Review:  Hercules, Samson and Ulysses (Italy 1964)

This middling peplum is an adequate representative of the genre, mostly of interest due to the biblical connection.  Kirk Morris (aka Adriano Bellini) plays Hercules this time around, right in the middle of his lengthy series as the character, following on from Steve Reeves’s successful run.  Morris isn’t quite as jolly as Reeves, but is probably a little more fun than Reg Park. Here, unfortunately, the biblical trappings overshadow the usual sword and sorcery, so aside from a truly cheap and ridiculous scene where Hercules and his crew battle a sea monster which appears to consist entirely of underlit stock footage of a sea lion, there’s no mystic fun to speak of.

Instead, we get the stiff Iloosh Khoshabe (looking like a muscle-bound Rock Hudson with a mullet) as an extremely stiff Samson, Liana Orfei as a sexy but unsubtle Delilah, and lots of scenes where the Philistines torment the local Jewish population (including their weirdly blonde and fair-haired children) before Hercules and Samson finally team up beat the bad guys.  Ulysses doesn’t get to do much, but there is at least one solid lion-wrestling scene to justify the film’s tidy run time, as well as a lengthy segment in which the two mythical titans duke it out in a surprisingly destructible ancient temple.

1 1/2 out of 4 stars (Below average).

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