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Sword and Sandal logo by IHCOYC

I've always found inspiration in low budget gladiator or ancient history and mythology movies from Italy in the 1950s-1960s.  They made dozens of these before the spaghetti western was invented and mostly displaced them.  

Here are some full length examples.   

Goliath and the Vampires -…
Fire Monsters Against the Son of Hercules -…
Thor and the Amazon Women -…
Hercules (the Steve Reeves version) -…
Anthar the Invincible -…
Giants of Thessaly -…
Sappho, Venus of Lesbos -…

This group is to provide a showplace for art generally related to the themes of epic heroism in classical antiquity, and inspired by these films and creative work from related genres --- Hyborian, Xena / Hercules, heroes and heroines with ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, or Mesopotamian ties.  And films recognizably within the genre have had wide ranging settings including seventeenth century Russia (The White Warrior), some sort of American Aztec-Inca hybrid culture (Hercules and the Sons of the Sun) and the medieval China of fantasy (Hercules versus the Great Khan).

Why do I find these pictures so amusing?  Partially, it's the same sort of pleasure you get from watching any other sorts of movies that are so bad they're funny.  Not all of them are like that -- nominally speaking, good films like Gladiator, Spartacus, Ben-Hur and Clash of the Titans fall within the genre.  But the more serious in tone and intention, and the higher the production values, the less likely it is I will watch it over and over again.  Bad dubbing, amateur acting by bodybuilder leads, and terribly low budget special effects make the films more fun for me.  

But it's the relentless kinkiness that adds special relish to these films.  There's something for gay and straight viewers alike.  This is fostered by the bog-standard plot that so many of them had.  

There will be an evil usurper and a good band of rebels gathered around a noble, rightful ruler.   But the usurper will have an evil queen that's the true power behind the throne.  She is busty and scantily dressed, to let us know she's dangerous.  The evil usurper and queen may be the same person.  

Our bare and barrel-chested hero will inevitably be captured by the evil rulers.  He's probably done some feats of strength before, wrestled guys in bear suits or thrown prop boulders around.  But he will be put to the test by a contrived torture scene which he overcomes by brute strength.   The evil queen will find herself rendered quite moist as she watches the hero flex his pecs and biceps.   Her lust for Our Hero will undermine the usurper's tyranny and ultimately lead to the triumph of good over evil.  

And there will always be some kind of hooch dancing sequence.  It's a low budget spectacle.  And it lets the viewer know that the evil regime is composed of sensuous pagans with a taste for hooch dancing.  Sometimes, it's the best thing in the picture.  

The campy kinkiness, plots driven by the need to include exotica dance scenes and staged torments that prove to be feats of strength, is a key element of the interest of these films to me, at least.  Accordingly, we accept any art related to the theme that DeviantArt allows.
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Doctorwholovesthe80s Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for letting me join! My family and I are huge fans and own many of these old classics!
RatGnaw Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the add! I really appreciate it!!
RatGnaw Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks again!! :D (Big Grin) 
EdwardDillon Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you very kindly Sword and Sandal for every thing!
ThomasHalbertz Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013
I'm glad to find a group like this! Thanks for creating it.

If anyone here is interested, I happen to write sword-and-sandal stories set in an original fantasy world -- all my stories are posted at my website, Sweat, Steel and Glory, located at:


Hope you enjoy!
AndrewDeFelice Featured By Owner May 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks very much for adding 'Minotaur Hunt'. All the best to you.
HardBargainArt Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for inviting my Chrysalis here! :) I also have another fantasy OC, Luna, in development, and you may wish to check out my OC Apogee as well.

Thanks again!
IHCOYC Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You are most welcome, and I will!
GEN-12 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice group!
IHCOYC Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I discover, to my shock and dismay, that I never turned the ability to join the group on.

That has been fixed.
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