Recommendations for Peplum/Sword-and-sandal


(genesis_pig) #1

I’d like some recommendations for peplum movies…

The only one I can recall to have seen as a kid is Hercules in the haunted world, but that was decades ago.


(kit saginaw) #2

I’ve seen a handful… but the plots and dialogue are ‘as light as air’. They vanish in The Bermuda Triangle of my discerning mind. Ancient Greece and Rome, based on strongman-stunts alone, just don’t have an appeal to generations of movie-goers.


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #3

Just my opinion, but its all downhill from there unfortunately. I think Hercules in the haunted world is probably the best peplum ever made, even though Reg Park doesn’t have Steve Reeve’s charisma and Christopher Lee didn’t dub his voice.


(genesis_pig) #4

From the time I posted this thread, I have seen few of the peplums…

I liked the first 2 original Hercules movies with Steve Reeves… Also Hercules against the Moon Men was fun…
But yes, they don’t hold up as great entertainment…

Maybe they need to revisit peplum through animated movies… Just like Rango did with Spaghetti westerns.


(scherpschutter) #5

The spaghetti westerns were cool, the peplum movies weren’t, and that’s about all there is to say
I’ve seen a handful, and to me they’re just bo-o-oring. Besides - and I’ve said this before - men in miniskirts is not exactly my idea of sexy imagery


(Silver) #6

Well, i don’t think they’re great films but i do find them amusing and i do have quite a few of them. A couple stand out but to be honest i’d be loathe to recommend any of them to anyone :stuck_out_tongue:


(scherpschutter) #7

Well Silver, maybe men in mini mean more to you than they do to me … (just guessing of course)


(Silver) #8

Actually…bodybuilder physiques aren,t really my thing either, but each to their own i guess :stuck_out_tongue:


(davidf) #9

[quote=“Silver, post:6, topic:2653”]Well, i don’t think they’re great films but i do find them amusing and i do have quite a few of them.[/quote]yet again sweet young lady silver i find myself agreeing with you. i also have quite a few of them and find some of them good fun. no, they are not great films and quite a few of them are crap.no scherp i am not into men in miniskirts, in fact i’m not into men at all. i will list a few peplums that i have liked:- Giants Of Rome,The Giant Of Marathon, Duel Of Champions,Gladiators Seven,Herod The Great,Son Of Samson ( has some gory scenes for it’s time),Maciste In King Solomon’s Mines.that’s enough for now i think, there are a few others, these are not listed in any order. i prefer the gladiator/ roman soldier plotted films to the strongman hero ones although a few of those are ok.As no doubt all of you reading this are aware a vast majority of SW stars cut their teeth in these films before moving on to the vastly superior spaghettis. funny enough, despite being a Mario Bava fan i was disapointed with " Hercules In The Haunted World" and didn’t like it much at all.


(genesis_pig) #10

Since when do action/adventure movies have to be about sexy imagery?

Men in mini-skirts is not my thing either… but neither is a man in a fedora & dirty clothes cracking a whip, but I still love Indiana Jones.

I wouldn’t go on comparing peplum to spaghetti westerns, but they were still a whole different kind of fun…
Atleast better than big budget crap like that Prince of Persia movie.


(kit saginaw) #11

[quote=“genesis_pig, post:10, topic:2653”]I wouldn’t go on comparing peplum to spaghetti westerns, but they were still a whole different kind of fun…
Atleast better than big budget crap like that Prince of Persia movie.[/quote]

I almost compared peplum to the Sinbad-genre, or period ‘desert adventures’, which usually have other things going-on. A typical peblum-plot has the strongman ‘losing his strength’ or being swayed by a politician or seductress. -Thereby using his strength to enforce ‘the wrong thing’. Those plots have ‘boredom’ written-all-over-them. The film-chemistry has to mesh like intricate gears… in a film centered around muscular stunts. I saw one film with two strongmen hurling boulders across a plaza-of-ruins, as the woman-of-their-affections lay hidden. They were supposed to be warriors, known for their fighting-skills. -Yet here they were in the ‘signature scene’, wimpily scrambling-about looking for large objects to throw at each-other instead of actually fighting.

I liked the Kevin Sorbo; Hercules series. It was well-written, and his strength was always logically pertinent to whatever-scene. -So somewhere between that and Jason And The Golden Fleece, pablums have a niche.


(genesis_pig) #12

Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules series was decent fun…

But the point here is not that Peplum movies are bad & they shouldn’t be recommended to someone who is interested to watch them…
The Batman TV show was bad, but doesn’t stop it from being fun to most people.

So yes, they were badly done as hell… & definitely the quality can be questioned after all these years… but doesn’t kill any of the fun to those interested.

I enjoyed most of the ones I have watched… & I would also go on to say that Maciste All’inferno (1962) is underrated… Then again I also enjoyed Kull the Conqueror…


(Silver) #13

I tend to like them because to me they have a certain charm; the heroes are so earnest and stoic, there are no grey areas. They’re kind of naive but it makes a nice change from more pessimistic fare. And yes, it’s good fun spotting future spaghetti stars. One of the more amusing aspects is the casual jumbling up of myths and time periods. I recall seeing one years ago, think it was called The Witchs’ Curse, where Maciste (in his mini of course) is sent a message asking for help taking on a witch so off he rows, ending up in Scotland in the Middle Ages! You’ve named a lot of the ones i like actually…though i do also like Hercules In The Haunted World a lot, also, i’d add Alone Against Rome, Revolt of the Slaves, Two Gladiators, Triumph of the 10 Gladiators, Spartacus and the 10 Gladiators, Medusa Against The Son Of Hercules and a slew of others. But i’m also fond of Sword and Sorcery films, Swashbuckler/Pirate films and those old viking flicks. I think they are just easy to watch and mostly entertaining.

