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Reviews from the Edge: MST3K The Loves of Hercules

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Greetings from the edge!

Grease up your pecs and grabs some dolmas for the 1960 swords and sandals “epic” The Loves of Hercules, starring Mickey Hargitay playing a permanently concussed Hercules and Jayne Mansfield pulling double duty as both Deianira and Hippolyta. This film features purple haired Greek maidens, homicidal man-trees, an inexplicably painted stunt bull, and more men’s upskirt shots than I care to remember.

Who’s acting is more wooden, Hercules or the log? (ABC-Filmverleih)

This week’s invention exchange is a bit lackluster, with a turkey fryer dunk tank and a Mexican jumping bean bag chair. Unfortunately, Max has killed the moth larva in the beans, so just a bean bag chair then… kay.

I think my favorite part of this episode is that Tom Servo and Crow continue their campaign to eliminate any new robots introduced to The Satellite of Love. This week’s victim, M. Waverly, is quickly dragged off-screen and torn limb from limb by the belligerent little bots. You do not try to muscle in on the crew’s turf. They will end you.

So long, little robot, we hardly knew you. (NETFLIX)

I’d feel remiss if I didn’t mention the menagerie of special effect failures… I mean, monsters that inhabit Hercules’s world. For instance, the frankly impressive Hydra, a full sized animatronic that would be great if it looked like it even vaguely knew the actors existed. The fact that it just dies when Hercules cut off one of its heads kind of defeats the purpose of a Hydra.

Terror of legend or rejected Muppet? You decide! (NETFLIX)

The grove of screaming man-trees might have been more effective if they didn’t look like mold-covered wacky wavers in front of the most goth car dealership in the world.  The fact that they’re supposed to be a garden of Queen Hippolyta’s former lovers does little to add to their menace.

Finally, we have the most famous of Greek mythological monsters: Bigfoot! Bigfoot? Yes, with a literal pantheon of beasts, monsters, and magical creations to choose from, Sasquatch has managed to work his way into a Hercules movie. Couldn’t they just give it one eye and say it was a cyclops? I have a theory that Bigfoot has some strange power to insert himself into bad movies. We’ve already had him this season in Cry Wilderness. I wonder how many times he’s showed up on MST3K over the years?

No, Bigfoot! This is the Loves of Hercules, not The Geek! (NETFLIX)

I’ve gotta say, kids, this was a weird one. The episode wraps up with Jonah, the bots, and the Mads crooning at the top of their voices for a good two minutes. Your guess is as good as mine. Mercifully, The Loves of Hercules is well under the hour and a half mark.The humor from Jonah and the crew is spot on and a couple of memorable zingers come to mind (“By my tiny nipples!”), but I don’t think this episode would go into my favorites. Come back, Star Crash, all is forgiven!

Come back next week for episode 9, South Korea’s 1967 entry into the kaiju giant monster genre, Yongary: Monster from the Deep! It’s like Godzilla if they double-downed on annoying children and nonsensical science. The monster is rubbery and the dubbing is spotty, but Jonah and the bots will be on deck with riffs at the ready, so buckle up for some monster madness.

And always, remember, “Keep circulating the tapes!”

About Author

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Justin T. Williams hails from the Great state of Texas. His life has been a series of strange adventures that makes for intriguing writing but difficult laundry. Justin is known to his friends as a lifetime fan of comics, movies, and classic pulps. He lurks far from the sun, indulging in his favorite pastimes of writing and hoarding random bits of interesting but useless knowledge.

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