Hercules Returns

Director: David Parker
Screenwriters: Des Mangan

Institute History

  • 1993 Sundance Film Festival


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 of—you guessed it—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 here…

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
Egyptian Theatre


Screening Details

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