Tuesday, October 31, 2023


Scenes from LAND OF THE PHARAOHS (1955)

Excellent matte paintings from this spectacular film. The matte work is very subtle. Lou Litchtenfield was responsible for them. He was uncredited. Since the bulk of the movie takes place indoors, these two exterior shots are at the beginning and at the very end.

Then & Now: Paola Pitti

 Paola in THE SPARTAN GLADIATORS (1964); A recent photo of the actress.

Monday, October 30, 2023


Totokamen Sabachi (Totò) is about to get smashed by Maciste (Samson Burke) in TOTO VS MACISTE (1962)

The bulk of PEPLUM comedies or movies spoofing the PEPLUM genre are about the uber dense muscular guy, basically a meathead, vs the more cunning but punny man, like Toto. This is a perfect example of this. It's fun but quite predictable after a while. No English Dub version but a version with English subtitles exist. From what I've been told or read, the English translation doesn't get the jokes. They don't translate well. I believe it. 


Note: posting will be sporadic in the coming weeks due to some medical issues with my mother. I hope you understand. Once things settle down, regular postings should resume.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Italian poster of LAND OF THE PHARAOHS (1955)

The Italian title translates as THE QUEEN OF THE PYRAMIDS. Gorgeous poster and artwork. The colours are really popping. 

Monday, October 23, 2023


I love doing this blog but it takes a lot of my time. I take a break roughly every two months so this is that time again.

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!"


You can get BY THE GODS! magazine at Magcloud.

20% off with code OCT20. Valid until October 26.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Image of the week!

Randus (Steve Reeves) finds remnants left by his father in THE SON OF SPARTACUS (1962)

VHS Covers

VHS covers of LAND OF THE PHARAOHS (1955) starring Jack Hawkins, Joan Collins and others. Since this is a major film from Hollywood, the covers tend to be similar.


US VHS cover. The standard cover for most countries.


Polish cover


German VHS cover.


Spanish cover


Italian cover. It translates as THE QUEEN OF THE PYRAMIDS.


French cover

Thursday, October 19, 2023


Tamara Lees, Livio Lorezon and Germano Longo are the main stars of A SWORD IN THE SHADOW (1961)

It's a rare PEPLUM movie where the villain, played with over-the-top verve by Germano Longo, is the main character of the story. There is a good guy, Fabrizio, played by Mario Valdermarin (not pictured) who's ok but he's totally eclipsed by Longo. It's a typical story of terrible people scheming things which makes for an entertaining movie. Longo is so good when he's not on screen, you sorta miss him. He does overdo it at times but that's the nature of his character. Tamara Lees had top billing but he role is more passive than anything. It's one of those PEPLUM movies in which no one has the right title: IMDb says it's SWORD IN THE SHADOWS while the copy I have taken from an old TV broadcast (below) from the US is titled A SWORD IN THE SHADOW. 



Alan Steel (Sergio Ciani) and Luisella Boni pose for a photo on the set of SAMSON (1961)

Steel is jacked!

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

HD Alert!

A mirrored Kirk Morris in ANTHAR THE INVINCIBLE (1964) 

This fun movie has already been released on Blu-ray format years ago. In fact, there are two BDs of this film: one from Italy and the other from Spain. With that being said, there's a version of this HD print with the English audio added to it. Neither of the two BD releases had the English audio available. I suspect the fellow who did this Fan Dub is the same who added the English audio to the recent two HERCULES movies in HD and mentioned here at the blog. Directed by Antonio Margheriti. Well worth looking for. 

Vintage Article

Old article of an interview with Lou Ferrigno and how Steve Reeves influenced him. He said his dad was big Steve fan and he brought Lou to see GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS (1959) and he couldn't believe any man looked like Steve.

Monday, October 16, 2023


Romulus (Roger Moore) tends to a wounded Rea (Mylène Demongeot) in ROMULUS AND THE SABINES (1961)

This movie was sold a a fun comedy about kidnapping and rape for the whole family. The basis of the story is based on the 'rape of the Sabine women' and, yes, the scene of the kidnapping takes place in the movie. My personal opinion: parts of it work very well while other parts don't. Many of the latter scenes drag on or aren't funny or interesting. The film needed some good editing. But overall, I like watching it because the production is pretty good. And it looks good but it lacks momentum. The cast is excellent. Moore is not out of his element here even though one wouldn't compare him to Steve Reeves or Gordon Scott. Mylène is a regular of PEPLUM productions. The French version of this includes nudity during the kidnapping scene. 
It's not the only film on this legendary old story. There's a Mexican movie called THE RAPE OF THE SABINE WOMEN which came out in 1962. It's also known as THE SHAME OF THE SABINE WOMEN. 

