Tuesday, August 21, 2012
What happens when you take the myth of Hercules, throw in a dash of Superman: The Movie and send it over to Italy to be distributed by Cannon Films? Well, you get 99 minutes of sheer madness the likes of which could only come from...Well, what I just described.
Lou Ferrigno is Hercules (dubbed) and spending roughly twenty minutes or so on an origin story (not just for our hero, but existence in general), we follow him as he tries to rescue his kidnapped fiancee Cassiopeia from the evil genius King Minos (William Berger) and his partner in crime Adriana (Sybil Danning).
That's the simple version. What makes the movie great is the insane madness that greets us from the very first frame. As with most Italian sci-fi/fantasy movies, the starscapes are gloriously cheesy and since Zeus and his fellow gods live on the moon, we get to see a ton of them.
Hercules fights a bear (or a dude in a bear costume at any rate) and throws it into space (where it becomes a constellation) to defeat it; Minos has laser shooting robots, there is a vague attempt to do the "Labors of Hercules" routine, sword fights break out and overall it's a huge, cheesy mess.
Mere words cannot express how awesomely cheesy and fun this movie is. In fact, I was actually considering doing this movie and its even more insane sequel for The Agony Booth but I had no idea where to begin. It's one of those movies that may actually be too weird to describe in a logical manner.
Ferrigno is a strong physical presence (though the guy dubbing him must have a crippling Valium addiction) and Sybil Danning is great as usual. The director is an old favorite of mine, Luigi Cozzi and he does things with his usual competent flair. It's pretty much what you would expect from an Italian b-movie from this period. Loud, colorful and utterly insane. If you like that kind of movie (which I do), this is a can't miss.
Hercules is a bizarre, truly baffling experience that really has to be seen to be believed. It gets an 8/10 just for sheer audacity...And it only gets weirder in the sequel.