HERCULES AGAINST THE SONS OF THE SUN (1964)
Article #563 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 9-29-2002
Posting date: 2-22-2003
Hercules helps some Incan rebels defeat their tyrannical usurper king.
You wouldn’t believe my surprise when I checked the original Italian title of this sword-and-sandal flick and saw the name of Ercole rather than Maciste; this is actually a Hercules movie. Only, what is he doing in Peru at the time of the Incas? All I can say is that he must have gotten really lost. Actually, this movie doesn’t have a lot of the conventions I know and love from these movies; no evil queen attempts to seduce him, he doesn’t fight a single fanged beastie (looking at some llamas doesn’t count), he doesn’t lift one large rock over his head and throw it at anyone (he just barely lifts a couple of large rocks a few inches off the ground, but this hardly impresses me), and not once does he bend any iron bars to escape from a prison. So what does the movie have in place of this? Talk. Endless talk. A couple of tepid action sequences and then some more talk. You’re grateful for the big fight scene at the end of the movie, but by then it’s too late to make up for the fact that the first eighty minutes emphasized costume design and dance choreography over fight choreography. Mark Forest plays Hercules; his great talent was in making it look like his every act of strength was really, really hard.