Hercules comes to fight evil Queen Samara, who has allied herself with aliens and is sacrificing her own people in a bid to awaken a moon goddess.
Release Date: May 1965 (USA)
Director: Giacomo Gentilomo
Writer: Arpad DeRiso (story), Nino Scolaro (story)
Cast: Sergio Ciani, Jany Clair, Anna Maria Polani
Country: France, Italy
In 1964 movie director Giacomo Gentilomo, released his latest creation, a movie titled Hercules Against the Moonmen this movie. Like the title implies, the plot of this movie is a fascinating blend of classic mythology and simple science fiction. Hercules Against the Moonmen is an excellent example of the type of movie that falls into the genre of sword and sandal film. In order to be a sword and sandal movie, the film has to have a biblical or mythological theme, be an Italian film, and is often filmed on a tight budget. During this particular movie Hercules, the legendary mortal son of Zeus must protect Greece from a vicious species of aliens who originally called the moon their home.
The movie starts after the moonmen have been living on earth for several years. During their time in the Grecian town of Samar, the moon men have established a reign of terror. The greatest of their offenses is the sacrificing of Greek children. The reason for the sacrifices is because the Moonmen are trying to revive their all-powerful sorceress. Even more terrifying than the actual moonmen is Samar’s queen who has entered into an agreement with the Moon Men, her goal being to become the world’s most powerful woman. The Moon Men’s reign of terror is jeopardized when Hercules shows up in town.
One of most interesting things about Hercules Against the Moonmen is the way Gentilomo was able to blend myths from several different cultures including Roman, Cretan, and Egyptian as well as several science fiction aspects.
The film was filmed in Italian and it has been dubbed for American fans. The film was part of the Mystery Theater 3000. Hercules against the Moonmen is most famous for the scene fans call “Deep Hurting”. Deep Hurting is a five minute scene that features a difficult battle between foes as the deal with not just one another but also a vicious sandstorm. The running time for Hercules against the Moonmen is ninety minutes and the movie is a color film.
While Hercules Against the Moonmen is technically a science fiction movie with lots of fantasy swordplay, it also has more going for it. While there is plenty of action, the director was also able to break up the action with humor.
The title Hercules Against the Moonmen is not the title of the movie in all countries. The original Italian title was Maciste and the Queen of Samar and French versions of the film are called Maciste Against the Men of Stone. Both of these versions of the film feature a hero named Maciste, who is not as familiar to US audiences. In England the movie was marketed by the title of Hercules vs the Moonmen.
The film stars Alan Steel (AKA Sergio Ciani) as Hercules and Janey Clair as the queen of Samar. Hercules Against the Moonmen marked the end of Gentilomo’s film career. When the film was completed, Gentilomo retired from directing to pursue a career as a full-time painter.