Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Musings! (06-29)

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


In last week's musings, I wrote about acquiring the VHS tape of ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA (1972) starring and directed by Charlton Heston. This tape, released in 1985, is the only uncut copy available to the public. The Blu-ray from Twilight Time is cut. Copies which have appeared on TV are heavily cut. I got the VHS just because of this. The issue was how to transfer it to digital. I'll go over this here.

It just so happens that I have a DVD recorder which also has a VCR. It's from Samsung and it's one of the best piece of electronics ever made. The last time I used it was a decade or so ago. I transferred almost all of my tapes to digital and once that task was over, I set the DVD recorder aside. Just a note: I don't own a TV set. Just computers. And with this recorder, a TV is needed. Now this amazing piece of electronics has ALL the connections behind it: RCA, composite, s-video and, yes, HDMI. 

Since I don't have a TV and no computer monitors with a HDMI connection, I had to buy a tiny, cheap monitor on Amazon. It has all the connections, including HDMI. I connected the tiny screen to the HDMI port. And proceeded to record something for the first time in over 10 years. Remarkably enough, the DVD/VCR recorder worked flawlessly. It's super easy to set up and operate. You just press one button on the remote: copy to DVD. I just needed to remember the process and steps and boom, the movie is now on DVD; see photo above with the DVD's menu. Photo below is a screenshot of the transfer. 

The one problem was the length of the movie. Since it's 160 minutes long, a regular 2 hour DVD is not good enough. So I had to record the film on two DVD+Rs. I have two external disc players, one for regular DVDs and another for Blu-rays. I put the discs in, ripped them and voila, I now have the uncut version in digital format.

Since this is VHS, the quality is obviously not comparable to DVD or Blu-ray but it's still pretty cool. I watched it as it recorded. This is truly the only version to watch.

I'll do a comparison of different versions soon.

I have other VHS tapes in my collection, including double cassettes of THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (1964) and SPARTACUS (1960) so i think I need to buy 8.5 gb DVD+R discs for those transfers.


Spanish VHS cover of THE MAGNIFICENT GLADIATOR (1964) starring Mark Forest. This cover is cute but has nothing to do with the movie itself. First, Mark Forest has no beard. Second, there is no chariot race in the movie. Third, a chariot race with lions? Now I'd like to see that. 


Can you identify this movie from this screenshot? Should be pretty easy, if you know the movie, of course.

Ivan was able to identify the movie. It's TARKAN VS THE VIKINGS (1971). 



The more I watch it the more I appreciate what Charlton Heston tried to do with this movie. It's great. 1972, 1973 and 1974 saw a small explosion of PEPLUM movies, which this one was part of, even though it wasn't released in the US.


A pretty good movie. Every time I watch it, I appreciate even more. The direction is atypical, and the ending is sorta depressing. But overall, it's a PEPLUM movie that has gone under the radar. A movie with Leonora Ruffo (above) is always great to watch. And the speech at the end with Gerard Landry is pretty amazing (below). Landry and Ruffo are such overlooked actors. Note: the title is either SWORDS WITHOUT A COUNTRY and SWORD WITHOUT A COUNTRY.  



This is probably the least flattering figurine of Steve Reeves ever made. Look at those tiny legs. There are much better figurines out there of Steve.


Some sad news: RARELUST is a great website with TONS of old movies. I got many from them. Usually, a free download took about 5 or 7 hours but they now changed their server provider and the downloads now take 10 to 15 hours. Really bad. If I pay, the downloads only take a few minutes but I don't want to pay for this kind of service.


Stats are maintaining between 1000 to 15000 views a day. Except for last Thursday which got over 2500. I still don't get why the blog gets these out of nowhere bursts. I didn't post anything out of the ordinary last Thursday. Unfortunately, the tracking info at Blogger is extremely limited. 


Future Musings:

- List of best costumes, for women and for men.

- List of PEPLUM books

- List of movies available in HD / Blu-ray

- PEPLUM Museum?


Iván said...

Jizz! Aint it that horrible octopus from Tarkan?

Anonymous said...

It has always amazed me that Antony and Cleopatra didn't get a U.S. release. I remember the Los Angeles Times Calendar section devoting a cover story to it at the time and then I waited and waited for it to come out. The first time I saw it was on the DVD. I think it would be difficult for me to watch it now in a full frame version, complete or not. I think it is a really marvelous film.

PEPLUM TV said...

Ivan, yes the octopus is from TARKAN VS THE VIKINGS

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA is a great film indeed.