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Heroes from different eras join to battle villains!
Ulysses - or Odysseus - vas an Achean adventurer-king who probably lived in the Aegean area around 13th century B.C., battled against the Asian city of Troy and reportedly destroyed it with the Trojan horse stratagem. Hercules was the mythical hero of an entirely different Greek civilization, the Doric one, who established itself on the ruins of the Achean kingdoms from the 11th century B.C. on. So the two men could have scarcely met in history, but in film they did! The result was a true Clash of the Titans: the cunning, seafaring king of Ithaca against the muscle-bound son of Zeus, here without the typical Steve Reeves evenly-trimmed beard. According to screenplay the father of all gods asks the strongest man ever to capture Ulysses and give him for revenge to the blinded Cyclops Polyphemus, the son of another offended divinity. While Hercules, always the zealot, promptly embarks on his errand to punish Ulysses, the latter reacts as a true hero of the human condition against evils that come from the gods. He is captured by Hercules, but in the end the two men will have to join forces to escape the bloodthirsty race of the Bird-men and battle the evil Troglodytes of king Laro, a madman who enjoys torturing women. With the aid of Ircanus, king of the eponymous city, they will defeat the villain along with his monster-cavemen; Hercules will have his beloved Helen while Ulysses will finally return to Ithaca. Mario Caiano, future director of "Amanti d'oltretomba", a minor cult classic in the Gothic vein, toys here with a good Ulysses (Georges Marchal) and a despisable Hercules (Mike Lane), a man who is truly softer than butter, capable of leaving a friend in the hands of his worst enemies and always eager to play the "amoroso", or young man in love. This ill-assorted but funny couple moves in a scenario which makes you think of future spaghetti-westerns, what with well-photographed ravines and desert beaches, & with the addition of fancy extras in "monster" make-up. The Bird-men dance better than they kill, but the Troglodyte cavemen will really impress a band of captive young women. Screenplay is mostly missing and direction may seem casual, but the fable has a better look than the average muscleman epic and its fantastic quality is not altogether spurious.
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