Friday, March 31, 2023

Image of the week!

Honoria (Sophia Loren) opens her heart to Aetius (Henri Vidal) in ATTILA (1954)

At the movies...

BEN-HUR (1959) playing at the Loew's State Theatre in New Your city. 

Thursday, March 30, 2023


Hercules (Steve Reeves) and Ulysses (Gabriele Antonini) watch Iphitus (Mimmo Palmara) compete in a round of discus in HERCULES (1958)

Someone posted a message at my other blog, BY THE GODS!, on the condition of the HERCULES film. Artus Films, of France, recently tried to release this movie and HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959) to Blu-ray but the state of the prints they got were so bad that they had to suspend the project. I hope this is not true. This might mean the movies will never get a proper HD release. I hope there are better prints out there. 


Lang Jeffries and Rhonda Fleming on the set of REVOLT OF THE SLAVES (1960). Notice the name FABIOLA in the background. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Clip of the week: THE QUEEN OF THE TARTARS (1960)

Jacques Sernas vs Mario Petri. With Chelo Alonso as the Queen.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023


Scenes from THE QUEEN OF THE TARTARS (1960)

This overlooked film has some impressive matte paintings. These are the very end of the movie and they're spectacular. The ending to this movie is sorta unexpected. I can't find who's responsible for these matte paintings.

Goddess with Upraised Arms in ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS

I love making this blog. Yesterday I posted a screengrab from ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS and I learned, from a follower on Twitter, that the statue in the background is the Goddess with Upraised Arms/hands. The post sorta went viral. The story is set on the island of Crete and the location of Polyphemus the cyclops' cave is supposed to be in Crete. So, the movie makers knew their stuff and the prop is historically accurate. The things I learn from doing this blog. 

Gordon Mitchell and Aldo Bufi Landi in ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS (1961) with the Goddess with Upraised Arms statue.

Monday, March 27, 2023


Atlas (Gordon Mitchell; Maciste in original) and Capys (Chelo Alonso) in ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS (1961)

This was Gordon's first leading role and first PEPLUM role in an Italian production. He had already appeared as an extra in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956) and in SPARTACUS (1960) so this is not his first role in a PEPLUM movie. Considering this was his first lead role, I think he did a pretty good job there. Chelo had already done a dozen or so PEPLUM productions so she was a veteran by then. I like this movie. I have so many different copies of this movie, including a pretty nice one from a Spanish DVD (screengrab from it) but I'm still patiently waiting for a clear HD copy of this. 

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Original Italian poster of MACISTE - AVENGER OF THE MAYANS (1965)

Nice poster. Does he look like Kirk Morris? Not really but the artwork is fine nonetheless. 

Friday, March 24, 2023

Image of the week!

Messalina (Susan Hayward) joins her husband Claudius, who is now Caesar after Caligula was killed, while her lover, Demetrius (Victor Mature) watches on in DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS (1954)

More on the mystery of HERCULES (1953)

Two weeks ago I posted about a Filipino movie called HERCULES and released in 1953. There's very little information on this but IMDb lists it. Someone wrote at a blog that the movie itself is not real but another title. But upon further investigation, mainly thanks to Paul, the movie seems to be real but it is considered a lost film. As the image above shows, at the bottom right, it's part of list of 'Lost Filipino Films.'

But...there's a website that claims they have it. I personally don't trust those kind of websites and I won't register to find out but I highly doubt they have it. Anyway, if someone wants to try it go ahead. 

I can accept the fact that the movie is lost but I find it hard that all publicity material and photos of the movie are also lost. If there were a couple of photos or another poster artwork I would believe it but for now I'm not 100% convinced of it being real, mainly because the poster artwork looks more 1960s than early 1950s.

Thursday, March 23, 2023



This movie was released in February of this year. The reception in France and elsewhere has been lukewarm if not indifferent. The movie cost over $70 million and has only made $42 million up to now. This is the 5th live action Asterix and Obelix movie. As the previous productions, it's non-stop CGI effects. It has a 4.9 rating (out of 10) at IMDb. Looks like a flop. These Asterix & Obelix films have been wildly uneven. It's also the first story not based on a previously published book. The movie was made specifically for the Chinese market in mind but the movie hasn't been released in China yet. The director and French president Emmanuel Macron went to China to pitch the movie!


 Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher relaxing on the set of CLEOPATRA (1963)

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Clip of the week: TRIUMPH OF THE TEN GLADIATORS (1964)

Roccia (Dan Vadis) with his gladiators (too numerous to mention) revolt against Queen Moluya (Helga Liné)

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

HD Alert!

When it rains it pours. A batch of new Blu-ray releases of PEPLUM titles from Germany has been announced. The problem with all of this is the price. It will be quite costly to get a hand on all of these titles. Above is a screenshot found at Amazon of THE LION OF ST MARK. The image is quite dark. Some titles are already available while others with be available in the following weeks. English audio is only available on THE LION OF ST MARK (!) and THE SON OF SPARTACUS. 


