Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Clip of the week: HERCULES THE INVINCIBLE (1964)

Dan Vadis as Hercules. Cool scene! 

If you can't view it click the link below

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

By the Gods!

Delilah (Hedy Lamar) and Samson (Victor Mature) in SAMSON AND DELILAH (1949)

Is this a movie about hair? 'Gee, your hair smells terrific!'

The story of Samson and Delilah has been told and retold many times at the movies. Has it been done right yet? Many will say that this version is the best one. It was a huge hit. It can't be topped. It helped re-ignite the interest in PEPLUM movies with the general public. I disagree. I like it and watched many times but it is sorta corny in spots. What keeps this one in the minds of people are the two stars. There aren't that many stars today that would be comparable to Lamarr or Mature. 

Musings! (03-30)

Searching far and wide for all things PEPLUM! Luciano Marin and Steve Reeves in GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959)

Keeping track of new stuff

I recently got the new Spanish Blu-ray of ANTHAR THE INVINCIBLE (1964). I already posted about it at the BY THE GODS! blog. I'll go over it soon. There's not much to write about so don't expect an extensive review/overview as the one I gave to THE WONDERS OF ALADDIN.

So, this new Blu-ray is added to my collection. It keeps on growing. I'll have to update my PEPLUM Movie Collection page.

Here's the small list of new DVDs and Blu-rays I've acquired since making that page on my collection.


ANTHAR THE INVINCIBLE - Spanish BR with Italian and Spanish audio; Italian, Spanish and English subtitles

MESSALINA French Blu-ray - Italian, French and English audio








APHRODITE - GODDESS OF LOVE - Sinister Cinema DVD - Italian with English subs. Awful.

GOLGOTHA - Sinister Cinema DVD


Cinematic Confusion

This VHS cover is truly confusing. Not only is the title confusing (WAR IN CARTHAGE) but the photos are not from the movie itself. The photo on the left is John Drew Barrymore from THE PHARAOHS' WOMAN (1960) and the other one is a mystery. It looks like THE AVENGER (1962) but there's no scene like that in that movie. Maybe it's a publicity shot with unknown actors. The movie itself, if you haven't figured it out yet, is CARTHAGE IN FLAMES (1960). Nothing like the photos here.

Identify the movie!

Can you identify the PEPLUM movie from this screengrab? It's a popular PEPLUM movie, not an obscure one so you most likely seen this. What I find interesting with this shot is the statue of the elephant is a matte painting or added later optically. 

Have you seen this?

HERAKLES (1962). A short film directed by Werner Herzog, his directorial debut. It's an experimental film with a PEPLUM twist. It shows some of the 'labours' of HERCULES in modern times. The photo of the bodybuilder on the wall is Paul Wynter, who starred in a couple of PEPLUM productions. There are some clips of Wynter in competition. The bodybuilder featured in the short film was Reinhard Lichtenberg (below), the then Mr Germany. Werner was only 20 years old when he made this movie. The version I embedded here is not the original version. You can view the original version here (for some reason it's age-restricted).

It fun to see the influence of the PEPLUM genre inspiring other works of art.

Movies I watched...

I watched:

THE MERCENARIES in Italian. I posted about this title last week. 


Michèle Girardon stars in ANTHAR

ANTHAR THE INVINCIBLE Italian with English subtitles.

I have to say that ANTHAR holds up well today. It almost looks like it was shot yesterday.


I also watched part of THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (1964) and noticed the Messina brothers, Roberto and Emilio, are in it. They're in the background, with Christopher Plummer and Anthony Quayle in the foreground. They're not listed anywhere for this movie so another PEPLUM TV first!

Future Musings:

- A PEPLUM TV forum?

- List of PEPLUM books

- List of movies available in HD / Blu-ray

- PEPLUM Museum?

- A new Twitter account for actresses of PEPLUM movies?

Monday, March 29, 2021

By the Gods!

