August 26, 1983
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first movie experience was playing Hercules in the comedy HERCULES IN THE NEW YORK (1970). Here, thirteen years later, his PUMPING IRON opponent Lou Ferrigno played the character in a serious (but still laughable) Greek-mythology-meets-’80s-sci-fi-fantasy epic – his second movie role. Like Arnold in his debut, Ferrigno’s voice is dubbed (by Marc Smith, who played a mafia boss in CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER and later became a prolific anime dubber). He had turned down other movie offers, but had also been obsessed with Steve Reeves’ Hercules movies growing up, and jumped at the chance to follow in his hero’s footsteps.
It’s definitely a movie made in a post-STAR WARS world, with mythological creatures depicted as robots and a poster painted by Drew Struzan. It’s also clearly inspired by the existence of Arnold’s CONAN THE BARBARIAN, even introducing adult Hercules on the Wheel of Pain, though without dissolving from a younger version. They were able to steal the image, but not what was cool about it.
Most of all it strikes me as a poor man’s CLASH OF THE TITANS, with its gods sitting around on the moon talking about how to control human affairs. But let me tell you, its stop motion sequences do not deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as. Ray Harryhausen’s. Important information I neglected to mention: this is produced by Cannon Films and directed by “Lewis Coates,” a.k.a. Luigi Cozzi (STARCRASH, CONTAMINATION). (read the rest of this shit…)