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PEPLUM

HEROIC FANTASY

SWORD OF EL CID (1962)

-Widescreen print.  Starring Sandro Moretti, Roland Carey,  and Daniele Bianchi, directed by Miguel Iglesias. The deposed ruler of Catalonia is replaced by his evil twin. He bands together with his followers and embark on a mission to regain the throne. Lots of swash and buckling!

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INVINCIBLE BROTHERS MACISTE (1964)

-Letterboxed print. Directed by Roberto Mauri and starring Iloosh Khoshabe, Claudie Lange, Anthony Steffen. It’s a bit weird, a fantasy/peplum mix with the heroes fighting underground kingdom protected by guys in leopard suits and ruled by a lovely queen with a very ‘60s appearance. And if you thought one Maciste was invincible enough, this time there’s two, as the title indicates. Anthony Steffen’s role is far from glorious. He sorely misses that pistol and cowboy hat. He does the talking while the Maciste brothers do the fighting.

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AVENGER OF VENICE (1964)

-In Italian with English subs, letterboxed print.Brett Halsey, Gianna Maria Canale and Perla Cristal star. A plot against the 16th century Doge by the Grand Inquisitor and the guard commandant is foiled by Ronaldo, the lover of the Doge's daughter, and a pirate ally. In the 16th century, the Grand Inquisitor feels his privileges threatened by the Doge. He forms a conspiracy with the commander of the guard). The Doge is accused of conspiracy against the Republic and subjected to the Mask of Infamy. Rolando , who was close to marrying the daughter of the Doge, is condemned after a highly unfair judicial process and locked up in Venice. Digging a tunnel with the aid of his cellmate, the pirate Scalabrino, Rolando succeeds to escape in a dramatic leap from the Bridge of Sighs. After numerous vicissitudes Rolando succeeds to unmask those responsible for the conspiracy and rehabilitate his own name.

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FIRE OVER ROME (1965)

-Letterboxed print. Guido Malatesta's L'incendio di Roma, also known as Fire Over Rome is one of the rarest sword-and-sandals. This one takes place during the reign of the tyrant Nero (Vladimir Medar).  Marcus Valerius (Lang Jeffries ) a soldier serving under Menecrates (Demeter Bitenc), has been entrusted by the Roman government to persecute and capture the Christians.  However, he finds that the woman he loves, Giulia (Cristina Gaioni), is a Christian.  Helping her to escape, he is arrested and condemned to fight in the arena.  However, he escapes once more and manages to gather together a large force to destroy Menecrates....

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ADVENTURE OF MARY READ (1961)

-In Italian with English subs, beautiful widescreen print! Redhead Mary is a girl who dresses like a man to better approach, and rob the jewels worn by the pretty ladies of her time. The King's Guard captures her, and she finds herself in the same cell with Peter Goodwin, a nobleman - who pretends to be a robber like her, to flirt with her. After her evasion, Mary goes up the ladder in her criminal life - becoming a good pirate under captain Poof. When the captain dies, the only 'man' aboard who is respected by every faction among the pirates is... Mary. Directed by Umberto Lenzi and starring Lisa Gastoni.

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HERCULES VS THE TYRANTS OF BABYLON (1964)

-In Italian with english subs, beautiful widescreen print. Director: Domenico Paolella Cast: Peter Lupus, Mario Petri, Helga Liné, Livio Lorenzon, Piero Lulli, Daniele Vargas. Hercules fights to free the people of Babylon from an evil sorceress.  Peter Lupus of 'Mission: Impossible' fame stars as the legendary Hercules. He is on a mission to rescue the beautiful Queen of the Hellenes, who has been kidnapped and enslaved by the ruler of Babylon. Beautifully shaped Helga Line is the highlight.

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GOLIATH AND THE CONQUEST OF DAMASCUS (1965)

-Dubbed in english with some scenes In Italian with english subs, letterboxed print. Peter Lupus and Helga line star in this excellent quality Peplum. This print runs a full 10 minutes longer than any other version! Goliath comes to the aid of the Sultan Saleem who's country of Damascus has been over taken, and his daughter Miriam kidnapped by the evil Thor. Going undercover into the city, Goliath works to find who's still loyal to the old Sultan and discover ways to undo the man who stole his throne.

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NERO’S MISTRESS (1956)

-In Italian with English subs, letterboxed print. Alberto Sordi, Brigitte Bardot and Gloria Swanson star in this comedy by Steno. Nero is on holiday at the seaside. Poppea, Seneca and many other guests are with him. Nero is preparing a great show where he will be the star...