Sinuhe (Edmund Purdom) and Nefer (Bella Darvi) in THE EGYPTIAN (1954) 

Bella Darvi's story is quite interesting. It's a tragic one. You can read it at the permanent page TRAGIC STARS. How should I summarize this movie? It's an existential epic. That's about it. It starts with a voiceover: "I, Sinuhe the Egyptian...". Purdom was a last minute replacement of Marlon Brando who hated Darvi, the role and the director. Dirk Bogarde was considered for the role before they settled with Purdom. Marilyn Monroe lobbied for the role but producer Darryl F. Zanuck cast Darvi instead, who was his mistress at the time. Can you imagine a PEPLUM movie with Brando and Marilyn? Somehow, the casting of Purdom and Darvi ended up being much better. Many cast members reportedly made fun of Darvi, including Jean Simmons. A movie based on the making of this movie would be fascinating. 

PEPLUM Movie Posters

Original Italian poster for KING OF THE VIKINGS (1960)

Great artwork for this Spanish Viking movie. The artwork of the Italian poster is much better than the one for the Spanish poster.

PEPLUM TV Official store


Friday, March 26, 2021

By the Gods!

Reg Lewis as Maciste in COLOSSUS OF THE STONE AGE (1963 - aka Fire Monsters against the Son of Hercules)

Reg Lewis died last month, on February 11, at the age of 85. This movie is the only PEPLUM movie the bodybuilder starred in. I like it. Whatever you think about it, you can't say it's not unique in the PEPLUM genre. Margaret Lee (below) starred with him. His character's name is Maxus (sp) in the English dub. RIP. 

At the movies...

Steve Reeves at the French premiere of THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1959)


Brief overview with screengrabs 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

By the Gods!

Giulio Donnini, Yvonne Sanson and Livio Lorenzon in THE MERCENARIES (1961)

An often overlooked film that's pretty good. It's surprisingly gorgeous (sets, costumes) with a great cast. In addition to these 3 actors, the movie also stars Debra Paget, Daniela Rocc aand Folco Lulli, among others. The last film directed by Mario Bonnard, who's career began in the silent and directed many notable PEPLUM, including THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1959) with Segio Leone. Donnini plays the usual sorta scheming fellow while Lorenzon gives a strong performance. Yvonne Sanson was an interesting actress. Her career peaked in the 1950s, and starred in many interesting titles including the recently unearthed NERO AND THE BURNING OF ROME (1953). I really like it. 

Lobby Cards Set : HANNIBAL

US lobby cards set for HANNIBAL (1959) starring Victor Mature, Rita Gam and Terence Hill. It covers all the basic scenes in the film. Missing is a card with Terence Hill. Card number 4 is not a scene from the movie but a montage. Could have been a bit more colourful (the movie is). The movie is more spectacular than this set. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

By the Gods!

A scene from SPARTACUS (1960) 

SPARTACUS has many matte paitings in it. A couple of them are truly amazing while others are quite obvious, mostly the ones at night. This one is one of the best one. It's simple and yet it looks quite realistic. Artwork by Russell Lawson.

Musings! (03 - 23)

Searching far and wide for all things PEPLUM! Luciano Marin and Steve Reeves in GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959)

Social Media Confusion 

Yesterday I posted a list of links to all of my websites and social media accounts. A lot of people don't seem to know about the blog even though this is the source of all things PEPLUM. Without the blog, the Twitter and Facebook accounts would be sorta pointless. But again few people seem to know about it. Are blogs over? Personally, I don't think so but for a lot of people out there, reading mucho text is a chore so just photos and some text suffices.

Speaking of social media accounts...

FACEBOOK PEPLUM Channel explosion!

In this one request time, the Facebook account got 375 requests.

Last weekend my PEPLUM Channel Facebook account got over 2500 new friends. I went from 2500 to 5000 in just a few days. It was difficult to keep up. I know Friends aren't really my 'friends'. They're just 'Followers' but getting hundreds upon hundreds of new followers to accept is insane. I know that a lot of these accounts are spammy, with a fair number of porno stuff but the bulk of accounts are genuine and they all want to converse with me. The popularity of that Facebook account is mind-boggling. I'm exhausted. Fortunately, the maximum Friends one account can have is 5000. So things should quiet down now.

PINTEREST: a scam?

I created a PINTEREST account of PEPLUM TV years ago, lost interest in it and stopped uploading to it. I never closed the account. I just let it as is. Just recently, I returned to it when it showed that the views were through the roof. Over 120,000 views a month. I was like, 'Wow! Maybe I need to keep updating it". Well, I have and now the stats say it's getting less than a 1000 views a month. How can a site go from 120K views to 1K views in less than a month?

Can you guess the movie from this poster?

Guess the movie from this great poster. No cheating. Don't search the internet or IMDb.

LE PEPLUM book...meh!

There are a lot of PEPLUM books out there but few of them are worthwhile. This includes this French book, one of many published in France. The French really love PEPLUM movies. A good friend, my main source of rare PEPLUMS, sent me samples of the book and I have to say that I'm glad I didn't buy it. It was written mostly by folks who aren't fans of the PEPLUM genre. It's page after pages of big photos. For a newcomer to the genre, the book might be a good introduction but for someone like me, it's quite redundant. One of the authors, Christophe Champclaux, died recently which is sad news.

THUNDARR Blu-ray release

This animated TV series from 1980 to 1981 is pretty good. In fact, it's one of the best Saturday animated series I've ever seen. I will definitely get this Blu-ray set. I already have the series in MP4 files but the BR set must be cool.

PEPLUM Music / soundtracks

One thing I feel I should focus more on are soundtracks of PEPLUM movies. I did upload Youtube videos of scores years ago but there was little interest in it from followers. But there's so much good music made, including for movies like the one here, that not covering seems incorrect.


I didn't create this video. It was uploaded 7 years ago by a fan of the PEPLUM genre. Personally, I like it. It's a lot of work editing all those random scenes. Setting it to Techno music gives it a fresh cool aspect. The music is copyrighted so the uploader is not making any money out of it. I wanted to do these styles of videos but getting cool music that's non-copyrighted and set it to clips is almost impossible. So in the end what's the point of doing all the work and someone else profiting from one's work?

Watch it though.

PEPLUM Comix Coner

Don't forget that this blog has 3 permanent pages with complete comic books of PEPLUM movies of the 1950s and 1960s.


PEPLUM Comix Corner

MORE PEPLUM Comix Corner

PEPLUM Comix Corner 3

Future Musings:

- A PEPLUM TV forum?

- List of PEPLUM books

- List of movies available in HD / Blu-ray

- PEPLUM Museum?

- A new Twitter account for actresses of PEPLUM movies?

Monday, March 22, 2021

By the Gods!

Dan Vadis as Hercules pushing up a stone bridge with all his might in HERCULES THE INVINCIBLE (1964- Hercules in the Land of Darkness)

This scene, which happens at the very end, is great. The direction is a bit repetitive but overall the scene is pretty well mounted. It really shows the strength of humongous Dan Vadis, who was one of the tallest PEPLUM stars ever.

PEPLUM Movie Posters

French poster of HERCULES THE INVINCIBLE (1964 - Hercules in the Land of Darkness)

Wow! Great poster. 

PEPLUM TV Official store


PEPLUM Social Media

Make sure to visit and follow all my social media accounts and websites...

My PEPLUM TV blog (here) 

PEPLUM TV Facebook account

PEPLUM TV Youtube channel

PEPLUM TV Twitter account 

PEPLUM channel Facebook account (personal) 

PEPLUM TV Pinterest

PEPLUM Xtra (a gateway only...for now)

By the Gods! blog

Maciste Twitter account

Friday, March 19, 2021

By the Gods!

Maciste (Mark Forest) and Bangor (Paul Wynter) are about to spar over in MACISTE - STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD (1961; Mole Men vs the Son of Hercules)

The most muscular team in PEPLUM movie history? There are others team ups, like Kirk Morris and Iloosh Khoshabe in HERCULES, SAMSON AND ULYSSES (1963) but Forest and Wynter beat the Morris and Khoshabe team. Wynter, who won Mr Universe not once but twice, should have had his own Bangor movies. One of the first Fan Dubs I made years ago. Though the original title is MACISTE, Forest is called Majestus (sp) in the English dub.


Steve Reeves eating a banana and drinking milk during a break from filming HERCULES (1958)

Thursday, March 18, 2021

By the Gods!

