Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MST3K: Episode 502 - Hercules

I'm watching all of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes in order. More about that here and here.

Episode 502: Hercules

First aired: Comedy Central on 17 July, 1993
Availability: MSTAvailability:

He's ba-a-a-a-ack!
Remember the Hercules movies from Season Four? Betcha though they were over and done, since Joel & the Bots did that "last of the Hercules movies" celebration at the end of Episode 412: Hercules and the Captive Women, huh?


Or, the Mads gotcha.

Season Five opens with ... Hercules.

Yes, it's Episode 502. It aired before Episode 501. I don't know why. But it did. So, we're watching it next. Or watched it, actually. I mean, I can't exactly write about an episode I haven't seen, can I.

"Wait! This is ancient Greece. They didn't have ruins yet!"
Well, yes, I can. But I won't.

As far as you know.

This is the first Hercules movie starring Steve Reeves. Actually, Steve Reeves only starred as Hercules in two movies: this one, and in Episode 408: Hercules Unchained.

I never saw this episode during any of the 18 times it was broadcast on Comedy Central. So, until I obtained a fan copy, I had never seen it.

What did I think about it? Well, I'm not a fan of the movies featuring big oily dudes running around in sandals. Besides that, there's a scene where a character talks about wanting to finish the marathon. However, the race wasn't named until the 19th Century. The first written account wasn't until the 1st Century A.D. And the Battle of Marathon itself was in 190 B.C.

"Geez, you’ve got to take orders from Pete Townshend in a dress."
Now, while Euripides, who wrote the stories of Hercules, lived from 480 - 406 B.C., there certainly wasn't a race known as a marathon during the time of Hercules (had Hercules been real).

Notice that the error in the timeline is the problem, not the whole son of Zeus thing. I can deal with bad mythology, just not incorrect mythology.

The movie is a little hard to follow. Part of the reason is that the crew cut the heck out of it. The whole episode is 92 minutes. Take out the opening and closing themes, the Invention Exchange, and the Host Segments -- a little over 18 minutes all totaled -- and you only have around 74 minutes for the movie.

Consider that the original movie was 104, that's 30 minutes, or 1/3 of the original film, that was cut.

No wonder it was hard to follow.

Of course, it may not have been that easy to follow, even without the cuts. Maybe I'll watch the original Hercules on Amazon Instant Video.

Or not.

Here's what I do know:

Hercules travels to Iolcus for some reason, then gets the hots for Iole whose father Pelias killed the rightful king, his brother. Hercules tries to teach Iphitus, brother of Iole and son of Pelias, how to be a man, but gets him killed by a lion instead. Hercules then helps Iole's cousin Jason capture the Golden Fleece by way of a visit to the Amazons and reveals who really killed the king. Jason gets the throne. The end.

The Cellular Desk
The Invention Exchange is a double-winner. I loved Dr. Forrester's Cellular Desk, and Joel's Instant Karma is great. We all shine on!

The Host Segments, featuring the new constellations, the Hamilton, Joe Frank, & Reynolds debate, and the Match Game show, Crow and Servo discussing the advantages of having Amazons on board, were all winners.

Oh, and we got to see Mary Jo Pehl make her first on-screen appearance as one of the Amazon Moms.

I know I said I didn't like these sword and sandals movies, but this one is funny, with a capital FUN and a capital E.
Amazon Women in the Mood.Amazon Women. Not in the mood.
Season Five started off with a winner. The crew is firing on all cylinders, and it's smooth sailing ahead. For the next 11 episodes, anyway.

What happens in 11 episodes? You'll find out.

1 comment:

  1. The Hamilton, Joe Frank, & Reynolds debate is firmly lodged in my skull, and I cannot hear that song on the radio without hearing J & TB singing along in my head.


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