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Herkules im Netz der Cleopatra

Italy 1961
produced by
Cineproduzioni Associati
directed by Gianfranco Parolini
starring Brad Harris, Mara Berni, Serge Gainsbourg, Alan Steel (= Sergio Ciani), Brigitte Corey (= Luisella Boni), Carlo Tamberlani, Irana Prosen, Franco Gasparri, Manja Golec, Romano Ghini, Niksa Stefanini
written by Giovanni Simonelli, Gianfranco Parolini, Oscar D'Amico, music by Carlo Innocenzi


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Arriving in the realm of good Queen Mila (Irena Prosen), Samson (Brad Harris) has to realize her throne has been taken over by Romilda (Mara Berni) and her evil counselor Warkalla (Serge Gainsbourg). But not only that, Samson soon finds himself incarcerated ... but not for long, of course, being as strong as a dozen horses, Samson soon breaks the chains of his prison and seems to be capable to fight Romila's army with his bare hands ... and it takes quite some drugged wine to put him out of action againand put him into an even more vicious prison cell, this one with moving walls. Of course he can break free of here too, and with the help of Romila's maid Jamine (Brigitte Corey) he escapes the dungeon and hooks up with her brohter, the local strongman and rebel Macingo (Alan Steel), and they of course plan to revolt ...

Meanwhile, Warkalla has forced Queen Mila to tell him where her gold is hidden, and with all that wealth, he feels himself superior to even Romila and only accepts her as long as she does his bidding - while she begins to disapprove of his evil and brutal methods.

Samson's and Macingo's little revolt meanwhile is caught at a bad start, as many rebels - including Macingo - are incarcerated and about to be executed ... but Warkalla has another evil plan, in order to lure Samson out of hiding, he promises a wish to the one who wins at the games - the usual combination of charriot races, wrestling, sword duels and the like -, in hopes that Samson would pop up to participate in order to free his friends ... and so Samson does, and he masters all the tasks easily, until he has to fight against an opponent blind-folded ... and wouldn't you know it, the opponent is Macingo.

Fortunately though, before the two strongmen kill each other they remove their blindfolds, recognize each other, spontaneously start a revolt, and tear down a building or two with their bare hands. And in the end, all the baddies are dead - and Romila has even asked Samson for forgiveness before dying - and Mila is reinstated as rightful queen.


Somehow this Italian sword-and-sandal film (or peplum, if you like) misses its mark, probably because the story is just too uninvolving, and its hero is just too invulnerable, to remain interesting throughout. Now the too invulnerable hero might be true to a lot of peplums, only this time around it seems he is never thown into any situation he can not too easily master, so after a time the whole narrative of the film loses all its drive, making the film rather boring.

Filmed back-to-back with La Furia di Ercole/The Fury of Hercules in Yugoslavia, with which this film also shares the main cast.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD