Film Review: The Loves of Hercules (1960)

Also known as: Gli amori di Ercole (Italy), Hercules vs. The Hydra (US TV title)
Release Date: August 19th, 1960 (Italy)
Directed by: Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia
Written by: Luciano Doria
Music by: Carlo Innocenzi
Cast: Jayne Mansfield, Mickey Hargitay

Contact Organisation, Grandi Schermi Italiani, Paris Interproductions (PIP), 98 Minutes

Review:

This horrendous Hercules film is featured in the new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000. It’s not like we couldn’t see this coming, right? I mean, what would a revival of MST3K be without another awful Hercules film thrown on the docket? To be honest, just about every Hercules film that I have seen from the 1960s came to my attention courtesy of MST3K.

Like most Hercules flicks, this thing is a pretty boring dud. It isn’t interesting, the story is thin and weak and the acting is crap. It does have some nice sets though, even if they generally look cheap. Some of the landscapes and overall cinematography is well done, especially for a motion picture of this quality.

There is one fantastic sequence in this movie. It is fantastic because of how bad it is but it is the sort of bad that makes you really smile.

You see, at one point, Hercules is pitted against a Hydra. What makes this awesome, is that the Hydra is a giant stationary thing with three large heads that just bob up and down. Their eyes glow, as their mouths emit some smoke and a ball of fire once in awhile. The Hydra also has pretty inarticulate paws but that doesn’t stop Hercules from climbing under one and acting like it is crushing him and tearing his bronze muscle man flesh. The Hydra looks like a mechanical monster from a funhouse ride or a Mardi Gras float.

Other than the Hydra, the movie is really dull and pointless. For whatever reason, the Hydra shows up in the middle of the film, instead of being the big finale. So after the Hydra is defeated, you get another 45 minutes of boredom. But at least this is nowhere near as bad as sitting through the long sandstorm sequence from Hercules Against the Moon Men.

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