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About These Films
Maciste in Africa
Maciste in Asia
(1914-1927 Silent Films)
Maciste (1915) (aka "Marvelous Maciste")
Maciste bersagliere (1916) (aka "Maciste the Ranger")
Maciste alpino (1916) (aka "Maciste the Warrior")
Maciste atleta (1917) (aka "Maciste the Athlete")
Maciste medium (1917) (aka "Maciste the Clairvoyant")
Maciste poliziotto (1917) (aka "Maciste the Detective")
Maciste turista (1917) (aka "Maciste the Tourist")
Maciste sonnambulo (1918) (aka "Maciste the Sleepwalker")
La Rivincita di Maciste (1919) (aka "Maciste's Revenge")
Il Testamento di Maciste (1919) (aka "Maciste's Will")
Il Viaggio di Maciste (1919) (aka "Maciste's Journey")
Maciste I (1919) (aka "Maciste the First")
Maciste contro la morte (1919) (aka "Maciste vs. Death")
Maciste innamorato (1919) (aka "Maciste in Love")
Maciste in vacanza (1920) (aka "Maciste on Vacation")
Maciste salvato dalle acque (1920) (aka "Maciste, Rescued From the
Maciste e la figlia del re della Plata (1922) (aka "Maciste and the
Silver King's Daughter")
Maciste und die Japanerin (1922) (aka "Maciste and the Japanese")
Maciste contro Maciste (1923) (aka "Maciste vs. Maciste")
Maciste und die chinesische truhe (1923) (aka "Maciste and the Chinese
Maciste e il nipote di America (1924) (aka "Machiste's American Nephew")
Maciste imperatore (1924) (aka "Maciste the Emperor")
Maciste contro lo sceicoo (1925) (aka "Maciste vs. the Sheik")
Maciste all'inferno (1926) (aka "Maciste in
Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni (1926) (aka "Maciste in the Lions' Den")
il Gigante delle Dolemite (1927) (aka "The Giant From the Dolomite")
The 1960s Revival Era (1960-1965)
Toto vs. Maciste (1962 Film)
Son of Samson (1960 Film)
First Maciste film from this era.
Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules
Colossus of the Arena (1962 Film)
Goliath & the Sins of Babylon (1963 Film)
Terror of Rome Against the Son of Hercules (1964
Hercules Against the Mongols (1963 Film)
Samson Against the Sheik (1962 Film)
Fire Monsters Against the Son of Hercules (1962
Reg Lewis &
Maciste, Avenger of the Mayans (1965
Last Maciste film from this era.
The Invincible Brothers Maciste (1965 Film)
Atlas in the Land of the Cyclops (1961 Film)
Triumph of the Son of Hercules (1961
Hercules in the Valley of Woe (1961 Film)
The Witch's Curse (1962 Film)
the Headhunters (1963
Atlas Against the Czar (1964 Film)
Hercules of the Desert (1964 Film)
Maciste in King Solomon's Mines (1964 Film)
Samson & the Mighty Challenge
Goliath & the Vampires (1961 Film)
Samson & the Seven
Miracles of the
World (1962 Film)
Alan Steel (Sergio
Samson & the Slave Queen (1963 Film)
Hercules Against the Moon Men (1964 Film)
Jesus Franco was a Spanish cult film
director who made these two films totally unrelated to the
1960s Maciste films.
Maciste contre la Reine des Amazones (1973) (aka "Maciste vs. the Queen
of the Amazons")
* Distributed in Italy as a Karzan movie, a cheap Tarzan imitation.
Les exploits erotiques de Maciste dans l'Atlantide (1973) (aka "The
Erotic Exploits of Maciste in Atlantis")
* Released only in France with hardcore inserts as "Les Gloutonnes"
(aka "The Gobblers").
Ma-Cheese-Tay. Maciste is one of those "public domain"
kind of heroic characters that has been done so many times in so many
ways that it's unclear as to just what he is or what he's about.
He is an Italian and French creation. In French, the word
"machiste" means "macho man" or "male chauvenist". When developed
for Italian film, the "h" was simply taken out of his name.
Typically, Maciste is portrayed as a warrior from Ancient Greece or
Ancient Rome...often with super strength. There was no Maciste in
Greek or Roman mythology. He is basically a ripoff of the
Hercules legend. Maciste has often been made to look like
Hercules and perform similar feats of strength and heroism.
Primarily known for his appearances in the "sword and sandal" genre of
Italian gladiator movies, Maciste is usually panned by critics and not
known for winning a lot of film awards. Like all things
interesting, there is a world of stupid people who don't want to admit
shows like these are fun to watch.
The first time Maciste came into being was in a
1914 Italian film. Fun fact: this was also the same year
that Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Tarzan" character appeared in published
stories. It's been estimated that Maciste's appeared in about 52
movies since that time. The exact number is up for debate, but
make no mistake he has been done a lot. He is so often associated
with Hercules that many English-speaking versions of those films simply
rename the character Hercules. After all, Hercules is a more
popular name where Maciste is basically limited to Italian and French
popular culture. One such film where the character of Maciste was
renamed Hercules is "Hercules
Against the Moon Men".
