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Hercules Against the Moon Men / The Witch's Curse

3.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Hercules Against the Moon Men (1964, 86 min.) - It's muscles versus monsters when a meteor-like object crashes into the ancient country of Samar, where Moon Men set up headquarters inside "The Mountain of Death" and demand hundreds of human sacrifices. Evil sexpot Queen Samara secretly joins the Moon Men after being promised she'll be "The Most Powerful Women on Earth" once their dead queen returns to life. And it just so happens that the dead Moon Queen is a dead ringer for pure-in-heart Princess Billis, whose blood must be given to the Moon Queen when the planets align and everyone is "under the evil of Uranus." Fortunately their dastardly plans are spoiled by Hercules, who also confronts a gorilla-like beast with gigantic fangs, the Moon Men's "huge deformed rock-like creatures," and the Queen's spike-covered torture machine. But when Herc isn't looking, Samara slips him an aphrodisiac that turns the muscular superhero into her own personal love slave! This colorful sci-fi sword and sandal fantasy is one of the most enjoyably wild and wacky of the Italian Muscleman movies, presented here in gorgeous widescreen "Cromoscope!" "C'mon men, let's storm the palace!" "The Witch's Curse" (1963, 75 min.) - When the villagers of a Scottish town believe an innocent woman is the reincarnation of a witch once burned at the stake, Maciste sets things right by going to Hell, literally, in the 1963 feature pitting Kirk Morris against The Witch's Curse!

There's more well-muscled beef on display here than at a cattle farm in Texas, but for fans of camp/cult titles or action with a mythological bent, this double bill of Italian-made sword-and-sandal adventure films will provide some old-school thrills. In the widescreen Hercules Against the Moon Men, Alan Steel (née Sergio Ciani) steps into the toga as the World's Mightiest Mortal (though in the original Italian version, he was called Maciste) to defeat a hot-blooded queen in cahoots with a race of evil invaders from the Moon. And in Riccardo Freda's The Witch's Curse, Kirk Morris is Maciste, who must travel to Hell in order to save a woman possessed by the spirit of a dead witch. While the atrocious English dubbing renders these films into laugh fodder (Moon Men made for one of the funnier "experiments" on Mystery Science Theater 3000), their lush photography, frenetic pacing, and moments of pure budget surrealism (the ape creature in Moon Men, the visit to Hell in Curse) are solid reminders to both novice and veteran viewers of the Italian film industry's inventiveness and eye for spectacle, as well as the unadulterated fun these films provide. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

  • Sword and Sandal Style Trailers for "Hercules against the Moon Men," "Alone Against Rome," "The Avenger," "Damon and Pythias," "Gladiators Seven," "Goliath and the Sins of Babylon," "Goliath and the Vampires," "Hercules of the Desert," "Mighty Ursus," "The Mongols," "Sabu and the Magic Ring" and "Son of Samson"
  • Muscleman Poseidon pummels a Monster Monkey in the Superstrong Short Subject "The Terror of Rome Against the Son of Hercules"
  • Maciste declares war on an Underground City of Albino Evil in the 32-minute Muscleman Featurette "Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules"
  • Gallery of Sword and Sandal Exploitation Art

Product Details

  • Actors: Mark Forest, Moira Orfei, Paul Wynter, Gianni Garko, Enrico Glori
  • Directors: Antonio Leonviola, Giacomo Gentilomo, Mario Caiano, Riccardo Freda
  • Writers: Antonio Leonviola, Albert Valentin, Alfonso Brescia, Angelo Sangermano
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 15, 2002
  • Run Time: 163 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006IUIJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,774 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hercules Against the Moon Men / The Witch's Curse" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First of all, let's not kid ourselves--"Hercules Against the Moon Men " ( HAMM ) and the "Witch's Curse" ( WC )are pretty bad movies. However, for people like me who remember those dubbed, Italian "spear and sandal" epics from the early 60s, these films still provide good fun. If you are expecting big-budget production values, plots that make sense and great special effects--stay away !

