Oh man. Bad enough that there were a barrage of “sword and sandal” movies out of Italy that were dubbed into Hercules movies, but some of the movies went a step farther. 14 movies were packaged together and given a standard introduction to relate the hero in the movie to the mythical hero. They even gave the movies a theme song. A THEME SONG. What was going on in the TV producers heads back then. It’s mind-boggling. Funny story; I mentioned this to a co-worker and she remembered the theme song. So I guess it did it’s job, but it is still weird. Anyways, on to today’s movie, The Son Of Hercules: The Land Of Darkness.
The plot: While traveling the land, Argolese rescues a young woman named Telca from a lion and escorts her back to her village. King Tedaeo, Telca’s father, says he would offer Argolese the hand in marriage of any girl in the village, but if he wanted to marry Telca, he must first bring back the fang from a nearby dragon. Argolese runs into a witch, who offers him an enchanted spear that will kill the dragon, but she asks for the fang in return. However, when Argolese tells her that he has promised the fang to Tedaeo, she warns him that the magic within the fang will grant a wish, but only once. Argolese returns to the village but finds that it has been pillaged and all of the people are missing except for Babar, the local goof. He tells Argolese that the villagers have all been taken prisoner by the Demulus, a neighbor tribe that lives in a nearby mountain and eats the hearts of their prisoners. Argolese and Babar head out to rescue the villagers but Argolese winds up being captured. Ella, the Queen of the Demulus, orders Argolese to be torn apart by elephants but he survives the ordeal. Ella then tries to seduce Argolese into an alliance but he refuses her as he is in love with Telca. Meanwhile, Telca is trying to convince Ella’s daughter, Melissa, to help her free her people but Melissa instead kills her mother and, using the dragon fang that she stole from Argolese, makes herself the new queen and plans to sacrifice Telca and eat her heart in order to obtain her beauty. Argolese and Babar manage to free the villagers and save Telca then, while Babar leads the villagers away, Argolese unleashes the Demulus’ booby trap which unleashes a lava flow to destroy the city, killing Melissa and the rest of the Demulus, while Argolese, Telca, Babar, and the rest of the villagers are spared.
I can’t get that stupid song out of my head. And the fact that they have an ending credits song is just icing. The movie wasn’t terrible but it definitely wasn’t the greatest either. Again, the acting was pretty over-dramatic and the dubbing was just bad. The story was actually decent but the dialogue…I know it wasn’t necessarily the original dialogue but what the producers dubbed in was just plain bad. The action was your standard fare for the time, with nothing really standing out. I will say the fight between Argolese and the dragon looked pretty stupid, but was entertaining in it’s badness. I don’t know if it was just the copy used in this box set but the filming was pretty bad, with the lighting fluctuating between being too light and too dark in several places. So in a “so bad it’s good” type of way, this can be a little bit entertaining, but even that is a bit of a stretch.
Rating: 2 out of 5