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
I wasn’t aware that HERCULES AGAINST THE BARBARIANS had a German DVD. It was released in January 2020. I guess the pandemic made everyone overlook everything. Anyway, the DVD has a German and English audio which is a yeah!!! But looking at the specs (below), and the aspect ratio is standard 4:3. So it’s a definite no for me. This is one of those PEPLUM titles with needs to be seen in widescreen.
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.
KINO LORBER has announced the upcoming release of MARCO POLO (1962) starring Rory Calhoun and Yoko Tani (above) on Blu-ray. The movie will be available early 2023. It will be the US print, with opening credits in English, as opposed to KINO LORBER’s version of SAMSON AND THE 7 MIRACLES OF THE WORLD, which didn’t have a genuine new transfer of the US version but a Fan Dub they created. Hugo Fregonese is credited for the English version while Piero Pierotti is credited for the Italian one. Can’t wait to see this.
From the KINO LORBER Facebook account:
The release will only include one cut. The credits on our master are in English and Hugo receives directing credit, so I’m sure it’s not the Italian version where Piero is credited as the director. The running time is 104 minutes and 13 seconds.
The seldom seen (or shown) Italian TV series AENEID (1971) will have a DVD release in Germany. It will be in 4 episodes (the original had 7 episodes). Like so many DVD or Blu-ray releases from Germany, the DVD set will only be in German. No English track or subtitles. I will buy it.
AENEID German DVD set
At $61 at Amazon.ca. I like the Maria Montez – Jon Hall movie but that’s too much to pay…even it there are two additional movies with this collection.
If I buy it on Amazon.com, which goes for $31 US, plus shipping + the difference in currencies and we’re close to $61 Canadian.
The most wanted PEPLUM title that desperately needs to be on Blu-ray or HD.
On the top of my head, I think:
HERCULES (1958) – The fact that this game changing PEPLUM movie is still not available in a proper HD transfer is a crime. The closest thing available is the Japanese Blu-ray but the print has some odd filters. Starring Steve Reeves and Sylva Koscina.
HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959) – Same thing as HERCULES above. Why is this movie still not in HD? It was broadcast in HD in Italy but the print is the same murky one found on the Japanese Blu-ray. Starring Steve Reeves, Sylva Koscina and Sylvia Lopez.
THE MINOTAUR (1960) – Solid production and PEPLUM movie that even though it has a nice DVD a copy in High Definition would be amazing. Another movie stuck in limbo. Starring Rosanna Schiaffino, Bob Mathias and Alberto Lupo.
SAPPHO THE VENUS OF LESBOS (1960) – This movie, eternally lost in limbo, would be fabulous in High Definition. Starring Tina Louise and Kerwin Mathews.
TRIUMPH OF MACISTE (1961) and MACISTE IN HELL (1962) – These two Kirk Morris PEPLUM classics are still not in HD. Mind boggling. TRIUMPH OF MACISTE is a perennial favourite so I’m waiting impatiently here for it to be in HD. And MACISTE IN HELL was directed by Riccardo Freda. That alone is a reason to watch it.
THE GIANTS OF THESSALY (1960) – Another epic PEPLUM movie directed by Riccardo Freda. One of the best PEPLUM movies ever made. So where’s the Blu-ray? Starring Roland Carey, Massimo Girotti, Luciano Marin (below) and more.
PERSEUS THE INVINCIBLE (1963) – This is Richard Harrison’s best PEPLUM movie. It’s a classic and yet it’s not on Blu-ray. Such a bizarre mystery why these fun movies are not available in HD. With Anna Ranalli.
These are just a handful of titles that, in a perfect world, would already be in HD but nope.
HANNIBAL (1959) is available in High Definition at Amazon.com in the US. Someone made a web rip and some movie download sites have it. It’s in English. This is great news. I couldn’t buy the HANNIBAL in HD with the Japanese Blu-ray and that release did have the English dub.
Will this be the next Kino Lorber release?
Terence Hill and Rita Gam from HANNIBAl (1959)
I received the Kino Lorber SON OF SAMSON (1960) Blu-ray on Friday so I had the entire weekend to check it out. I have very complaints about it. The only issues are the audio is sorta not loud, there are no extras about the movie and this is not the actual version released in the US 60+ years ago. That’s it. The Blu-ray itself is pretty amazing. Brilliant colours. No transfer issues to be seen anywhere (aside from the soft audio). It’s a must have for fans of the genre.
I’ll have a full review at the main PEPLUM TV blog this week.
Vira Silenti and Mark Forest
Nothing much on the BR front. The one interesting title, and it’s a pretty cool one, comes from the new Maria Montez – Jon Hall BD set. The set, which will be released in July, includes WHITE SAVAGE, GYPSY WILDCAT and SUDAN. Of course, their bigger titles, like COBRA WOMAN, ARABIAN NIGHTS and ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES, have all been available on BD already. So this set is not the top Montez – Hall titles but it’s still great news. SUDAN is a pretty cool movie. Buying the set just for that title will be worth it.
Jon Hall and Maria Montez