Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Life & Crimes of Hercules 2

Lou Ferrigno, Hercules, poster
Hulk Hercules shields himself from film critics
Recently, I had the pleasure opportunity to watch 1985's Hercules II (The Adventures of Hercules). This is of course, the sequel to 1983's Hercules, starring The Incredible Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno.

What can I say about this movie?

Well, for starters, the film's poster has much better acting and special effects than the actual movie. Second, Ferrigno's voice is dubbed by another actor as I suspect many of the other roles are as well.

However, I don't want to dwell on the quality of the movie. After all, if you enjoy campy B-movies, you might enjoy this one as I did even with it's many flaws.

Instead, I would like to focus on the crimes of Hercules II.

Hercules II, you stand accused of the cinematic crime of stealing from other films. You face nine counts of theft as the following evidence will show. Should you be found guilty, you will forever be branded with the mark of the Movie Vigilante. That's bad news for you Herc because I am your judge, jury and executioner. I'm also the prosecutor. Your film fate hangs in the balance of vigilante justice. Your daddy Zeus can't save you now.

Read the extra vigilant evidence following the video.

I charge that Hercules II stole from the following list of films. *Warning: Spoilers ahead!*
  1. Clash of the Titans (1981) - Hercules chops off a Gorgon's head (see 0:50 of trailer) GUILTY
  2. King Kong (1933) - Hercules transforms into ape and fights dinosaur GUILTY
  3. King Kong (1976) - Hercules as ape, fights snake GUILTY
  4. Superman (1978) - similar opening credits  NOT GUILTY
  5. Star Wars (1977) - similar opening credits NOT GUILTY
  6. Forbidden Planet (1956) - similar monster GUILTY
  7. Hercules in New York (1969) - muscle-bound man with dubbed voice NOT GUILTY
  8. Tron (1982) - the special effects NOT GUILTY
  9. Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) - the Little People GUILTY
Based on this evidence, I find Hercules II guilty on five of the nine counts.  There's not enough evidence to convict on #4, #5, #7 and #8. The others are slam dunk cases.

The most blatant of these ripoffs is the scene in which Hercules chops off a the Gorgon Euryale's head. Anyone that's ever watched Clash of the Titans knows that this is an iconic stop-motion scene animated by the late, great Ray Harryhausen and with much more skill. In it, Perseus chops off Medusa's head. In the scene in Hercules II, it seems to be done in haste and thrown in to ride on Clash's coattails.

Just as obvious are the scenes where Hercules transforms into an animated neon ape and battles a similarly-styled dinosaur and snake. King Kong ko'd a dinosaur in 1933 and did the same to a snake in 1976. Coincidence? I think not!

The fire monster in Hercules II is a dead ringer for the invisible beast in Forbidden Planet.

Finally, the Little People in Hercules II are an obvious reference to the tiny twins in Mothra vs. Godzilla.

Now for my closing argument.

It seems writer and director Luigi Cozzi just took scenes from his favourite movies and just threw them into a big blender, hoping something good would come out of it. That movie, ladies and gentlemen, is Hercules II, The Adventures of Hercules.

I wonder what other movies Cozzi "borrowed" from? If you think I've missed any, let me know. In the meantime, have a look at this PSA by Lou.

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