Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Musings! (March - 09)

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

What were they thinking?

A comic book for THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (1964) is odd. I understand movies with heroes like Hercules being made into comic books but not a massive, super serious movie like this one? Would kids actually read this? Regardless, I now have to get it.

Cinematic Confusion

This one is very funny. The VHS cover for HERCULES (1958) starring Steve Reeves with someone who looks like Mark Forest on the cover. I mean, WTH? The photos on the back cover are actually for TRIUMPH OF HERCULES (1964) with Dan Vadis. You tell me they couldn't get any photos from HERCULES?

Recent Acquisitions

I've lost track of what I've recently acquired during the past 4 or 5 months (with so many delays caused by the coronavirus issue). I can only share what I got just this past weeks.


I bought this poster a while ago but never shared it here at PEPLUM TV. This is a great poster. In fact, probably the best Steve Reeves poster out there. Unfortunately, it's not a Steve Reeves movie. It's the original Italian version of GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON (1960) starring Mark Forest. 


This Spanish DVD set is interesting. ESTHER AND THE KING (1960) is in full screen and it's pretty much useless since the widescreen version came out on DVD recently. But the two other movies were worth it: Spanish version of SODOM AND GOMORRAH (1962) with opening credits in English! I didn't watch it yet to see how it differs from the other versions I have but a quick scan showed it's better than the awful German DVD. And SCIPIO THE AFRICAN (1971) starring Marcello Mastroianni. It has the Spanish and original Italian versions. 

I got DESCENDED FROM HERCULES by Robert A. Rushing. From the cover and title I thought that this would finally be a fun book to read about the PEPLUM genre. Well, it's another 'Academic' book (from the same publisher of the recent MACISTE book) with the author sorta liking the genre but being embarrassed by it as well. I tried to follow it but it's sorta a long winded way of saying there are a long of beefy men in it and it's proof of some sort of 'patriarchal' mumbo jumbo. Joking aside, it's not the fun book I expected it to be from the looks of it. Oh well...

MACISTE Twitter account

The recent MACISTE twitter account is going well. It got nearly 100k impressions since I started it less than a month ago. The tweet below, one from HERCULES AGAINST THE TYRANTS OF BABYLON (1964) in which I named all the actors in the shot got over 11,000 impressions. 

Make sure to follow it! 



I've been too busy these days to watch any movies but I recently noticed, while getting a CLIP OF THE WEEK scene for last week, that the German DVD of THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1959), which is excellent, has some issues. It goes from English to Italian or German. In English, the character played by Christine Kaufmann is named Ione (close to Iole of HERCULES (1958)) but in the Italian version she's Elena. We hear this in the German DVD, going from Ione to Elena and back to Ione. Odd.


Have you ever seen this marathon?

I never had TNT network but I do remember these marathon. Did anyone out there watched these Hercules marathons back in the day?

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?


Anonymous said...

There were many movie tie in comic books, first from Dell and then from Gold Key. Ones I have include
The Conqueror, Ben-Hur, King of Kings, Spartacus, Solomon and Sheba, Story of Ruth, Helen of Troy,
Alexander the Great, 300 Spartans (as Lion of Sparta) and the Fall of the Roman Empire one shown. Even the Italian David and Goliath has a comic. Four of Steve Reeves movies also got the comic book treatment: Hercules, Hercules Unchained, Thief of Baghdad, and Morgan the Pirate.
These comics were all really wonderful to have when I was growing up as they were often the only souvenir
for a movie you could get.

Graham Sumner said...

Graham Sumner said:

Movie tie ins are interesting because they were often based on the original script. Therefore they would be out in time for the films release.

This can mean there are slight differences in the dialogue or storyline from what finally appeared on screen.

I have both this comic version and the novel based on The Fall of the Roman Empire. Both interesting items for the collection.

PEPLUM TV said...

Hi Graham

Yes, you're correct about that point. I've seen these differences in other comic book adaptations as well. It's all about timing.

There are a lot of comic books based on movies, including ATLANTIS LOST CONTINENT, but those big historical movies are a bit odd. Did any kid even go to see FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE? LOL!

Graham Sumner said...

Graham Sumner said.

Yes Me! It started my interest in the Romans which has become a career.

PEPLUM TV said...


Not trying to date you or anything but how old were you when you saw FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE?

Graham Sumner said...

Graham Sumner said.

Hi I was 5 or 6. I am talking about the movie here and not the real event!

In the early sixties TV in the UK was filled with historical shows like William Tell, Robin Hood, The Adventures of Sir Lancelot, Richard the Lionheart. Sir Francis Drake etc... So I loved all of those. However they were all on the small screen and in black and white. So it is hard to imagine now the impact of seeing a movie on a huge screen in colour had.

It was nevertheless an unusual movie to captivate a kid as it is very talky at times. Nonetheless I was very impressed with the dark melancholic visuals and the costumes. You can see both influences in my artwork to this day.

A published collection of my Roman paintings and a publication on Hollywood Romans are due out soon. I will keep you posted.