Mary Read (Lisa Gastoni) and Ivan (Germano Longo, in background) in QUEEN OF THE SEAS (1961)

Another well mounted adventure directed by Umberto Lenzi. Quite elaborate. Today, few films would look so eye-filling. This print is close to HD but it needed some color correction. The movie was release on DVD by SNC of France and the colors are more correct. Oddly enough, this one is more film-like than the SNC one. Lisa Gastoni, an excellent actress, carries herself well. Germano Longo is solid as usual. The Italian title tanslates as THE ADVENTURES OF MARY READ. Personally, I prefer that title over the generic one.

Different Titles: HERCULES AGAINST ROME (1964)

Today, it's HERCULES AGAINST ROME (1964), starring Alan Steel, Mimmo Palmara, Wandisa Guida and others. This perennial favorite is fun and action packed. The titles are pretty much the same except for the German one which is the complete opposite of the original Italian title. The Spanish DVD has the Italian title. 

Original Italian title

The US title from this sad copy of an old TV broadcast. Well, at least I have the US title.

German title is different than the two other titles. This one translates as HERCULES - AVENGER OF ROME!

Daniele Vargas and Alan Steel as Hercules in this fun PEP

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Clip of the week: HERCULES (1958)

Hercules (Steve Reeves) shows Ulysses (Gabriele Antonini) how to use a bow and arrow. With Mimmo Palmara and cast.

From Japanese Blu-ray. In Italian only

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

By the Gods!

Rossana Podestà in ALONE AGAINST ROME (1962)

Riccardo Freda is now listed as being co-director of this often overlooked PEPLUM. There are some great scenes in it, most likely those directed by Freda. GOLD FOR THE CAESARS (1963) is another movie in which major scenes were directed by Freda. In fact, both this movie and GOLD FOR THE CAESARS feel more like Freda movies than anything else. Rossana, who as in the big Hollywood production HELEN OF TROY (1956), continued with her career in PEPLUM movies after the Robert Wise epic flopped at the box office. Rossana's character in this movie is hard to gauge. Is she or isn't she in love with her the ruling Romans who took over her house.

Musings! (March - 16)

Searching far and wide for all things PEPLUM! Luciano Marin and Steve Reeves in GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959)

Rare PEPLUM unearthed...

I finally got hold of this supremely rare PEPLUM movie. NERONE E MESSALINA (1953) or NERO AND THE BURNING OF ROME, starring Gino Cervi as Nero. Only in Italian but I could follow it and understood most of it. It's quite good. There's one scene that's quite shocking. I'll have more on this in a future post.



With the new German Blu-ray release of DUEL OF THE TITANS (1961; above), also known as ROMULUS AND REMUS, one has to wonder why PEPLUM movies originally released by Paramount Pictures for the English market are still non-existent or missing in action. ROMULUS AND REMUS was released as DUEL OF THE TITANS in North America by Paramount. The other two big Paramount titles are SIEGE OF SYRACUSE (1960), and REVENGE OF THE GLADIATORS (1964)

Tina Louise and Enrico Maria Salerno in SIEGE OF SYRACUSE. Where's the US version?

Official Paramount Pictures press book for REVENGE OF THE GLADIATORS (1964) starring Gordon Mitchell. The film is available in Italian and other languages but the English dub is nowhere to be found.

Paramount has some sort of hold on these titles. The question is: why?


You can clearly see the studio set on this Betamax cover. Oops..

Identify the movie!

Can you identify the movie from this screengrab? It should be easy for PEPLUM fans.

Orsh guessed correctly. It's from THOR AND THE AMAZON WOMEN (1963)

Who's going to buy this book?

CLASSICAL MASCULINITY AND THE BODY SPECTACULAR ON FILM by Daniel O'Brien. The prices on eBay are insane.

Have you seen this?

From the trailer, this is a wacky Japanese comedy with some Roman architect who ends up in modern day Japan, in a sauna no less.


I heard that KINO LORBER's much anticipated Blu-ray release of GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES has been delayed because of rights issues, not necessarily because of technical issues, which is what I suspected. 


Future Musings:

- A PEPLUM TV forum?

- List of PEPLUM books

- List of movies available in HD / Blu-ray

- PEPLUM Museum?

- A new Twitter account for actresses of PEPLUM movies?