THE MONGOLS (1961) starring Anita Ekberg and Jack Palance - In German and Italian only


THE LION OF ST MARK (1963) starring Gordon Scott and Gianna Maria Canale - In German and English


CONSTANTINE AND THE CROSS (1961) starring Cornel Wilde and Belinda Lee - In German and Italian only!


THE SON OF SPARTACUS (1962; aka The Slave) starring Steve Reeves - In German, Italian and English!


THE GOLDEN FALCON (1955) starring Frank Latimore - In German only

There's a limited edition version of this film (Blu-ray and DVD). The limited edition comes in two different covers as well.

And there's also HANNIBAL (1959) which I've already posted about.

There are other titles which I'll post in the future.

Then & Now: Helen Mirren

 Helen in CALIGULA (1979); a recent photo of the actress.

Monday, March 20, 2023


A gladiator (Marco Tullio Cau) celebrates a victory in the presence of Berenice (Sybil Danning) and Clodius (Donald Pleasance) in WARRIOR QUEEN (1987)

Another PEPLUM movie of the 1980s that combines sex, violence and stock footage from movies of the Golden Era to create something odd. Is is a porn movie? The 79 minutes version doesn't include explicit sex scenes but it has loads of nudity and an extended orgy scene. 
There's a purported 92 minutes version with added sex scenes. I already had this in my collection but it was a 4:3 version. I just got a HD copy of this and it's surprisingly good looking even though the quality of the movie remains the same. Produced by Joe D'Amatoe. Marco Tullio Cau is impressive on screen. There are some good fight scenes in it.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Original Italian poster of SAMSON AGAINST THE SHEIK (1962) 

Colourful poster with a great rendition of the recently deceased Ed Fury. 

Friday, March 17, 2023

Image of the week!

The assassination of Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison) in CLEOPATRA (1963)

Beware the Ides of March!

VHS Covers

Two VHS covers of HERO OF BABYLON (1963) starring Gordon Scott and Moira Orfei. Above, the Spanish version and below is the German one. Same movie, quite a difference in style and art. Both are great. They're quite accurate to the movie, unlike many VHS covers.

Thursday, March 16, 2023


Hercules (Gordon Scott) stands next to a sea monster he just played in HERCULES AND THE PRINCESS OF TROY (1965)

This is one of the best monster creations made for a film or TV show and yet it's virtually unknown. The first time I saw this and saw the monster in action I was "Why haven't I heard of this before?" I'm aware that this is a failed TV pilot and has fallen into obscurity but still...the detailing on it is incredible. Monster created by Carlo Rambaldi.


Arnold Schwazzeneger and Sven-Ole Thorsen goofing around on the set of CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982). Sven and Arnold were friends and Sven worked on other film projects together.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Clip of the week: TRIUMPH OF MACISTE (1961)

Antea (Cathia Caro) revives Maciste (Kirk Morris) and he proceeds to go on a rampage.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023



Hercules (Kirk Morris) and Samson (Iloosh Khoshabe) bring down a temple during the movie's climax. I like this scene. Even though one can see the temple is a model, the way it falls apart and tumbles is well made. I also like the fact that they shot this outside and not income studio. They could have added some dusts to make it look old and dusty but aside from that it looks good.


Colin Farrell: ALEXANDER nearly destroyed my career...

The media went over Colin Farrell's career with the Oscar buzz for his critically acclaimed movie, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN.

The one thing Colin admitted was that his starring role in the 2004 epic ALEXANDER nearly destroyed his career. He was so devastated by the response from critics and moviegoers that he nearly quit acting altogether. 

I reviewed this movie and stated how much I didn't like it, to say the least. I wasn't alone on this. The production had some interesting aspects to it but the casting, the pacing, the script made this movie almost unwatchable. The TELEGRAPH article is behind a paywall so I won't link it here. Here are two other articles on this. It's not the first time a PEPLUM movie nearly destroyed an actor's career.

Devastated Colin Farrell almost quit acting after notorious flop 'I thought I was sh**e'

The Historical Drama That Almost Ruined Colin Farrell's Career

Monday, March 13, 2023


Mark Forest as Maciste in MACISTE - THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD (1961)

Initially, I was underwhelmed by this movie but I quickly realized that the terrible print I viewed was really what made it so. Once I saw a beautiful print, it quickly became one of my favourites. This scene alone places it on top of the best PEPLUM movies ever: Maciste is put to the test by the Mole people. If he fails in holding the slabs, he will be killed and his friends will also be impaled and crushed by the heavy slabs. Truly surreal Feat of Strength. A must see in widescreen.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Original Italian poster of HERO OF BABYLON (1963) 

Photo montage or a fotobusta-style poster with nice color images from the movies. I like it.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Image of the week!

