Hercules Against the Barbarians (1964)

Article #202 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 10-4-2001
Posting date: 2-17-2002

Hercules faces off against Genghis Khan’s hordes in the thirteenth century.

I’ve taken to writing notes whenever I watch a sword and sandal movie, because if I rely on my memory, I’m lost. Sword and sandal movies are a sort of mental chinese food; an hour after watching them, you forget what they are about. I haven’t forgotten everything, though; I remembered enough of the plot to write the above description without having to consult a reference book. What I remember the most about watching the movie was that a nagging question popped into my mind; what is the Greek hero Hercules doing facing off against Genghis Khan? I discovered two possible answers; one is that, at a certain point in the movie, someone refers to the hero as having been called Hercules because he’s so strong, thereby implying he is not the REAL Hercules. The other is the fact that the Italian title of this movie has the name “Maciste” prominently displayed in the title; this is therefore really a Maciste movie retitled in the states to cash in on Hercules’ popularity (Maciste must have a real bad press agent out here). Despite the change in time periods, this is pretty standard sword-and-sandal shenanigans, with Mark Forest playing the bogus Hercules.


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