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Film / Hercules Against the Moon Men

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Hercules Against the Moon Men is a 1964 Sword and Sandal movie. The movie, like Colossus and the Headhunters, isn't actually a Hercules movie but a Maciste movie, with the name changed for US release.

Somewhere in the ancient Mediterranean world, a ship from the Moon crashes into a mountain, and the occupants insist on getting human sacrifices at what is now the "mountain of death". Enter our hero, "Hercules," played by Alan Steel. Hercules helps free the sacrificial victims, but the Queen of Samar is in league with the Moon Men now, and sends her armies out to stop Hercules. Swordfights and buffalo shots ensue. Then, the Moon Men reveal their master plan to revive their dead queen and merge the Moon with the Earth. Can Herc get to the mountain in time to save the girl and the world?

For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode see here.

Hercules Against The Moon Men provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Ancient Astronauts: Aliens in an Ancient Greek setting.
  • Ancient Grome: The architecture and costumes have an ambiguous Greco-Roman vibe, and a few pieces of set dressing are borrowed from Mesopotamian or Egyptian iconography. Samara's bedroom, for example, is flanked by lammasu statues.
  • As You Know: Billis reminds Samara that the two are half-sisters (through their father).
  • Batman Gambit: Once Hercules is in her power, Samara sets Agar free (under pretense of banishing her), knowing that the girl will run straight to her pals in La RĂ©sistance to update them... allowing the army to follow her to them.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Billis, Agar and Samara
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: After Samara captures Hercules, her first priority is to kill him. However, instead of just stabbing him, she puts him in a Death Trap that he can only survive by a great feat of upper-body strength - the very thing he is famous for being supernaturally good at.
  • But Now I Must Go: And Agar goes with him.
  • Deal with the Devil: Samara's bargain with the Moon Men amounts to this.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Captain of Samara's army finds the conspirators' hideout; but, instead of arresting them, he and the army join them, under the grounds that the soldiers are citizens too and have families (i.e., potential sacrifices) of their own.
  • Evil Redhead: Queen Samara, one of the main villains of the movie, has striking red hair.
  • Fake Defector: According to Hercules movie lawnote , Queen Samara tries slipping Herc a Love Potion. In this film, Hercules is smart enough to only fake drinking it and pretend to be Brainwashed and Crazy for long enough to seduce the location of the Moon Men's lair out of Samara.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Samara routinely feeds her subjects to the "mountain of death" in ritual sacrifice and gets angry when her advisor begs her to stop. Making this all the stranger is that it's never made clear what exactly the Moon Men need with the random sacrifices, as it's actually Billis that they need.
  • Human Sacrifice: A trademark of the Maciste films ever since his debut in 1914.
  • Kissing Cousins: Downplayed with Billis and Prince Derex. Derex is firmly established as the cousin of Samara, but Samara and Billis are only half-sisters, so it's implied that he shares no blood with Billis herself. It's only kinda weird.
  • Love Potion: Queen Samara keeps one around her neck.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Hercules was summoned so that he could lead the people in battle against the Moon Men, but in the end, he does all the fighting himself while the locals wander around lost in a sandstorm.
  • Mr. Fanservice: A major selling point of the Sword and Sandal genre, the Hercules films, and their many followers, Hercules/Maciste's gleaming pecs are on full display.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Jany Clair as Queen Samara is very curvy and her outfits really emphasize this.
    • Princess Billis, her half-sister, loves showing off her ample bosom. The framing of the shot where she implores Samara to allow her to marry Derex shows it off a lot.
  • La RĂ©sistance: A group of citizens led by Prince Derex opposes Samara.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The queen of the Moon Men is locked in eternal slumber, and her followers' plan is to transfer her consciousness into Billis (or something) so she can rule again
  • Shirtless Captives: Hercules wears an exomis-style tunic for most of the film, but after being captured by Samara he is next seen shirtless and in chains and then placed in a bizarre torture machine.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Agar when she changes from her boy disguise into her normal clothes.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Herc and Agar's father are moseying through a secret tunnel, then suddenly WHAMMO! spikes shoot out of the wall to impale the old guy.
  • Take Over the World: What the Moon Men plan to do with the power from all their sacrifices.
  • World's Strongest Man: Hercules/Maciste himself, naturally
  • You Have Failed Me: The Moon Men get fed up with Samara's failed attempts to kill Hercules. Rocks Slam Dance, Samara Dies.
    • For unclear reasons, Samara puts to death the only one of her guards to survive a battle against Hercules.