Tuesday, September 28, 2021


More books from my library*. Two of these books are in French which, I know, not everyone can read but since I can I'll give you an idea of what they are.

Posted at the permanent page: PEPLUM Books




- Excellent print material
- Beautiful typeface
- Batch of photos in the centre of the book. Nearly all Hollywood productions. Almost all in color.


- Insulting book
- Hollywood-centric
- Inadequate in every way
- Author starts by stating he hates PEPLUM movies

Great idea. Terrible execution. This fellow's idea of the PEPLUM is a joke. He's only someone who has connections in France and got this idea and proceeded to make a mockery of the genre. Some of the stuff I've read in this dictionary boggles the mind. The author thinks he's a 'enfant terrible' and everything is beneath him, well, except for Hollywood movies. I was thinking of doing a dictionary of the genre before buying this. The idea is cool. Unfortunately, this is not it. Someone who doesn't know anything about the genre and reads this first won't be more informed after reading it. I'll have a full review of it soon.


LE PEPLUM by Christophe Champclaux and Linda Tahir Meriau


- Photos, photos, photos
- Easy to read
- More of general overview of the genre than anything else


- Too many photos
- Bland
- Authors are not really PEPLUM fans

If you're someone like me, this book is pointless. If you know nothing about the genre though, this is a fun introduction. This book reminded me of the FANTASTIC FIFTIES magazine reviewed previously. It's mostly big photos with generic writing on the genre. The authors have written and published several books on other genres, which told me they weren't really interested in these kind of films. They do have Michel Eloy participate in it, who is a fan of the genre and runs a website on the PEPLUM genre. 

*Note: I didn't buy the book. A friend took photos of every page, which I read. I'm glad I didn't buy it. 


This review is not like the others I've written before since this book is more of a critique of the genre than a listing of movies, actors, etc. It's academic in nature and very much serious. It's not just a historical overview of PEPLUM movies but a deconstruction of the entire genre, including topics like the hero's skin. The author admits researching and writing the book, his friends 'tolerated' his 'obsession' with these movies. I'm thinking, "I won't expect much of this" and I was right. The author goes over the muscle men, bodies and even skin of heroes in PEPLUM movies. Okay...but do they actually like these movies? The fact that the author wrote pages and pages about the hero's skin and used VENGEANCE OF URSUS as an example and not MACISTE IN HELL (1962) starring Kirk Morris as an example shows the author has no clue of what he's talking about. If there's one more which perfectly exemplifies the use of the hero's physique or skin, it's MACISTE IN HELL. 

There are many of these types of 'academic' books and for me they are totally perplexing. Who are these people? I started the blog in 2010. I've had Youtube channels with PEPLUM movies since 2007. I have tons of contacts of fans and people interested in the genre and yet all of the authors of these types of books are nowhere to be seen. The author lists a number of people who helped him on the subject and oddly enough few of them seem to be interested in the PEPLUM genre. In one line, the author wrote: 

"Anonymous readers and staff at 'Cinema Journal' gave amazing suggestions, as did Amanda Klein and Barton Palmer, editors of 'Multiplicities: Cycles, Sequels, Remakes, and Reboots in Film and Television,' who helped me think through how to give an overview of Peplum history."

I'm like "what?" The author clearly wasn't a fan of the genre if he needed this from 'anonymous readers'  or people with no prior history of covering the PEPLUM genre. BTW, the actual title is "Cycles, Sequels, Spin-Offs, Remakes, and Reboots: Multiplicities in Film and Television."

I'm confused by these 'academic' books. Are they really interested in PEPLUM movies, are they fans or are they someone who's connected and found an easy subject to write about, a subject few people know about and can't critique them correctly since only a handful people out there, like me, know something about the subject. After reading this book and the MACISTE one (both printed by Indiana University Press), I believe it's the latter. 


Anonymous said...

These so-called academic books suck the life out of the genre. They are usually uninformative and no fun to read whatsoever.

Iván said...

Then you should write something about, you have tons of information, good taste and a sharp eye. Cross the Rubicon.

Iván said...

Sorry, sorry. I hadn't read the post that you had written a novel. I want to buy it and read it! Great!