PEPLUM Movie Poster

British poster of THE TRIUMPH OF HERCULES (1964)

Simple but still eye-catching design. The Golden Warriors make an appearance. The movie had a theatrical release in the UK.

Friday, October 13, 2023

Image of the week!

Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) is sent to the galleys of a warship in BEN-HUR (1959)

BY THE GODS! magazine...

I received the final version of the magazine in the mail yesterday. It's pictured above.

I would like to thank all of those who purchased it. The more people successful it is, the more editions they're will be. 

You can get BY THE GODS! magazine at Magcloud.

If you want a quick rundown, you can go to BYTHEGODS.ca for some details. 

At the movies...

THE ROBE (1953) at the Roxy in Time Square. Long line. 

Thursday, October 12, 2023


Delilah (Rosalba Neri) instructs a man to cut the hair of Samson (Anton Geesink) in THE GREAT LEADERS OF THE BIBLE (1965)

The movie is made of two short stories. The second on being the story of Samson and Delilah. The production is good if a bit too baroque for my taste. Rosalba is excellent in it. A regular actress of the PEPLUM genre, her Delilah is decidedly not as showy as previous or future interpretations. It's very grounded. The one thing that's odd about Rosalba's career is she was credited for movies in which she didn't appear in, including HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD (1961) and CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER (1960). I tried to find her in that movie but I can't and yet she's credited for it.


Charlton Heston, as Moses, and Vincent Price on the set of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956). In the studio with blue screen. The exterior view will be added later in post-production.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Clip of the week: GOLIATH AND THE SINS OF BABYLON (1963)

Goliath (Mark Forest) joins the team. With Mimmo Palmara and Giuliano Gemma.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023


Scenes from THE GIANT OF MARATHON (1959)

Screenshots taken from a HD copy. I have multiple copies of this, including a pretty good one but it's not as sharp as this copy. Hopefully, I'll come across it one day. Anyway, even in HD, the FXs still hold up beautifully. The special effects and visual effects are credited to Mario Bava but no mention of matte paintings. Regardless, if it's Mario or someone else, they did a great job with the paintings.

Sycamore Gap tree at Hadrian's Wall cut down

A 300+ year old tree known as the Sycamore Gap tree was deliberately cut down by vandals. The tree grew just next to Hadrian's Wall in the north of England. Why would anyone do this?


On the morning of 28 September, 2023, news spread that the tree had been "deliberately" chopped down overnight. A police investigation was launched and a cordon put in place.

Forensics officers were seen taking measurements and samples from the remains and photographing the area. One was heard saying: "In 31 years of forensics I've never examined a tree."

A 16-year-old boy and a man aged in his 60s have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and released on bail, Northumbria Police said. Historic England has also revealed that part of Hadrian's Wall - constructed between AD122 and AD130 - sustained "some damage" after the tree was felled.

The age of the tree is in dispute. Some say it was planted in the late 19th century while others claim it's over 300 years old. But it grew right next to Hadrian's Wall and became a symbol of sorts. The tree was featured in ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES (1991).




Monday, October 9, 2023


Lisa Gastoni, as Princess Gamal, faces Tharus and decides his fate, with Mimmo Palmara listening, in THARUS - SON OF ATTILA (1962)

I like this film. It's one of those PEPLUM movies few know about. They might have heard of HERCULES (1958) but not this. Of course, many will say it's not in the same league. True, but for m it doesn't matter. It's fun and entertaining. For some reason, it gets a lot of hate. But any film with Lisa Gastoni is worth watching. Jerome Courtland plays Tharus (not pictured here) was mainly a TV actor so I'm not familiar with his career but he's good in it. Mimmo plays the usual slimy villain. He was so great at it. 

PEPLUM Movie Poster

French poster of THOR AND THE AMAZON WOMEN (1963)

Nice art. Captures the movie's spirit.