Glaucus (Gordon Scott) introduces himself as Hercules to Demeter, Queen of Micenae (Rosalba Neri) while Medea, Queen of Tyro (Alessadra Panaro) and Penthius, General of Micenae (Arturo Dominici) look on in HERCULES AGAINST MOLOCH (1963)

The mystery of HERCULES (1953)

Major Cinematic Confusion.

I accidentally came across a listing of a Filipino movie called HERCULES at IMDB. It apparently was released in 1953. I never heard of this. Its IMDB listing is sparse. I was highly skeptical of this but then I found a comic book based on it. 


I'm like "Ok, what is this?"

I found the comic book at a blog and one comment said that there's no such thing as HERCULES released in 1953 but another movie called PALASIG released in 1952. 

If there's a Filipino version of Hercules (not the SAMSON AND DELILAH from the 1980s) then I would think it would have ben released in the 1960s, after the success of the HERCULES (1958), the Steve Reeves version. The look of the poster at the top is more 1960s than early 1950s. As for the comic book, again, it might just be a knock-off. The whole thing is shrouded in mystery.

If anyone has a clip or some genuine info on this please leave a comment.

Thursday, March 9, 2023


Jack Palance is REVAK THE REBEL (1960) 

This scene is after Revak fought with a man to the death. It's a good scene but the action is sped up, which is unfortunate because it makes the scene look campy. Jack was 41 years old when he made this movie. He was often cast as villains so playing the hero was a nice change for him but he was an unlikely 'good guy.' But since he's a good actor he was able to overcome this. The movie is entertaining but it has many unintentionally funny scenes. One of Jack's costumes is the ugliest ever seen in a PEPLUM movie (not this one though)


Reg Park, dressed as Hercules, gives a cake to Fay Spain for her birthday on the set of HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (1961)

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Clip of the week: THE MIGHTY URSUS (1961)

Ursus (Ed Fury) gets caught in another trap but don't worry he gets out of it!

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

HD Alert!

I finally got the Blu-ray edition of MARCO POLO (1962). I watched it and it's very entertaining even if it's a bit derivative. The release is near perfect. The only big issue is the fact that the copy is the International English Dub version and not the US version with the Les Barker score. It seems getting a hold of an original US version of PEPLUM movies are a thing of the past. I suspect few will ever show up. I will have a review and a Different Versions post in the coming weeks.

Ed Fury, R.I.P.

Ed Fury died on February 24 at the age of 94. He was one of the big stars which came from the US to star in several Italian PEPLUM films during the height of its popularity around the world. Ed was a *legendary* physique model and appeared in countless muscle and physique magazines in the 1950s. He also had bit parts in movies like FEMALE ON THE BEACH (1955) before heading for Rome. The handsome star appeared in 3 URSUS movies. I liked him. Acting wasn't really his thing but the camera loved him and he always looked great and seemed to have a good time. Having lived so long, I also thought he'd live forever. Rest in peace, Ed!

For more pictures, check out the HEROES AND BEEFCAKE permanent page of the blog.

Above and below: before heading for Rome, Ed appeared in WILD WOMEN OF WONGO (1958)


Ed starred with Rod Taylor and Dorian Gary (above) in COLOSSUS AND THE AMAZON QUEEN (1960). Fun film.


Above & below: THE MIGHTY URSUS (1961) was Ed's biggest role yet. It starred Cristina Gaioni. One of my favourite PEPLUM movies.


Ed in THE SEVEN REVENGES (1961). Probably Ed's most serious role. Great film. The first image above is from this movie.


Ed with Moira Orfei and Alberto Lupo in URSUS IN THE VALLEY OF THE LIONS (1961), first sequel to THE MIGHTY URSUS.


Ed in MACISTE CONTRO LO SCEICCO or SAMSON AGAINST THE SHIEK (1962). This was his only movie as Maciste. The character's name was changed to Samson for the US market.

Ed in the third and last Ursus movie: URSUS IN THE LAND OF FIRE (1963) starring Luciana Gilli (below). Like all Ursus movies, this one is quite violent. This was his last movie made in Rome.


Ed was famous model before appearing in movies. Here are a few of his appearances or cameos.


Above and below: Ed was part of the promotional campaign for the US release of FABIOLA (1949). He didn't star in the movie.


Ed had a cameo in ATHENA (1954) also starring future PEPLUM star Edmund Purdom.

Ed had a bit part in GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) starring Jane Russel.


Ed is credited for DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS (1954) but I can't find him in the final movie. Here's a candid photo of Ed with Susan hayward who played Messalina.


After returning to the US, Ed's acting career didn't go anyway even if he starred in some big productions. Ed can be seen in the background of a STAR TREK episode with William Shatner.


Ed was a famous physiques model before acting. Here's one of many covers with the handsome man.