4.1/10
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3 user 1 critic

Hercules of the Desert (1964)

La valle dell'eco tonante (original title)
A fabulous land of green pastures is protected from invasion by the mysterious Valley of the Thundering Echo. Queen Farida draws together the desert tribes to conquer the land, even though ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Amerigo Anton)

Writers:

(story), (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Hélène Chanel ...
Farida
Alberto Farnese ...
Masura
Spela Rozin ...
Selina
Furio Meniconi ...
Manatha
Rosalba Neri ...
Ramhis
Geneviève Audry
Nando Tamberlani ...
Manata il saggio
Dante Posani ...
Tarash
Mara Carisi
Nadir Moretti ...
(as Nadir Baltimore)
Aldo Cecconi
Marco Pasquini
Luigi Scavran
Franco Pechini
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Storyline

A fabulous land of green pastures is protected from invasion by the mysterious Valley of the Thundering Echo. Queen Farida draws together the desert tribes to conquer the land, even though a prophecy has promised the land to the Gameli tribe. The Gameli journey to the Silver Temple, where the High Priest summons the legendary Maciste from the mountain rock to defeat their enemies and guide them to their promised land. Written by Mike Eustace

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Genres:

Adventure

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Details

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Release Date:

9 October 1964 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Hercules of the Desert  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 43693 delivered on 12-9-1964. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A really dull first third is made up for by the cheesy action later on
29 July 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

HERCULES OF THE DESERT is yet another peplum yarn starring one of my favourite muscle-bound actors, Kirk Morris. At first glance it looks to be a contender for the award of "most boring peplum film made", beginning as an overly-talky desert set adventure concerning some clichéd warring tribes, concentrating on human relationships over spectacle and excitement. For the first half of the film, nothing much happens at all, other than Morris (playing Hercules this time around, at least in the US dubbed version) appearing in a puff of smoke after a prayer is sent to the gods for help! This is the first explicitly supernatural event surrounding the Italian peplum hero that I've seen; usually he just kind of appears in the thick of the action or is discovered in a cave or tomb, but here he appears to be the real deal, a mythical god sent from the heavens to kick ass and do good, although not necessarily in that particular order. But I guess he can't be that godly, seeing as he still manages to drink a drugged potion and fall slave to an evil queen like Steve Reeves did in HERCULES UNCHAINED...

The action isn't extensive, but does feature some bloody amusing shots of Morris lifting statues and rocks easily five or six times his own body mass and lobbing them at the bad guys. The talents of the beautiful Helene Chanel and Rosalba Neri (LADY FRANKENSTEIN) are exploited to the full at every opportunity for male viewers delight. For the girls (and certain boys...) watch out for openly homoerotic scenes of Morris flexing his muscles for the camera, or the cameraman zooming in on his crotch and taut thighs. Other fun moments include one of those "closing wall" traps, although they're too cheap to have any spikes in the walls here, and the ultra-bizarre finale in which Hercules descends into a hellish pit and battles a race of huge-eared Neanderthals, who seem to spend their waking hours banging large sheets of hanging metal with hammers! The thundering noise and oppressive atmosphere would make this showdown suitably horrific, if it wasn't for the absurd-looking creatures that Hercules battles. Not that good or that bad for a peplum flick; undeniably cheap, and saddled with a really dull first third, but it does contain enough cheesy fun to make it worth watching in my opinion.


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