HERCULES IN THE VALE OF WOE (1961)
(a.k.a. HERCULES IN THE VALLEY OF WOE/MACISTE AGAINST HERCULES IN THE VALLEY OF WOE)
Article #450 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 6-8-2002
Posting date: 11-1-2002
Two wrestling promoters travel in time to ancient Greece, where they pit Maciste against Hercules in a wrestling match.
Considering the sheer volume of sword-and-sandal epics that came out of Italy in the later fifties/early sixties, I’m not surprised that at least one of them would be a comic take on the subject. I just wouldn’t expect it to have the words “Vale of Woe” in the title. It’s not even a case of two comic characters popping up in a regular sword-and-sandal story; in this movie, practically everyone is a comedian. Actually, despite (or maybe because) of the substandard dubbing, it is sporadically funny, but that may be pure mathematics; it throws out so many gags that some of them are bound to stick. In fact, some of the jokes work simply because the movie’s moved on to the next one before you’re given a chance to dwell much on it. Still, it is one of those movies you can make frequent visits to the refrigerator in the assurance that you’re not missing much.