film review: HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD [Ercole al centro della terra] (1961)

As we approach the fourth Peplum review it is important to note that we will be skipping in continuity. I understand that the adventures of Hercules, played by different actors and with non connecting storylines, may already feel disconnected, but for the sanctity of criticism we will mention the break in sequence. Ercole al Centro della Terra, translated Hercules in the Center of the Earth but for some reason titled, Hercules in the Haunted World, is the 6th film released in the Hercules series. Our hero is played by another…

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film review: GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON [La vendetta di Ercole] (1960)

By the time this movie came out, the Italian sword and sandal craze was already off and swinging, with multiple series running concurrently. Steve Reeves who played Hercules in our first two films, continued his career in a bevy of non-herculean Peplum films. One of these films was 1959’s Goliath and the Barbarians, which was released the same year as Hercules Unchained. Goliath and the Barbarians continued the success of Italian films distributed in the US. This is important, because when redistributing 1960’s Revenge of Hercules, the film was rebranded…

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HERCULES UNCHAINED (Ercole e la regina di Lidia – 1959)

Hercules Unchained

Though the subsequent sequels to the 1958 film Hercules would be in the teens, I never would have thought the quality of these Italian sword and sandal films would decline so quickly. In fact, I thought it would take at least 3 or 4 films before the stories became lazy and confusing. Imagine my surprise when the second film in the iconic Pelplum? series was already near sleep inducing on top of existentially confusing. Make no mistake, I am more than excited to see this series through until the bitter…

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HERCULES (Le fatiche di Ercole – 1958)

HERCULES

It is difficult to argue the grand scope of this 1958 film. First, it was a large production, drawing on various myths and unrelated Greek Mythology, featuring the oiled physique of bodybuilder Steve Reeves. Secondly, Hercules was the refinement, if not the genesis of the Peplum film genre, which saw an absurd amount of Italian sword and sandal films produced between the 50’s and 60’s. Seriously. Looking at the list of costumed biblical, Greek, Roman, Viking, and swashbuckler drama that was produced before the rise of Spaghetti western is near…

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