Hercules (1983)

1.5 out of 5

Luigi Cozzi, the director of many fantasy films of childish wonder, strikes comedic gold with this, 'Star Crash on Mt. Olympus', a sidesplittingly moronic muscleman non epic that also manages to rip off Superman, 1978. Depending on mood, viewers will either be brain numbingly bored, or suffer a near death experience from uncontrollable laughter. What makes this massive misfire of Herculean proportions so hysterical is that it's all taken far too seriously. Even still, it's must see "entertainment" for Italian film fans.

A field day can be had picking out such genre luminaries as Gianni Garko, Claudio Cassinelli, Franco Garofalo, Rossana Podesta, William Berger and Bobby Rhodes. Also among the cast are the stunning Sybil Danning and sword and sandal regular, Brad Harris. Who better to play Hercules than Hulk Lou Ferrigno? He at least fits the bill and this is arguably his most famous role aside from his stint on The Incredible Hulk.

Cozzi stretches credibility with the mechanoid monsters King Menos slings at Hercules no doubt spurred on by the mechanical owl granted Perseus in the hit, Clash Of The Titans from 1981. There's virtually no plot, just Hercules and his labors backed by flashy, yet gaudy effects. Royally stupid, the film did incorporate effects techniques never attempted in Italy before, so in that it is a milestone. Pino Donaggio's score belongs in a better movie. The gorgeous, scantily clad women are just that. Cozzi obviously has great affection for his work and its not without some meager charms. The sequel is far more enjoyable, but in an even more terrible way.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics