Friday, July 26, 2019


I take a break every two months and my last break was near the end of May. Yes, we're already 2 months into summer. How time flies!

Stay tuned!

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

By the Gods!

Sandokan (Steve Reeves) brings breakfast to Lt. Clintock (Nando Gazzolo) in SANDOKAN - PIRATE OF MALAYSIA (1964)

This movie is one of those rare instances when the sequel is as good as the first film, SANDOKAN THE GREAT (1963). Directed by Umberto Lenzi, it's quite a solid auctioner. In this scene, rife with subtext (like many others in it), the Lieutenant says Reeves looks more like a pirate than a cabin boy. Reeves' appearance arouses suspicion in the man and yet he asks the muscular cabin boy to fetch his sword (he does this in between a slight interruption I didn't grab). Now would you ask a pirate to get a sword that he might use in combat and kill you? Sometimes PEPLUM movies are not very logical. Or maybe...the lieutenant was just smitten with the formidable cabin boy.

Lobby Cards Set: Fellini's SATYRICON

US lobby cards set of Fellini's SATYRICON (1969): this film is filled with stunning imagery so any lobby card set of this would be underwhelming because of the limited number of scenes it can show  but it's actually pretty good. Covers almost all the important scenes.

Patricia Laffan Mystery Solved

Patricia Laffan played Poppaea in QUO VADIS (1951). For years, there was a mystery over if she was dead or alive. She was born in 1919 and just a few years ago there was no date of death attributed to her anywhere, not even at IMDb. I've noticed this as well years ago, wondering if she was one of the last stars of the film to be alive. It seems that by 2016 the date of her death was finally known. She died on March 10th, 2014. That was five years ago. And many are only learning about it now. IMDb has also been updated. A belated R.I.P.. Thanks to Graham for this tidbit of information.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

By the Gods!

Don Diego (Marcello Mastroianni) woes Almadena (Silvana Pampanini) in THE ISLAND PRINCESS (1954; original Italian title: La principessa delle Canarie)

A rare film that's interesting on many levels. The first is Marcello Mastroianni, who's always a plus. This was made well before he became a superstar. The second thing is the story: the Spanish conquest of the Canary islands and the native people living on the islands. And last and by no means least: the battle scenes (below) were directed by my favorite PEPLUM genre director, Pietro Francisci, which makes this rare movie a definite must see. I need a pristine copy of this, in English.


Jean Simmons and Edmund Purdom take a break for a cig and a little chat while filming THE EGYPTIAN (1954)


Eduardo Fajardo and Aldo Bufi Landi in ERIK THE VIKING (1965). Eduardo Fajardo died on July 4th at the age of 94. His only notable PEPLUM movie was this time. The Spanish actor, who starred in 167 films (!!!) also appeared in THE FOUR MUSKETEERS (1974) directed by Richard Lester.

David Hedison died on July 18th at the age of 92. His notable genre title was playing the apostle Philip in THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (1965; below). He was also in THE SON OF ROBIN HOOD (1958, above). Hedison was memorable in THE FLY (1958), the VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA TV series and as Felix Leiter in the James Bond movies.


I just got news that Freddie Jones died on July 9th. He was 91 years old. He appeared in 50 movies and countless TV productions. One of his most notable roles of the PEPLUM kind was in ANTONY & CLEOPATRA (1972). Wonderful actor.

Dutch actor Rutger Hauer died on July 19th at the age of 75. He was best known for his role in the sci-fi classic BLADE RUNNER (1982) but he also starred in PEPLUM / Fantasy movies such as the cute LADYHAWKE (1985; above) and the gruesome FLESH + BLOOD (1985), a cheapie called MINOTAUR (2006) and the recent SAMSON (2018). He also starred in an Italian movie called IL FUTURO (2013) in which he played an aging former PEPLUM star. Movie clips used pretending to be his old movie were from FURY OF HERCULES (1962) starring Brad Harris.

R.I.P. to the four men.

Monday, July 22, 2019

By the Gods!

Maria Felix and Georges Marchal in MESSALINA (1951)

The original film was in black & white (below). Which one would you prefer watching? The B&W version or the one in color as in the photo above. The B&W one seems to keep it more grounded. Most people prefer watching movies in clot but some stories seem to work better with the least amount of distractions.

PEPLUM Movie Posters

Spanish poster of FABIOLA (1949)

This film has more amazing posters than any other PEPLUM film. Great design.

Ilaria Occhini, R.I.P.

Italian actress Ilaria Occhini died on July 20th at the age of 85. A stage actress who appeared in many movies and even more TV productions. One of her earliest roles was SIGFRIDO (1957; above and below) with Sebastian Fischer. She only starred in a handful of PEPLUM productions, most notably the starring role in PIA OF PTOLEMY (1958). R.I.P., Ilaria.

Ilaria had the lead role in PIA OF PTOLOMY (1958) starring with Jacques Sernas

Ilaria starred in CARTHAGE IN FLAMES (1960) as Ophir with José Suárez

Ilaria had a memorable role in DAMON & PYTHIAS (1962) with Don Burnett (above) and Marina Berti and Osvaldo Ruggieri (below).

Ilaria in THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (1966) with Jean Sorel

Saturday, July 20, 2019

By the Gods!

