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Hercules

Italy 1983
produced by
Menahem Golan, Yoram Globus, John Thompson (executive) for Cannon
directed by Lewis Coates (= Luigi Cozzi)
starring Lou Ferrigno, William Berger, Sybil Danning, Brad Harris, Ingrid Anderson, Rossana Podestà, Bobby Rhodes, Gianni Garko (as John Garko), Yehuda Efroni, Delia Boccardo, Claudio Cassinelli, Franco Garofalo, Gabriella Giorgelli, Raf Baldassarre, Stelio Candelli, Valentina Montanari, Rocco Lerro, Eva Robins
written by Lewis Coates (= Luigi Cozzi), music by Pino Donaggio, special effects by Goffredo Unger, Armando Valcauda

Hercules, Hercules in Italy, Hercules (Lou Ferrigno)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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To make one thing clear from the beginning, this film has little to do with the actual legend of Hercules, other than it's set in ancient Greek, the hero has a beard and big muscles ... but that shouldn't stop one from enjoying, now should it (as a matter of fact, neither the Italian Hercules movies from the 1950's & 60's, nor the tv-series Hercules: Legendary Journeys, nor Walt Disney's Hercules had all that much to do with the legend either).

 

But on with the show: In this one, the gods reside on the moon, and watch the events on earth unfold, when Hercules' parents are slaughtered, Hercules (Lou Ferrigno) is saved from certain death by god Zeus and is brought up to manhood somewhere in the woods ... but soon enough, his foster parents are slain by villain King Minos (William Berger), who resides in Atlantis, the capital of Thera, which he rules together with his daughter Ariana (Sybil Danning) & his inventor friend from the Chaos, Dedalos (Eva Robins). And with the help of Dedalos, Minos throws an array of science fiction robots towards Hercules, which the hero usually defeats though ... and besides fighting robots, Hercules even has time to fall in love with virginal Cassiopeia (Ingrid Anderson), which Minos kidnaps only minutes later though to sacrifice her to the Phoenix which lives in a volcano beneath Atlantis & needs a virgin sacrifice every now and again.

Somehow, Hercules finds himself unable to get to Thera, so he enlists the help of witch Circe (Mirella D'Angelo), who persuades him to go to hell (quite literally) with her & fetch her winged carriage to fly to Thera (on a route that for some strange reason leads through outer space & a meteor belt).

Once on Thera, Circe - who has since fallen inlove with Hercules - is killed by one of Minos' robots, & Hercules first has to defend himself against the amourous advances of Ariana (who wants to be impregnated by him to bear superhuman children).

Finally though, Hercules faces Minos, and in their fight frees the Phoenix, thereby not only defeating the villain but wrecking Atlantis ...

Hercules & Cassiopeia though manage to save themselves & look into a brighter future.

 

As I said, this has little to do with the Hercules legends, & in style the film resembles more closely director Luigi Cozzi's own sci-fi-spectacle Star Crash than either the Italian peplums from the 1960's or Conan the Barbarian, the film it was made to cash in on - and for that reason, Hercules is dismissed by most genre-fans & -critics alike ... who of course don't see the point:

Hercules shouldn't be perceived as yet another Conan rip-off but a spaced out genre hommage, an elaborate in-joke, imagination run wild and a wonderful piece of conscious 1980's trash at the same time. Of course it's easy to dismiss the film - Hercules fighting robots often bearing an uncanny resemblance to Fisher Price Toys, what is there not silly about it ? -, but if you keep an open mind and watch the film as a triplike experience, you will be richly rewarded ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
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On the same day
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD