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Ercole e la Regina di Lidia

Hercules Unchained
Hercule et la Reine de Lydie / Hércules y la Reina de Lidia / Hercules and the Queen of Sheba / Herkules und die Königin der Amazonen

Italy/France/Spain 1959
produced by
Bruno Vailati for Galatea Film, Lux Film, Urania Film
directed by Pietro Francisci
starring Steve Reeves, Sylva Koscina, Sylvia Lopez, Gabriele Antonini, Sergio Fantoni, Mimmo Palmara, Primo Carnera, Cesare Fantoni, Patrizia Della Rovere, Aldo Fiorelli, Andrea Fantasia, Carlo D'Angelo, Marisa Valenti, Gino Mattera
screenplay by Pietro Francisci, Ennio De Concini, cinematography, lighting & special effects by Mario Bava

Hercules, Ulysses, Hercules (Steve Reeves), Hercules in Italy, Hercules in the 1950's/60's

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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.

But 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.

 

By far 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 series.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

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