Tuesday, August 3, 2021


Here's a quick overview of some of the PEPLUM books I have in my library.

More titles will be added on a regular basis.

List posted at the permanent page.

WITH FIRE & SWORD by Patrick Lucanio

An expensive book (over $100.00), it was seemingly published more for Academia than for the general public. 

- Great format and text. Easy to read.
- A good overview of the genre, no matter how error filled it is
- Great name for book

- Unnecessarily repetitious and padded
- Many errors
- Dubious knowledge of the genre
- Super expensive
- Few images or illustrations

RETRO STUD by David Chapman

The first PEPLUM book I ever bought. Like almost all books listed here, this one has good aspects to it and some truly horrendous ones as well (yes, horrendous!). I don't even know where to start!

- Good layout
- Excellent selection of posters

- Author dislikes the PEPLUM genre (!!!)
- A boatful of titles that don't exist
- Generally lazy

CINEMA ITALIANO by Howard Hughes

Well, I won't beat around the bush with this book: avoid

- None to list

- Doesn't care for the genre
- Out of 300 pages, only 75 pages dedicated to the PEPLUM genre
- Expensive

LE PEPLUM by Laurent Aknin

A small book (123 pages or so) that's nearly all about Hollywood. 

- Covers recent PEPLUM films
- Good layout
- Cute

- Little interest in Italian PEPLUM films
- Nearly all Hollywood

EPIC FILMS (second edition) by Gary Allen Smith

Very well researched and the layout is beautiful. Needs updating though.

- Excellent layout
- Well researched
- Includes titles of projects that weren't completed.

- Missing titles or genres (like Arabian genre...but all PEPLUM books have this problem...)
- Pricey!

IL GRANDE LIBRO DI ERCOLE by Steve Della Casa and Marco Giusti

Reviewing this hefty book is difficult since it's in Italian.

- Actors list, with photos, is excellent
- Good but not great layout
- Illustrated

- Authors favour Hollywood films
- Missing titles, genres, etc
- Name of the book doesn't make any sense

ITALIAN SWORD & SANDAL FILMS  by Roy Kinnard and Tony Crnkovich

This 'book' only contains listings. 

- Nothing

- Everything. A rip-off.


This magazine (is it really a magazine?) covers the subject of films from the 1950s (and early 1960s). 

- Glossy publication
- Rare interview with Steve Reeves

- Photos, photos, photos
- Expensive (nearly $40.00 with shipping and handling)

HEROES NEVER DIE! by Barry Atkinson

One of the latest books covering the genre.

- Excellent publication (print, design...)
- Illustrated (photos, posters...)

- Dubious reviews of movies that are impossible to get
- Overwrought writing style
- Comes in two editions: black and white, and in colour. The colour edition is very expensive.

More to come...


Anonymous said...

I agree with your opinion on almost every book you list here. And thank you for the nice mention of my book Epic Films. At one point I was going to write a book just about Arabian Nights movies but never got around to it. Also my definition of Peplum is much narrower than yours. I know, pricey. But I had no control over that. It did come out as a less expensive paperback. I'm glad you like my book. It was a labor of love.

PEPLUM TV said...

It's a very good book. Needs updating for more recent titles like ALEXANDER, TROY (complete review) or 300. It would give the book a greater scope. I also think CONAN THE BARBARIAN should have been included (sequel and RED SONJA). If GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES made it, CONAN should also be there. But those are minor quibbles. As for the price, I know this is out of your hands. PEPLUM books aren't cheap. lol.

Anonymous said...

I had written an earlier edition of the book back in 1991. After the release of Gladiator I was asked by the publisher to update the original book. I was delighted because in the nearly a decade since the first one so many of the Italian films became available for me to watch in good copies. Of course I would have included Alexander and Troy had the book come out a few years later. I didn't include the Conan films because I have always considered them part of the Sword and Sorcery trend and not really Peplum. But that's just my preference. I doubt the publisher will ask me to update the book a third time. I do have a new book called Hollywood and the Bible which should be out later this year.

PEPLUM TV said...

It's a shame though about the update. It would be great.