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Hercules (Steve Reeves) wants to take his wife Iole (Sylva Koscina) &
his juvenile friend Ulysses (Gabriele Antonini) to his hometown, Thebes, only
to find the old king, Oedipus (Cesare Fantoni), chased away by his own sons
Eteocles (Sergio Fantoni) & Polinices (Mimmo Palmara), who originally
intended to share in reigning Thebes, but then Eteocles had a better idea &
chased of Polinices as well ... & now Polinices is heading for Thebes with
his freshly built army ...
Hercules makes an attempt to talk some sense into
Eteocles, to avoid bloodshed ... & what do you know, Eteocles, who has an
unhealthy predilection for arena games involving bloodthirsty tigers, agrees.
when Hercules & Ulysses head for Polinices' camp to prevent the war,
Hercules drinks from a drugged spring & forgets everything, only to be
dragged of by a battallion of Lidian soldiers. Ulysses, who poses as Hercules'
deafmute servant, manages to stay at Hercules' side.
In Lidia, Hercules is
welcomed by Queen Omphale (Sylvia Lopez), who claims to be his wife, &
since Omphale is quite a dish, Hercules believes her & is soon content with
playing her dim-witted lovetoy (& can you blame him), while Ulysses finds
out that Omphale is actually collecting hubbies by the dozens only to have them
mummified by her own priveate Egyptians & put on display. Slowly Ulysses
helps Hercules to get back to his senses, & he also sends a carrier pigeon
to his father Laertes (Andrea Fantasia) asking for help. Laertes fetches his
jolly old ship, the Argos (yup, the one of Jason & the Argonauts-fame,
see Le Fatiche di Ercole)
& heads to Lidia to save both his son & Hercules ... but Omphale is not
one to go down without a fight, so she desperately tries to kill Hercules'
saviours or at least incarcerate them, but to no avail, Hercules & gang get
away, so she decides to commit suicide.
Back in Thebes, war between the
brothers Eteocles & Polinices seems imminent, when Hercules makes one last
attempt to talk sense into Eteocles ... but Eteocles prefers to throw Hercules
to his tigers. But of course the tigers don't get a bite of our hero, as
Ulysses, Laertes & the others save him once more. Polinices & Eteocles
have since agreed to fight about the city man to man rather than lead a futile
war, & after a long & violent fight, Etoecles emerges victor, having
slain his own brother, but dies of exhaustion immediately afterwards. Now all
would be well, hadn't Eteocles' general made up a plan to conquer the city
anyhow, but of course, by now Hercules has organized the good people of Thebes
into a battleforce, & they easily defeat their enemies.
less faithful to the original Hercules-myth than its predecessor Le
Fatiche di Ercole, this film actually borrows from quite a few sources
within the Greek mjythology & blends them to a colourful heroic fairytale.
It's of course pretty easy to dismiss the film for its many inaccuracies, or
for its shortcomings caused by a too low budget, mediocre actors or an
inconsequent screenplay, but it's even easier to love the movie for its
childish enthusiasm to tell this romp of strong men, beautiful women, love
& fistfights - an enthusiasm that of course was lost on many of the later
Italian muscleman-pictures, be it from the Hercules- or any other