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THE MONGOLS (1961)

-Now available in an uncut 116 minute version, widescreen and in English! Jack Palance and Anita Ekberg co-star. Genghis Khan and his Mongol army invade Poland and lay siege to the city of Cracow. The Polish king tries to make peace in order to save his city, and Genghis Khan seems amenable to that. However, his son Ogotai is itching for war, and his mistress eggs him on to defy his father and take the city.

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QUEEN FOR CAESAR (1962)

-Letterboxed print. Pascale Petit stars as Cleopatra in this almost-historical melodrama about the Egyptian queen's amorous adventures and rise to power involving all manner of alliances and betrayals with, among others, her sulky, ineffectual brother Ptolemaeos (Corrado Pani), military bigwig Pompeius (Akim Tamiroff), her loyal but simple-minded boyfriend Achillas (George Ardisson), and, of course, Julius Caesar, played here by Gordon Scott.

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THE AMAZONS (1973)

-Finally a beautiful widescreen version uncut at 102 minutes and in English. My God the nude wrestling scene between 2 amazonian beauties is worth the price of admission! A story of a tribe of Amazons in the age of swords and chariots. The film opens with the tribe holding physical contests to select a new queen. Since there are no men in the tribe, they hire men from another nation once a year. After the queen is crowned, the Amazons go to meet a group of Greek soldiers for their annual mating...The female stars include: Alena Johnston, Sabinne Sun, Rosanna Yanni, Helga Line, Malissa Longo, and Luciana Paluzzi.

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BRENNUS ENEMY OF ROME (1963)

-Beautiful widescreen print. Brennus [played by Gordon Mitchell] and his followers make war with the Romans and aim to destroy the city of Rome.  Quinto Fabio [Tony kendal] is trying to stop the terror of the barbarians and at the same time rescue his beloved Nissia, who's been held prisoner by Brennus and is being forced into marriage by him. This film is definatly one of the best sword and sandals you can find.  Gordon Mitchell steals the show here, and is just amazingly awesome as Brennus the Gaul.  He plays the part with such ferocious strength and energy that it raises this film a few levels above the usual sword and sandal.  I cannot stress enough how awesome Mitchell is in this film.  This is must see for all peplum and non-peplum fans alike.  Fine acting, good script, engaging plot, well directed, plenty of action, adventure, and a dash of romance.   This is one loud and thunderous romp, a very well made film.  Strongly recommended!!!

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REVENGE OF THE BARBARIANS (1960)

-Letterboxed print. Anthony Steel, Daniela Rocca, and Robert Alda star. The Visigoths invade Italy during the later years of the Roman Empire.  When the emperor's sister tricks the barbarians into a wholesale massacre of their men, their leader vows revenge. For its time - 1960 - REVENGE OF THE BARBARIANS is surprisingly erotic. Voluptuous Daniella Rocca oozes sex, and it also contains two rather kinky scenes of females being whipped, the second even leading to a bit of s/m love-making. I found the whipping scenes mildly interesting, just from the standpoint of how raw they seemed and how believable the cries of pain were.

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CATHERINE OF RUSSIA (1963)

-In Italian with english subs, letterboxed print. Caterina finds out that her husband Peter Tzar of Russia, is plotting to kill her. She sets Count Orlov free from prison, Peter's sworn enemy, becomes empress of Russia and leads the Cossacks army against him. Don't watch for an history lesson but it's a rather solid adventure flick, with good production value and some fun moments. Directed by Umberto Lenzi and starring Hildagarde Neff.

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MY SON THE HERO (1962)

-in Italian with english and letterboxed at last! Giuliano Gemma stars and Duccio Tessari directs. Krios, the youngest of the Titans, may be the least strong of the seven brothers whose strength comes from their mother, earth-goddess Gaia, but is by far the smartest, and thus their natural leader. He arrives on Crete, the kingdom of the mighty king Minos, impresses him as gladiator, gains his trust, falls in love with a mortal girl and discovers both Minos's human sacrifice-cult and a foreign conspiracy to seize power with a hidden army.

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2 GLADIATORS (1964)

-Letterboxed beautiful print.  While fighting in Britain, Roman forces commanded by Caligula capture the noble warrior, Glaucus. Seeing in him gladiator material, Caligula takes Glaucus back to Rome along with other hostages including Glaucus's girlfriend, Ena.. Director: Umberto Lenzi. Cast: Richard Harrison, Lisa Gastoni, Marilu Tolo, Livio Lorenzon.

