THE TRIUMPH OF HERCULES (Alberto De Martino, 1964) *1/2
Lackluster entry in the prolific peplum genre these films may have been designed as mere entertainment fodder but very few examples proved otherwise rewarding. This is an even lesser achievement than THE MEDUSA AGAINST THE SON OF HERCULES (1963), from the same director and which I watched concurrently; however, it's basically on the same below-par level of two other such efforts I viewed in the past featuring the same muscle-bound lead, Dan Vadis, namely THE REBEL GLADIATORS (1963) and SPARTACUS AND THE TEN GLADIATORS (1963).
Anyway, the film sees Hercules fighting a tyrant (Pierre Cressoy from FRINE, CORTIGIANA D'ORIENTE ) and saving/loving a damsel-in-distress ("Euro Cult" regular Marilu' Tolo) nothing new plot-wise, then except that Cressoy is in cahoots with a witch (glamorous Moira Orfei) so that he's able to unleash an army of gold-tinted musclemen to cause havoc, but they're clearly no match for Hercules. Even so, the hero's strength is sapped by an angry Zeus (via a comical jagged thunderbolt insert) at one point eventually being restored just in time to prevent Tolo from being fatally spiked! During the climax, then, Orfei plays an optical trick on Vadis but which ends up rebounding on herself taking up Tolo's semblance as she's hanging from a cliff, but Hercules recognizes the true heroine from the color of her eyes and Orfei perishes in the sea instead!
For what it's worth, the film includes plenty of action sequences but, more often than not, they're rendered hilarious by way of obvious repeated footage, exaggerated death reactions and clumsy stunt-work.
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