Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hercules in New York (1969)

Director: Arthur Allan Seidelman

Writer: Aubrey Wisberg

Composer: John Balamos

Starring: Arnold Stang, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Deborah Loomis, James Karen, Ernest Graves, Tanny McDonald, Harold Burstein, Merwin Goldsmith, george Bartenieff, Taina Elg, Michael Lipton, Tony Carroll, Richard Herd

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Boys! Girls! It's Big Fun!

Plot: After many centuries, Hercules gets bored living in Olympus (the home of the great Greek gods) and decides to move to... New York. But obviously, it is not easy for a man who lived in ancient Greece to get used to modern life. So, things get a little tricky, especially when Zeus sends a few gods to bring his semi-god son back to mount Olympus.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Maybe.

Ever since I heard of this film thirty something years ago I've been wanting to see it and last night I finally gave it a shot.  Yeah, it's bad but it's bad in a fun way.  The DVD I have has two English dub options and I chose the one with Arnold's voice.  I might have to sample the one where he is dubbed.  It's hilarious seeing him so young and inexperienced as an actor.  He's pretty bad but that adds to the fun of it all.  Technically, if it's bad it's in a fun way like the scenes with Zeus on his thrown in a palatial garden near a wall, over which you can hear the auto traffic of NYC.  Some of the actors are pretty bad but the majority of them are great considering it's a low budget picture made to capitalize on Mr. Universe.  The video below will give you some highlights but it's really worth it to watch the whole thing to see Schwarzenegger in all of his naive glory.  I guess it's no surprise that this is also the debut of the director, Seidelman, and it's interesting to see that he's had a long career in the director's chair and he's still working. On the flipside, it's the last picture for writer Wisberg who had a long career having written a slew of B-movies of all kinds of fun genres.  Most of the talent behind the camera didn't do much outside of this picture but you'll find a few of the actors still working or none at all.  Fans of RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (1985) will easily recognize James Karen.  Seeing him was a treat.

The DVD from Trimark contains the original trailer and teaser with audio tracks in English (two, one with Arnold's voice and the other with his voice dubbed by another actor), Spanish, French and German.  I'm glad I finally saw it.  I might get around to seeing it again someday.  Having the (inexpensive) DVD with various language dubs helps and the next time I might spend the film cycling through the various audio tracks for added laughs.  If you can pick it up on the very cheap (you can always find it for under ten bucks and sometimes for half that) it's worth the purchase for a night of cheesy fun.

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