7.7/10
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Hercules Returns (1993)

When Brad quits his job at a large cinema chain, to open his own picture theatre, his ex-boss sabotages the opening night by switching the Italian film with a non-subtitled version. Brad ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Brad McBain
Michael Carman ...
Sir Michael Kent
...
Lisa
...
Sprocket
Brendon Suhr ...
King
...
Phone executive (as Nick Polites)
Lance Anderson ...
Wolf whistler
Laurie Dobson ...
Barman
...
Drunk
Burt Cooper ...
Frightened man
Tom Coltraine ...
Dent double
Des Mangan ...
Hercules / Samson / Machismo / Ursus / Testiculi (voice)
Sally Patience ...
Labia / Murial / Fanny / Delilah (voice)
Matthew King ...
Charlie (voice) (as Matthew King)
Tammy McCarthy ...
(voice)
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Storyline

When Brad quits his job at a large cinema chain, to open his own picture theatre, his ex-boss sabotages the opening night by switching the Italian film with a non-subtitled version. Brad and his team hilariously improvise the dialogue to avert disaster. Written by Lovecross

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Comedy

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16 September 1993 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Double Take Meets Hercules  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the characters of Michael Carman, Mary Koustos and Bruce Spence appear to be providing all the voices for the feature film, they are only miming as it was lesser known stars of the original Hercules Returns show that are playing the voice parts. The producers felt the film needed known Australian leads to get anyone interested in a voiceover film. See more »

Quotes

Hercules: Mmmm. Black undies!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Location: Melbourne Australia, and Somewhere in Spain in 1963 See more »

Connections

Edited from Samson and the Mighty Challenge (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
When a film is this funny it can be terrible in every other way and still be a classic.
10 August 2001 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

The comedy is simple: we see a 1963 Italian Hercules movie, with an "ad-libbed" English language soundtrack. We've seen this kind of thing done before. Many of us have seen it done better. I wouldn't be surprised if the people responsible for this very film have done better: it's based on their live performances, after all, and it would be surprising if they hadn't, on some nights, hit higher peaks than they do here. But that doesn't matter: the great thing about "Hercules Returns" is the way the frame story enlivens everything else about it.

Our three heroes have just opened an independent cinema, and an evil multiplex baron has seen to it that the only film they have to screen is cheesy, thirty years old, in Italian, without subtitles. They screen it anyway, ad-libbing all the dialogue and sound effects. Of course, the actors don't really ad-lib: they've seen the film before and they know what's coming next. But it's much more fun pretending that they're making it up as they go along than it would be to attend a performance in which they really were. Whenever they say something that turns out to match up with what happens NEXT rather than what's happened already, it's a delightful miracle - and because it really wasn't a miracle, because we knew all along that the performers were in no danger of slipping, we don't feel nervous on their behalf, so we're free to laugh. It's like watching the barn front fall on Buster Keaton, who survives because he by happy accident standing where the window landed. It's both thrilling and funny. If it really WERE a happy accident it would be neither.

The reaction shots at the start serve a similar purpose. Every few seconds, at first, we cut away from Hercules to the cinema audience, who are laughing merrily - and at first I though this was an insulting way of telling us, the real audience, that what we were watching was funny. I was wrong. The film does away with reaction shots after a couple of minutes, but they were needed early on to reassure us that the cinema audience was indeed enjoying, and would continue to enjoy, the show. Once satisfied on that point we're free to enjoy it ourselves. Not only do we laugh all the more helplessly, but every time we do, we feel more certain that the heroes are going to succeed.


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