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COLOSSUS OF ROME (1964)

-Beautiful Letterboxed print. In ancient Rome, the people finally oust their despised king, Tarquinius, and declare the city a republic. Tarquinius makes an alliance with the Etruscan king, Porsenna, to take back power in Rome, but a Roman general, the heroic Mucius, sets out to stop him. Gordon Scott, Gabriella Pallotta, and Massimo Serrato star, directed by Giorgio Ferroni.

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VENUS OF CHERONEA-GODDESS OF LOVE (1958)

-In Italian with English subs, letterboxed print. Fernando Cerchio and Viktor Tourjansky's La Venere di Cheronea also known as Goddess of Love stars Belinda Lee in her first peplum appearance when she was still billed as "per autorizzazione della Rank Films", plays pure and innocent Iride, slave to sculptor Praxiteles (Massimo Girotti) and model for his statue of the goddess Aphrodite. One day she finds injured Macedonian soldier Laertes (Jacques Sernas) washed up on the beach and takes him home. Naturally the two fall for each other, arousing the jealousy of Praxiteles, who betrays Laertes to the Greek soldiers who have been searching for him. Laertes escapes, but Iride, believing him dead, deserts Praxiteles and winds up working at the Greek soldiers orgies. Laertes leads a victorious army to find his love, and rescues her from a life of sin in the nick of time...

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MACISTE IN HELL (1962)

-Finally, this Riccardo Freda Peplum is available uncut and a letterboxed print with a few scenes subtitled in English. Cast: Kirk Morris, Hélène Chanel, Vira Silenti. Engaging cross between witch-burning horror and heroic peplum sees Maciste, the film's muscle-bound, loincloth-clad hero, uprooting a tree and travelling into the depths of hell to lift a witch's curse and save an innocent woman's life. Along the way he has to battle various foes such as lions, eagles, giants, snakes, you name it. This is a thoroughly entertaining slice of escapism packed with action and cool special effects.

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MACISTE IN KING SOLOMON’S MINES (1964)

Letterboxed print. Toplined by Reg Park (whose claim to fame is that he's brawnier than most of the other so-called "musclemen" who played Hercules, Goliath, Maciste, etc. - it certainly isn't his acting, which is atrocious and seemingly dubbed by himself or some equally erudite ex-high school football hero), it's the story of a mythic hero of the people, summoned to the jungle city of Zimba to free the oppressed masses, who have been enslaved by the evil Queen Fazira to dig gold (and more gold) from the legendary mines of King Solomon. Once Maciste arrives in the city, he is overpowered by Fazira's personal guard and bewitched with a magical ankle bracelet, which causes him to lose his free will, relegating him to servitude in the mines. Soon (but not soon enough), he is freed from his mind-numbing paralysis and exacts his revenge upon Fazira & her minions & co-conspirators, frees the slaves and installs his friend as the new ruler in an energetic finale. Wandisa Guida and eleonora Bianchi co-star.

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MARS GOD OF WAR (1962)

-In Italian with english subs, letterboxed print. This is the original version in the Totalscope format of 2.35:1. The movie was previously known under the title Venus Against the Son of Hercules. The king of Telbia defeats an African army through the intervention of the war god Mars. Remaining on Earth, Mars falls in love with the human girl Daphne, but she is forced to become a priestess in the temple of Venus. Mars tries to free her, but falls under the spell of Venus, who keeps him prisoner. Daphne, meanwhile, having violated the sanctity of the temple, is condemned to be devoured by a monster. Entertaining fantasy-based peplum, starring American actor Roger Browne as the God of War.

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MESSALINA VS THE SON OF HERCULES (1964)

-Uncut widescreen print with some scenes with english subs. Cast: Richard Harrison, Lisa Gastoni, and Marilù Tolo. While fighting in Britain, Roman forces commanded by Caligula capture the noble warrior, Glaucus. Seeing in him gladiator material, Caligula takes Glaucus back to Rome along with other hostages including Glaucus's girlfriend, Ena. A man seeking to restore the Roman Republic then assassinates Caligula after which Claudius is proclaimed emperor. Messalina -- Claudius's beautiful but evil wife -- then maneuvers to replace Claudius with her lover, Silio. She forces Glaucus to help her in this quest by threatening to harm the enslaved Ena.

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REVOLT OF THE PRETORIANS (1964)

-Uncut for the first time in English (some scenes subbed) and widescreen. Director: Alfonso Brescia. Cast: Richard Harrison, Moira Orfei, Piero Lulli, Guiliano Gemma. Starring the great Richard Harrison as Valerius, a member of the Pretorian guard who has had enough of the excesses of dictatorial emperor Domitian, so he adopts the guise of the "Red Wolf" and secretly fights against the ruler and brings others together in a struggle for freedom.

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