is in Italian so I didn't get every detail from it. It's cute, and is more fairy tale than anything else. The existence of this movie sorta highlights the few films made based on the birth of Jesus. A big budgeted production, styled like a PEPLUM, would be amazing.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Well, another year is almost over and the blog will soon start its 8th year (9th year actually). I'd like to thank all my followers, at all the different platforms, including those who follow this blog and leave comments and participate in discussing the ever fascinating subject of PEPLUM cinema, including Steven Lester, Richard Svensson, Steven Smith, Gary Smith, orsh549, Bill Olsen, Brrrodie the Westie, Lina Esposito, Scott Ochiltree, WrestlePorno, and all the anonymous ones. And a special thanks to Alan and Carole. I also like to thank all those who supported the blog and PEPLUM TV in general with donations, certainly Steven Lester and Claire Horan for their generosity. Your support has made this blog and its future possible.

I will post infrequently next week (I'll be very busy during that time) and will take some time off after New Year's. I will continue to upload movies and clips at all of my PEPLUM TV channels, including some spectacular never before seen Fan Dubs, so make sure to check them out!

I wish all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

By the Gods!

Manto (Alessandra Panaro) is about to be sacrificed in THE BACCHANTES (1961)

This is one of my favourite PEPLUM films. I made a Fan Dub of it, which I'm quite proud of. Unfortunately, I can't upload it to Youtube since it's blocked, by StudioCanal, in over 40 countries, the music is copyrighted AND there's a false copyright claim on it by some shady company. I might upload some scenes which doesn't have some major part of the score but uploading it in its entirety will prove almost pointless since few people will be able to see it. I'm thinking of doing a 'Sacrifice'  compilation, and I'll include a short scene from it. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

By the Gods!

Gordon Mitchell as the brash and horny Hamar in JULIUS CAESAR AGAINST THE PIRATES (1962)

Directed by the equally horny Sergio Greico, this movie is immensely lustful. Greico directed his cast, female and male alike, with incredible sexual energy. This is nothing new as almost all of Greico films have a penchant for sex, including one of the horniest PEPLUM films ever made, SALAMMBO (1960). I uploaded the feast / orgy scene from JULIUS CAESAR AGAINST THE PIRATES at PEPLUM TV and it's very popular. As for best performance from Gordon Mitchell, it's a toss up between this film and FURY OF ACHILLES (1962). He's incredibly over-the-top, but in a good way. The entire film uploaded at PEPLUM TV.


Richard Harrison in an intimate moment with girlfriend (?) while shooting PERSEUS THE INVINCIBLE (1963 ; aka Medusa vs the Son of Hercules). Now this photo was used for a Mexican lobby card but this was a mistake as the lady in the photo is NOT in the film itself. And the two are sitting on movie set chairs.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

By the Gods!

Mireille Granelli, as Amiko, in HERCULES - PRISONER OF EVIL (1964)

Amiko is central to the movie's story, which is a combination of horror / gothic / PEPLUM. It reminds me of a FRIDAY THE 13TH type of film, lots of shots in the forest at night with a monster lurking about. Originally, the hero of this movie was Ursus but was renamed Hercules for its English release. Ursus or Hercules, it doesn't really matter since he's almost secondary to the story. Reg Park plays Hercules, who's controlled by witch Amiko, who turns our hero into a monster. Mireille made two other films before retiring from the world of cinema. I recently completed a Fan Dub of this and uploaded it to PEPLUM TV. 

Celebrating Saturnalia!

I follow Carole Raddato's Twitter account, which you should as well, and she posted about celebrating Saturnalia with a traditional Ancient Roman meal. Duck in spiced gravy (below), herb cheese spread, mashed vegetables, amongst other preparations. Looks good! Photos by Carole.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Happy Saturnalia!

Happy Saturnalia, which officially started yesterday, December 17!

By the Gods!

Charles Borromel, as Caesar, in PONTIUS PILATE (1962)

A Scottish actor who appeared in PEPLUM films in Italy and often played corrupt rulers. He had a very distinctive look which Italians seem to like, in a sorta Jay Robinson style. He's often more memorable than the actual films themselves. He did act in English film and TV productions but the bulk of his career was spent working in Italy.

