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Author Topic: Hercules 1 & 2 (Luigi Cozzi, 1983/1984)  (Read 3755 times)

IL COMMISSARIO

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Hercules 1 & 2 (Luigi Cozzi, 1983/1984)
« on: 15 Jul 2007 - 16:48 »

HERCULES- 1983

Lou Ferrigno, William Berger, Sybil Danning, Gianni Garko

The adventures and trials of the Greek mythological hero are told in this, the first in the short lived resurgence of the Italian peplum movies that were immensely popular in Italy and the US during the 60s.

Luigi Cozzi directs this laughably bad Italian peplum in an effort to apparently revive the genre. The effects are awful and not in a particularly fun way. They’re so brazen and in your face, it’s as if the filmmakers believe they’re making the Italian equivalent to STAR WARS. You’ll be in total awe of its badness made all the more shocking that MGM distributed the film wide in ‘83.

The sequel was shot back to back but this was such a turkey, it went straight to tape. But to be fair, the effects utilized here had never been previously done or attempted in Italian cinema so it’s a good try anyway.

Lou Ferrigno, whose voice is dubbed, is perfectly cast as the Greek mythological hero. Ferrigno would also headline the sequel as well as partake in two more Italian peplums-Bruno Mattei’s THE 7 MAGNIFICENT GLADIATORS and Enzo Castellari’s SINBAD OF THE 7 SEAS, both 1987.…..and both awful. Ferrigno will always be remembered as THE INCREDIBLE HULK.

Sybil Danning provides some juicy eye candy as an evil seductress. A popular grindhouse favorite, Danning has appeared in CHAINED HEAT, THE PHANTOM EMPIRE, WARRIOR QUEEN, THE TOMB, HOWLING 2 and REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS among others as well as getting her own video series called Adventure video where she presented kung fu and italian crime flicks.

Spaghetti vets William Berger plays the main villain King Menos. Spaghetti western hero Gianni Garko has a minor role as well.

Director Cozzi, while an admitted sci-fi and monster movie buff, is suited for Saturday Matinee style pictures. One of his best is the wonderfully cheesy STARCRASH starring Caroline Munro as Stella Starr, Marjoe Gortner, Joe Spinell, Christopher Plummer and David Hasselhoff(!) An obvious take on STAR WARS, the effects are plentiful and even feature light sabre style weapons and a space attack on a battle station at the conclusion. Probably his most accomplished feature would be the 1972 giallo THE KILLER MUST KILL AGAIN. He also directed the gory ALIEN clone CONTAMINATION which found itself on Britain's video Nasties list during the mid 80s witch hunts in the UK.


HERCULES 2- 1984

Lou Ferrigno, William Berger

Here, Hercules must retrieve Zeus’s 7 magical thunderbolts (in the form of various monsters and supernatural villains) to battle the evil Menos once again.

Even more craptastic fun from Luigi Cozzi. This one is even more brazen than the first film successfully raping CLASH OF THE TITANS in the process in a redux of the Medusa sequence. Here, it’s nearly a note for note copy without the suspense and minus decent stop motion animation. Ferrigno does his best to imitate Harry Hamlin’s acting. There appears to be a special effect lifted from FORBIDDEN PLANET. An electrical monster appears that is identical to the one in that movie and it moves in the same way.

Berger returns as well. There’s nearly twice as many effects as the first film and they’re still just as funny. The opening credits also violates SUPERMAN 2’s opening credits sequence with the titles whooshing past the camera with light trails and accompanied by clips from the first movie in case you missed it. The final battle in outer space must be seen to be believed. Words cannot do it justice. Herc transforms into a neon outlined cartoon giant gorilla while Berger changes into a likewise neon snake in addition to slinging special effects at each other.

Shot back to back with the first but released direct to video, it's actually a bit better than the first film, but that really isn't saying much at all. Both deliver some very funny moments and are much easier to watch than the atrocious SINBAD OF THE SEVEN SEAS also starring Ferrigno and directed with no style whatsoever by the at one time reliable Enzo Castellari. Mattei's SEVEN MAGNIFICENT GLADIATORS fares a little better as this also had Ferrigno, Brad Harris, Sybil Danning and Dan Vadis in his final movie before being killed in an auto accident after a supposed drug overdose.

NOTE: This may have played a small number of venues as I have seen theatrical posters for this movie. If it did in fact get theatrical play, it was very limited.

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vigilanteforce

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Re: Hercules 1 & 2 (Luigi Cozzi, 1983/1984)
« Reply #1 on: 27 Jul 2007 - 11:22 »

Lou Ferrigno, whose voice is dubbed, is perfectly cast as the Greek mythological hero. Ferrigno would also headline the sequel as well as partake in two more Italian peplums-Bruno Mattei’s THE 7 MAGNIFICENT GLADIATORS and Enzo Castellari’s SINBAD OF THE 7 SEAS, both 1987.…..and both awful. Ferrigno will always be remembered as THE INCREDIBLE HULK.

