Hercules in New York

 

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Us in a movie? Youz guys gots to be kiddin’!

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DVD cover

AKA-Hercules the movie, Hercules goes bananas (I saw it under this title on a VHS copy at a rental store in the 80’s)

1969/1970

So someone had the bright idea to make a comedy about Hercules. They hired this Austrian bodybuilder named Schwarzensomething or other and billed him as Arnold Strong. Then they hired the guy that voiced Top Cat to play a Pretzie a pretzel vender and more comic relief. So in this Hercules is in Olympus or some park in New York. He mouths off to Zeus or a soap opera actor with a bad wig in front of the rest of the Olympians or a bunch of second and third rate actors and actresses in bedsheets. Zeus sends Herc to Earth as punishment. There he ends up on a ship and tries to leave when they dock so a bunch of goonie sailor try to fight him. He has a mighty battle oh, wait no budget for such so loser guys just bounce around eventually fall in the water to make this look like a battle of some kind. Herc runs into Pretzie and he rattles on about some looney talk. They meet this professor and his daughter Helen. Herc shows off his might and sports skills by throwing the discus and javelin further than some puny college lumps. People blather on, Herc speaks in a thick Austrian accent and Pretzie gets Herc into wrestling. Herc goes out with Helen, but eventually a guy in a ratty bear suit escapes from the zoo and Herc has to teach him a lesson in Central Park in the greatest non-actor vs. man in a bear suit fight in central park ever! The Olympians disagree on whether to help or hinder Herc on earth and he gets some of both, lucky and unlucky him. Pretzie gets in over his head with some gangster types who seem to have forgotten this in 1968 New York and not 1920’s Chicago because they dress and act like the latter. Okay if Herc wins all is okay, but one of them goddess types takes his power away! Yikes so Herc loses the weight lifting thingie and then he, Pretzie and Helen flee from the gangsters. They end up in a warehouse for a big fight with everyone acting like they just learned how to walk. Herc is getting roughed up so some wrestlers dressed in bed sheets show up to help toss gangster around. All is fine and Herc goes back to Olympus. At the end Zeus decides to take his tacky wig and ridiculous facial hair and go to earth as well, what a crazy idea. Roll the credits.

The negatives-It’s slow. It’s supposed to be a comedy but it’s more laughable than funny which is alright. There isn’t much of a budget either so you get what you get. Listen for car noises when we are supposed to at Mount Olympus.

The positives-So we get to see Arnold long before he became the biggest action star on the planet. He had the last laugh in that he did this crazy, low budget film but eventually he made it and can look back and laugh at it. This is a fun film because he’s in it and because of it’s lack of budget, plot or much else. Just total silliness. There are two versions on the DVD. One with Arnold’s voice and one where he his dubbed with a very dull and serious voice, go with Arnold’s voice it’s way better. I liked Arnold Stang as a voice actor and comedian and here he tries despite the very limited material. Deborah Loomis isn’t much of an actress, but what a smile. I first saw this film in the 90’s on cable and knew it by reputation. I was expecting a real groaner, but was surprised with it being an enjoyable lump of cheese. I bought it for $5 on DVD like ten years ago and I watch it several times every year.

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We spent most of the film’s budget on bed sheets.

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Deborah Loomis as Helen.

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Why didn’t he wear a beanie in the Terminator?

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Even Arnold can’t make a turtleneck look very cool.