PEPLUM actor Mark Forest died on January 7 at the age of 89. He made 12 movies, all entertaining and fun. I wrote a comprehensive overview of his career and his movies at the main PEPLUM TV blog. Make sure to check it out.
None of his films have made it on Blu-ray. Many of his movies have been broadcast in HD but never published to Blu-ray.
What can one write about 2021? The faster it’s forgotten the better?
We’re still going through a 2 year strong pandemic even though it’s seemingly on its last leg. Hopefully, 2022 will be more productive, and more great PEPLUM titles will be released on Blu-ray or in HD.
Happy new year everyone!
As I stated last week, there is a new batch of PEPLUM movies which have been broadcasted or streamed in HD. Someone on Youtube uploaded clips from these broadcast or streaming services. It’s a pretty good list. Here we go:
HERCULES AGAINST MOLOCH starring Alessandra Panaro and Pietro Marascalchi as Moloch
URSUS AND THE TARTAR PRINCESS starring Joe Robinson, Yoko Tani, and Ettore Manni. Nice print. I already have a nice print of this but this one seems clearer.
SIEGE OF SYRACUSE starring Rossano Brazzi and Tina Louise
JOURNEY BENEATH THE DESERT starring Haya Harareet and Amedeo Nazzari. Unlike the other titles, this one is in French.
IL FIGLIO DI AQUILLA NERA starring Mimmo Palmara
TREASURE OF THE PETRIFIED FOREST starring Gordon Mitchell
There are more titles in HD, 720p or 1080p, including copies I already have in my collection. Hopefully, the full movies will be available instead of short clips.
I came across an HD print of HERCULES THE AVENGER (1965) starring Reg Park as Hercules and Giovanni Cianfriglia as Antaeus. Now the clip is short but the quality of the print is jaw dropping. This movie has never been available in a clear print ever…even the Retromedia DVD is in poor quality. In widescreen but a terrible print. Seeing it in HD is amazing. I’ll have more in future posts, either here or at the main blog, once I get more information on it.
Amazon Prime Canada movie selection is terrible, certainly in regards to PEPLUM movies. Here’s what’s available when searching ‘HERCULES’
Not much. Well, there is the French version of THE MIGHTY URSUS, called LA FUREUR D’HERCULE (1961) starring Ed Fury. So I watched it and it says at the bottom of the movie it’s in HD.
Taking screenshots of Amazon Prime from my computer is impossible. The screen is black or blank. So. I took a photo of the images with my iPhone.
The photo is fuzzy because the motion of the movie but I have to say that the quality of the image itself is pretty good. Not perfect but better than anything out there. It resembles the German DVD but at a higher resolution and less cropping on the sides. The opening credits are in German but the movie itself is in French. Anyway, it’s a nice surprise. Runtime: 1 hour 31 minutes.
…a vintage BEN-HUR board game?
I’ve been looking for this rare board game based on the blockbuster BEN-HUR (1959) epic on eBay and someone finally posted one for sale…at $472 US (or 400 Euros). It’s in Spanish from Spain. It’s in pretty good condition but as much of a PEPLUM fan I am, I wouldn’t pay that much for one.
I recently got the ARTUS FILMS release of THE MAGNIFICENT GlADIATOR (1964) starring Mark Forest and Marilù Tolo. This is definitely the best print yet that is until an HD print is made available. I like this film. It has everything a PEPLUM movie should have. I like watching it but the copies I have in my collection (7 different prints) are fairly ordinary in quality. This one definitely beats all previous releases. The Italian and French tracks are on it. No English track. The runtime is 91 minutes 28 seconds. I have a Fan Dub print in English at 95 minutes. The runtime at IMDb is at 95 minutes. It seems this French release is uncut since it’s in PAL format, at 25 frames per second, which would make a 95 minutes long movies at 24 FPS be roughly 91 minutes at 25 FPS. Recommended.
Marilù Tolo and Jolanda Modio
If you’re not familiar with ARTUS FILMS, a French film distribution company, you can have a crash course on their titles at their Vimeo channel. The channel has trailers and even VOD you can rent. PEPLUM movies and other genres. Of course, the movies are not in English but it’s an excellent glimpse into the PEPLUM genre. I just ordered THE MAGNIFICENT GLADIATOR DVD. Hopefully the image on the DVD is as good as the clip below.
ARTUS FILMS VIMEO
As I stated in my last post, the German Gladiator 2-pack was canceled and I was refunded. I didn’t return it or ask for a refund. It most likely was lost during the terrible floods that besieged Germany. So I re-ordered it and I finally got it today. Is it worth buying? For those who only watch movies in English…no. It’s not worth it. There’s only the German dubs in this pack. Not even the Italian versions are included. And there’s no English dub as well. For me, as a PEPLUM mega fan, I’m glad I bought it even though it’s pretty much the same as what’s available out there. Here’s a quick round-up. The size of the screenshots reflect the differences in resolution.
SEVEN REBEL GLADIATORS
The movie is the same as the Italian DVD but at a higher resolution and in German only.
José Greci. The prints are identical but the German one is at a higher resolution.
The runtime between the two prints are virtually the same, minus a minute or so with the German print. 1024×572 is the resolution, which is higher than the print from the Italian DVD.
Note: I incorrectly named this movie as SEVEN SLAVES AGAINST ROME in previous posts. I corrected it.
REVENGE OF THE GLADIATORS
Now this one IS different than what’s available out there but it closely resembles the Italian copy I have from an Italian TV broadcast. The German print from the 2-pack is overly saturated and not as sharp.
Rodalno Lupi and Renato Baldini. The German print has more info on the left side but less on the right side than the Italian one.
The runtime is very different. As usual, the German print is cut. Its runtime is 82 minutes (PAL) while the Italian copy is 93 minutes (also PAL). That’s a whopping 11 minutes removed from the German print. I have to check it out further to see what was cut. The resolution for the German print is at 1000×428. Again, this resolution is higher than the one from the Italian TV broadcast.
Note: the runtimes posted at the Amazon.de page are incorrect.