Director: David Parker
Screenwriters: Des Mangan
Shot in eight days with a production team of 140 plus 200 extras, Hercules Returns is the zany result of a wonderfully ridiculous idea. Based on Des Mangan's and Sally Patience's traveling Double Take Theatre, where their riotous imaginations jump into the mouths of actors on screen, Hercules Returns is a film within a film which pushes the Double Take idea to its limits.
The title role is played by Hercules, a thirty-year-old miniature epic. Brad McBain decides to show Hercules to celebrate the gala reopening of the Picture Palace, which closed thirty years ago after a final showing ofâ€”you guessed itâ€”Hercules. Everything is ready to roll when McBain's partner discovers a potentially disastrous fact. Their film print is the unsubtitled Italian version. But have no fear, Double Take is hereâ€¦
And so the spoof begins. Our intrepid heroes "dub" the film live. Who knows what Hercules was doing in the original, but suddenly he's prancing about as a failed cabaret singer looking for a gig. Samson cries at the thought of violence, and Ursus is a drunken Scottish bouncer at a local bar.
David Parker makes his debut with this film, and he hits the high-camp bull's-eye with each shot. Hercules is a delicious dingbat of a guy, and you'll laugh at him all the way.
Thursday Jan 28 Midnight
- Dramatic Feature
- 1993, Sundance Film Festival
- Australia, 81 min.