Hercules, son of Zeus, a demigod with incredible strength and a champion for justice! xcept what if he wasn’t that kind of deity? What if he was a buffoon with questionable taste and a level of bliss that bordered on the supernatural?
And what if every single other strong man in ancient mythology had the piss taken out of them by a bunch of Australians? You’d get this absolute blast, that’s what!
Unhappy and frustrated working for Australia’s largest cinema chain, film buff Brad McBain (David Argue) decides to go it alone and set-up his own old-style cinema, the revamped Picture Palace, featuring classic old films.
The Palace will open with a glitzy Gala Charity Night, featuring the mini epic “Hercules”. But McBain’s ex-employer and egotistical head of the Kent Corporation, Michael Kent (Michael Carman) will stop at nothing to ruin McBain’s plans, switching the Italian epic with a non-subtitled version.
Not to be thwarted, McBain and his crew, Sprocket (Bruce Spence) & Lisa (Mary Coustas) are forced to re-dub the film, live in their very own projection booth. The hilarious improvisation has Hercules as a cabaret artist, who is forced to take on the now wimpy Samson. While his true love Labia now seems more entangled with Testiculi.
Ever sat down to watch Kung Pow? Well then, this might be right up your alley. Made quite a few years before Steve Odekirk started lampooning B-grade Kung Fu flicks, Hercules Returns sets up a decent plot revolving around cinema competition and entrepeneurship, before descending into a never-emding barrage of Ozzie humour, insults and strange dubbing.
And sweet Minerva, it was fantastically hilarious! While the principal cast of Michael Carman, Mary Coustas and Bruce Spence to do a fine job in their real world roles, the stars are undoubtedly the voices behind the various muscle-men that pop up on screen.
You’ve got Hercules who bumbles his way through scenes, Samson who turns out to be an atheist, Ursas as a Scottish bugger with a strange fetish and Machismo as a fabulous addition to the quartet.
Mix in more characters like a beer-garden warlord with a phobia for prawns, roaches and horses, a clueless queen and a princess who can split your ear-drums with a whisper, and you’ve got a recipe for success here.
Hercules Returns may not be a film on everyone’s tongue, but for what it’s worth, it bloody well should be, no matter how much you may dislike a certain former British colony for kicking arse in the regby.
Track this gem down and give it a watch, and you won’t be disappointed. And if you disagree, well…Them;s fighting words Jimmy!