Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Hercules in New York

Hercules in New York  (1969)
A professional film critic would rather bite his own tongue off, or jump headfirst down the aisle stairs of the theatre, then criticise or watch this film. Yet, while currently scoring 2.8 on IMDB, Hercules in New York is a spectacular experience. The story follows the Greek demi-god, Hercules (Arnold Schwarzenegger) as he is suffering from boredom while on Mount Olympus. He asks his father for a vacation to Earth, yet his request is refused. However an accident results in Hercules being hurled into.......wait for it.....New York City, and intentional or unintentional hilarity ensues. Bodybuilding, the Mafia, brawling sailors and a fight with a grizzly bear (which is a man in a bear costume), its all here as Hercules tries to make sense of his new surroundings. Inevitably he falls in love with Helen (Deborah Loomis), the daughter of a college professor. Meanwhile, back in Olympus, Zeus and the Greek gods try to bring Hercules back.
This was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first ‘acting’ job and it is certainly not a debut to be proud of. Funnily, his Austrian accent was so strong that his lines were dubbed, and my god its horribly fantastic. His physical presence is also hilarious. With his monstrous muscles from his career as a professional bodybuilder, he looks completely out of place in New York. This is one guy you don’t want to mess with. Yet, he is by far not the worst actor. That award goes to the Arnold Stang’s performance as an annoying short-arse, sidekick Pretzie. His voice, is acting and his direction is terrible, it just plain bad.
Hercules in New York’s director, Arthur Allan Seidelman, has made a film that is entertainingly bad. The acting is rubbish, the story is stupid, the dialogue is written by a 5-year-old and the overall production is very cheap (the Greek costumes look to be from a fancy dress shop) . All this bundles up to form a package that is so bad, that its hilarious and a “fantastic” debut for Arnold. But to be honest, what do you expect when the film’s poster looks like this: 

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