Africa: Maciste has been in Africa at least a few
times. In Maciste's first movie from the 1960s, "Son of Samson"
(1960), Mark Forest played the hero in Egypt. Kirk Morris was the
man in "Triumph of the Son of
Hercules" (1961). Reg Park played the hero in "Maciste in King
Solomon's Mines" (1964). Both of these movies are very similar to
each other and set in Egypt.
Asia: Although not very common, there are a few times
Maciste was put in an Asian setting. Gordon Scott played Maciste
in "Samson & the Seven Miracles of the World" (1962). Mark
Forest starred as our musclebound hero in "Hercules Against the
Mongols" (1963) and "Hercules Against the Barbarians" (1964). All
of these films deal with Maciste fighting the Mongols.
(1926): "Maciste in Hell". This just
reaffirms why I don't like silent movies. It's weird! To
the max! This story is set in then-current times (1926).
Maciste is a plainclothes hero. He has super-strength, but he's
fat! Pagano still has strong-looking arms, but he's noticably
husky. All the movie's talk about him being a "superb
physique" and "fine figure of a man" gets a bit ridiculous after awhile.
There's a lot of stuff in this movie that doesn't
make sense. The general idea is that Maciste is tricked into
being warped into Hell by Barbariccia, a demon in human disguise.
Hell wants Maciste because he's their greatest enemy. The ruler
of Hell is "King Pluto", also referred to as "The Devil" or "Satan".
The rule is that no man can stay in Hell for more
than three days unless kissed by a female demon. Maciste is
transformed into a Hell demon by a she-devil. For some reason,
all the male demons in Hell look ugly as spoiled meatloaf, while all
the female demons look glamourous. That's just how it works,
don't ask me why.
Barbariccia the demon attempts a takeover of
Hell. Demon-ized Maciste defeats Barbariccia and his entire
army. Pluto grants Maciste his greatest wish in return for this
deed. Maciste is allowed to go back to Earth and is returned to
his human form. However, Proserpina catches Maciste before he can
return to Earth, kisses him again to turn him into a demon, and ties
him to the side of a cliff. Two years later, a child's wish on
Christmas Eve saved Maciste, and he turned human again and came
home. I thought the whole story was dumb.
The best thing about this movie was the dialogue for
Maciste. He's a tough ol' b****** that doesn't take any s***!
Bartolomeo Pagano as Maciste
Franz Zala as Barbariccia/Dotter Nox
Umberto Guarricino as Pluto
Lucia Zanussi as Luciferina, Pluto's daughter
Elena Sangro as Proserpina
Dominico Serra as Prince George/Giorgio
Pauline Polaire as Rosabela/Graziella
Director- Guido Brignone
Writers- Dante Alighieri, Riccardo Artuffo
Titles For This Film:
- This movie made its American debut on June 26,
- This movie was produced by Cines-Pittaluga.
- Another film was called "Maciste in Hell" in
1962. It's an entirely different story. That film is also
known as "The Witch's Curse".
Atlas in the Land of the Cyclops (1961):
Mitchell and Fabio. Gordon Mitchell was a bodybuilder who went on
to star in quite a few strongman movies. Fabio was barely two
years old. As a matter of fact, he was credited as "Little
Fabio", and who would have ever guessed that he'd become the sensation
that he did in the late 1980s-early 1990s? Baby Fabio played a
central character to the plot, the baby Prince Agisander II, last
descendant of the legendary hero Ulysses.
This is a Maciste movie. On American TV, this
movie was retitled "Atlas in the Land of the Cyclops". The
character is called Maciste, throughout. Why they renamed it to
"Atlas", but left the character's name "Maciste" in the film is not
only a mystery, but stupid. American distributors often renamed
heroes of Italian sword-and-sandal flicks so they'd be more
recognizable to English-speaking audiences. They would have been
better off calling it "Maciste in the Land of the Cyclops".
It's an entertaining enough movie, but moves kind of
slow in places. This 100-minute movie would have done better as a
70-minute film. The movie REALLY drags from the beginning until
the scene where Maciste first meets Capys in the cave and saves her
life. From then on, the film moves, but they do tend to "ham up"
some scenes that could have been edited shorter.
As the story goes, a legendary hero named Ulysses
outwitted the enchantress Circes and blinded her Cyclops creation,
Polyphemus. This was centuries ago. Since that time, the
descendants of Circes and the Cyclops have taken out their vengeance on
all descendants of Ulysses. They've nearly succeeded. Only
one man, his wife, and son remain. The man is killed, his royal
son is whisked away by a friend, and the wife is taken prisoner with
the other women of the village.
The baby finds its way to Maciste, who gives it to a
shepherd friend to protect. Meanwhile, Maciste must fight the
evil queen's forces, and save the good queen with all the other
prisoners, while keeping the baby safe. On his way to the evil
city of Sadok, Maciste saves Queen Capys in a cave, not knowing she is
the evil ruler he's sworn to take down. Capys falls in love with
Maciste, having never before met anyone as kind and unselfish.
Queen Capys masks her self-hatred from all. She hates herself for
being born a descendant of Circes, and for having to commit the evil
acts she's done. She begs Circes to free her of this curse, and
is granted freedom only if the last descendant of Ulysses is fed to the
Cyclops. Capys sees Maciste as a way to reform herself, yet she
Maciste ultimately turns Capys good, and she
attempts to save the baby with him as her traitorous second-in-command
tries to feed the child and its mother to the Cyclops. Sadly,
Capys is killed by the dagger of her jealous lover. Maciste
throws the man to the Cyclops and that finishes him. Then,
Maciste battles the Cyclops to free the mother and child and
wins. The throne of Sadok is now turned over to the good Queen
Penope and son, King Agisander II. Penope wants Maciste to stay,
but he refuses for the reason that he must help others who need him.
There were so many versions of Maciste in the
1960s. This Maciste is a kind and humble man who does good deeds,
but is kind of a dimwit, and incredibly naive. He's not as
cunning or as fierce as many other Maciste portrayals. Gordon
Mitchell's Maciste is certainly a likable guy, but he's not the baddest
Maciste on the block. When he kicks a**, though, he makes it
Chelo Alonso is a real knockout and plays the sexy,
evil-turned-good Queen Capys. Out of all the characters in the
film, Queen Capys is the only one that has depth, and the only one that
will surprise you. Sometimes you don't know if she's really
toying with Maciste or not. It is a pity she was killed. I
think it would have made a better story for the reformed Capys to be
Maciste's bride at the end of the film, turning over her kingdom to
Penope and son on peaceful terms. I do think she could have been
dealt with better in the script.
Vira Silenti is the other notable knockout of this
movie. She plays the good Queen Penope and is a very beautiful
strawberry blonde. Silenti did a number of Italian
sword-and-sandal movies, another popular role being Young Martha Gunt
in the Maciste film "The Witch's Curse". I like her a lot.
She's a pleasant personality and a nice presence in the film.
Black bodybuilder Paul Wynter stars in his second of
only three film roles. Here he plays Queen Capys' evil warrior
Mumba. This is quite different from his not-to-bright, but heroic
Bangor in the previous Maciste movie "Mole Men Against the Son of
Hercules" (1961). In this movie, he's straight-out evil.
The fight scene between Wynter and Mitchell in the prison cell is
especially cool. Mumba lasts through most of the film, finally
being eaten by a shark when he is thrown off a boat by Maciste. I
think it's a shame Paul Wynter didn't do more in films. He could
have played a lot of interesting heroes in the sword-and-sandal
genre. It would have been nice to see him get a lead.
Like most of the Italian peplum/sword-and-sandal
flicks, this has great scenery, sets, and beautiful girls. The
action scenes are inventive and entertaining to watch. I really
enjoyed the climactic scene where Maciste fights the Cyclops. I'm
assuming the Cyclops was supposed to be about ten feet tall.
Maciste really beats the h*** out of him! First he beats up the
Cyclops by throwing heavy stones at him, then he stabs the Cyclops in
the eye with a sword, and finally brings the cave down on him.
I'd say Cyclops was sufficiently killed.
I recommend this movie, but there are even better
Maciste films. It has more premise than plot, but the premise is
intriguing enough to gain your interest. The little plot this
movie has comes from the character of Queen Capys herself. She is
pretty much the reason anything happens in this film. If it isn't
her doing something, it's her jealous, love-starved second-in-command
causing problems. Mostly, this is an entertaining visual with
incredible stunts. If you want to see something that's cool,
watch this movie!
Gordon Mitchell as Maciste
Chelo Alonso as Queen Capys
Vira Silenti as Queen Penope
Paul Wynter as Mumba
Fabio as (Baby) Prince Agisander II
Titles For This Film:
- Atlas Against the Cyclops [US]
- Maciste in the Land of the Cyclops [THIS would
have been the best and
most appropriate title for the film]
- Maciste vs. the Cyclops
- Maciste nella terra dei ciclopi [Italy; actual
- Monster From the Unknown World [UK; I have NO
idea where they could
have derived this title]
- The baby prince in this film was played by the
superstud of the 1990s!
- Gordon Mitchell made his film debut in this
movie, and was originally
credited as Mitchell Gordon.
- Notable black body-builder Paul Wynter, who
played evil Mumba, was in
only three films, this being his second role.
- Chelo Alonso, who played Queen Capys, was the
biggest star of the cast
at the time this film was released.
- This film was not released in the USA until April
Colossus and the Headhunters (1963):
this movie. It ticks me off when they do this, but Italian-made
movies were often retitled in America so they'd appeal more to
audiences. I think their mode of thinking was stupid, because
Maciste was the right name and appropriate thing to call this
movie. At any rate, this is a Maciste movie and the character is
called Maciste throughout.
This isn't a terrible Maciste movie, but it's
certainly not one of the most thrilling. Kind of "blah".
First of all, I don't really dig Kirk Morris as Maciste. He may
be physically fit, but he's no body-builder. Maciste is supposed
to have super-strength and be bigger than h***. Another strike
against Morris: he looks like he's pouting through all his lines.
I just don't like him as Maciste as much as a lot of the other actors
I've seen. He did play Maciste better in his first film, "Triumph
of the Son of Hercules" (1961).
There are women in this movie, but none of them are
that sexy or interesting. They're attractive enough, but no woman
character really excites you. They're all kind of dull.
A volcano blows up an island at the beginning of
this movie. That's the most exciting thing that happens for a
long time. Maciste takes on a tribe of headhunters. That's
Kirk Morris as Maciste
Laura Brown as Queen Amoa
Frank Leroy as Kermes, the main villain
Titles For This Film:
- Maciste and the Headhunters
- Maciste contro i caccitori di teste [Italy;
- Maciste contro i tagliatori di teste [Italy]
- This is the first film for Kirk Morris and Laura
- This is the first and last movie for Frank Leroy.
- There are zippers on the headhunters "skirts".
Fire Monsters Against the Son of
Hercules (1962): An Italian-made film, this is actually a
Maciste movie. For English language audiences the hero was
renamed Maxus, and explained as one of the sons of Hercules. This
movie was called "Fire Monsters Against the Son of Hercules" for
American TV audiences and later video and DVD releases.
This isn't one of the best Maciste movies I've ever
seen. It's not terrible, but it's just not that exciting.
First of all: WHAT fire monsters? There wasn't even one fire
monster, let alone enough to be pluralized. The monsters that did
appear in the movie were just there. They didn't suit any purpose
but filler. One dragon-like monster was fought underwater.
Another was fought in a cave. Another was just a real lizard made
to look large in the distance. But none of them spit fire.
So I'm a bit confused as to where the "fire monsters" come in.
Reg Lewis is cool as Maxus (Maciste). Man,
that dude is HUGE! He was well-cast as a Hercules-type character
and looks like he could knock guys around. And what wild red
hair! It's an unusual hair color for characters of this sort in
film, but it does help add to making the character interesting.
Another highlight is Moah, played by Margaret
Lee. Moah is the princess of the Moon tribe who becomes Maxus'
lover. She's a beautiful, redheaded cave girl who I wish was
dressed a bit more scant than the "dude" she was with. She's
still sexy and interesting, though.
What I don't like about this movie is that it's set
a bit TOO far back for a Maciste movie. This is set in caveman
times. The Stone Age, to be precise. There is a Sun tribe
and a Moon tribe. The Sun tribe are completely good guys and
gals. The Moon tribe is not necessarily an evil tribe, but led by
an evil man named Fuwan (played by Andrea Aureli). Fuwan took
over as chief of the Moon tribe by killing Moah's father and
brother. So she naturally despises him, and Fuwan wants her as
Idar (played by Luciano Marin, a likable actor for
this part) is made chief of the Sun tribe when the Moon tribe kills his
father Dorak. So he enlists the help of Maxus to take out
Fuwan. But Fuwan proves a bigger nuisance when he joins his tribe
with the evil, cannibalistic Oma tribe. Ultimately, there is a
big battle. Fuwan and a lot of his equally-evil followers are
killed. Idar is left to join the Sun and Moon tribes into one,
and Maxus and Moah walk away to start a new life.
Maciste movies were often set in various places and
time periods, but going too far back, like the Stone Age, really limits
what can be done. You can't have great armies, sophisticated
weapons, or any clothing more elaborate than a furry toga. So
it's really not as much fun to look at, and with a Maciste movie all
you get is presentation. You don't get real great acting or
character development. For what this movie was, it was fairly
well-done, but they needed an entirely different premise to make this
Reg Lewis as Maxus (Maciste)
Margaret Lee as Moah
Luciano Marin as Idar, young chief of Sun tribe
? as Rya, Idar's redheaded mate
Andrea Aureli as Fuwan, evil chief of Moon tribe
Rocco Spataro as Dorak, murdered chief of Sun tribe
Ivan Pengow as Gamel the Fire Keeper of the Sun tribe
Alternate Titles For This Film:
- Maciste contro i mostri [actual, Italian title,
meaning "Maciste Versus
- Colossus of the Stone Age [UK title]
Hercules Against the Barbarians
This was made right after "Hercules Against the Mongols" (1963).
The way both of these films were made and released is very odd.
Both films star Mark Forest as Maciste, Jose Greci as the female lead
(but different characters), and Ken Clarke as one of the major villains
(but different characters). Both films have Maciste fighting the
Mongols. In the first film, Maciste fights the three evil sons of
the late Genghis Khan. In this film, Maciste fights Genghis Khan
himself. These movies are only related in location and three of
the major actors. Besides that, there is no story connection
between these two films. This film is neither a prequel or sequel
to "Hercules Against the Mongols" of any kind. I can imagine this
confuses a lot of people.
Although not an official Hercules movie, this was
translated very well
into a Hercules movie. This film was actually made as a "Maciste"
in Italy, and dubbed as "Hercules" internationally. Maciste is
really just an Italian rip-off of the Hercules legend, so this works
both ways. Usually in Maciste films, the hero is inexplicably put
into different places and time periods to fight villainy. In this
story, Maciste (called Hercules in this movie) is in Poland and the
surrounding area during the time of Genghis Khan.
One question that concerns everyone in this movie is
if this is the "real" Hercules, or someone who has taken his
name. It cannot be denied that he has superhuman strength.
The moviemakers, and the movie's characters, do not ignore the fact
that Hercules is thrust centuries ahead in time. Is this Hercules
the true Hercules from ancient myth? Or is he a descendant?
If he is the real Hercules, can he be killed? It is a secret this
Hercules safely guards.
