Friday, April 28, 2023

Image of the week!

Hadji Murad (Steve Reeves) tries to break free in THE WHITE WARRIOR (1959)

Quick notes

Last Friday I received the three new German Blu-rays. Visit BY THE GODS! for a quick first impression. 

The image for THE SON OF SPARTACUS is so clear that one can see a difference in who's behind the mask. Is Steve Reeves in both screenshots or one is Steve Reeves and the other is Steve's body double Giovanni Cianfriglia? Is it just a simple question of different lighting? Anyway, it stood out when I watched it.



Blog's stats...

By this time, I usually take some time off. It's been two months since my last break. But I'm postponing the break. The blog's stats have been incredible. Usually, I would get a 1000 to 1500 views a day but not the views average at around 2500 and 3500+ a day, which is amazing! Will it stay like this from now on? Probably not but I'll take my break later in the middle of May.


Thursday, April 27, 2023


Physician Resi (Ettore Manni) tries to find why Shila (Debra Paget) is ill while Kefren (Erno Crisa) watches on in CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER (1960)

This screenshot is from the HD copy from a streaming service in Italy. Aside from the German Blu-ray release of THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1961) starring Steve Reeves, this is the best HD copy of a PEPLUM movie I've ever seen. Crystal clear image. It looks like it was shot yesterday. Many people ask my why so few PEPLUM movies are not available in English in North America and I can only think of this print. No distributor has picked up this stunning print for a Blu-ray (yet). If this doesn't get release in the US with such a nice print, what are the chances that other titles will get a BD release? Same thing with the print of the German Blu-ray edition of THIEF OF BAGHDAD. It's still not released in the US. You'd think Kino Lorber would jump on these titles and release them but they're still only seen in Europe. It's not the lack of great prints that's keeping these titles from being released here. It's a sad situation for the genre.


Sean Flynn practicing his sword fighting skills for his role in THE SON OF CAPTAIN BLOOD (1962)

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Clip of the week: THE SON OF CAPTAIN BLOOD (1962)

Sean Flynn vs Raf Baldassarre. With Alessandra Panaro.

(I have a print in English but the image is not good) 

Tuesday, April 25, 2023


Scenes from VENGEANCE OF URSUS (1961) 

The matte paintings in this movie are so subtle that if you blink, you'll miss them. IMO, this is how matte work should be in movies. The production values of this movie are excellent and the matte paintings live up to it. No one is credited for these works. 


Netflix CLEOPATRA docu-series causes fury

The new Netflix docu-series on Cleopatra has caused fury all over the world. Produced by Jada Pinkett Smith, the documentary cast a black actress, Adele James (above), as the legendary Queen of Egypt. The lineage of Cleopatra is well known. She was from a Macedonian - Greek background so the casting of a black actress has been categorically refused by many, including historians/archeologists in Egypt. 

I haven't seen the pseudo documentary and I have no interest of seeing it. What kind of 'documentary' purposely disregards her actual background to placate the current 'woke' folks and the mania they are creating around the world at the moment.  

This interpretation is sorta funny in that Julius Caesar had a son with Cleopatra and one can only imagine how Rome would have approved of having a future ruler of the Roman Empire ruled by a half black emperor. It would make an interesting speculative fiction story.

This is not the first time Hollywood portrayed famous historical figures as a different race than they were originally, including Samson being black.


Monday, April 24, 2023


Steve Reeves, Gianna Maria Canale, Jacques Sernas and the cast of THE SON OF SPARTACUS (1962; aka The Slave). Click on image to see full size.

The German Blu-rays I ordered last week arrived late last Friday afternoon. It was too late for me to write about it then but I can say that I'm very pleased with the Blu-ray of THE SON OF SPARTACUS. It's so much better than the Warner DVD released a few years ago. The image is clear and dark scenes (and there are a lot of them in this movie) are just right, unlike the Warner DVD. I'll have more on this Blu-ray and also on THE GOLDEN FALCON (1955) and CONSTANTINE AND THE CROSS (1961) in upcoming posts. Note: I didn't retouch the screenshot above. It's as is.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Belgian poster of THE BLACK ARCHER (1959) 

Simple but colourful poster. Makes one want to see it. 

