The intertitles from COLOSSUS & THE AMAZON QUEEN

Here’s just a sample of the many intertitles in COLOSSUS & THE AMAZON QUEEN (1960). It’s odd that these weren’t translated in any version. They are only seen in the original Italian version. They are cute and their exclusion from the movie diminishes the spirited goofiness of this PEPLUM comedy.

DEMETRIUS & THE GLADIATORS Blu-ray

I recently got hold of a high definition copy of DEMETRIUS & THE GLADIATORS (1954) starring Victor Mature, Susan Hayward, Jay Robinson and a host of other actors. The copy was impressive in that I could finally see details, like faces in a crowd, that were hard to see in previous releases. The problem with it was the image was truly murky or grubby looking, and the audio was not that good. So I decided to purchase an actual release of the movie. The only official Blu-ray release for North America is Out-OF-Print (OOP). Only 3000 copies were printed. And now that release is being sold for big bucks online. Since I wasn’t about to spend $200 on its Blu-ray edition, I decided to see if there were any other official releases in other languages. Mind you, I always prefer buying the version released for the NA market but since it was OOP, the only option was one from Europe. Well, I got hold of a Spanish Blu-ray from an eBayer in Switzerland, for only 5 euros. I got it today and the murky, grubby image with the poor audio is present as well. This tells me one master copy was made for all markets and they got it from the same source. Mind you, I don’t know if the US Blu-ray is as poor as the HD copy I got or this Spanish Blu-ray but both are identical, so I presume the US copy is the same. The Blu-ray has multiple languages available, including English. At 5 euros, I won’t complain too much though.

Images below can be made bigger if opened in new window.


The image is terrible. Too dark or too much contrast going on here.

The arena scenes are spectacular, even if the image is grubby.


Faces of extras are now visible or clearer, which is a plus if one is looking to spot a familiar face.


Spectacular scenes like this one really shine in HD. Even if the image is grubby and grainy, one can really sense the scope here.


The arrow points to a hair stuck at the bottom of the image. The hair is there for the duration of the scene. This tells me this print is an old print and they simply up-converted it.

ARABIAN ADVENTURE Blu-ray

Right off the recent release of the spectacular Blu-ray presentation of THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1961) comes the recent Blu-ray version of ARABIAN ADVENTURE (1979), which, in terms of image quality, is quite frankly the complete opposite of the Steve Reeves classic. How can a film that’s newer look this murky? I don’t know if it’s the film process or anything else but this Blu-ray transfer is disappointing. It looks exactly like the previous version but simply upconverted to HD.

The cinematographer was Alan Hume, so it’s definitely not the way the movie was shot. The image of the Blu-ray is very grainy and at times murky. It’s very average.


Emma Samms, Oliver Tobias and Puneet Sira


The great Christopher Lee as Alquazar


The mechanical, fire-breathing monsters. The same concept as MACISTE IN THE VALLEY OF THE THUNDERING ECHOES (1964)


The elaborate flying carpets chase/battle scene during the movie’s climax, the highlight of the entire production, still looks murky.

Japanese ads and article for HERCULES (1958) and HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959)

What’s with Japanese poster art and design which makes things so cool and dramatic? Anyway, these vintage ads and article were taken from old magazines.

HERCULES (1958)

HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959). Great montage which includes stuff from the first film.

I can’t read Japanese so don’t ask me what it’s saying. Haha!

Guess the PEPLUM movie…

Can you guess which movie this is? It was re-titled as ‘BEAUTY OF THE BARBARIAN’ though it’s more known under its original title. This ‘edition’ was for a very obscure VHS release in the U.K. in the 1980s.

‘Man against woman’!

Artwork has very little to do with the actual movie. And it’s rated 18+. It makes it look like a porn movie of some sort, which is really not. There’s some nudity and tuff but it’s nothing like a porn movie.

Can you figure it out without doing a Google search?

The art is by Chris Achilleos…authorized or not.

CONQUEST (1983) Blu-ray…

Italian director Lucio Fulci has an avid cult following: he has a legion of fans who love all his ultra-violent movies. Personally, I like many of his movies but I’m definitely not a cult-like follower. One of his lesser known title is the Sword & Sorcery called CONQUEST (1983) starring Jorge Rivera in this Italian – Spanish production. The way the movie is shot is odd: tons of filters, smoke, vaseline on the lens.  To the point where you can barely see what’s going on. The movie has been finally released on Blu-ray and though the image is crisper than previous versions, from the reviews I’ve read and from the screenshots (below), the ‘dreamy’ filters still keep the image itself from ever being fully clear. It’s probably one of the murkiest movie I’ve ever seen, PEPLUM or not. I don’t hate it. It has some interesting imagery but it’s more of a curio than anything else.

The Blu-ray edition is very rare, with only 700 copies made. The going price on eBay is at around $45 up to $70. I’ll never purchase this title at this price.  The Blu-ray comes with a new artwork which I admit is pretty good. It also includes the original poster art as a second slipcover (above).

Below are screenshots of the Blu-ray (at 1280×720). Try to make out what’s going on.

New Blu-rays…

YOR – HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE (1983) starring Reb Brown and Corinne Cléry. Directed by Antonio Margheriti. Though this movie was released by Columbia Pictures this was an Italian production. They planned to do a TV mini-series. Remarkably enough, the Blu-ray is released by Mill Creek Entertainment, the company which made the 50 MOVIE PACK: WARRIORS, the first PEPLUM DVD set I ever bought.

ARABIAN ADVENTURE (1979) starring Christopher Lee. US release. I sorta like this movie but I love the super elaborate flying carpets chase scene. It’s mind bogglingly complex. The movie is worth watching for that one extensive scene alone.

Upcoming Blu-rays…

A new batch of Blu-rays will be released soon or early next year, most of them from KINO LORBER. They are all US releases.

GOLIATH & THE VAMPIRES (1961) starring Gordon Scott. The Blu-ray will be released as SAMSON VS THE VAMPIRES…why? I dunno. The prints currently available are mostly poor so a nice Blu-ray of this title is highly anticipated.

THE WAR LORD (1965) starring Charlton Heston. Excellent movie. Looking forward to this.

RASPUTIN – THE MAD MONK (1966). Maybe my favourite Christopher Lee / Hammer movie.

THE PERILS OF GWENDOLINE IN THE LAND OF THE YIK YAK (1984),  or just GWENDOLINE, starring Tawny Kitaen. Story starts in contemporary times and ends up in a lost civilization with female gladiators and a chariot race with women in lieu of horses. The second half is a must see for PEPLUM fans. For those who don’t know, boatload of female flesh and Brent Huff as the sole provider of male flesh. The emphasis is on nudity. Excellent soundtrack. Totally silly and yet entertaining. From the Just Jaeckin, director of EMMANUELLE (1974).

THE MAGIC SWORD (1962) starring Gary Lockwood. Classic film.

COBRA WOMAN (1944) starring Maria Montez, Sabu and Jon Hall. Can’t wait to see this!!! Love this movie! Incredible Technicolor.

THE WONDERS OF ALADDIN (1961) starring Donald O’Connor. This release will be interesting. I must say that I’m not a big fan of it but maybe the Blu-ray treatment will change my mind. There’s really good stuff in it but the story is lacking. I’m still happy for its BR release.