HAMM gives us "Alan Steel" as Hercules--he certainly has the physique but, for me, Steve Reeves was, and always will be, the best Hercules. Reeves was always knocked for his acting--well, Steel makes Reeves look like Olivier ! Basically Herc has to overcome one obstacle after another to battle forces from the Moon ( don't expect too much here ) and the evil queen who is under their control. Probably the highlight is when our hero is captured, and placed between two slabs of wood with huge knives pointing toward him--as those nasty points get closer, Steel gets to flex his muscles all over the place. This is a classic moment for Hercules' fans. Actually, I found the finale of the film very quick and disappointing. Overall, if you like a healthy serving of cheese and muscle, HAMM delivers.

As another reviewer has pointed out, an error occurred in the transfer of HAMM--figures seem abnormally stretched--if a corrected version is released will my friends at Amazon send a replacement ( hint--hint )? Added note, dated 15 July 2006--I guess the answer to my last question is a resounding "NO" !

WC is even more outlandish--it is 17th century Scotland--everyone is heavily clothed ( Scotland can be chilly ! )--and here comes muscle-bound Kirk Morris running around in briefs. This is one of many smiles you will get from this "so bad it's good" movie.
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By Mark on November 7, 2006
Format: DVD
I, like many, have seen this film more times than I would openly admit and, I must say that this is the BEST EVER version of Hercules against the Moon Men I've seen. I am referring to the picture quality. It is very sharp. I did not notice the "compressed aspect" as has been mentioned in other reviews here. The Witch's Curse does not look as clean unfortunately but, it also is the best version I've seen -with respect to picture quality.

There are some nice extras and I am very happy with the overall item.
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Format: DVD
Well, the only thing wrong with my review title is the fact that this isn't really a Hercules movie. In actuality, the hero of this widescreen testosterone fest is a fella by the name of Maciste, a musclebound do-gooder who's cinematic exploits date back to the silent era. When this film was brought over to The States, it was decided that Hercules would be a far more commercial name to exploit, so through the magic of dubbing, Maciste was turned into the son of Zeus. And thus, Hercules Against the Moon Men was born.

To make matters even more confusing, the star of the film, Alan Steel, isn't really Alan Steel, he's Sergio Ciani, a former stand-in for Steve Reeves who eventually started getting lead roles in Italian sword and sandal flicks throughout the 1960's. He looks to be having a grand old time throughout the movie, and his enthusiasm becomes quite infectious. A good thing, too, as the remainder of the film is a bit of a bore.

Hercules/ Maciste is called into action to free the village of Samar from a seven foot tall moon man who now lives in "The Mountain of Death." With the aid of the wicked, yet nefarious Queen Samara, the moon man is sacrificing villagers by the ox drawn cartload. Along the way, Herc/Mac must battle a snaggle toothed ape monster, face the tortures of Queen Samara, and battle an army of giant moon rock monsters.

Unfortunately, it all sounds more fun than it actually is. The moon man and monster elements are kept to a minimum and it's pretty much the same old toga heroics, otherwise. There's also a sandstorm sequence near the end that just goes on and on and on.

Something Weird's presentation is gorgeous, however. Presented in 2.35:1 widescreen, the picture is nice and sharp and colorful.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you love bad films - I mean really bad films - this double feature is incredible. The gladiator cycle of the 1950's and 1960's that started with Steve Reeve's very decent Hercules was running out of ideas and was becoming increasingly far fetched in plots. In Hercules versus the Moon Men, we enter science fiction territory as Herc battles silly masked aliens, cardboard rock monsters, and an ape creature with a serious lower jaw problem (how does he eat?). There's also a dust storm that lasts forever. In Witch's Curse we are in Mario Bava's Black Sabbath territory as our hero Maciste is in 17th century Scotland (without much clothes, where people have no Scottish accents) and literally goes to hell to save an innocent woman accused of witchcraft (the first thing he meets is a lion - how does he eat?). Logic and consistency are never allowed to stand in the way of advancing the plot. If you demand things in movies like believability or halfway decent acting, these are not for you. Otherwise, enjoy. The DVD is loaded with tons of tongue in cheek extras but no commentary - you get to supply that on your own. This has "MST3K fodder" written all over it.
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