Mattei directed THE SEVEN MAGNIFICENT GLADIATORS for Cannon's Italian branch in 1983, not 1987. He was also considered to direct one of Cozzi's HERCULES films but was rejected after he submitted a pornographic screenplay. 

Probably his most accomplished feature would be the 1972 giallo THE KILLER MUST KILL AGAIN.
That was a 1975 film.
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IL COMMISSARIO

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Re: Hercules 1 & 2 (Luigi Cozzi, 1983/1984)
« Reply #2 on: 27 Jul 2007 - 20:24 »

Thanks for the corrections Vigilante, I pasted those and a few others from my personal DVD catalog which I typed up from memory without checking for mistakes. I just recently bought KILLER MUST KILL AGAIN. I had seen bits of it at a friends house and thought it was impressive considering Cozzi's other movies save for maybe STARCRASH.

Saw HERCULES (1983) in the theater and as a kid I couldn't understand why so many people were getting up and walking out during the scene where Herc battles the guy in the bear suit. Didn't see MAGNIFICENT GLADIATORS until '87 so that must be where I got that from. Have you seen the SINBAD movie Castellari did with Ferrigno? I couldn't make it through the whole movie. I love bad movies but that was just excrutiating to sit through. I wouldn't mind giving it another go somewhere down the line though.
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vigilanteforce

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Re: Hercules 1 & 2 (Luigi Cozzi, 1983/1984)
« Reply #3 on: 27 Jul 2007 - 22:07 »

I love Mattei and Castellari but I still haven't had the guts to watch 3 MAGNIFICENT GLADIATORS or SINBAD. Castellari himself hates SINBAD and states it is one of the worst movies ever made so that should mean something... It isn't my kind of film anyway.

You mentioned KILLER MUST KILL AGAIN- that is an excellent movie, love it!
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IL COMMISSARIO

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Re: Hercules 1 & 2 (Luigi Cozzi, 1983/1984)
« Reply #4 on: 27 Jul 2007 - 22:13 »

I love Mattei and Castellari but I still haven't had the guts to watch 3 MAGNIFICENT GLADIATORS or SINBAD. Castellari himself hates SINBAD and states it is one of the worst movies ever made so that should mean something... It isn't my kind of film anyway.

You mentioned KILLER MUST KILL AGAIN- that is an excellent movie, love it!

You mean 7...you're not missing much. I'd buy it if it comes out. I'm surprised considering MGM released HERC 1 & 2 on a double feature disc and released SINBAD OF THE 7 SEAS separately. Curious they didn't make this a double as well. 7 MAGNIFICENT is quite funny. But if you didn't like the two HERCULES movies (even in a bad way) you probably wouldn't like 7 MAGNIFICENT GLADIATORS.
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vigilanteforce

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Re: Hercules 1 & 2 (Luigi Cozzi, 1983/1984)
« Reply #5 on: 27 Jul 2007 - 23:38 »

To be honest, I only have 7 MAGNIFICENT in my collection because it is a Mattei film. Have 3 different versions: The japanese VHS which looks great but is fullscreen, the fullscreen greek tape and a widescreen DVD-R. Haven't seen any of the HERCULES films (you should better ask miss Kalibre about that stuff- she's an expert in Hercules films) but I intend to give 7 MAGNIFICENT a try soon. Can't be much worse that NERO & POPPEA- AN ORGY OF POWER :-\
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IL COMMISSARIO

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Re: Hercules 1 & 2 (Luigi Cozzi, 1983/1984)
« Reply #6 on: 28 Jul 2007 - 01:44 »

To be honest, I only have 7 MAGNIFICENT in my collection because it is a Mattei film. Have 3 different versions: The japanese VHS which looks great but is fullscreen, the fullscreen greek tape and a widescreen DVD-R. Haven't seen any of the HERCULES films (you should better ask miss Kalibre about that stuff- she's an expert in Hercules films) but I intend to give 7 MAGNIFICENT a try soon. Can't be much worse that NERO & POPPEA- AN ORGY OF POWER :-\

I have over a hundred peplums. My HERCULES double feature is signed by Ferrigno.
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WilsonBros

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Re: Hercules 1 & 2 (Luigi Cozzi, 1983/1984)
« Reply #7 on: 15 Aug 2007 - 12:13 »

The shot of the bear leaving Earth in the first movie is absolutely hysterical.  It obviously wasn't intended to be as such...  ;D

Kev W
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Inspector Tanzi

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Re: Hercules 1 & 2 (Luigi Cozzi, 1983/1984)
« Reply #8 on: 02 Dec 2014 - 18:50 »

Out January on Blu Ray from Koch in Germany.

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