Director – Vittorio Cottafavi (100 Horsemen, Amazons of Rome)
Starring – Reg Park (Hercules in the Haunted World, Hercules the Avenger), Fay Spain (The Godfather: Part II, Night Gallery), and Ettore Manni (War of the Zombies, The Devil is a Woman)
Release Date – 1961
Rating – 3/5
Blu Release – 3.5/5
Movie collectors and champions of physical media are always screaming praises for the same companies. I know I’m guilty of jumping on the Blue Underground and Vinegar Syndrome bandwagon but there is so many other great companies giving movie fans some seriously underrated releases. For sometime now I’ve been reviewing the blu releases from The Film Detective for sometime yet they never really come up in conversation which is a shame. They’ve released some fun films.
A few weeks ago I received the press release for Hercules and the Captive Women which was originally released as Hercules Conquers Atlantis. It looked fun so I requested a review copy. When it showed up with Doctor X I figured it was going to be a fun double feature.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows Hercules who finds himself shipwrecked on an island where a beautiful woman is being sacrificed to a powerful being. He kills him and rescues the woman where she takes him to her home in Atlantis. The sacrifice is actually the daughter of the queen who was sacrificing her in order to use magic to keep the island hidden behind a fog from the outside world. Hercules saving her doesn’t stop them from trying to sacrifice her again in order to hide the island forcing Hercules to put a stop to them for good. **Spoiler Alert**
I didn’t go into Hercules and the Captive Women expecting a movie that will leave a lasting impression but I was looking forward to seeing an older fantasy film that was fun and cheesy. The film was far from perfect but I enjoyed it as it was. However, if you don’t like the movie as it is you have the option of watching the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 episode riffing it in the special features!
The acting in this one is pretty campy. The film is dubbed, obviously, but audio aside the cast hams up the screen. They do get into their characters but the acting is laughable at times. These performances were great and their high energy, for everyone except Reg, made the fun a blast to watch.
The story for this one fits in perfectly with the films of the 60s and 70s especially for a fantasy film. The legend of Atlantis has mesmerized movie goers for decades and seeing the legendary Hercules find his way into this story is fun. With that being said, the story is painfully predictable and rather repetitive. The formula for the story is one you’ve seen countless times especially from this era in cinema.
Finally, the film has some fun effects. We get a horrible creature costume, some fun “strength” gags, and a small drip of blood. Overall, Hercules and the Captive Women is a cheesy good time. It’s pretty rough but fans of old fantasy films will relaly enjoy this one. The blu looks great as well making it a must own for cult movie fans. Check it out.
Full Feature, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K): Hercules and the Captive Women
Hercules and The Conquest of Cinema: A Swords and Sandals Documentary
Audio Commentary by film critic, Tim Lucas
The Duel of the Titans: full color insert booklet with an essay by C. Courtney Joyner
Introduction by MST3K writer and co-star, Frank Conniff