Gods, Monsters, and Musclemen

Representations of Antiquity in Film - From Griffith to Grindhouse - Kevin M. McGeough

Kevin M. McGeough [+-]
University of Lethbridge
Kevin M. McGeough is professor of archaeology in the Department of Geography at the University of Lethbridge and holds a Board of Governor’s Research Chair in Archaeological Theory and Reception. Having excavated in Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, and Canada, he is the co-editor of the Alberta Archaeological Review and chair of publications for the American Society of Overseas Research (ASOR). He is currently researching the reception of Near Eastern Archaeology in a variety of media and has recently published a three-volume book on archaeological reception in the Victorian era, The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century (2015).


Often overlooked in the discussion of ancient history on film is the treatment of Greek myths. Chapter 7 addresses this, first by looking at how Harryhausens’s stop-motion animation influenced generations in regards to classical storytelling. Following this is a discussion of the Italian Hercules film and later muscleman films, such as the Scorpion King series and especially the Conan the Barbarian films. Particularly addressing issues of gender and race, this chapter explores how the past provides a setting for particularly regressive fantasies in relation to these issues to be played out and expressed.

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McGeough, Kevin. Gods, Monsters, and Musclemen. Representations of Antiquity in Film - From Griffith to Grindhouse. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Jun 2022. ISBN 9781781799819. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=39765. Date accessed: 18 Sep 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.39765. Jun 2022

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