Friday, April 21, 2023

Image of the week!

Julia (Virna Lisi) and Curzio (Jacques Sernas) in DUEL OF THE TITANS (1961)


PEPLUM Star Reg Park on the cover of Mr. Universe magazine (Sept./Oct. 1952). Steve Reeves is also in it. This was before the PEPLUM movie explosion.

Thursday, April 20, 2023


Queen Samara (Jany Clair) eavesdrops on a conversation via the golden statue in HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN (1964)

Queen Samara is one of my favourite villainesses of the PEPLUM genre. She epitomizes everything fun about the genre's Evil Queens. Totally ruthless to the point of being campy but not in an overtly comical way. She's determined to do evil no matter what. Her performance is pitch perfect. Jany looks like a character straight from a Japanese Anime. Where is she? Another actor/actress of the genre that disappeared from the face of the earth. 


Gordon Mitchell on a break on the set of SEVEN SLAVES AGAINST ROME (1964)

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Clip of the week: SAMSON AND THE SLAVE QUEEN (1963)

Samson vs Alligator (or croc?). With Alan Steel, Pierre Brice and Aldo Bufi Landi. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

HD Alert!

Steve Reeves, as Randus, and Jacques Sernas, Gianna Maria Canale and Ombretta Colli in one of the more pleasant moments in THE SON OF SPARTACUS (1962; aka The Slave)

I finally ordered the German Blu-ray of this, along with CONSTANTINE AND THE CROSS and THE GOLDEN FALCON. I should received them next week (if everything goes well, of course). I already have great prints of all of these movies but I'm still curious to see the quality of the releases. I'll report on them in the near future.


Ancient Rome on the Silver Screen

New book on how Ancient Rome was portrayed in movies vs how they looked like according to history. Co-authored by Graham Sumner, who is a regular reader of the blog. His artwork is excellent and I presume the book is fully illustrated. The book goes over 50 movies and analyses the differences and how accurate the movies were.

You can order the book here: link

Monday, April 17, 2023


Messala (Francis X. Bushman) against Ben-Hur (Ramon Navarro) during the chariot race in BEN-HUR (1925)

The chariot race in this version is wild, with a stuntman killed during the making of the scene.

Francis X. Bushman (Mesalla) relates the following: "During one take, we went around the curve and the wheel broke on the other fellow's chariot. The hub hit the ground and the guy shot up in the air about thirty feet. I turned and saw him up there — it was like a slow-motion film. He fell on a pile of lumber and died of internal injuries." from Snopes.

The chariot race of the 1959 version is considered one of the greatest moments in film history. As great as it is, the 1959 version used the 1925 version as a template (minus the chaotic production) and the greatness of the 1959 version was helped immensely by it. It like both versions.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Original Spanish poster of THE QUEEN OF SHEBA (1952) 

Beautiful poster. Very colourful and excellent portrait of Leonora Ruffo.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Image of the week!

Hercules (Steve Reeves) with his bride, Iole (Sylva Koscina) and his companion, Ulysses (Gabriele Antonini) visit Eteocles in HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959)

VHS Covers

Three VHS covers from 3 different countries with little about the actual movie, HERCULES AGAINST MOLOCH (1963). Above is the cover from the UK. The artwork is for SAMSON AND THE MIGHTY CHALLENGE, not MOLOCH. The small artwork on the back cover is from MOLOCH.

Same cover artwork from SAMSON AND THE MIGHTY CHALLENGE in this Swedish VHS release.


Brazilian VHS release has some photos of the movie on the back cover but the front cover has a photo of Gordon Scott from his Tarzan movies. 

