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  Hercules Unchained
Year: 1959
Director: Petro Francisci
Stars: Steve Reeves, Sylva Koscina, Sylvia Lopez, Gabriele Antoni, Primo Carneva
Genre: FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 3 votes)
Review: When Hercules returns to his native land with wife Iole (Koscina), he's pitched straight into a conflict between two feuding brothers; one of whom refuses to relinquish the monarchy as agreed one year earlier. Hercules is charged with resolving this dispute, and there are no prizes for guessing this is precisely what he does.There should, however, be some form of reward for viewers who possess the fortitude to witness his eventual triumph at the end of a very long 97 minutes.

Most of the blame for this lack-lustre production must go to Petro Francisci, who virtually ignores the mythological and supernatural possibilities of the genre, and pits Hercules against rather unimaginitive earthbound opponents, who include pro-wrestler Primo Carneva.

Aided by his trusty band of men - 'top boy' is a grossly underweight Ulysses(Antoni) - Hercules overcomes a temporary bout of memory loss and escapes the fate of his amorous predecessors who failed to outwit the evil Queen Omphale (Lopez). After that, it's merely a matter of negotiating yawn-inducing encounters with man and beast, before all is well with the world again.

Reasons to be cheerful? Well, the presence of Koscina and Lopez certainly lights up the screen, and you're guaranteed to marvel at some wonderful set designs, orchestrated by the visual brilliance of Mario Bava.
Reviewer: Steve Langton

 

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