Hercules in New York

Hercules In New York, RAF Industries 1970

Before watching the movie:

According to the blurb, this movie is pretty much its title. Hercules gets bored of Olympus and goes to New York City, where crazy things happen. I found this movie looking through YouTube’s movie collection, and I’m interested in seeing if the fact that it’s not listed under Comedies is an oversight on the part of Youtube, or on the part of the writers.

During/after watching the movie:

Hercules, bored with Mount Olympus, wants to go to Earth and live among mortals again. He argues with Zeus upon this point, and ultimately goes against Zeus’s wishes, sent by a lightning bolt thrown by Zeus. That’s almost as confusing as it sounds. Once on Earth, he is soon in New York, and meets Pretzie, a pretzel vendor who helps him adjust to the world he doesn’t fit in with anymore. Hercules soon finds himself a prize wrestler, and courting the daughter of a Classics professor, with several contrived shows of strength along the way. But Zeus sends other gods to try to persuade him to return, and Hera conspires with Nemesis to maximize Hercules’s punishment.

If you don’t expect much out of the plot, you get a good experience. It’s purely an excuse to play with mythology and Hollywood’s darling strongman, but it’s not bad as one. The gods tend to be played in a campy way and often with stilted speech, but Pluto is intriguing to watch as a slippery English gentleman and Mercury is pleasantly earnest in his scene.

As far as comedy… I guess it is one, but a lot of it is lost on me. Most of it is based on Hercules not understanding 20th century America, which evaporates halfway through the second act. The biggest laugh I got out of this movie was at how bad the bear costume was for the scene where Hercules wrestles a bear, which has nothing to do with the plot.

This film has almost no music, and I think there’s only three different arrangements of one theme. If the cover picture I found didn’t note “Arnold’s original audio track,” I would have thought that no dubbing took place on this movie at all, considering the poor audio. Adding to that a ton of bad handheld camera work, I’ve seen student films with better production value than this.

Overall, this film has a lot of sins to overlook, especially for me, as a film student and mythology student. Though actually, the mythology is better than other films I’ve seen that I liked better. Altogether, it was a fun movie that I wouldn’t mind not having seen even this time.

See this movie: if you need a plot to go with your musclemen.

Don’t see this movie: if Cheese gives you indigestion.

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