Mylène Demongeot died today at the age of 87. I made an overview of her career in PEPLUM movies at the main PEPLUM TV site:
I won’t do an overview here. Here are some of my favourite photos of her.
THE GIANT OF MARATHON with Steve Reeves
ROMULUS AND THE SABINES
GOLD FOR THE CAESARS
One of the aspects of the PEPLUM genre which irks me is the dismissive attitude of the success of HERCULES (1958). Many say that it became popular because of clever marketing by Joseph E. Levine. The marketing aspect for the U.S. release might be one of the reasons but not the only reason. This claim basically says the movie is worthless and that it didn’t have any redeeming qualities.
I’ll be writing about this for an article in the soon to be published magazine of BY THE GODS!.
What do you think made this movie such a success? The movie rivalled along much bigger Hollywood movies.
What is it just clever marketing? The movie is just darn good? The casting of Steve Reeves as Hercules?
Steve Reeves as Hercules and crew of the Argonaut.
The remarkable thing about Luciano Marin’s career in PEPLUM movies is the number of PEPLUM actors he worked with.
Here’s just a short example:
Luciano starred along Steve Reeves in GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS. With Giulia Rubini.
Luciano worked on THE TARTARS with Victor Mature
Then Luciano co-starred as the son of Hercules (Reg Park) in HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN
Then the Italian actor was in COLOSSUS OF THE STONE AGE with Reg Lewis.
And Luciano also starred with Alan Steel in SAMSON AND THE MIGHTY CHALLENGE.
There are other movies but just this list is quite amazing. What a lucky dude!
SON OF SAMSON Blu-ray release by KINO LORBER is now available for pre-order at Amazon. This is great news.
SON OF SAMSON BD @ AMAZON
The BD is still available for pre-order in Canada but there’s still two months left so I’ll wait and see.
Below is the official artwork of the release. Looks great.
This Blu-ray release is a complete opposite of the KL attempted release of the ill-fated GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES.
Kino Lorber has announced that they will have a Blu-ray release of SON OF SAMSON (1960) starring the late Mark Forest. This is great news! It seems now that distributors in North America have finally realized of the many beautiful prints in HD broadcasted on TV or from streaming services in Europe. Oddly enough, an HD print, in English and the original cut in Italian, are already available on the internet. I have both copies. They are stunning. The English copy is 85 minutes long while the uncut Italian one with English subs is 94 minutes. Adding these two new copies to my collection, I now have 11 different versions of this movie, including one from RAI which is also very nice.
Thanks to info from my friend in Europe, SON OF SAMSON is already available in HD on Amazon in the UK so these copies on the internet are most likely from this source. The screenshot above is from the copy I have. But where does the original Italian one, with English subs, comes from? It’s odd that the announcement from Kino Lorber coincided with the availability of this movie at one movie website (which shall remain nameless…to protect them). Regardless, if the Kino Lorber release is from the same source, it will be amazing. It’s one of the rare occasions when the Blu-ray of a PEPLUM movie will become available in North America before Europe.
And yes I will buy the Kino Lorber Blu-ray once it’s released.
I finally got the new FURY OF ACHILLES (1962) Blu-ray disc from GOLDEN NINJA VIDEO. The movie stars Gordon Mitchell in his best role. This disc also includes PERSEUS THE INVINCIBLE (1963) starring Richard Harrison, and THE TROJAN HORSE (1961) starring Steve Reeves.
The movies are not new prints scanned in High Definition. They are up conversions of previous DVD releases. To give you an idea, the PERSEUS one has the SON OF HERCULES song during the opening credits. The original release didn’t have that.
Why was this BD made? I dunno but one can watch these three movies via BD and not from the web I guess. The disc is only $12 so it’s not expensive. If you don’t have these movies then the price might be okay but be sure that the image quality is not High Definition. Personally speaking, since I already have all these titles in my collection, I really didn’t need this disc.
Here are screenshots of the movies.
THE TROJAN HORSE is available on AMAZON PRIME in Canada. It’s the image on the top left. The copy from the BD is on the bottom right. The version at Amazon is not perfect but it is much better that the one on this disc.
Here’s a glimpse of the PEPLUM titles playing in May 1960
GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS
SOLOMON AND SHEBA
How cool is that!
A contact of mine who lives in Europe communicated with ARTUS FILMS about their much delayed HERCULES (1958) and HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959) Blu-rays and it seems the entire endeavour is a no-go. The releases have been abandoned or cancelled.
It’s odd that this is happening to these Steve Reeves movies, which are still popular to this day. The trend of advertising an up coming release without having final closure on the deals is annoying. The packaging was excellent but what’s the point of claiming these titles when the thing wasn’t finalized behind the scenes? It’s very odd way of doing business.
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
A German Blu-ray edition of SWORD OF THE CONQUEROR (1961), starring Jack Palance, Guy Madison and Edy Vessel, is set to be available on October 14, 2021. According to the Koch website, the English track is included along with Italian and German audios. The website touts that this is the first HD release of this title. Great news.
Jack Palance in SWORD OF THE CONQUEROR