Movie Poster Mondays

Turkish poster for MACISTE - GLADIATOR OF SPARTA (1964 ; also known as Terror of Rome against the Son of Hercules)

Great looking poster. I wouldn't mind having it in my collection.

Friday, December 15, 2017

By the Gods!

Constantine (Cornel Wilde) and Emperor Maximianus (Tino Carraro) in CONSTANTINE & THE CROSS (1961)

I recently got a high definition copy of this grand PEPLUM production. The detail seen in this copy is outstanding. I rarely enjoyed watching this film because previous copies were so bad. Now that there's a good one available, I might do a Fan Dub of it (if there are no Youtube restrictions, of course). In this scene, we see Cornel standing before the famous castle set, which, if you're familiar with PEPLUM movies, is the one seen in so many other films since scenes from this film were re-used and re-used again.


Here's my second t batch of reviews of recent purchases I've made and wrote about it here.

I'll be reviewing 4 DVDs. They are all from Europe. As in most titles, I already had these films in my collection. I was intrigued in buying them for different reasons, mainly for better, clearer versions of what's already available before or simply to compare 'official' DVDs with the stuff that I already have.

Just as a side note, I experienced dreadful service acquiring UOMINI FORTI and THE BLACK DUKE DVDs, from eBay and Amazon.

MACISTE ALL'INFERNO (Maciste in Hell ; 1962) - Gotico Italiano edition

I had no reason in purchasing this DVD since I have several copies of this, including the excellent French DVD released a few years ago. I even made a Fan Dub of it. The reason why I purchased it was an extra included in the package. It's called 'LE FATICHE DI MACISTE' or 'The Labour of Maciste.' I included two screenshots below. It's a brief doc (30 minutes long) with an unrecognizable Kirk Morris recollecting his time in the making this great film. Alas, there are no English subtitles included so even though I can get what he's saying, it's not 100% clear. Oh well...

I'm happy with this purchase even if the film transfer of this DVD is slightly less in quality than the spectacular French DVD. I just need English subtitles for the interview with Kirk.

I TARTARI (The Tartars ; 1961) - Cristal D Film edition

I purchase this mainly to compare with what I already have. The quality of the image is excellent and the running time is the same as the English one (sped up because of the PAL conversion).

The film stars Hollywood actors Orson Welles and Victor Mature. It also stars a host of familiar PEPLUM actors, such as Liana Orfei, Arnoldo Foà, Luciano Marin and Bella Cortez. The sets are amazing in it and the highlight of this production is the excellent dance number, which starts off with male dancers re-enacting battle movements (above) and continues with the main dancer dancing it up with a female partner. Much higher quality than the standard dance sequences seen in most PEPLUM movies.

Now had this DVD included the English track it would have rated much higher but as it is, it's great but not really necessary for my collection. There's another 'official' DVD of this (an older release) and I decided on this newer release.

UOMINI FORTI (Iron Men) - Documentary - Istituto Luce

This documentary is supposed to be a documentary on the PEPLUM genre, called IRON MEN. This is really not a documentary but mainly a collection of 'behind-the-scenes' clips from a number of different productions, like THE PHARAOHS' WOMAN and CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER, just to name a few (which have no 'Iron Men' in them). It also includes clips of a buff Steve Reeves in swim trunks doing exercises with a fully dressed Sylva Koscina. I uploaded clips of this at my DAILYMOTION channel. See below.

This DVD production also includes interviews with various PEPLUM stars like the late Mimmo Palmara. And there's a so-called specialist on the PEPLUM genre who does most of the talking and narration. Personally, I find this totally useless. I've already seen all of the clips included (you can find them at LUCE's official website) and to make things worse, the doc is full of mistakes, some so funny that I laughed out loud. The 'specialist' is anything but knowledgeable of the PEPLUM genre. It's sorta baffling as to why make a documentary on the PEPLUM genre and have it filed with so many mistakes and goofs. Oh well...

