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Maria Grazia Spina
In ancient Greece a race of evil aliens from the moon land on earth. For years they've terrorized the nearby city of Samar, demanding children for sacrifice. Now, the queen of Samar has made a pact with the moon men to conquer the world and become the most powerful woman alive. However, the residents of Samar, sick of all the chaos, cheer when the mighty Hercules shows up to put a stop to it all.Written by
Wow...that sandstorm sequence was rather long wasn't it?
Time for another Hercules adventure as he must battle the people of the moon! Only, it is not Hercules that is featured in this particular film, but rather a hero by the name of Maciste. In the 50's and 60's there were not only like 15 films featuring the Greek hero Hercules, but also like 15 films featuring this hero too! There is a whole lot of films featuring bearded heroes with super strength suffice to say. This film would be repackaged as a Hercules film for its American release because the viewers here are not as familiar with the character of Maciste, but seeing as how he is basically just an Italian version of the Greek hero it is not really that big a deal. Though, it is kind of funny how people complain and moan about the amount of sequels made today when there were sometimes two Hercules films released in the same year and then you add the Maciste films to the mix and you could see three films featuring a Hercules type character at your local cinema. The Maciste character is played by a guy who was a stunt double for Steve Reeves and he sort of looks the part, but he is the smallest of the Hercules I have seen. He does okay and the film has its moments, but gets bogged down during what should be an epic showdown to close the film.
The story has a kingdom that requires its citizenry be sacrificed to the people of the moon who lurk in the cave of death. People in the kingdom tire of this tradition and so they seek the legendary hero Maciste or Hercules if you prefer, so that he might aid them and help them defeat this threat once and for all. Unfortunately, the queen of this land is evil and works with the moon people and thus tries her best to stop Maciste from completing his goals. She also plans to sacrifice her own sister to the horrible abominations in the mountain.
This made for a good episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, but I am surprised they did not say anything regarding the fact this was not a true Hercules film. I guess I can understand as it is not as obvious that this was not really a Hercules film. Now that film that was packaged as a Sinbad film they did was obvious as nothing about it remotely resembled a Sinbad movie. This one features the strong bearded hero and features an evil queen who falls for the hero so it pretty much is like most of the actual Hercules films. Though Crow summed up the looks of this Hercules the best by calling him, Super Bob Vila!
This one has its moments, but the whole film bogs down near the end during the climatic sandstorm sequence. I am pretty sure they were just trying to pad the film, but there are plenty of films that do not have a long running time, why they felt the need to show us the queen running through the storm, then Hercules running through the storm and then the people in the kingdom running through the storm is beyond me. Did I say running? I meant stumbling. All this time showing us this, and the actual fight with the moon people is over in the blink of any eye! This one featured a lot more action up to the point of the sandstorm though and would be more tolerable if that scene had been trimmed down significantly and the fight at the end made to look more epic.
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