CANNON MONTH: The Adventures of Hercules (1985)

EDITOR’S NOTE: We originally wrote about this movie on February 1, 2019 and are bringing it back — with some edits and new additions.

Luigi Cozzi decided to bring back Lou Ferrigno to be Hercules one more time. Now, Hercules must search for the seven thunderbolts of Zeus, which have been stolen by renegade gods. There was only one trouble: he only had three weeks to film this one, so plenty of the story is padded out by showing scenes from the last movie.

Actually, according to Austin Trunick’s The Cannon Film Guide Volume 1: 1980-1984 — and Luigi Cozzi — Ferrigno had been lured to Italy to do reshoots for Seven Magnificent Gladiators when Menahem Golan came up with a plan to get him to stay for four weeks instead of two and secretly make a sequel. No one was allowed to inform Ferrigno that they were making a new movie, as they couldn’t afford to pay him for one.

The movie begins by telling the story of Zeus’ Seven Mighty Thunderbolts that have kept peace throughout creation. But one day, Aphrodite, Hera, Poseidon and Flora (Margit Evelyn Newton, Maria Rosaria Omaggio, Ferdinando Poggi and Laura Lenzi) steal them, taking away the leader of the god’s power and sending the moon flying at Earth.

The Little People tell the sisters Urania and Glaucia (Milly Carlucci and Sonia Viviani, who is in Nightmare City and The Return of the Exorcist) that only Hercules can save them. Zeus — remember how he had no power — sends Hercules back from the stars to help mankind, but the evil gods resurrect King Minos (William Berger) from the last movie and have Dedalos (transgender actress Eva Robin’s) help him with her powers of science.

Hercules battles everything in this movie from giant apes to Slime People, a Gorgon, a knight that fires lightning bolts and hangs people from trees, the fire monster Antaeus, the Queen of the Spiders and then Minos, who transforms into a giant laser dinosaur, to which Hercules says, “Watch this” and becomes a laser King Kong. No, that’s not the drugs talking. This really happens.

Zeus then grows Hercules as big as the universe and he moves the moon and Earth back to where they belong. Then, Urania sacrifices herself, as her body contains the last thunderbolt. Zeus then allows both her and Hercules to live amongst the gods in space.

While not as amazing nor as entertaining as the original, the end — with the laser monster fight — must be seen to be believed.

For more info on all things Hercules in the universe of Cannon, get Austin Trunick’s The Cannon Film Guide Volume 1: 1980-1984.

Check out The Cannon Canon episode about this movie here.

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