CESARE BORGIA (The Black Duke ; 1963 ) - VZ-Handelsgesellschaft mbH edition

For the last review, I saved the best for last. Though not a great earth shattering movie by any means, this DVD of THE BLACK DUKE is very good. It includes an albeit weak English track (too processed), and the image quality is excellent, though not stunning. It stars Cameron Mitchell, who's in excellent dramatic form, and the Italian cast that's a hoot for a PEPLUM fanatic like me. The movie itself is fun to watch even though it has a very old fashioned feel and quality to it. The director, Pino Mercanti, began making films back in the 1930s and he clearly never left that era. The big sword fight at the climax is sometimes sped-up, like they did during that decade. Regardless, this was a fun film to discover and I didn't have to make a Fan Dub of it. Yeah! I wonder if there's an English version, with English opening credits anywhere though. Hmm...

Thursday, December 14, 2017

By the Gods!

Guy Madison discovers that one of the enemy combatants is a woman, Rossana Podestà, in SLAVE OF ROME (1961)

A surprisingly good PEPLUM film, which centres around the characters and their personal conflicts. It's one of those films shot almost entirely in (cold) exterior settings, GIANTS OF ROME or DUEL OF THE TITANS. There are many memorable moments in it, including one in a narrow valley. I even uploaded one scene at my PEPLUM TV channel but it's missing a *big* stand-out scene to make it, well, stand-out from the rest of the crowded pack of PEPLUM films. When I watch it, I feel bad for the actors who were probably freezing throughout the shoot.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

By the Gods!

Kirk Morris, as Maciste, pushes a boulder in TRIUMPH OF MACISTE (1961)

This is a very familiar cliché of the PEPLUM genre. I like making compilations of clichés for my PEPLUM TV channel but there's a growing bunch of new subscribers (newbies) who hate them. They don't get what I'm trying to do with these. I want to make a compilation of this one, of heroes pushing or lifting up rocks or boulders, but the negativity from the many newbies sorta makes me start doubting the use of doing these. It's really annoying.


Lana Turner and Edmund Purdom look over something during a break of filming THE PRODIGAL (1955)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

By the Gods!

Wandisa Guida and Burt Nelson in REVENGE OF THE CONQUERED (1961)

The original Italian title, DRAKUT IL VINDICATOR, translates as DRAKUT THE AVENGER in English. I made a Fan Dub of this and it's one of the best I ever did. I'm wondering if I should upload it to my main PEPLUM TV channel or create a new channel just with films set in Medieval times, or Swashbucklers? I have TONS of those and wonder if it would be better just to create a channel dedicated just for those movies. Wandisa, a good actress, never looked better in this film, and Burt, though not much of an actor, was well suited for these kind of roles.

Sphinx unearthed in California!

In 1956, Charlton Heston made Hollywood history by playing Moses in Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments." DeMille's first take on the biblical tale happened 33 years earlier when he released a silent version of the story of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt.

Both films were ambitious in their scope, but while the 1956 version was groundbreaking in its use of special effects, the silent film required thousands of actors, crew, and animals along with an immense construction project.

DeMille commissioned designer Paul Iribe, known as the father of art deco, to build a lavish set 12 stories high and 800 feet wide in the Guadalupe-Nipomo Sand Dunes on the California coast.

After filming wrapped the set was too expensive to move and too valuable to leave for a rival filmmaker to use, so DeMille ordered it be buried.


"There was no such thing as over the top for Cecil B. DeMille," said author Scott Eyman, who wrote the DeMille biography, "Empire of Dreams."

"That generation of filmmakers believed in the physicality of movies. If they were going to do the Civil War, they did the Civil War. They got a couple hundred people or a couple thousand people and did the Civil War. So, if DeMille is going to recreate ancient Egypt he builds it on the same scale as ancient Egypt was built," Eyman said.

This week, archaeologists unearthed part of one of the 21 sphinxes DeMille left behind. They discovered a 300-pound head, still intact after nearly a century in the sand.

