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Sword-And-Sandal Movies
This genre is also called "peplum".  Why?  Peplum is actually a short, pleated overskirt that's fitted to a jacket.  Since it's very common apparel in these films, "peplum" became the alternate name for this genre.

True sword-and-sandal films started in 1958 with the release of the enormously popular Steve Reeves "Hercules" film, and continued until around 1967.  All of the films of this genre were made in Italy and eventually released in America in English language.  It is a genre that could have lasted longer, but filmmakers got lazy and started making movies more gimmicky than good.  Interest on both sides of the ocean dropped off, and this type of film was replaced by the Italian-made western movies, called "spaghetti westerns".

Numerous attempts have been made to revive "sword-and-sandal" over the years, but it remains a product of its time and location.

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"Colossus & the Amazon Queen" (1960)
"Vulcan, Son of Jupiter" (1961)

Quick Reviews:

"Giant of Metropolis" (1961)
"Hercules" Films
"Maciste" Films (Who is Maciste? CLICK HERE!)
"Taur" Films
"Ursus" Films

"The Giant of Metropolis" (1961)-  This movie sucks!  I don't make a habit of putting things down in the Den, but I want to warn people so they don't pay good money for this.  Gordon Mitchell is the star, and he's been in other good projects...this isn't one of them.  He plays Obro, who is supposed to be super-strong, but for some reason gets his a** kicked for most of the film.  Obro's kind of a wimp.  This movie moves slow as h*** and it's a downer throughout.  Not even the two hot women in this picture, the Queen and the Princess of Atlantis, could save this turkey.  And the movie ends with Atlantis getting destroyed...that's it.  Just a sudden ending.  And what they call the "giant" in the film...is only seen a few minutes near the beginning.  This movie's Italian title is "Il gigante di Metropolis" and wasn't released in America until September of 1963.

    The premise was interesting enough; it provides a back story for what happened to Atlantis, the now "underwater" city.  Atlantis is a futuristic society that lives by science.  The king is pushing all the limits of science...abusing his power.  Outsider Obro, a "great hero", is sent to warn the King of Atlantis' destruction unless he changes his ways.  Well, long story short, the king doesn't learn his lesson, and Obro fails.  The city of Atlantis is sunk into the ocean.  But Obro DOES escape with the sexy princess babe.  I guess that's one highlight.

    There are a number of things wrong with this movie.  For one, the hero is a weenie.  I mean, he could've been a little tougher.  Second, there is NO humor in this movie whatsoever.  Not even one character for comedy relief.  Third, this movie could have been edited considerable.  There is at least half-an-hour of footage that didn't need to be there.  Fourth, everything is a downer.  Is there even ONE good thing that comes from all of this?

    People who claim to like this film say that it has a "social message" or some such crap, or that they find it otherwise "intriguing".  I think it was a potentially good idea that went all wrong.  Sci-fi meets sword-and-sandal is a cool idea, but this didn't make it more exciting.  Surprisingly, this is one of the most boring of the movies from this genre.  Even "Hercules Against the Moon Men" was more exciting than this, and that's a rather slow sci-fi/sword-and-sandal film, too.  At least there was some optimism to that feature.

    I can't believe this movie gets more positive reviews than the delightfully wacky sword-and-sandal comedy "Colossus and the Amazon Queen" (1960).  Watch that one instead!


Mark Forest Hercules Film
Goliath & the Dragon (1960 Film)

Mike Lane Hercules Film

Ulysses Against the Son of Hercules (1961 Film)

Peter Lupus Hercules Film
Hercules & the Tyrants of Babylon (1964 Film)

Reg Park Hercules Films
Hercules Conquers Atlantis (1961 Film)
aka "Hercules & the Captive Women"
"Hercules in the Haunted World" (1961 Film)
"Hercules the Avenger" (1965 Film)

Steve Reeves Hercules Films

Hercules (1958 Film)
Hercules Unchained (1959 Film)

Gordon Scott Hercules Film

Hercules and the Princess of Troy (1965 TV Movie)

Alan Steel Hercules Films
Hercules and the Masked Rider (1964 Film) [not a Hercules film; character was actually called Goliath]
Hercules Against the Moon Men (1964 Film) [actually, a Maciste film]

Hercules and the Black Pirate (1964 Film) [actually, a Samson film]

*Who is Maciste? CLICK HERE!