[quote=“genesis_pig, post:10, topic:2653”]Since when do action/adventure movies have to be about sexy imagery?

Men in mini-skirts is not my thing either… but neither is a man in a fedora & dirty clothes cracking a whip, but I still love Indiana Jones.

I wouldn’t go on comparing peplum to spaghetti westerns, but they were still a whole different kind of fun…
Atleast better than big budget crap like that Prince of Persia movie.[/quote]

You’re right and personally i don’t see anything particularly sexual in peplums, i just watch them because they’re fun. And yes, i’d rather watch one of them than Prince of Persia too :slight_smile:

[quote=“genesis_pig, post:12, topic:2653”]Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules series was decent fun…

But the point here is not that Peplum movies are bad & they shouldn’t be recommended to someone who is interested to watch them…
The Batman TV show was bad, but doesn’t stop it from being fun to most people.

So yes, they were badly done as hell… & definitely the quality can be questioned after all these years… but doesn’t kill any of the fun to those interested.

I enjoyed most of the ones I have watched… & I would also go on to say that Maciste All’inferno (1962) is underrated… Then again I also enjoyed Kull the Conqueror…[/quote]

I think the comment i made about not recommending them should have had more explanation. While i don’t think they are “great” films (but ask anyone here, i hate calling any film “great”) but i don’t think they are bad either and when i said i wouldn’t recommend them to someone i really should have said that with peoples’ tastes these days i’d probably be hard pressed to find anyone who would give them a chance due to the bad dubbing, the low budget and the very simplistic stories. I think they are the type of film you have to develop an interest in and delve into yourself, if that makes sense.

[quote=“kit saginaw, post:11, topic:2653”]I almost compared peplum to the Sinbad-genre, or period ‘desert adventures’, which usually have other things going-on. A typical peblum-plot has the strongman ‘losing his strength’ or being swayed by a politician or seductress. -Thereby using his strength to enforce ‘the wrong thing’. Those plots have ‘boredom’ written-all-over-them. The film-chemistry has to mesh like intricate gears… in a film centered around muscular stunts. I saw one film with two strongmen hurling boulders across a plaza-of-ruins, as the woman-of-their-affections lay hidden. They were supposed to be warriors, known for their fighting-skills. -Yet here they were in the ‘signature scene’, wimpily scrambling-about looking for large objects to throw at each-other instead of actually fighting.

I liked the Kevin Sorbo; Hercules series. It was well-written, and his strength was always logically pertinent to whatever-scene. -So somewhere between that and Jason And The Golden Fleece, pablums have a niche.[/quote]

But these kinds of plots crop up in all types of films. Look at your typical “fight” film. Hero starts of good, then success goes to his head and he abandons his friends or girlfriend, then gets beaten by the bad guy then bounces back for the big finale having learned a lesson. A lot of action films follow similar structures as do others. And actually when it comes to a lot of Hercules/Maciste films, they aren’t known for their fighting skills…they are usually loathe to fight and seriously hurt people unless absolutely necessary. And these don’t comprise all peps, if you want a lot of fighting, just watch the gladiator stuff, or ones with Roman legions etc…


(genesis_pig) #14

I actually like that most of you’ll namedropped some movies that I am now interested to check out.

I hate the fact that these movies are next to impossible to track down.


(Silver) #15

Well if there are any particular titles ( i have to say i don’t have all the ones i mentioned, just seen them) i can send you a list of what i do have if you want. Obviously quality varies…and the ones that are the best quality have no English audio!


(Silver) #16

There’s also a guy on Youtube, think he uses the name Peplumz who uploads whole films and lot of clips (including some funny “compilations” to do with various aspects of these films).


(Paco Roman) #17

Corbucci’s Romolo e Remo isn’t that bad. :wink:
Tessari’s Arrivano i Titani with Giuliano Gemma wasn’t bad either.


(scherpschutter) #18

Just my dirty mind, I suppose


(genesis_pig) #19

Thanks Silver.

Most of the peplums arein open domain, so I mainly get to watch them on archive.org
Did see some on youtube as well…

I got my hands on Maciste All’inferno, but it was not in english… but it wasn’t all that hard to follow, so I won’t complain.

I am quite sure the ones silver & man with a name have mentioned must be next to impossible to find…
I’ll try though.


(Stranger) #20

If anyone lives in the UK or can view view the UK channel Movies4Men, I’d suggested looking on there, the channel seems to consist of 20% Peplum, 20% Spags, 30% Z-Movies, 15% American Westerns, 10% War Movies With Klaus Kinski and 5% porn. Needless to say it is my favourite channel… even if the picture on the films can be very bad. ‘Beyond The Law’ was almost unwatchable sadly.

Incidently my favourite Peplums may be the two Hercules ones with Steve Reeves, ‘The Trojan Horse’ and ‘The Colosus of Rhodes’. I didn’t mind ‘Julius Caesar vs The Pirates’ either. I haven’t seen that many Peplum films but I find most of them fun.