Friday, October 6, 2023

BY THE GODS! magazine

You can now get BY THE GODS! magazine at Magcloud.

If you want a quick rundown, you can go to BYTHEGODS.ca for some details. 

Image of the week!

 Andromeda (Mylène Demongeot) reads stories in THE GIANT OF MARATHON (1959)

Lobby Cards Set: QUEEN OF BABYLON (1954)

Original Italian lobby cards set of QUEEN OF BABYLON (1954) starring Rhonda Fleming and Ricardo Montalban. This set is interesting. Here are some points:

- The way the photos are laid out in on these cards make it look like the movie is in widescreen. It's not. It's in standard aspect ration, in this case 1: 37: 1.

- It even states on the cards that the movie is in widescreen aka Schermo Panoraminco. False publicity.

- The original Italian title is LA CORTIGIANA DI BABILONIA. If you look carefully, DI BABILONIA is super tiny. The title seems to simply be LA CORTIGIANA.

- One of the cards has a scene from SODOM AND GOMORRAH (1962), behind Rhonda's head.

- The cards on the top right and number 3 have a dance scene from THE GIANT OF THESSALY (1960). Card number 3 also has a scene from THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES (1960).

This basically tells me this set is from a re-release in the 1960s, after SODOM AND GOMORRAH was rmade. Almost all PEPLUM movies were in widescreen back then and re-releasing a movie in standard format wasn't popular so they attempted to make a movie from 1954 look like an altogether new movie. The focus of this set is only on Rhonda. No head shot of Ricardo Montalban. 

Thursday, October 5, 2023


Moira Orfei and Gordon Scott in HERO OF BABYLON (1963) 

I love PEPLUM movies but one frustrating thing about them is how the elaborate costumes are often not displayed fully in the final movie. This photo of the two show the intricate design and look but in the movie, everything is fleeting or shot above the waist so you never seen the full costume in the final product. I really like this photo. You can say whatever you want about the genre but more often than not, the costumes were always excellent.


Director John Milius behind the camera filming a scene with Arnold Schwarzenegger on the set of CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982). Below: how the shot looks like in the movie.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Clip of the week: GIANTS OF ROME

Richard Harrison is straddled under a catapult and the chain is about to break in GIANTS OF ROME (1964). With Ettore Manni.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

HD Alert!

Helga Liné and Dan Vadis in TRIUMPH OF THE TEN GLADIATORS (1964) 

Another stunning HD version that's not available on Blu-ray but only streaming in Spain. In this transfer, the movie looks like it was shot recently. Vivid details and colours. This film includes re-used scenes from other movies and those and sorta murky in a second generation way but the original stuff looks pristine in HD. There's no excuse for this movie not to be available on Blu-ray. Click on images to view details.


Wall to wall muscle! The cast: Romano Giomini, Stelio Candelli, Enzo, Fiermonte, Halina Zalewska, Dan Vadis, Frank Oliveras, Sal Borgese, and Pietro Torrisi. In the back: Emilio Messina, Armando Bottin, Jeff Cameron and Aldo Canti.


Giovanni Di Benedetto and Helga Liné. The colours in this action movie are vivid, like Helga's dress..

BY THE GODS! magazine

You can now get BY THE GODS! magazine at Magcloud.

If you want a quick rundown, you can go to BYTHEGODS.ca for some details. 

Monday, October 2, 2023



That's Chelo Alonso, as Capys. Gordon Mitchell (back) as Atlas, or Maciste in original. Dante DiPaolo as Iphitos. And Paul Wynter as Mumba. Missing in this shot are Aldo Bufi Landi, Vira Silenti and Raffaella Carrà. But the main players are these 4 actors. A true international cast as Chelo is Cuban, Paul is from Antigua but became a Bitish citizen. Gordon Mitchell and Dante are Americans. Of course, Dante is of Italian heritage. I always like scenes like this in which all the lead actors are together. This is one of them PEPLUM movies that's often overlooked but imo, it's a classic. Everything in it is excellent: cast, production, script, effects, sets, music and dance number.
 You can't go wrong with this movie.

PEPLUM Movie Poster

Original Italian poster of QUEEN OF BABYLON (1954) 

Nice poster. It shows the action and romance part of it.