Thursday, April 13, 2023


Demetrius (Anthony Hall) Princess Antillia (Joyce Taylor) ATLANTIS - THE LOST CONTINENT (1962)

This movie is the one of the few movies made in Hollywood that was a PEPLUM in the classic sense (see also THE 3 STOOGES MEET HERCULES below). Like many PEPLUM movies made in Europe, this film included new scenes with re-used scenes from other movies, from QUO VADIS (1951) for example. I like this movie. My only big gripe, and this is often the case in many PEPLUM movies, is that the two main characters are not likeable in the least. I prefer the supporting characters. Like with QUO VADIS, the Robert Taylor - Deborah Kerr relationship wasn't that convincing (their acting was fine but they had no chemistry) but the many supporting characters in QUO VADIS were all great (Leo Genn, Marina Berti, Peter Ustinov, etc). I wonder why so many PEPLUM movies are afflicted by this. 


Moe and Larry have a chat with Samson Burke on the set of THE 3 STOOGES MEET HERCULES (1962)

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Tuesday, April 11, 2023


Scenes from ARABIAN ADVENTURE (1979)

This is an elaborate flying magic carpet scene with the good guys battling the bad guys on magic carpets. IMO, it's the main reason to watch the movie. Though some might say some of the action is clunky or not convincing, I like the entire scene just for the incredible effort that went into it. Director Kevin Connor went all out. It's like the STAR WARS fight scene but with magic carpets.


Vintage Article (s)

Two vintage articles on two different Steve Reeves movies in two different unknown magazines. The article above is for HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959) and below is for THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1961). Georgia Moll is credited but the photo is that of Edy Vessel.


Monday, April 10, 2023


Michael Forest (as Atlas, back left) and the cast of ATLAS (1961)

A Roger Corman version of a PEPLUM movie. It has a very hip attitude which is different than all PEPLUM movies. It was shot in widescreen but a widescreen copy of it has never surfaced anywhere. The opening credits are in widescreen (in a 4:3 image) but the rest of the movie is in full screen. As anyone seen it in widescreen when it was released? Michael Forest only straight-forward PEPLUM movie. He also appeared as Apollo in a STAR TREK episode. 

PEPLUM Movie Poster

US poster of SABU AND THE MAGIC RING (1957)

Fairly standard US poster style. Color by DeLuxe. The color version of this movie is missing. For now, the only print available is in B&W.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Happy Easter!

Rachel (Silvana Mangano) at the opened tomb where Jesus was buried in BARABBAS (1961). Happy Easter to all who celebrate it.

Image of the week!

Ursus (Dan Vadis) shows his gladiatorial skills in URSUS - THE REBEL GLADIATOR (1962)


US lobby cards set of THE STORY OF JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN (1961; 1962 US) starring Geoffrey Horne, Belinda Lee and others. Great set. Sorta tells the story in photos. I like it.


Federico Fellini and Martin Potter on the set of FELLINI - SATYRICON (1969). This is the Minotaur scene, one of the best scenes in the movie.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

HD Alert!

Urbano Barberini is the hero in GOR (1987)

Yet another German release of GOR and OUTLAW OF GOR (or GOR 2) to Blu-ray. To be released April 21. One year ago, the two movies were also released on BD in Germany. The Germans really love this movie. And yet no US Blu-ray release of either movies. The image above is not from this Blu-ray release.

Then & Now: Geoffrey Horne

Geoffrey in THE STORY OF JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN (1961); a recent photo of the actor

Monday, April 3, 2023


 Hiram Keller, Gordon Mitchell and Martin Potter in FELLINI - SATYRICON (1969)

There's a short list of PEPLUM stars that appeared in a Fellini movie. Here's one: Gordon Mitchell. The scene is brief and the way it's filmed makes it impossible to take screenshots so this photo will do. Mitchell, along with Samson Burke, appeared in small roles in this humongous movie. Mitchell looks positively tiny next to Keller and Porter, who weren't bodybuilders like Mitchell. It's so odd to see this. Anyway, many people do not like the  movie but I like it. It's to PEPLUM movies what 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY was to science-fiction films. 

PEPLUM Movie Poster

US one sheet of THE QUEEN OF THE TARTARS (1960; US 1962)

Nice artwork. In Color-Scope!