STARRING: Sergio Ciani, Jany Clair, Anna Maria Polani, Nando Tamberlani, Delia D'Alberti, Jean-Pierre Honoré, Goffredo Unger

1964, 90 Minutes, Directed by: Giacomo Gentilomo

Description: An alien race from the moon lands in ancient Greece, terrorizing the nearby city of Samar, and taking the population’s children as human sacrifices. If that weren’t enough, the queen of Samar has made an alliance with the aliens in order to rule the world. Now it’s up to Hercules to save the day and free the oppressed townspeople.

The titular moon men what looks like the straggler from a Mexican Day of the Dead festival leading a handful of oversized rock monsters (costumes no doubt later picked up for cheap by the producers of The NeverEnding Story) want to take over the world. Their plan is to revive an evil sorceress when the planets are in alignment “under the evil influence of Uranus” (actual quote).

She must be quite a kick-ass sorceress, because they don’t exactly make out a huge army of alien conquest, even though the movie is set during ancient times and there were of course a lot less people around to conquer back then. Of course we know they will fail because otherwise we would be under alien overlordship today which obviously isn’t the case (unless you count a second Bush Administration here) so talk about plot redundancy!

We also know they will fail because they are up against . . . Hercules, here played by Alan Steel! Or make that Sergio Ciani, a Spaghetti sandal flick regular. Yup, as the less pretentious among us will know, there is more to Italian cinema than Fellini and Cinema Paradiso Italy has been quite productive when it comes to exploitation B-cinema fare throughout the years, of which the so-called Spaghetti westerns are probably the best known. But the Italians have always been keen to exploit whatever genre were popular at the time in Hollywood, from Mad Max rip-offs and zombie flicks to “Biblical” epics like, uhm, this one.

"If anything was made 'under the evil influence of Uranus' it was this movie . . ."

No doubt filmed on the left-over sets of some such Roman epic, Hercules Against the Moon Men plays more like your typical sword & sorcery epic than it does like a sci-fi/fantasy movie. The invaders may be men from, uhm, the moon but we don’t really see a lot of them. Too much Hercules and not enough moon men is the problem here, especially since the moon men have some lines like the Uranus one I've qouted. All Hercules does is rescue people, rescues some more people, get captured, escapes, rescues some other people, and so on.

See, the moon men intend reviving their kick-ass sorceress by using the blood of human sacrifices supplied courtesy of the sexy queen of Samar, the nearby city, and her Palace Guard. I kinda liked the evil queen, but then again I’ve always fallen for the wrong type of woman. Unfortunately we don’t nearly see enough of her or the other baddies. Instead, the movie is sluggish and some sequences (like a pointless sandstorm towards the end) just drag on forever.

The point is that Hercules against the Moon Men is a bad movie (well, just what did you expect with a title like that?), but is also a bad bad movie: the moments of unintentional humor and camp are just too far in-between and the goofiest thing about the movie is its title. (It was obviously a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode.)

Ultimately if anything was made “under the evil influence of Uranus”, it was this movie . . . if you want a fun campy Spaghetti sandal flick rather check out Colossus and the Amazon Queen.

Note: The Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode of Hercules Against the Moonmen can be found on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Volume 7 DVD box set. If you see this movie for whatsoever reason, then it is probably preferable that you see this version!



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