Adventures in peplum
Hercules and the Captive Women (1961) is quite something. Bodybuilder Reg Park takes a slacker approach to Hercules; Fay Spain chews the scenery as the Queen of Atlantis. No matter how dire (check out the strings on the monster vulture!), so many of these Italian muscleman flicks of the 60s had opulent sets, long tracking shots showing hundreds of extras, fascinating script deviations into science fiction and fantasy. They’re also wildly homoerotic, forcing this straight guy to question his motives for watching them (ahem). This one examines the fall of Uranus as a ‘real’ god. And it’s pronounced “your anus,” as it should be. Hercules, trucking his barely clad butt into the village square, is informed by the local princess, “Today is the celebration of Uranus!” At which point all the oiled, beefy young half-naked men smile and applaud. There’s also a comedy relief dwarf — this appears to be a recurring character in these movies — who Hercules sits on his knee, ready to be spanked. I tell ya, I could watch a hundred of these things.
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