Monday, May 30, 2022

By the Gods!

Big Dan Vadis is Hercules in THE TRIUMPH OF HERCULES (1964) 

I like this movie and there are a lot of good things to mention about it but there's also a part of it which I don't like. This Hercules comes across as someone who is easily manipulated and at one point he causes death and destruction from manipulation from the villains. Herc sorta comes across as not too bright. Anyway, aside from that dramatic turn of events, the rest of the movie is pretty solid PEPLUM entertainment. The movie was always available in decent prints but even so I can't wait for an HD release of this. 

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Thai poster of MACISTE THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD (1961; aka Maciste vs the Mole Men)

Like other posters from Thailand, this one is very nice (even if she doesn't look like Moira Orfei). 

Fiction becomes reality!

Well, almost!


A gigantic cave with its own ecosystem was found in China. This lush, verdant cave is the result of a gigantic sinkhole, and an opening was made on the cliff that was left of the sinkhole and within that opening is a massive cave. This is almost the exact storyline of AT THE EARTH'S CORE (1976) based on the book by E. R. Burroughs, in which (below) Peter Cushing and Doug McClure burrow their way into a gigantic cave with dinosaurs and cave people like Caroline Munro! Ok, the cave in China is missing the dinosaurs and cave people but like the fictional story, the gigantic cave has its own ecosystem separate from the rest of the world. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

Image of the Week!

Spartacus (Massimo Girotti) saves Amitys (Ludmilla Tchérina) in SPARTACUS: SINS OF ROME (1953)


Reg Park having fun with Eddie Constantine on the set of HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (1961)


THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF EPIC FILMS by Santas, Wilson, Colavito, Baker.

Looking at the cover and the title, I thought "Wow, I have to get this now!" I bought it on eBay, sorta expensive and lo and behold, the book covers not only PEPLUM movies but films like THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, COLD MOUNTAIN, OUT OF AFRICA, TITANIC and THE SPY WHO LOVED ME! I kid you not. This is why buying books on the internet is often a fail. I didn't care for it at all even if it does have PEPLUM titles in it. Deceptive. 

Same prop, different films!

The statue of Zeus/Jupiter in SIEGE OF SYRACUSE (1960). They filmed it in a way in to make it appear big. The same statue showed up in HERCULES THE AVENGER (1965) but looking much smaller in its actual size than in SIEGE. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Clip of the week: 79 AD: THE DESTRUCTION OF HERCULANEUM (1962)

Brad Harris and Djordje Nenadovic fight it out in 79 AD: THE DESTRUCTION OF HERCULANEUM

HD Alert!

A new Maria Montez - Jon Hall Blu-ray boxset will be released in July. The titles include WHITE SAVAGE, GYPSY WILDCAT and best of all, SUDAN. The latter is a fun adventure movie well worth buying the set for.


Jon Hall and Maria Montez in this colourful adventure!

Vintage Article

Box office chart from May 1960. Among the titles listed are GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (pictured), BEN-HUR and SOLOMON AND SHEBA. If you look at the averages (click on image to resize it), you can see that GOLIATH's average, 196, was better than most Hollywood releases of the same period.


Chris Peirce follows me on Facebook and loves PEPLUM movies and shared these artworks with me. I asked him if I could post about it and here they are. These are great. Which one is your favourite?

Monday, May 23, 2022

By the Gods!

Alexander Skarsgård in THE NORTHMAN (2022) 

A recent release that's straight out of the PEPLUM genre, including the storyline, poster, etc. It's obvious the director is a fan of such movies. Has anyone seen it? Will this revive the genre? I'm actually curious to see this one. It's been out for a month and the box office returns have been flat (as opposed to the recent DR STRANGE movie).

Blog note: there'll be some changes to the blog. I'll be posting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from now on. There will be more posts but not on every day of the week.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Original Italian poster of REVOLT OF THE SLAVES (1960) 

Excellent poster. It's a spoiler though. 

Giants in PEPLUM movies

A compilation of giants in PEPLUM movies. I didn't create this compilation. 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Image of the week!

Venus (Annie Gorassini) tries to get the attention of Vulcan (Iloosh Khoshabe) in VULCAN - SON OF JUPITER (1962)


Director Pietro Francisci (bottom left with moustache) is supervising a scene with Sylvia Lopez on the set of HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959)

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

SON OF SAMSON Blu-ray review...

SON OF SAMSON (1960; 1962 in the US) starring Mark Forest, Chelo Alonso, Virna Silenti, Agelo Zanolli and Frederica Ranchi. Directed by Carlo Campogalliani.

I got the SON OF SAMSON (1960) Blu-ray last Friday and I had the weekend to review it. This release is excellent and should be the model for all future titles. Is it perfect? No but it's close to it.

Right off the bat I'll mention my complaints:

- No extras of the movie
- Audio is sorta weak. I needed to crank it up to the max.
- Only English audio track. No original Italian language option
- This release is not the one release back in 1962 in the US

That's it.

The rest is pretty darn good. Beautiful HD transfer of the first Maciste movie since the silent era. As I suspected, it's identical to the one on Amazon Prime (which was released on the internet before the BD). 

I won't review the movie itself since I've already done this. But even so after watching it fully in HD I feel there are a few things I might change or add to it.

I give this Blu-ray release a 9 out of 10. A must for PEPLUM fans


How does this version differ from other versions?

I watched the movie along with the RETROMEDIA version and the original Italian version, also in HD. I watched these versions on two computer screens. I compared them and see what was different from each other.


The opening title on the Blu-ray is the original Italian title. Below is the title to the RETROMEDIA DVD. If you read the info under A SAMUEL SCHNEIDER PRODUCTION, it states: 'special edition copyright retromedia entertainment, inc'. This RETROMEDIA version is a 'reconstructed' opening credit so it's not how the original US release was. It's still images of an old print (that's available on the 50 WARRIORS DVD pack) and color corrected. So, neither the Blu-ray or the RETROMEDIA prints have the actual, complete English opening credits. 


The opening narration between the new BD and the old RETROMEDIA copy are different.

- The voice of the narrators are different

- The narration in the new BD is shorter. It starts and ends at different scenes when compared to the RETROMEDIA version

- Queen Smedes is mentioned in the opening narration in the RETROMEDIA version but not in the new BD.

- The time frame of the story is totally different. The narrator on the BD says the time is the fifth century B.C.. On the longer RETROMEDIA narration, the time is the eleventh century B.C..



Staying in the tradition of CINEMATIC CONFUSION when it comes to PEPLUM movies, some scenes are cut or missing, with no logic to it all.

As I compared the Italian version with the new BD version, and both of those against the RETROMEDIA version, one can one see how things were meant to be seen. The original Italian version is uncut at 94 minutes. The runtime of the new BD is 88 minutes 41 seconds. The runtime of the RETROMEDIA version is 86 minutes 38 seconds.

This scene occurs during the assault by the Persians on a village in Egypt. Above is from the uncut Italian version. Below is from the RETROMEDIA DVD. Oddly enough, this brief moment is not in the new Blu-ray release.


This scene is missing from the Kino Lorber Blu-ray and the RETROMEDIA DVD. It's on the Italian copy and it's a brief introductory scene.


In the most startling scene of the movie, a male shows to Queen Smedes that sh'e not a male by exposing her breast. This scene is in the Italian version and the new Blu-ray but it's partially cut in the RETROMEDIA DVD. In it, we see her opening her shirt but we don't see her breasts.

This brief scene of Maciste telling the women to 'come' with him is on the uncut Italian copy and the new BD but it's missing from the RETROMEDIA DVD.

Having rescued the women from the Persians, Maciste is now struggling to find water for the thirsty women. This scene of the women begging Maciste for water is only found in the uncut Italian version. 45 seconds were cut.

