Sunday, 22 October 2017

Hercules (1983)

Made by the legendary Cannon studios to cash in on the likes of Conan the Barbarian, and star Lou Ferrigno's TV success as the Incredible Hulk, Hercules is very cheap and very cheerful, but it asks for so little from the viewer it's hard not to like it.

The plot sees the evil King Minos (William Berger) and the sorceress Adriana (Sybil Danning) scheming to take over the world. For this, for some reason, they need to sacrifice Cassiopeia (Ingrid Anderson), who happens to be the girlfriend of our hero Hercules (Ferrigno).

The star is not exactly charismatic, but fortunately he is surrounded by reliable European genre stalwarts such as Danning and Eva Robin who pick up the slack. The script has the intelligence of a ten-year-old, but it also has the wide-eyed innocence and energy of one too, and the delirious twists and turns have an energy that stops things ever getting dull.

This was not the first time that writer and director Luigi Cozzi had been hired to cash in on more successful Hollywood product. His previous efforts included Alien Contamination, with extra-terrestrials causing exploding chests, and Star Wars rip-off Starcrash. The latter featured some very low budget stop motion work, something Cozzi employs here, when Minos dispatches mechanical monsters to stop Hercules. This use of technology seems rare in sword-and-sorcery films and gives Hercules a minor unique edge over others in the genre.