Although most of metalheads would class themselves as horror fans (and the gorier the better), myself – although I won’t refuse watching horror anytime – I am more of a general movie enthusiast. But I really like adventure movies, especially classic ones. So it was a no brainer to delve into so-called “peplum” movies (mostly produced in Italy) and to my surprise, there are not that many great reference books devoted to that genre. I’ve had a possibility to read Of Muscles and Men: Essays on the Sword and Sandal Film by Michael G. Cornelius and I’ve closed the book not even finishing the Introduction. Nope, if you are just a normal, movie loving person, stay clear of academic tomes. The other choice for my was this one I am gonna review for you today.
As with the aforementioned Of Muscles and Men, this also was published by McFarland & Co., which means a fucking high price tag, but also a quality content (and just to be clear, I’m not gonna bash Cornelius’ work just because I don’t appreciate dry academic writing, it’s just not a book for me, which is OK).
It’s a reference book, so you will get a short, encyclopedic entries about many Sword and Sandal movies from the era mentioned in the book title, but only about movies produced in Italy. That kinda narrows the scope, but it’s OK with me, to do this genre a justice, that would really takes quite a few books to fill.
Well, I’ve read a 1 star review on Amazon saying this information is readily available on internet (Wikipedia) and for the most part it’s true – but, seriously, do you have the time to research it all for yourself? I doubt it. Therefore I am glad Roy Kinnard and Tony Crnkovich did that work for me. The amount of movies here is quite surprising and I’m gonna have a helluva time getting some of the more obscure ones, but as some wise person said – the journey is also a goal.
For that reason there is a nice help in the form of a note about the availability of movies on home video market, obviously, not all of them are readily available, but those wanting to get those more elusive titles might check some not so official ways (Youtube) or grey market sellers.
So, if you’re not into that kind of movies, this title would be a waste of time for you. But if you are a fan, then you have to obtain this title for your library and perusal.
I find it indespensable in my quest of watching Italian peplum and I am sure you’ll agree with me here. And I am not gonna lie, it’s gonna get used with my peplum reviews!