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Science Fiction - Hercules

Buy the DVD
Lou Ferrigno and a bunch of nobodies
The Cannon Group 1983 / 1985
MGM Home Entertainment 2005

Golan and Globus were two producers who operated under the banner The Cannon Group and were known in the eighties for producing a string of B movies featuring a Hollywood star and a bunch of low-budget Italian actors. They were very good at what they did and Hercules and The Adventures of Hercules are two of the many quick-buck movies they made with the purpose of raking in the profits in foreign markets. MGM Home Video has released these two movies on a double-sided DVD to the great satisfaction of people who like this kind of action-based cheesy special effects fare.

The trick in watching these movies is not to be too demanding and just go along with the dubbed overacting, implausible and sometimes impossible to follow storyline and just enjoy another of the many excesses of the eighties. Of these two movies, Hercules is good rainy day fare. The Adventures of Hercules is, well, not that interesting even for a B movie.

In Hercules, muscle man Lou Ferrigno, best known as The Hulk in the TV series (and that’s why he got the part) gets to flex his pecks as he tries to save the beautiful Cassiopeia from death at the hands of evil king Minos who is center stage in a struggle between the forces of good and evil. The producers spared almost every expense but covered all the crowd-pleasing bases so you get lots of buxom ladies in skimpy costumes, many scenes with fighting and stuff and even a science-fiction twist in some of the costumes the gods wear and some of the creatures Hercules must face.

Although I do not remember battling a Kodiak bear as one of the tasks, Hercules follows what most of us, and probably the writers, remember of the twelve tasks of the mighty Greek guy who became a god. The movie includes the usual pantheon of Greek gods as secondary characters and if you can’t keep track of who’s who well neither could the Greeks. Check at the beginning of the movie, the guy who steals the magic sword looks a lot like Anthony Perkins even if half his face is covered in a blanket.

The Adventures of Hercules is set a few many whatever years after the original story. Once again there is chaos and to save a damsel in distress or two Lou Ferrigno has to once again perform some feats to recover the seven thunderbolts of Zeus. Bad guy Minos is back again, as are various Greek deities, but this time the Kodiak bear is replaced by a weird rag creature. Fear not, there are cute women in skimpy outfits, specifically a blonde and a brunette whose job description is to “Wait here while I go battle whatever it is I am supposed to battle.” This second Hercules is not as good a B movie as the original, and that says a lot.

Richard Lanoie

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