Hercules, Prisoner of Evil

(1964 – Italy – aka Ursus, il Terrore dei Kirghisi) dir: Anthony Dawson (aka Antonio Margheriti); w/ Reg Park, Mireille Granelli, Ettore Manni.
Herc/Ursus must contend with a monster in the woods, conspiracies in the palace, and pretty women who are never what they seem. Originally an Ursus flick, AIP took a hatchet to it and tried to sell it as a Hercules flick – but despite the dub-actors saying “Hercules” an awful lot, it’s not at all convincing. But with a plot like this, it probably doesn’t matter; it is mostly padding and random plot twists that just tie themselves in knots. I assume the original must make a bit more sense, but that’s not saying a lot. It is low-budget and low-effort; a waste of time for all but the most determined muscle-man fanatic.



(2012) dir: Andrew Goth; w/ Wesley Snipes, Kevin Howarth, Riley Smith, Tanit Phoenix. No skin (almost); a little gore.
In a whacked-out version of the wild west, gunslinger Wesley battles bad men who won’t stay dead. The flick is very well made and beautifully filmed, but it’s a shame that the script couldn’t back that up. It tries for a supernatural horror-revenge sort of thing, but tosses around way too many scatterbrained notions and half-baked characters for any of it to really work. It is a harmless little potboiler, I suppose, but besides looking good, it doesn’t actually do much of anything.


Hercules and the Captive Women

(1961 – Italy/France – aka Ercole alla Conquista di Atlantide) dir: Vittorio Cottafavi; w/ Reg Park, Fay Spain.
Hercules and his faithful midget go to Atlantis – and pull the plug. They certainly dressed this one up with a lot of color and spectacle, but they obviously thought plot was an unnecessary complication. Instead, we get a string of wacky notions… evil queen (rowr), captive woman (only one, but she keeps getting captured, so perhaps she counts as more), attack of the clones, and of course, volcano! Fun enough for fans of the genre, just be sure to check your brains at the door.