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Washed upon the shores of Egypt, Hercules (Kirk Morris) is saved by the
beautiful queen of the desert, Virna (Luciana Gilli), whom he immediately falls
in love with, but she sends him away ... & he arrives in the camp of Karr
(An drea Scotti), who claims to be continuously attacked by the men of Assur
(Mahmoud El-Sabbaa), the father of Virna.
But when Hercules arrives at
Assur's camp, he claims to be under constant attack of Karr's men ... which
leads Herules to the conclusionthat some third party wants to cause a war
between Karr & Assur . Ultimately he can convince the 2 of them of his
suspicion & make them reconcile, but no sooner is that accoplished is
Assur's camp invaded by some mysterious soldiers dubbed ghosts & Virna is
Hercules & Karr agree to embark on an expedition to find &
free Virna again - an expedition that leads them to the city of death, & in
the midst of it, Atlantis, rebuilt on a volcano & only kept in place by
some sophisticated machinery, as Ramir (Piero Lulli), the head mad scientist of
the realm, explains to them.
& to guard Atlantis, Ramir has an army of
golden zombies (don't ask why they are golden), an arsenal of laserguns, &
surveillance cameras in every room (really). And Virna was kidnapped, it turns
out, because she is to be the reincarnation of Atlantis' queen Ming (Hélène
Chanel), who claims she can control whom she is reincarnated into, & Virna
has already been brainwashed to think the Atlantis way. By the way it is said
that Atlantis will sink on the day it's queen falls in love with a man ...
& since Virna is already in love with Hercules, it's only a matter of time
until he breaks the spell ... which he promptly does, knowing for some
reason perfectly how to operate the local brainwashing machine ...
end, Virna & Karr can get away, while Hercules stays behind to pull all the
right levers of Atlantis floating machinery to properly sink it, & assur
& his men attack the zombies who are guarding tghe city ... of course all
our good guys survive in the end & are victorious.
By 1965, the
peplum boom was essentially over, & this one is pretty much one of the last
movies of the genre ... but also one of the wildest: Hercules the son of Zeus
in an adventure in the African desert that involves Atlantis, great retor
machinery & lab-scenes, a greenbearded mad scientist, golden zombies &
laserguns, all in glorious primary colours ...the description alone sounds
fascinating (or should I) say silly) enough, & the finished product, safe
from some overly talky passages, does not disappoint, having more in common
with 1930's fantastic serials than your friendly neighbourhood peplum.
wasn't until the early 1980's, when Luigi Cozzi with his 2 Hercules
films tried an equally wild variation on the genre.
By the way, this film is
not to be confused with the somewhat similarly titled Ercole alla
Conquista di Atlantide (1961, directed by Vittorio Cottafavi, Reg Park