Sunday, 3 November 2013

Hercules Against the Moonmen (1964)

Some film-makers are not content to pit Hercules against such mundane foes as sorcerors or mythical beasts.  They want their Hercules to face a challenge that is truly out of this world.  Or at least, that's how I like to imagine this picture came about.

In this film, Herc's enemies are ... well, if you can't work it out from the title of the film, then I sincerely hope you don't operate heavy machinery for a living.  The lunar invaders aren't any little green men, though: they're giant rock creatures.  Or at least, 'slightly larger than human' rock creatures.  Alas, some of the menace of these otherworldly invaders is lost when it becomes clear how cumbersome and slow their costumes make them.

Only the rank and file moonmen have this craggy appearance, however.  The nobles - that is, the ones who have to deliver dialogue and do more acting than lumbering around - appear basically human.  This becomes a plot point as they ally with a wicked queen, promising to make her the most powerful human on the planet if she hands over her sister to them.  The sister, you see, is a spitting image of their own lost queen, and they plan to place the queen's spirit in this new body.  The human queen agrees, presumably because she is too foolish to wonder how powerful the 'most powerful human' will actually be, once the moonmen take over.

Most of the actual film itself is relatively average low budget sword and sandal stuff, and not very memorable.  Sadly, the one truly noteworthy thing about is not a positive one: at about the 70 minute mark most of the cast gets stuck in a sandstorm, from which they don't emerge until the 83rd minute ... of an 86 minute film. Suffice it to say, the actual "climax" of the film is a bit rushed!

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