Steve Reeves as Hercules in HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959)

Yes, by the GODS!!!

Anyway, today I've introduced a new Youtube channel. Youtube is something that's almost impossible to work with these days. So, we'll see what's going to happen with this new channel. My approach to it will be totally different than the main channel. I'm still working on many aspects of it behind the scenes but it will be in conjunction with the new website BYTHEGODS.CA and a soon to be announced project. Stay tuned!

New Youtube channel: BY THE GODS!

This is a new venture on Youtube. It will be different than the main Youtube channel. More things to come. Make sure to subscribe to it and click the notification bell to get new updates.

This is also in conjunction with a new website: BY THE GODS!

Things are still in the early stages so stay tuned!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

By the Gods!

 Ted Neeley as Jesus in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (1973)

Yesterday I was thinking of this movie and I suddenly realized that I actually never posted about it in the 9 years of this blog's existence! So, here's a post. I've seen it a couple of times in the past and I liked it but it sorta left me indifferent as well. What do you think about it? Does anyone like it? It is a product of its 'hippie' time, which actually makes it fun to watch.


US lobby card set for REVENGE OF THE GLADIATORS (1964; La vendetta di Spartacus; also known as The Revenge of Spartacus). Very generic set. Almost no stand-out card. Cards 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8 are from the same scene. This set needed more variety. It is action-packed though.

Can you spot the PEPLUM star?

Vintage bodybuilding magazines. One cover has a future PEPLUM star. Can you guess who he is?

(note: I removed their names from the cover)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

By the Gods!

Norman Wooland and Valentina Cortese in BARABBAS (1961)

Valentina died on July 10. She was 96 years old. A critically acclaimed actress who appeared in such films as Truffaut's DAY FOR NIGHT (1973), Valentina appeared in few PEPLUM movies but more in period pieces. Of the 91 movies, she also starred in SHADOW OF THE EAGLE (1950), BOTHER SUN, SISTER MOON (1972) and THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN (1988). But as performance in a PEPLUM film, I'll always remember her as Julia in BARABBAS. R.I.P., Valentina.

Valentina with Jack Palance and Norman Wooland in BARABBAS

Then & Now: Gianni Garko

Gianni Garko in THE AVENGER (1962; aka War of the Trojans); A recent photo of the actor. It was his birthday yesterday.

Whatever happened to...

This unlikely story, of US marines ending up in Ancient Rome, was touted years ago as a new film project inspired by a REDDIT thread (link). Warner actually bought the rights to the 'story.' Years later the project is nowhere to be seen. A mock trailer was even made. Not to be confused with ROME AGAINST ROME (1964) starring John Drew Barrymore.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

By the Gods!

Dan Vadis, as Hercules, leaves a village in HERCULES THE INVINCIBLE (1964; Ercole l'invincibile; aka Sons of Hercules in the Land of Darkness)

Nice matte painting work. The scene lasts just a few seconds so that's a lot of work for a brief moment. This movie is odd in that its production values are pretty solid (case in point) and yet the editing and the overall direction is sorta lackadaisical and scattershot. Fun movie but uneven in this regards.

Vintage Article: HERCULES in Danish magazine

Danish magazine with an article on HERCULES (1958) published in the summer of 1959. The title 'Master Af Muskler' translates as 'Lots of muscles' (according to Google Translate). 


VHS covers for A QUEEN FOR CAESAR (1962) starring Pascale Petit. 

Spanish cover. Fairly standard.

Colorful cover from the Netherlands. The title is in English but it's not the English release. I like it.

German VHS cover

French VHS tape and cover which is a reproduction of the original French poster.

Friday, July 12, 2019

By the Gods!

Harry Hamlin (Perseus) and Burgess Meredith in CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981)

Back when movies set in Ancient Greece looked like they were set in Ancient Greece. Those were the days.

Cinematic Confusion

...starring Gordon Scott as Steve Reeves in THE WHITE WARRIOR (1959)


On DVD. The got the other actors right so why couldn't they get Steve right?

Even with the DVD double feature.


I just came across this at a website selling posters:


US lobby cards set of HERCULES AGAINST THE MONGOLS (1963) starring Mark Forest, Jose Greci, Ken Clark, Maria Grazia Spina, Nadir Moretti, and Howard Ross (aka Renato Rossini). It's a shame the set is in black & white since the movie is actually beautifully shot and it doesn't do it justice. If it had been in color it would have been a kick-ass set. Nearly all action scenes from this movie, one of my favourite. Even in B&W it's still pretty good.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

By the Gods!

Helen (Christa Linder) lends a helping hand to Ottone (Don Backy) in HELEN, YES...HELEN OF TROY (1973)

In this scene, Ottone and his friend pretend to be shipwrecked (popular PEPLUM cliché; last image) to attract Helen's attention, who's busy making love with Paride (Peplum veteran Howard Ross aka Renato Rossini; below). The dubbing is quite horrid. Redoing the dubbing could vastly improve this horny quasi-soft core PEPLUM. As silly as it is it's actually one of the better PEPLUM soft-core flicks from the 1970s. Don Backy (aka Aldo Caponi) was a quasi-superstar in the 1970s. He's also a singer.


Behind the scenes photo of Pascale Petit during the filming of A QUEEN FOR CAESAR (1962)