What’s The Plot?
Hercules (Arnold “Strong”, according to the credits) displeases his father Zeus and is exiled to Earth, where he subsequently blunders his way to New York City. He sets up in the Big Apple and has a grand old time showing off his strength until the movie decides to have an actual plot near the end and he runs afoul of some gangsters.
Side Note: All of the gods & goddesses go by their Roman names, save for Zeus, but still refer to themselves as Greek and hail from Olympus (which didn’t have a Roman equivalent). Nothing any more egregious than what’s been done in comics for decades, but still somewhat lazy.
Who Made This Beautiful Garbage?
Uh, no one important, so far as research could tell. The movie was made at the height of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s body building career, right around the time he was becoming the youngest world champion in history. He wouldn’t really break in to film for another six years, so you have to assume the draw was “look how strong this dude is!” In the original cut, he was credited as Arnold Strong “Mr. Universe” and dubbed over, so you know neither his acting talents nor his name were the draw.
Five Reasons to See It
- Pretzie, Hercules’ pretzel vending sidekick and guide to all things New York. He’s played the late comic actor Arnold Stang, who comes across to an unfamiliar viewer as an unholy mixture of Woody Allen and Don Knotts.
- Mercury sends Atlas (…I’ll allow it) and Samson (…what?) to rescue Hercules in the end, as they were apparently just hanging around Mt. Olympus. Which raises so many questions, including “How familiar is Grant Morrison with this flick?”
- Hercules wrestles a bear that is obviously not a man in a suit nosireebob at one point. Still, it looks more convincing than Birdemic.
- After returning to Olympus, Herc talks to his pals through a radio. Due to this being the actor who dubbed Arnie in the original cut, he suddenly becomes eloquent and comprehensible. Perhaps he should have done the radio trick for the whole flick.
- Nothing particularly quotable, but Hercules does pronounce “Venus” as “Weenus”. Arnie is impressed with Weenus’ beauty.
The downfall of this column is that many of these bad movies end up watched by an audience of one, when they are best enjoyed with like-minded folks tearing them a new cue mark. Watched alone, this flick ends up pretty boring as it has about an hour’s worth of plot heroically stretched to ninety minutes. The Gods repeat themselves, repeating the same points over and over, rendering the Greek Gods repetitive and they are joined by the movie’s jokes – Hercules is inhumanly strong, Hercules is unfamiliar with human customs, Pretzie is a nebbish, recombined ad infinitum. That having been said, the movie would probably tick over to “pretty funny” if it was watched with friends.
NEXT WEEK: RiffTrax is heading back to theaters and so we’re giving you Five Reasons to Watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 – The Sci-Fi Channel Years!