Sphinx head from "Ten Commandments" movie set found buried in California sand

Monday, December 11, 2017

By the Gods!

Belinda Lee as Messalina in MESSALINA (1960)

Directed by Vittorio Cottafavi, this one interested movie. Difficult to categorize. You'd think it would be  standard biographical representation of the life of the infamous Messalina, and the most of it is, but since this is a real PEPLUM version of the life of the Empress, there's more stuff in it you'd never see in a straight forward Hollywood type of film. I like it but there's no doubt it's not the usual stuff. Belinda is great in the title role. She appears wicked and yet approachable, which is a hard thing to do.

Movie Poster Mondays

Original Italian poster of SULEIMAN THE CONQUEROR (1961)

Colourful, action packed artwork. I'm surprised that Edmund Purdom wasn't featured more prominently.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

By the Gods!

Fernando Sancho and Brad Harris (as Goliath) talk about strategies in GOLIATH AGAINST THE GIANTS (1961)

I listed Sancho's character as one of the annoying sidekicks (list here). He's actually not an annoying sidekick because he's annoying but because his character plays dumb. He's basically there to ask constant questions to Goliath, in order for Goliath to say some expository dialogue. He gets annoying pretty fast, and sorta looks dumb in the process. Aside from that (and the general plotless story) this is a fun, colourful film. The costume Brad wears in this scene is one of my favourite in a PEPLUM films. I'll make a list of my favourite costumes, male and female, for the blog one of these days  (I've been saying this for a long time now). Brad passed away recently.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

By the Gods!

Ken Clark, as Kubilai, in HERCULES AGAINST THE BARBARIANS (1964)

This is one of two Maciste films directed by Domenico Paolella and starring the tall Ken Clark, along with Mark Forest in the lead role of Maciste, renamed Hercules for the US market. The other is HERCULES AGAINST THE MONGOLS (1963), which I've made a Fan Dub of and uploaded to PEPLUM TV. I really like both films and in a odd way, they are sorta PEPLUM masterpieces. Both films, though with pretty much the same cast and crew, have nothing to do with each other. They have stand-alone stories. They both use scenes from the Anita Edberg / Jack balance film, THE MONGOLS (1961). I personally prefer HERCULES AGAINST THE MONGOLS but this movie also has some great scenes in it and is very entertaining. Paolella directed other genre films but I believe these two titles are his enduring contribution to the PEPLUM genre. I'm currently working on a Fan Dub of this, with a gorgeous print! Side note : I believe the actor in foreground is Bruno Stefanelli but it's hard to say, with the heavy makeup and all. No actor is credited for the role. 


Dan Vadis skateboarding with an unidentified lady in Rome

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

By the Gods!

A scene from DAMON & PYTHIAS (1914)

I recently got hold of this film, having never seen it before. Interesting. Frank Lloyd as Dionysius (I think). The film starts by showing the cast of actors, in modern days clothes, one by one, which is cool. Even so, it's difficult to figure out who plays who in this, with the costumes, makeup and angles pretty much blurring all resemblance from their modern day counterparts. The production is excellent but modest. Totally different than the Guy Williams version from 1962.

Then and Now : María Luisa Merlo

Maria in THE MIGHTY URSUS (1961) ; a recent photo of her.

Monday, December 4, 2017

By the Gods!

The Medusa in PERSEUS THE INVINCIBLE (1963 ; also known as Medusa vs the Son of Hercules)

One of the fun things I discovered a decade ago when I began watching PEPLUM films was this production. The special effects were by Carlo Rambaldi, who later worked on KING KONG (1976) and ET - THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL, with Steven Spielberg. I really like this version of the Medusa, which was clearly meant to be more monster-like than 'woman with snakes for hair' we're all familiar with. There are different versions of this film, including a Spanish one with totally different edit and additional effects. The film also has an excellent score and good cast. The US title, for the SONS OF HERCULES series, doesn't make a lick of sense. Perseus preceded Hercules.

Movie Poster Mondays

Original Italian poster of SLAVE OF ROME (1961)

Nice artwork, pretty standard though for an Italian poster.