AKA: Hercules Against the Moon Men, Hercules and the Queen of Samar, Maciste vs. the Moon Men, Maciste vs. the Stone Men
Director: Giacomo Gentilomo
Starring: Alan Steel (Sergio Ciani), Jany Clair, Anna Maria Polani, Delia D’Alberti Jean-Pierre Honoré
Music: Carlo Franci
How can you go past a title like Hercules Vs The Moon Men? I couldn’t. This is a film that had to be watched, but admittedly with low expectations. And for three-quarters of this films running time I was highly entertained.
The film opens with an asteroid crashing into the earth’s surface. Many years later (I guess), we see the children of the kingdom of Samar being lead to a mountain where the asteroid fell. A giant maw opens and the children are forced inside. The children are sacrificed to the mountain.
The citizens of the kingdom are upset that Queen Samara (Jany Clair) allows their offspring to be sacrificed this way and behind her back organise for Hercules (Alan Steel) to come to their city and hopefully change things.
The Queen finds out about the plan and sends soldiers to intercept and kill Hercules. Needless to say, they are no match for the world’s strongest man. It must be said that Alan Steel is a light hearted Hercules. He grins a lot of the time and truly seems to be enjoying himself. I prefer Steel to the dour Mark Forest, who in his films, spend most of the time looking like he has painful blisters on his ankles (forgive me, a little bit of sandal humour there). Let’s face it, Hercules films are not high art. They are meant to be fun, and Steel’s performance hits the button.
What is really happening in Samar is that the queen has made a pact with the aliens who live inside the mountain. They want to take over the world, and she is to be their number one human, making her the most powerful ‘person’ on earth. The aliens are a weird bunch. There is a leader, who looks a bit like a robot. And the so called ‘Moon Men’ are walking rocks…er, yeah. Now, what the moon men have to do to take over the world is revive their Moon Princess, who is in suspended animation. She conveniently looks like Queen Samara’s younger sister Billis (Delia D’Alberti). And as you’ve probably already guessed, Billis is to be sacrificed to bring the Moon Princess back to life.It’s Mighty Hercules job to save Billis and the children of Samar from the alien threat. Is he up to the task. You bet!
How does Herc do it? Well, he pushes over a lot of things. He pushes down walls, trees (even though he could walk around them), and statues. And he throws things. He throws the Queens evil soldiers into beer barrels, and even throws around one of the rock monsters into a group of other rock monsters. It’s fun stuff.
There’s a few good setpieces throughout the film. The brawl in the tavern raises a chuckle, and there is a good scene where Herc is chained between two spiked boards that are squeezing in on him (like an Iron Maiden). However, the sandstorm towards the end of the movie is not one of the great setpieces. It might have been good, had it not been so long and downright boring. It is one of the most infuriating pieces of film-making ever, and is guaranteed to have you shouting ‘Get on with it’ at your television set.
If it weren’t for the ending I would rate this film a lot more highly and recommend it as a good example of the genre, but as it stands, I cannot. It is better than many, but the final quarter really drags it down.