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James L. Wolcott
Mary Ann Webb,
Argolese saves Telca, daughter of King Tedaeo, from a marauding lion. In gratitude the King offers Telca's hand in marriage to Argolese but only if the strongman can slay a dragon which has been laying waste to part of his kingdom. Argolese kills the monster but when he returns he finds that Tedaeo has been overthrown and imprisoned, along with Telca, by a warlike people known as "the Demulus" who rule from a city inside a mountain. Argolese infiltrates this city but is captured and sentenced by Queen Ella to be pulled apart by elephants. Argolese survives this ordeal and Ella suggests an alliance between them. Argolese remains true to Telca but then Ella is killed by the jealous Melissia who becomes the new queen of the Demulus. With the aid of a diminutive ally named Barbar, Argolese frees the followers of King Tedaeo and then releases a lava flow into the city. Both King Tedaeo and the usurper Queen Melissia die in the turmoil but Argolese, Telca, and others escape out of the ... Written by
Take all the "Hercules" movies and boil them down to a series of plot essentials and you'll come up with something close to this movie. It has the muscular hero whose hairless chest is almost constantly on display and whose favorite wardrobe items are mini-mini-skirts and lace-up boots. The hero fights a few real beasts -- a lion and a bear -- as well as a mythical one: a dragon. He acquires a chubby, timorous sidekick who provides comic relief. He falls in love with the daughter of a king whose kingdom is taken over by a wicked queen. The hero becomes this queen's captive. She orders him to be pulled apart, wishbone-style, by teams of wild animals. (Elephants, this time, instead of horses.) The hero emerges unscathed from this ordeal. The queen falls in love with him but he remains true to the deposed king's daughter. The queen's slaves rise in revolt and her city is destroyed by a wave of lava. The hero and the king's daughter walk hand-in-hand to the cheers of the liberated citizenry.
So, if you see this movie, you've seen virtually all the other "Hercules" movies!
Dan Vadis lacks Steve Reeves' looks and charisma but he's in his physical prime here, looking appropriately brawny but not muscle-bound. Particularly noteworthy are his silver-dollar-sized nipples which punctuate his chest like a pair of decorative decals.
Ken Clark lists this movie on his filmography and the credits list a "Ken Klark" but if he's in here, he's hard to spot. Possibly he plays the evil general with the Fu Manchu make-up?
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