Hercules' love interest in this movie is the
beautiful redheaded Armina. It is discovered that she is the
long-deposed Queen of Poland. Armina is kidnapped by Genghis Khan
and his forces. Khan plans to marry off Armina to his son so that
he may dominate Poland once and for all. Can Hercules save his
love and restore Armina to her rightful throne?
Roldano Lupi plays a good Genghis Khan, but he still
looks too white. They should have "Asianed" him up some
more. This film really does have an interesting cast of
characters. Ken Clarke plays Kubilai, Khan's top warrior who has
an intense hatred for Hercules and a massive ego. Gloria Milland
plays the beautiful brunette Arias who has a mysterious agenda.
She seems to ally herself with the good guys and the bad guys. Is
she truly good, or is she luring Hercules and friends into a
trap? Perez the circus performer, who becomes Hercules' sidekick
in a way, is another likable character.
Mark Forest as Maciste [character called
"Hercules" in American version]
Jose Greci as Armina, lover of Hercules
Roldano Lupi as Genghis Khan
Ken Clarke as Kubilai, Khan's top warrior
Gloria Milland as Arias, mysterious aide to Hercules and Armina
if you can help with the cast information above.
Titles For This Film:
- Maciste in Genghis Khan's Hell [Italian title,
translated to English]
- Maciste nell'inferno di Gengis Khan [Italy,
- This film was Mark Forest's next turn as Maciste,
but it is otherwise unrelated to "Hercules Against the Mongols"
(1963). Incidentally, both films have lovely Jose Greci as the
female lead, and Ken Clarke as one of the major villains.
Hercules Against the Mongols (1963):
right before "Hercules Against the Barbarians"
and it's very odd that these two movies were made like they were so
close together. Both films feature Mark Forest as Maciste, and
both pit Maciste against the Mongols. Besides this, there is no
continuity between the two films and they are, in fact, separate
stories. In this film, Maciste fights the three sons of the late
Genghis Khan. In "Hercules Against the Barbarians", Maciste
fights against Genghis Khan himself. Both films have the
beautiful Jose Greci as the female lead, although she plays a different
character in both. Ken Clarke is also in both films as a Mongol
warrior. In this film, he is one of Khan's sons. In
"Barbarians", he is Khan's top warrior.
Mark Forest is an awesome Maciste! He looks
the part, and he has a cool personality. I really enjoy the
action sequences. Early in the film, Maciste beats up the Mongols
with a tree! That is quite a visual. Jose Greci is a
stunning redhead. I also like the three guys who play Genghis
Khan's evil sons. In this story, Genghis Khan died wanting peace
with the West. However, Khan's three sons have different
plans. Not only do they trod upon their father's memory, but
they're even at each other's throats. It's an uneasy alliance to
say the least, but they ALL hate Maciste.
Long story short, Maciste wins and the bad guys get
dead. Maciste gets the woman, Bianca, and presumably he's going
to be the new king. It's all very standard fair, but I like the
characters and the story idea.
Mark Forest as Maciste [called "Hercules" in American version]
Jose Greci as Bianca de Tudela
Loris Loddi as Alessio de Tudela [called "Alexander" in American
Ken Clarke as Sayan
Howard Ross as Susdal [credited as Renato Rossini]
Nadir Morreti as Kin Khan [credited as Nadir Baltimore]
Maria Grazia Spina as Ljuba
Tullio Altamura as Osvaldo [called "Adolphus" in American version]
- Maciste contre les Mongols [France]
- Maciste contro i Mongoli [Italy; actual title]
- This movie was released on November 29, 1963 in
- The title "Hercules Against the Mongols" was
created for American television.
- Although this movie comes right before "Hercules
Against the Barbarians" (1964), there is nothing in common except the
fact that Maciste fights Mongols, and the film stars three of its leads
from this film: Mark Forest as Maciste, Jose Greci, and Ken
Clarke. The next film is NOT a prequel or a sequel of any kind.
the Moon Men (1964): This is an unusual Hercules movie and
yes, a bit lame, but nevertheless interesting and entertaining.
THANK GOODNESS IT WAS FILMED IN COLOR! First of all, this is NOT
an American film. It is joint
production between a French film company and an Italian film
company. The language was originally Italian. All of the
dialogue you'll hear in the English version is dubbed, and it's not an
overly bad dubbing job. There are some parts of the film where
you can tell it's been dubbed more than others, but it's not so much of
a distraction that you can't enjoy this concept. Truth be known,
the character was not originally called Hercules when this film was
made in Italy. The character's name was Maciste (pronounced
Ma-Cheese-Tay) and renamed Hercules when America purchased it.
Maciste was a very popular character in Italian cinema...basically a
play on the Hercules legend.
In ancient Greece a race of evil aliens from the
moon land on Earth. For years they've terrorized the city of
Samar, demanding children for sacrifice. The equally evil human
queen of Samar has made a pact with the moon men to conquer the world
and become the most powerful woman alive. What she and the moon
men do not expect is that Hercules has been summoned by the people of
Samar to take out the trash!
In the English-speaking version, the actor who plays
Hercules is named Alan Steel. His real name is Sergio
Ciani. I like Alan Steel better. It's appropriate for
Hercules. This man LOOKS like a Hercules. There are very
few actors who have ever played Hercules that really look like they
should be the son of Zeus. Alan Steel is one of these.
