Bella Cortez was one of the PEPLUM genre’s most beautiful actresses. She made a handful of movies and quietly disappeared from the world of cinema. Years ago, I found her Facebook profile and befriended her, one of her first Facebook friends. Anyway, we kept communicating back and forth for some time. She told me she was woking on a book (above) in which she co-autored with someone else. She wanted access to beautiful prints of herself for the book and saw the many good quality versions I had of her films. Eventually, she ‘ghosted’ me and she never posted anything at my FB account. But I remembered that she was going to publish a book and, lo and behold, it is available at Amazon in Italy. She used a photo from VULCAN – SON OF JUPITER as Aetna. Since the book is in Italian, it’s difficult for me to get it all. If someone has additional info on this, can you leave a comment. Thanks!
Bella in GIANT OF METROPOLIS
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.
The 1985 release on VHS of ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA (1972) is the only uncut copy available in English. There’s a VHS dupe of the movie going around but it’s from Norway with intrusive Norwegian subtitles. There has to be a copy of the US VHS tape available somewhere but alas it’s not. The solution then is to buy a copy of the VHS tape and try to transfer it in digital format. I have a combo VHS / DVD recorder somewhere. I have to find it if it still works. The problem: finding a TV that can connect to it. So, I purchased the tape and once I’ll get it I’ll try to think of the ways I could get it on a DVD disc.
If you check Blu-ray.com, there are *no* upcoming PEPLUM titles listed. Not one. SAMSON VS THE VAMPIRES is still missing in action but that’s been on-going for nearly a year and a half. The only new titles are from Germany in a two pack DVD set with REVENGE OF THE GLADIATORS (1964) starring Mickey Hargitay, and SEVEN REBEL GLADIATORS (1965) starring Roger Browne. Both films will only have German audio option.
The new Blu-ray of HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN has some major issues. I mean major. First and foremost the colours are all wrong….
The larger image is from the Blu-ray…the smaller one is from the DVD. The walls are supposed to be red, like the DVD…not orange.
More on this problematic Blu-ray release next week at the main blog…
As a collector of all things PEPLUM, I often acquire DVDs or Blu-rays faster than I can view them. I often set them aside, after making MKV or MP4 copies of them, scan them quickly and add them to the hundreds of other titles of my collection, to be viewed at a later time. I also watch them entirely, certainly with Blu-ray releases, but for the most part I reserve them for a future movie night. Well…I bought the French DVD of SAMSON AND THE MIGHTY CHALLENGE (1964) weeks ago and only now noticed some terrible image quality. For a brief moment the image becomes totally washed out, almost ghost-like. It’s an odd issue I’ve rarely seen before. Here are some screengrabs.
Nadir Moretti and Conrando San Martin look odd…
Carlo Tamberlani looks like a ghost…
Moira Orfei looks odd…
The movie eventually becomes normal again. For the most part the image is pretty clear and sharp.
Something odd happened during the transfer.
While I’m waiting to receive the ROMULUS & REMUS (1961) German Blu-ray I got the ANTHAR THE INVINCIBLE (1964) Spanish Blu-ray, which I bought roughly 2 weeks ago. I have to say that I’m very pleased with it. Not only because it’s such a fun movie but the Blu-ray has English subtitles. Yeah! ANTHAR was one of the first PEPLUM movie released on Blu-ray in Italy. That release only had Italian audio and nothing else. This Spanish release is virtually the same but with the addition of English subtitles. It would have been better if it had the English dub but alas no. Even so, this movie, which has many long moments without dialogue, only action, having to read the subtitles is actually pretty cool. I watched it from beginning to end right after I made a MKV out of the disc. The next best thing is to do a Fan Dub with it. This Blu-ray has the Spanish and Italian audios. I watched it in Italian with English subs. Overall, I’m very pleased with it even if it’s barebones (no extras and such…)
Here are some unretouched screengrabs:
Kirk Morris as Anthar
The subtitles are unobtrusive and easy to read.
The seemingly endless drama over the release date of the German Blu-ray of DUEL OF THE TITANS (1961) is finally over. The BRs have been shipped. At least in Europe. This edition, which was always ‘out of stock’, is now in stock. I should have more info on it next week, including screen grabs. Stay tuned!
While some PEPLUM titles are finally being released in HD or on Blu-ray, other movies are still hard to find or just impossible to find. One of these ‘lost’ PEPLUM moves is JACOB AND ESAU (1963) starring Ken Clark and Wandisa Guida, just to name a few actors. This alone makes it a must see for PEPLUM fans like me. So what happened to the movie?
The only thing we have to go by are the movie posters and fotobustas (below).
As expected for such a rare movie, IMDb has no reviews listed. The book HEROES NEVER DIE has a review of the movie but quite frankly it’s dubious. The author claimed to someone I know that he saw the movie on Youtube. This seems unlikely since someone else would have seen it. So, I’m asking people out there: have you seen JACOB AND ESAU?
I have a full review of the new Blu-ray release and the movie itself at the main PEPLUM TV blog.
Check it out: THE WONDERS OF ALADDIN
Needless to say the image is excellent. Well, almost.