Search Results for: Peplum

Ellsworth’s Cinema of Swords – Premium Peplum: Top Hercs

Hercules and the Captive Women (Italy/France, 1961) The Steve Reeves Hercules (Italy, 1958) was a big hit on both sides of the Atlantic, proving there was a market for shirtless strongman movies in drive-in movie theaters across America. The Italian movie industry obliged by churning out reams of low-budget sword-and-sandal “peplum” films, many of which had heroes named Goliath or Maciste in their original forms. When they were dubbed into English, for name-recognition purposes most of these strongmen were renamed…

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Ellsworth’s Cinema of Swords: Premium Peplum

(Goliath and the Sins of Babylon, Italy, 1963) If you like this kind of thing, this is the kind of thing you’ll like. Between 1959 and 1964, the leading genre of Italian adventure films was the peplum, or sword and sandal movie. The fad for these began in 1958 with the first Steve Reeves Hercules film, and there were a whole lot of Hercules films to follow, but we’re going to save those for another day and cherry-pick our way…

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Peplum Populist: The Adventures of Hercules (1985)

This is a bit more of coloring-out-the-lines for my sword-and-sandal reviews, since The Adventures of Hercules comes from the mid-‘80s, far beyond the classic era of the Italian peplum of 1957–1965. But it is an Italian genre film about Hercules starring a bodybuilder from the US, which is the most sword-and-sandal situation imaginable. Plus, I’ve owed Black Gate a look at this film ever since 2009 when I reviewed the first of this pair of unbelievably goofy Lou Ferrigno Hercules flicks…

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