Steve Reeves is another excellent Hercules. Steel is built like a
tank and has the full black beard and black hair that we Hercules'
buffs want to see. I don't know about you, but I don't like the
blonde, long-haired, clean-shaven, puny men they've been trying to make
Hercules in more recent shows. I also like the macho
attitude. Hercules is strong, cocky, and not overly bright.
That's how he was in the Greek mythology stories and that's how I like
him. Cheers to the filmmakers for making Hercules this way.
Also outstanding are the women in this movie!
They are HOT, HOT, HOT! The evil Queen Samara is played by
delicious redhead Jany Clair. She keeps calling Hercules'
girlfriend Agar "so young" when she's not much older herself, if at
all. The luscious brunette Agar, played by Anna Maria Polani, is
Hercules' woman. And Samara's good sister
Billis, momentarily changed into evil goddess Selena, as played by
actress Delia D'Alberti is a delightful golden-haired beauty.
Samara wants to kill her to awaken the
wicked spirit of Selena, but of course Hercules doesn't allow that to
happen. I like how Queen Samara tries to put it on our stud
Hercules, and he plays her like a fiddle. Funny! And he's
ALWAYS macho around Agar. What a dude!
Alan Steel (Sergio Ciani) as Hercules
Anna Maria Polani as Agar
Jany Clair as Queen Samara
Delia D'Alberti as Billis
Alternate Titles For This
[The following four names are English titles]
- Maciste e la regina di
Samar [true Italian name of this film]
- Hercules Against the Moon Men [American name and
the most common]
[The following two names are French titles]
- Hercules vs. the Moon Men
- Hercules and the Queen of Samar
- Maciste vs. the Moon Men
- Maciste vs. the Stone Men
- Maciste contre les hommes de pierre
- Maciste et la reine de Samar
(1961)- This was made to be a
spoof. It featured the two biggest names in sword-and-sandal
cinema: Hercules and Maciste.
Kirk Morris as Maciste
- Maciste contro
Ercole nella valle dei guai [Italy; actual title]
Maciste, Avenger of the Mayans (1965)-
This is an odd
Maciste film indeed. It consists almost entirely
of re-edited stock footage from two older Maciste movies, "Maciste
contro i mostri" and "Maciste contro i cacciatori di teste".
Maciste keeps changing from Reg Lewis to Kirk Morris. It is rare,
was never released in the USA, and is available only in Italian.
Reg Lewis as Maciste
Kirk Morris as Maciste
- Maciste il
Vendicatore dei Mayas (1965) (aka "Maciste, Avenger of the
- This was the
last Maciste film from the 1960-1965 era.
Maciste in King Solomon's Mines (1964):
been so easily
translated into a "Tarzan" movie. I'm assuming the filmmakers
wanted moviegoers to draw that correlation.
I'm surprised with how much I like this movie.
Like all "sword-and-sandal" movies of the 50s and 60s it has its
plusses and minuses. The story is good and it moves fast.
This film has a strong start. We don't even see Maciste for the
first 24 minutes of the film, but they work him into the story
well. The dubbing is bad, but not the worst I've ever seen.
The voice for Loris Loddi's character is clearly an adult female.
Wandisa Guida plays one of the most convincing
female villainesses I've seen in filmdom. She does a good
job. Guida actually received second-billing to Reg Park in the
film and in most promotional materials. She earned it.
Guida's Fazira is really just a bandit queen who becomes a real queen
when she overthrows the kingdom.
There are a lot of inventive ideas in this
movie. I like how Maciste uses the spiky torture device as a
shield against the soldiers. The scene with Maciste in a
steel-spiked torture cage being pulled by horses was quite
ingenius. Fazira's knockout flower necklace she uses on Maciste
is a cool idea. The scene where Maciste knocks over the giant
golden head statue is incredible. I also like the liquid gold
torture device that can turn people into gold statues. Fazira and
Belal plan to use the device on Samara and Abucar, but it backfires and
our movie's baddies become the giant gold hood ornaments! Awesome.
Unlike a lot of Maciste/Hercules type movies,
Maciste has no woman in this film. Samara is Abucar's babe.
There really wasn't time for Maciste to have romance in this
film. It was pretty much action all the way through. I
thought Abucar was a great character. He was Maciste's buddy and,
when he wasn't captured, kicked a fair amount of rear end! Abucar
wasn't one of those expendable supporting characters; he was as much of
a hero as Maciste. But Maciste is the superhero, and Reg Park fit
the part. He had the body for it, and I think he acted it pretty
well. American dubbing always makes these characters sound
ridiculous, but if you go by the physical expression Park makes the
Reg Park as Maciste
Bruno Piergentili as Abucar [credited as Dan Harrison]
Eleanora Bianchi as Samara
Wandisa Guida as Fazira
Nino Persello as Belal
Loris Loddi as Vazma, heir to the throne
Director & Writer- Piero Regnoli
Alternate Titles For This Film:
- Maciste nelle miniere di re Salomone [Italy;
- Samson in King Solomon's Mines
- Intentional or not, "Maciste in King Solomon's
Mines" (1964) is essentially a retooling of "Triumph of the Son of
Hercules" (1961), also a Maciste film. The similarities are
amazing. In the earlier film, Kirk Morris starred as the
hero. Both films are even set in Africa!
Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules (1961):
actually kept his name
Maciste in the English-language version. The title of this film
is not accurate, but a lot of the sword-and-sandal films from the
period were packaged on American television as the "Sons of Hercules"
series in the 1960s. Any film with "Son of Hercules" in the title
starts off with a narrative about the hero in this story being one of
the sons of Hercules. Maciste is NOT the son of Hercules in the
true version. Hercules doesn't have any relevance to the stories
in any "Son of Hercules" film except for the title and the opening
Mark Forest is a great actor for the
sword-and-sandal movies. He always gives very tough portrayals of
the characters he plays. His Hercules in "Goliath & the
Dragon" is great because it's the angriest I've ever seen Hercules on
film. His Maciste in this film is unquestionably the strongest
and baddest of any Maciste actor in the 1960s.
Mark Forest, Paul Wynter, and Moira Orfei are great
actors who make this movie fun to watch. They play cool
characters. Paul Wynter was a black bodybuilder who appeared in
only three films from 1961-1962. That's a shame, because he had
good facial expression and timing in this film. He played Bangor,
a man Maciste saves early in the film who becomes the super-powered
hero's sidekick. Maciste is not known for having sidekicks in his
movies, but he should have. Bangor added something that a lot of
Maciste movies lacked. He is kind of like Tonto to Lone Ranger,
or Robin to Batman. He even has a sense of humor, where Maciste
is typically inhuman in emotion. Moira Orfei plays the gorgeous,
but evil queen Alismoyab. She's about as cold and heartless as
you can get, and it's interesting when she falls for Maciste and
becomes good. I think her character could have been dealt with
better in the story, but it's a solid performance. Besides the
three major stars, this film boast incredible, continuous action
sequences and beautiful sets. These are the movie's strengths.
What this movie lacks is story. If there is a
story, I'm hard-pressed to find it. There's no clever plot
twists. The story in this movie goes about as deep as the script
for a music video. An underground society of people called the
Mole Men come to the surface at night and kill regular people.
Why? I dunno...guess they must not have arcades. They're
called the Mole Men, but they don't worship moles or look like
moles. They have powder-white faces and fuzzy white afros (except
the queen). Their weakness is sunlight, which can kill them.
Maciste and Bangor allow themselves to be captured
by the Mole Men so they can free the prisoners and kill the bad
guys. All the Mole Men look the same except for the queen and NO
ONE finds this suspicious. We later learn the queen is not one of
the Mole Men race, but was adopted. Oh, you think?! For
some reason she was raised to be an evil queen. Hey, what else
can you do with an adopted Earth girl? Alismoyab is ignorant of
her true race and that she can, in fact, withstand the sunlight.
Only the shifty high priest knows the truth, and tells his Mole Man son
so he can marry her and have sunlight-walking, half-Mole Man
babies. But the high priest's son has a rival, the super-stud
Maciste. You just can't compare with the strongest man in the
world. She loves his muscles, but he constantly rejects her until
she decides to be a good girl and give up all this evil business.
Maciste accepts her proposal, but it's a marriage that's not meant to
be. Towards the end of the movie, Alismoyab learns the truth of
her identity and is so overjoyed to be in the sun that she accidentally
falls to her death. Maciste, who has fallen in love with the
once-evil queen, just kind of acts like, "Well...them's the
breaks!". I don't like it that she gets killed. It would
have been great to see Maciste and Alismoyab get married, and her
denounce her throne. At least all the Mole Men get killed.
There are a lot of interesting visuals. One
recurring visual is the entrance to the Mole Men lair: a section of
ground that opens and closes like a trap door. This movie is a
lot of fun, even if it is filled with story gaps and miscellaneous
silly things. The major characters are intriguing, and the
strongman scenes are cool. Everybody likes to see a big guy wreck
sh**! I recommend this film to fans of the genre. It's
certainly one of the better Maciste films.
Mark Forest as Maciste
Paul Wynter as Bangor
Moira Orfei as Queen Alismoyab
Titles For This Film:
- Maciste and the Night Queen
- Maciste, l'uomo piu forte del mondo [Italy;
- Maciste, the Strongest Man in the World [Italy;
literal English title]
- Mole Men vs. the Son of Hercules [US; TV title]
- The Strongest Man in the World [UK]
Samson & the Mighty Challenge
(1965): This was made to be a spoof. It featured the
four big names of sword-and-sandal cinema: Hercules, Maciste, Samson,
Renato Rossini as Maciste
- Combate dei
Sansone, Maciste e Ursus: gli invincibili (1965) [Italy; actual title]
Samson, Maciste and Ursus: The Invincibles
- Le Grand Defi
Samson & the Seven Miracles of the
(1962): Set in 13th Century China. Maciste (not
Samson) fights the evil invading Mongols who threaten to wipe out a
AIP (American International Pictures) gave this
movie its "Samson" title upon distribution in the United States.
