Hercules in New York (1975)
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*Note: The Netflix Instant version dubs Arnold. Get the original in order to grasp the full hilarity of this film. The production meeting for this stagnant piece of horse manure must have been a hoot. "Yeah, he's a god but...but he's in New York City." "Okay...and?" "That's it." "Brilliant!" It stands to wonder why this film needed to be made. The budget must have been small, as Mount Olympus looks like the back garden of a fancy funeral home, and much of the lighting is natural, though average for that time period, still looks ungodly. The film, haphazard and nonsensical, follows Hercules descent from Olympus at the behest of Zeus, angry at him for his whining and bratty demeanor. Once Hercules is on Earth, making friends with a pretzel vendor named (deep exhale) Pretzie, he jumps ship, fights a bear, and becomes a strong man. (The bear is a guy in a suit, and not a good one. Sock puppets are more believable.) Zeus immediately wishes him back, and when he becomes defiant, Zeus banishes him to hell for a hundred years. Different gods pop up to bring him to heaven or hell, though all of them are pretty banal, none possessing any interesting qualities or trying to be in likeness with who they are portraying. Besides that, the film intercuts the Arnold footage with simple scenes of the gods plotting, which usually consists of long tracking shots from twenty feet away, with atrocious dialogue and blasé direction overall. Though Arnold is pretty interesting and his unintentional hilarity abundant, Pretzie is a thorn in the viewer's side, a character somewhere between stereotypical Brooklyn Jew and a generally uneven and annoying individual. None of this film makes much sense, but watch for the iconic scene where Arnold goes against another strong man to be crowned strongest man alive. It's trivial and plain, but one hell of a laugh fest.
An early Schwarzenneger flick I caught on late night tv. Didn't care for it.
So bad it's absolutely hilarious. Mount Olympus apparently has traffic going past. The man who played the bear deserves best supporting actor, and for some of the shots not even being colour corrected properly this deserves Oscars. It isn't these painfully hilarious moments that let the film down really, they add to it's charm. What does let it down is the fact that Hercules is an absolute penis head. Beating up anybody he feels like, and refusing to pay for anything. Worth a waste of 90 minutes of your life.