HEAR ME OUT! HEAR ME OUT!
It was 1983, and I was growing up in a small, small, small town; and the film never made it to our local theater. Not all that later in life, I'd heard from a few folks -- the kind whose opinions of flicks I trusted very, very much -- and they assured me that it was a feature which deserved to be avoided under penalty of death. So for those and any other number of lesser reasons I just never sought it out ... and I really can't explain why today all of these years later I haven't given it a fair shot. I realize that the general concensus of "educated opinion" on it is that it's cinematic fodder ... but to those folks I suggest that maybe you truly haven't seen enough really, really, really, really, really bad pictures to know the difference.
If you've read enough of what I've written from the heart about films in this space, then you'll likely know that I just don't truly hate any picture. I might hate parts of them. I might hate some performances, or I might loathe some bad special effects or poor production quality. But overall I think -- if you look hard enough -- there's always something of value hidden in there. Some nugget of gold. It might be an idea. It might be an actor or actress. Hell, it might even be some snippet of dialogue, for all it matters, but there's something there. I've kinda/sorta trained my brain to latch on to some element in that way, and I suppose that's what keeps me sane from seeing so damn many films in my life.
In any event ...
As I said, this one was directed by the great Luigi Cozzi, and the auteur also claims credit for the script as well. As for the talent, Mr. Cozzi brought together an ensemble like no other. Lou Ferrigno. Brad Harris. Rossana Podestà. Sybil Danning. It's quite the round-up, and one should expect no less coming as this did from the great team of Golan-Globus.
Here's the plot summary as provided by IMDB.com:
"King Minos and sorceress Adriana plan to conquer the world with her magic and his giant robots. To make matters worse, they also plan to sacrifice Hercules' love interest Cassiopeia. Hercules teams up with sorceress Circe and tries to save both his girl and the world."
And Ferrigno? As Hercules? I realize that the guy's signature claim to fame has been and will likely always be his appearance in the fondly remembered TV incarnation of The Incredible Hulk -- still one of the greatest genre shows in the whole history of television. No one could argue that he didn't look the part of the immortal hero from mythology, and he had the chops to prove he could stand toe-to-toe alongside any villain.
Well, I do see that the flick is coming up on its 40th anniversary next year ... so I'm gonna make readers this promise: by this time in 2023 -- so long as we don't all go under in the global Apocalypse or I pass into the hereafter -- I give you my word that I will not only have seen Hercules but also I'll have penned a review of it on SciFiHistory.Net's MainPage. Somehow. Sometime. Some way. I'll make it happen.
In the meantime, sing a chorus of Happy Birthday to the original Hulk.