Monday, September 10, 2007
Hercules Against the Moon Men
Sunday afternoon's installment of Sword and Sandal Theater was Hercules Against the Moon Men. I expected this one to be pretty bad since I knew it had been used for an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, but it wasn't all that bad.
The improbably named Alan Steel stars as Hercules and fights a race of extra terrestrial moon men and their army of rock creatures. There's an evil queen who is fairly hot and a couple of nice girl princesses who are less so.
This movie is more like what I remember from when I was a kid, with its bad dubbing and over the top acting. Still as an early 1960s fantasy film, it isn't much worse than the stuff we were making in the US at the same time. From what I've read, this wasn't originally a Hercules film, but was instead about a homegrown Italian hero named Maciste. It was re-titled when it was released over here to capitalize on the popularity of the Steve Reeves Hercules movies.
I would almost bet money that this was one of the movies screened by the makers of the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys television series when they were in pre-production. Some of the moves in the show's fights come right out of this film, particularly the way the hero uses a spear or a staff against large groups of attackers and the way he never seems to hold on to any sword he manages to take away from a bad guy. Everyone knows that fists are better than swords. Plus this one has a high fantasy content, with several monsters and a lot of sorcery.
It also has one extremely overlong sequence in a sandstorm which annoyed me sufficiently to drop the movies rating from Three Sandals to Two Sandals.