Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hercules and the Captive Women

I can find hardly any info about this one -- even Wikipedia has let me down!
It was filmed in 1961 as Ercole alla conquista di Atlantide in Italy. It stars Ray Park as the muscled hero Hercules, but this Hercules is a bit more of a goofy slacker type and never seems to quite know what's going on around him. This makes for a light and funny film that never takes itself too seriously.
Unlike other Hercules films, this film actually looks Greek and tries to place the film in Greek history. I have no idea how historically accurate any of it is, but the costumes and sets certainly look Greek.
Hercules travels to an island where he fights a lion (hugs, is more like it), then a vulture, then a guy in a zombie-lizard costume.
Somehow this frees a girl from a rock. Turns out the girl is actually a Princess from Atlantis. This would be before Atlantis sank. Hands up those of you who have figured out the end of the movie.
Someone shouts the immortal line, "Uranus has abandoned us!"
The Queen of Atlantis believes an old legend that Atlantis will be destroyed should a daughter of the Queen outlive her, and by saving the girl, Hercules has wrecked the Queen's plans to kill her daughter. Someone else shouts, "A great God will return to his own, Uranus!" (Yes, there is a great five-minute dialogue sequence devoted to Uranus that will have members of the Beavis and Butthead generation in stitches.)
Then Hercules has to fight clones!
Then there's a chariot chase through a cave!
Hercules fianlly rescues the girl, then Atlantis sinks.
Actually, there's a lot of action in this movie and most of it is done fairly well, but this film does seem to go forever. And despite the title, there are no captive women --well, only one: the Princess. But after an hour of this, I was feeling like the captive....

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