When a woman finds a waterskin a fight erupts between the thirsty women. Maciste goes to the commotion and see what's going on. This scene is uncut on the Italian version and the RETROMEDIA DVD but the fight between the women is abbreviated in the Blu-ray and the scene of Maciste walking up to the quarrelling women is also missing. The scene starts with Maciste already standing there.


A rare comical moment. This is not in the Blu-ray edition nor the RETROMEDIA release.

The discussion in this scene lasts about 18 seconds longer than in the Blu-ray or DVD.

Maciste escapes on horseback is cut from the RETROMEDIA print. It's intact in the other two.

Another discussion that lasts longer in the Italian version than the others.

Maciste heading to see the Pharaoh while the two men talk about him is not on the Blu-ray or the DVD.


The women from the village are being gathered outside the temple. The scene is cut in the  RETROMEDIA print. The scene lasts about 15 seconds.

This scene is entirely cut from the Blu-ray or DVD. It last almost 30 seconds in the Italian version.


The ending to the new Blu-ray release is the same as the Italian one. The one below is from the RETROMEDIA copy. 

As I wrote above, why some scenes are missing or have been truncated here and there has no logic to it. Presumably, the new Blu-ray print reflects the available English audio but it doesn't explain why some scenes, like the fight scene between women over water and Maciste moving in to stop them was cut when it's on the DVD release. These scenes might appear trivial but looking at the total scenes cut according to the runtime, over 6 minutes of scenes are missing from the Kino Lorber Blu-ray release. 

The Blu-ray is worth getting but it would have even better if the movie was uncut. 


Tuesday, May 17, 2022


Brad Harris, as Hercules, and Mara Berni stand before a city at night in FURY OF HERCULES (1963).

The city in the background is a big, intricate model including a wall in the distance. This scene is always fun to watch. It must have taken some time to build all of that. There are even stars in the night sky.

Then & Now: Leo Valeriano

Leo in SINBAD AND THE CALIPH OF BAGHDAD (1973); a recent photo of the actor

Monday, May 16, 2022

By the Gods!

 Pentheus (Alberto Lupo) vs Dionysus (Pierre Brice) in THE BACCHANTES (1961)

The movie is still not available in HD but it is available on Amazon Prime, in standard definition. That version has the original English opening credits. As a reminder, this was the first Fan Dub I ever made, over 10 years ago. Finding an English copy was almost impossible to find and when I found it, the audio was out of synch with the image and the quality was terrible. But I managed to complete a Fan Dub of it, which took time. I eventually uploaded to Youtube and it was a hit, with millions of views. Unfortunately, Youtube yanked it and that was the end of that. The copy would surface here and there all over the internet, including dupes on DVDs. But now the actual English version has been made available on Amazon (and Youtube as well from a channel that I won't mention), my original Fan Dub is not needed anymore. Oddly enough, the image of my Fan Dub is still better than the murky one found on Amazon.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

British quad of THE DEVILS OF SPARTIVENTO (1963), re-titled as THE FIGHTING LEGIONS for its British release.

Not a great poster by any means but still worthy in that it shows that it had a theatrical release in English. There are a couple of interesting things about it.

- John Drew Barrymore is credited as John Barrymore jnr.
- Barrymore is the star of the movie but he's barely featured (he's on the top right)
- In the original Italian poster, the widescreen format is credited as Euroscope but here they only credited: 'SCOPE on the bottom left corner. Lol!
- Great movie!

Sunday, May 8, 2022


I take a break roughly every two months so this is that time again. Last full break was the last week of February.

So stay tuned!

I'll leave you now with King Leonidas (Richard Egan) from THE 300 SPARTANS (1962), saying "From this wall, we do not retreat!"

Friday, May 6, 2022

Image of the week!

The gods on Mount Olympus 

Seated: Zeus (Laurence Olivier). From left to right: Hera (Claire Bloom) - Hephaestus (Pat Roach) - Thetis (Maggie Smith) - Poseidon (Jack Gwillim) - Athena (Susan Fleetwood) - Aphrodite (Ursula Andress)