The 1960s Revival Era (1960-1965)

Mark Forest as Maciste
Maciste nella valle dei re (1960) (aka "Maciste in the Valley of the Kings")
aka "Son of Samson"

Kirk Morris as Maciste
Maciste contro i cacciatori di teste (1960) (aka "Maciste vs. the Headhunters")
aka "Colossus and the Headhunters"

Gordon Mitchell as Maciste
Maciste nella terra dei ciclopi (1961) (aka "Maciste in the Land of the Cyclops")
aka "Atlas in the Land of the Cyclops"

Gordon Scott as Maciste
Maciste alla corte del gran khan (1961) (aka "Maciste at the Court of the Great Khan")
aka "Samson & the Seven Miracles of the World"

Maciste contro il vampiro (1961) (aka "Maciste vs. the Vampire")
aka "Goliath & the Vampires"

Mark Forest as Maciste
Maciste, l'umomo piu forte del mondo (1961) (aka "Maciste, the Strongest Man in the World")
aka "Mole Men vs. the Son of Hercules"

Kirk Morris as Maciste
Maciste contro Ercole nella valle dei guai (1962) (aka "Maciste Against Hercules in the Vale of Woe")
aka "Hercules in the Vale of Woe"
* This was made to be a spoof.

Maciste all'inferno (1962) (aka "Maciste in Hell")
aka "The Witch's Curse"

Il trionfo di Maciste (1962) (aka "The Triumph of Maciste")
aka "Triumph of the Son of Hercules"

Reg Lewis as Maciste
Maciste contro i mostri (1962) (aka "Maciste vs. the Monsters")
aka "Fire Monsters Against the Son of Hercules"

Samson Burke as Maciste
Toto contro Maciste (1962) (aka "Toto vs. Maciste")
* This was made to be a spoof and is part of the Toto film sreies.  Not released in the USA; available only in Italian.

Mark Forest as Maciste
Maciste, il gladiatore piu forte del mondo (1962) (aka "Maciste, the World's Strongest Gladiator")
aka "Colossus of the Arena"

Ed Fury as Maciste
Maciste contro el sheik (1962) (aka "Maciste vs. the Sheik")
aka "Samson Against the Sheik"

Mark Forest as Maciste
Maciste, l'eroe piu grande del mondo (1963) (aka "Maciste, the World's Greatest Hero")
aka "Goliath & the Sins of Babylon"

Alan Steel as Maciste
Zorro contro Maciste (1963) (aka "Zorro vs. Maciste")
aka "Samson and the Slave Queen"

Maciste e la regina de Samar (1964) (aka "Maciste and the Queen of Samar")
aka "Hercules Against the Moon Men"

Reg Park as Maciste
Maciste nelle miniere de re salomone (1964) (aka "Maciste in King Solomon's Mines")
aka "Samson in King Solomon's Mines"

Kirk Morris as Maciste
Maciste alla corte dello zar (1964) (aka "Maciste at the Court of the Czar")
aka "Samson vs. the Giant King"
aka "Atlas Against the Czar"

Mark Forest as Maciste
Maciste, gladiatore di sparta (1964) (aka "Maciste, Gladiator of Sparta")
aka "Terror of Rome Against the Son of Hercules"

Maciste contro i mongoli (1964) (aka "Maciste vs. the Mongols")
aka "Hercules Against the Mongols"

Maciste nell'inferno di gengis khan (1964) (aka "Maciste in Genghis Khan's Hell")
aka "Hercules Against the Barbarians"

Kirk Morris as Maciste
La valle dell'eco tonante (1964) (aka "Valley of the Thundering Echo")
aka "Hercules of the Desert"
aka "Maciste & the Women of the Valley" [France title]

Renato Rossini as Maciste
Ercole, Sansone, Maciste e Ursus: gli invincibili (1965) (aka "Hercules, Samson, Maciste and Ursus: The Invincibles")
aka "Samson & the Mighty Challenge"
aka "Combate dei Gigantes"
aka "Le Grand Defi"
* This was made to be a spoof.

Richard Lloyd as Maciste
Gli invincibili fratelli Maciste (1965) (aka "The Invincible Brothers Maciste")

Reg Lewis & Kirk Morris as Maciste
Maciste il Vendicatore dei Mayas (1965) (aka "Maciste, Avenger of the Mayans")
* This is an odd Maciste film indeed.  It consists almost entirely of re-edited stock footage from two older Maciste movies, "Maciste contro i mostri" and "Maciste contro i cacciatori di teste".  Maciste keeps changing from Reg Lewis to Kirk Morris.  It is rare, was never released in the USA, and is available only in Italian.

Taur (also called "Thor" and "Tor"):

Tor: Mighty Warrior (1963)
Thor & the Amazon Women (1963)


Ursus (1961) [Ed Fury as Ursus]
Revenge of Ursus (1961) [Samson Burke as Ursus]
Ursus in the Valley of Lions (1961) [Ed Fury as Ursus]
Ursus and the Tartar Princess (1962) [Joe Robinson as Ursus]
The Rebel Gladiators (1963) [Dan Vadis as Ursus]
Ursus in the Land of Fire (1963) [Ed Fury as Ursus]
The Three Avengers (1964) [Sergio Ciani aka Alan Steel as Ursus]
Hercules, Prisoner of Evil (1964) [Reg Park as Ursus]

Samson & the Mighty Challenge (1964)
[Ursus, Hercules, Samson, and Maciste team up; a comedy-adventure with Yann Larvor as Ursus.]