HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
StageFright
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
Suicide Squad, The
One Night in Miami...
   
 
Newest Articles
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
   
 
  Hercules Returns Love-A-Dub-Dub
Year: 1993
Director: David Parker
Stars: David Argue, Michael Carman, Mary Coustas, Bruce Spence, Brendon Suhr, Des Mangan, Sally Patience, Matthew King
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Brad McBain (David Argue) works in an executive position at Australia's biggest cinema chain, under the megolamaniacal boss, Sir Michael Kent (Michael Carman), but he is far from happy. As he sits through yet another meeting where the rights to distribute the latest Rambo films - Rambo meets Rocky, Rambo meets Bambi, Rambo eats Bambi - have been secured, his thoughts wander to setting up business on his own. There is an abandoned cinema in the city that he has his eye on, and if he could find the staff he could show the films he wants to there: but Sir Michael doesn't like rivals...

When Woody Allen made What's Up Tiger Lily? back in the sixties, he was spawning an idea that has resurfaced in film and television at irregular intervals ever since, that is, take an old movie and re-dub it with comedy dialogue. So it was with Hercules Returns where writer and cult film buff Des Mangan rescripted an old Italian sword and sandal epic called Ercole, Sansone, Maciste e Ursus gli invincibili, which mixed up a variety of musclebound heroes in one unlikely stew. Where much of the knack with crafting something truly funny out of this technique can be too much to last for a whole film (even Woody was stretched), Mangan gets it just right.

The bookends, where Brad does indeed open up that cinema, are fair but not fall down hilarious (apart from the sign gag). Here we see him assemble a three-person team of projectionist Bruce Spence, publicist Mary Coustas and himself and set about preparing for opening night, where they have the bright idea to premiere with the final film the cinema showed before it was closed last time. This is the Italian epic, but Sir Michael has switched the cans on them and given them a non-dubbed version, spelling disaster for the trio, which is a long winded way of explaining why they have to provide the voices and sound effects themselves.

Mangan and his cohorts had toured the world with this performance before he had opted to film it, and it does feel as if every line has been carefully fashioned for the biggest audience response. You are pretty much guaranteed a laugh out loud moment every few lines, giving this a higher hit rate than many comedies that came out of Hollywood and if the humour was cheerfully broad, that didn't stop it being authentically hilarious enough times to make this well worth your while. Don't try to follow the film within a film's plot, as although it does make sense in its way, you're likely to miss a joke or two.

Hercules becomes an American idiot, more keen on following his career as a nightclub singer than following the desires of Zeus, and rides off (in the wrong direction) to meet Labia who he saves from drowning and is ordered to marry as a result. Neither are keen, especially as Labia's heart belongs to Testiculi, so it begins to get complicated from here on in as the story introduces mithering Samson, who loses his hair of course, Scottish brawler Ursus, and too camp to be true Machismo. If this sounds as if Mangan was going for easy laughs, he is to an extent, but there's a wit and fine sense of the ridiculous here that sparkles in daft lines like "I'll fight you on one condition - that you lower your nipples." Hercules Returns doesn't outstay its welcome, if anything it's over too quickly, and one's only regret is that this lot didn't return themselves for a second helping. Music by Phil Judd.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2386 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: