Thursday, July 28, 2022


Hercules (Mark Forest) is the Hero in HERCULES AGAINST THE BARBARIANS (1964)

If someone asked me to define the PEPLUM genre, I would flippantly say: everyone is dressed except the Hero. Okay, that's a generalization but even in Hollywood pictures, like THE TEN COMMANDMENTS or BEN-HUR, the Hero is often without clothes a bare minimum of clothing. The Italian movies took it to an all different level. In this movie, Mark's costumes are actually pretty varied. I might highlight this in one post but in general he's all muscled up and ready for adventure. This is one of two so-called Twin Productions (article), with HERCULES AGAINST THE MONGOLS being the first of the two, and BARBARIANS being made after. While MONGOLS is non-stop pure action, and one of my favourites, this one, even though it's filled with action, is more of a Fairytale-style, with evil lurking in every corner. The contrast between the two movies is cool, the two films directed brilliantly by Domenico Paolella. I love MONGOLS and BARBARIANS but the action in MONGOLS edges out the action in BARBARIANS while the tone and atmosphere in BARBARIANS edges out MONGOLS. 
Mark is great in both, and he was really the focus of these movies and he knew it and revelled in it, making these movies some of the best of the PEPLUM genre.

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