Also known as: Hercules vs. the Moon Men, Maciste vs. the Moon Men
Release Date: June 27th, 1964 (Italy)
Directed by: Giacomo Gentilomo
Written by: Giacomo Gentilomo, Angelo Sangermano, Arpad DeRiso, Nino Scolaro
Music by: Carlo Franci
Cast: Sergio Ciani (billed as Alan Steel), Jany Clair, Anna Maria Polani
Comptoir Franais du Film, Nike Cinematografica, Governor Films Inc., 90 Minutes
Hercules Against the Moon Men is just one of 17,000 Hercules movies to come out of Italy in the 1960s. Back then, there were an average of 212 Hercules movies released per week because Italian studios could make them for under a thousand lire, which was roughly $2.12 in American dollars. Usually the cast was just paid in jerky and donkey rides and they got to wear the height of Italian cinema fashion, which were typically togas made out of old sails from Mediterranean shipwrecks.
This film, however, stands apart. It introduced a sci-fi element in that Hercules found himself pitted against an evil robot warlord from the moon. Of course, Herc also had to deal with an evil sorceress and giant rock men but it was the alien robot that really pulled the strings of evil throughout this insipid picture.
The film is famous for being riffed harder than normal on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Their biggest issue with the film is the seemingly endless sandstorm that takes up the last quarter of the film. It is an awful and tedious sequence made up of people aimlessly wandering through it over and over again on the same small set. Its just people, covering their eyes, slowly wandering through the dusty air. It is a sequence that is equally ugly and boring. It is maybe, the worst climax in the history of action and adventure movies. By the time the film finally gets out of the sandstorm, you find yourself waking from a nauseous daze only to have the film pretty much wrap up: leaving you with nothing but hatred and disgust. Few are able to experience this movie and still have their souls intact.
Hercules Against the Moon Men is bargain basement filmmaking at its absolute worst. I’ve seen hieroglyphics that have had a bigger budget and were more exciting. This movie is worse than getting crabs in your eyelashes.