A Titanic Bad Movie worthy of the Epic Myths of all Mankind.
They brought us Death Wish II and Death Wish 3 along with Ninja III, American Ninja and American Ninja 2. And though they did manage to put out a few flicks with at least some following (like Delta Force, Firewalker, Lifeforce and Cyborg) Golan-Globus (AKA: The Cannon Group, Inc.) ultimately fell flat in its attempts to obtain legitimacy when its big attempts at success included the critically panned Bolero and the lamentably lamented Superman IV: The Quest for Peace!
In 1983 they also teamed up with Luigi Cozzi (credited as Lewis Coates) to bring us the rip off of Conan, Clash of the Titans and virtually every other sword and sandal flick that had gone before known as Hercules starring "The Incredible" Lou Ferrigno as that Hulk-a Hulk-a Burnin' Herc!
The only thing more amazing than how laughably bad it was (it's funnier than most intentional comedies) is that two years later Cannon again teamed up with Cozzi (who clearly had some more great, great ideas in his fertile imagination) to bring us Le Avventure dell'incredibile Ercole, or, as it was known in the good old US of A The Adventures of Hercules.
How is the sequel? Well, it's pretty much worse than the first flick, which is nothing short of (and please forgive me for this) "Incredible!" The stop motion animation is even cheesier, the story more contrived and the acting is even more hackneyed than the bad special effects. On the other hand, this one does feature Margi Newton, which makes it worth watching... pretty... pretty much.
After yet another overblown outer space opening (which shows that cozy Cozzi can't even pay lip service to his own continuity) we're reminded of some of the more epic(ly bad) scenes from the first flick with even more silly optical effects to make it less visible, which makes it much more interesting. Amid the chaos, the Superman-like zooming credits thrust toward the screen. While it's great to see Margi's name up in lights, it'd've been great to see such a thing in a better flick.
However, in this one, Margi (appropriately) plays Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, lust, and beauty, though being Italian, I guess that makes her Venus, fire and desire. Aphrodite is one of four Rebel Gods who stole and scattered the seven mighty thunderbolts of Zeus (again played by Claudio Cassinelli in more convincing fake hair this time). The disorder wrought by the theft of these poorly animated zigzag lines includes even the Moon hurling toward the Earth at top speed. This seems not to bother the Fantastic Four, because in this film, unlike the first, the gods don't live on the Moon, but actually on Earth or some weird plane in space. The Quartet of Quacks themselves seem to have their base of operations in a great big Snow Globe with a Frosted Doughnut at the top.
With such formidable villains, who can Zeus and Athena (this time played by Carla Ferrigno... how'd she get cast?) send to save the world yet again? Why who else but Hercules (lately hanging around with his fellow constellations).
The thing is that two Earth Hotties, Sonia Viviani's Glaucia and Milly Carlucci's Urania are in need of some help on the same quest, set upon it by "The Little People" (both played by Christina Basili), an almost exact corollary to the teeny-tiny women from Mothra.
Now that Zeus and his hot friends have their champion, who will Aphrodite and her hot friends Flora (Laura Lenzi) and Hera (Maria Rosaria Omaggio) along with their not so hot friend Poseidon (Nando Poggi) send against that dude? Well, to make damned sure that we're looking at an almost exact retread of the first film, they resurrect the Burger King Mascot, King Minos, again played appropriately by William Berger (King). This time his "Science" is out to wreak even more havoc on the Earth and Heavens.
What follows is a barely stitched together montage of scenes, most of which we either saw in the first film or better films made by better people before. Cozzi ups the Rip Off Ante here, particularly in his pilfering of Clash of the Titans. Here the Herculoid himself pulls the same Medusa-killing trick that Perseus did in that better film. It's hilarious. He walks through the stone statues of Medusa's victims (really actors with a little gray paint on) and uses the same shield-as-mirror trick right before he decapitates her. Cozzi might have been sued if anybody saw this flick. Hilariously he has Ferrigno (or, rather, the voice actor dubbing Ferrigno) announce just what he's about to do before he does it. Nice!
I tell you, the stop motion animation used on this Medusa is no Harryhausen contribution. It's mega-bad, like the rest of this flimflam film! Cozzi dispenses with the Giant Robots of Paolo Zeccara here (thankfully) and instead uses a lot more animation for his rip-offs. That's not to say that these are more realistic. Quite the contrary, the effects here (by Giovanni Corridori and Armando Valcauda and, yes, Paolo Zeccara) seem to be in a Chariot Space Race of Cheese with those of the first film and either winning or losing, depending on how you want to look at it.
If you thought the first film was cheesy (especially in the final frames) just wait until you witness the Rotoscoping Celebration that causes the climax of this one to go from snores to laughter. Look, folks, I'm dying to avoid spoilers here, but when the animated sparring partners morph into a comically cosmic tribute to King Kong Vs. Godzilla, I not only want to tell you about it, I want to tell the world.
Still, like the first film, this is harmless fun as much a victim of low budget as bad writing and directing. While it's not at all intended to be this hilarious, it's a lot of fun to lampoon with the best of the worst. Not all of Cozzi's films can that be said about.
Camp value, this has, and in spades. If you doubt it even for a second, you have to check out Dedalos' costume in this movie (see sidebar). Again, Dedalos is portrayed by Eva Robbins, who, incidentally, appeared in the pages and on the cover of the same issue of the Italian Nudie magazine Playmen as one of Margi Newton's nude appearances. However, knowing just why Playmen only showed Eva Robbins nude to the waist makes Dedalos' costume even funnier. See, Eva Robbins is a transsexual who was born Roberto Coatti and, well, still has, um... his Croquet Set. Rather than granting Dedalos the bikini bottom that most of the female characters are given, costume designer Adriana Spadaro gives Robbins a hilariously elongated triangular cup to wear, which Robbins takes much delight in revealing in hilarious ways.
Could this be because her mythological counterpart, Daedalus was described as being male? Who cares? Just enjoy the look on Berger's face when s/he has him kneel before the "Nutty Buddy."
If that were all, this would still be worth seeing, but there's so much more that makes The Adventures of Hercules an inept classic. Yeah, I still feel rather rude laughing at it. The cast, especially Ferrigno, Newton and Omaggio still turn in their best (or at least take it seriously) and considering the budget, this could be worse. Regardless, this film is at its very best as unintentional comedy.
This constellation-heavy Greek Mythological Rehash ironically doesn't manage to obtain a single star. Though it's a pleasure to watch for Ironic Reasons, it's still a Dog! Holy Minerva, what a turkey! In the Encyclopedia of Film, the Cannon Group should get its own comical entry with this film as its poster child. Beautiful women, bad effects, hilarious dialogue and Acting, Writing and Directing in a constant tournament for the Razzie all make this film worth a sarcastic look. Especially for fans of Margi Newton. Uh... there are some of you out there, right? Surely it can't just be me? Okay, folks, Chapter 11 on the DVD of Hell of the Living Dead! If that doesn't get your blood pumping for one reason or other, then check your pulse, you may be dead.
But, hey, listen to Cozzi and you can be resurrected... in a very cheesy way. Until then... See you in the next reel, myth-busters!
|What's New?||Alphabetical Listing of Reviews!||SearchThisSite:||Advertise With Us!||About...||Lynx Links:||F*A*Q|