Thursday, May 30, 2013

Muscles, Myths and Movies

here's an interesting and well written book from 1993 (and a little from 1994).  it is written by Stephen Flacassier and does a commendable job with the material he had at the time- mostly fullscreen dubbed and faded prints of a LOT of peplum movies.  he has a good sense of humor about them and knows a LOT about the stars of the movies, both male and female.  he also has a cool way of rating the movies, where he shows how much the star is "pumped", whether or not the women have actual character, if there are monsters and how the movie ends, i.e. hero vs villain, hero vs army, hero vs everything.  it's an effective and memorable way to do this book is about 20 years old, and a TON of these movies have shown up.  some he doesn't think exist, like SAMSON AND THE SLAVE QUEEN and some he didn't even know existed to review, like HERCULES AND THE MASKED RIDER.  soon after the book was published, Sinister Cinema and/or Something Weird Video released a lot more peplum movies on VHS, and he did do some nice right ups for them.

at the end of the book he mentions doing a future volume, but I never heard if he did or not.  I was kind of surprised he didn't include CLASH OF THE TITANS in here, when he did include both of Lou Ferrigno's Hercules movies.  he mentions CLASH, but doesn't review it.

an interesting note- he makes mention of the "current" audience for these movies.  he never states who they are, but he mentions them a lot, and usually in reference to the way the star's body looks.  perhaps he means Dr. Frank N. Furter.  now I don't think he would have any problem saying who this "intended" audience is, which is really a good thing.


C. Elam said...

You have dredged up a long-forgotten memory - I was discussing this gentleman's work that was then appearing in CULT MOVIES with a Certain Someone, and Certain Someone was almost apoplectic over the implications about "the current audience." Then and now, I never considered it a Big Deal.

I suspect the Ferrigno movies are included and CLASH omitted because the former fits the Italian muscleman genre better.

I found a blog for Stephen Flacassier, though he doesn't appear to have anything about this genre on there.

David McRobie said...

well, I think Clash should have been in there, but I see your point. Lou's movies definitely fit the bill though. I should check out his blog.

Stephen Flacassier said...

Thank you for the very nice write up. And thanks mainly for taking into consideration how long ago this was written.

Not sure that the confusion with 'current audience' is and why anyone would be apoplectic over the implications. I just meant the audience at the time. Any implication is something that's being read into the words that's just not there.

And I give, who's the Certain Someone, or is this like Valdemort and we just don't say the name?

Clash is not included because, A, while I love Harryhausen, I hated this movie. And B, it sort of fell out of the time frame I was writing about. Ferrigno's movies were about Hercules, and the first one had a brief appearance by Brad Harris. Had I a copy of "The 7 Magnificent Gladiators" with Lou and Brad to in a bigger role to include, the connection to the origin series would have been stronger.

Anyway, thanks again for the cool write up and the kind words from everybody.

David McRobie said...

hi Stephen, thanks for posting! I still use this book all the time. I'll send you a PM or e-mail about the "certain individual" if you like, it's probably no one you know, but it's not a state secret.

C. Elam said...

Hi Stephen! David's write-up motivated me to revisit some of those reviews, though I somehow never scored a copy of your book at the time. Really enjoyed your work then and now.

Haha, thank you for this! The reading between the lines this person did surprised me, because I just took what you wrote at face value. It didn't matter to me one way or the other. I just omitted his name because I didn't want him to turn up if he did a vanity Google search of himself!

Stephen Flacassier said...

David was kind enough to tell me who you were referring to, I know all to well who this is, and NO let's not do ANYTHING that might cause him to find us!!!