This is a Maciste movie, but it could be a Tarzan movie. Gordon
Scott looks like he did during his popular six-movie stint as the
famous jungle man. This was only the second film Scott did after
his Tarzan run, the first being another Maciste picture, "Goliath &
the Vampires" (1961). We can only assume it was the filmmakers'
intent to make this version of Maciste so closely resemble Scott's
Tarzan in look and script. The greatest difference between
Scott's Tarzan and Maciste is the fact that his Maciste has super
I enjoy Scott as an action hero. He has
charisma. He's always active. When Maciste makes his first
appearance in this movie, he hits like a lightning bolt. He pulls
a tree up by the roots, beats up three guards, jumps into a pit,
strangles a tiger, and saves the prince all within the space of a few
minutes. Gordon Scott is certainly one of the most interesting
muscleman actors from this period.
The sets and the action are great. You mostly
watch these old sword-and-sandal flicks for the visual. It
doesn't look like this movie was made "on the cheap". In reality,
this movie was made over from a lot of left over ingredients from the
earlier "Marco Polo" (1962).
This film has a great cast of characters.
I hate to leave anyone out, but I have to mention a few
standouts. Helene Chanel was in a lot of these peplum
movies. I do believe
this is the first peplum/sword-and-sandal movie she was in. She
also starred in "The Witch's Curse" (1962), "Hercules of the Desert"
(1964), "Samson & the Mighty Challenge" (1964), "Conqueror of
Atlantis" (1965) and others. Chanel is beautiful, and she played
a lot of these sexy, bad women types. When the peplum genre dried
up in movies, she moved into the spy genre. When the spy craze
dried up at the end of the 1960s, she floated around with other parts
until her last film appearance in 1977.
I also liked the Buddhist Priest character played by
Luong-Ham Chan. This was an interesting ally for Maciste, and
he's like a Chinese version of Q in the James Bond movies! Not so
much with gadgets, but with basic good guy help. Chan only acted
for three years, but I think he could have made a niche for himself in
films as a friendly old sidekick.
Tao was also a great, but ill-fated character played
by Valery Inkijinoff. Despite the Russian name, this man played
many Asian roles. Tao was a High Priest for the Mongols who ends
up paying for his allegiance to the rebels.
Gordon Scott as Maciste
Yoko Tani as Princess Lei-Ling
Chu Lai Chit as Prince Tai Sung
Gabriele Antonini as Cho, the rebel leader
Helene Chanel as Kiutai (the main bad woman)
Leonardo Severini as Garak (the main bad guy, Mongol emperor)
Dante DiPaolo as Bayan
Valery Inkijinoff as Tao, the High Priest (traitor to the Mongols)
Luong-Ham Chan as Buddhist Priest
Director- Riccardo Freda
Writers- Oreste Biancoli, Duccio Tessari
- Goliath & the Golden City
- Maciste alla corte del Gran Khan [Italy; actual
- Maciste at the Court of the Great Khan [literal
English translation of actual title]
- This movie was made because of "Marco Polo"
(1962). Panda Productions spent a fortune on the massive exterior
sets, lavish interior sets, and had many Asian extras left over.
Panda had writers Oreste Biancoli and Duccio Tessari, two of the
writers from "Marco Polo", script all this stuff into a
sword-and-sandal movie which was then a very popular genre all over the
world. Even Yoko Tani, the female lead
from "Marco Polo", was used in this movie. Gordon
and Riccardo Freda was hired to direct
due to his talent in the sword-and-sandal field.
- Gabriele Antonini played Hercules' sidekick,
Ulysses, in the two legendary "Hercules" films of Steve Reeves.
Son of Samson (1960)- This is
the first movie of the second wave of Maciste movies (1960-1965) and
the first Maciste film to star Mark Forest. Forest made a pretty
successful acting career for himself playing Hercules, Maciste, and any
number of strongman roles. He later dropped out of acting to
become a successful singer and teacher of opera. As it stands,
Mark Forest is one of the very best actors to play Maciste.
This is also the first Maciste film to show our hero
in Africa, specifically Egypt. Maciste would have adventures all
over the world, but Egypt was one of his popular stops. As the
story goes in this film, the beautiful, but evil Queen Smedes of Egypt
has assassinated her benevolent King and taken over control.
Smedes is actually Persian, and she has orchestrated a Persian takeover
of Egypt. The wicked Queen has her sights set on stepson Prince
Kenamun and hypnotizes him into becoming her puppet King. She
later sets her sights on Maciste and plots to kill Kenamun.
Meanwhile, Maciste has been called in to save
the Egyptians. In the early part of the film, Kenamun and
Maciste save each other's lives from lions and become buddies for
life. Our hero is a bit confused that someone so decent could
allow such treachery to happen. A bunch of stuff happens.
Maciste snaps Kenamun out of his trance and good triumphs over
evil. Queen Smedes, facing execution by fire, throws herself into
the crocodile pit.
It's a fun movie, but pretty standard fare for
Maciste films. Worth watching.
Mark Forest as Maciste
Chelo Alonso as Queen Smedes
Angelo Zanolli as Prince Kenamun/Pharoah Kenamun
Federica Ranchi as Nofret [Kenamun's woman]
Vira Silenti as Tekaet [Maciste's woman]
- Maciste in the Valley of the Kings [literal
English translation of original Italian title]
- Maciste nella valle dei rel [Italy; actual title]
- Maciste the Mighty
- This was Mark Forest's first Maciste film, but
his second role. He debuted as Hercules in the film, "Goliath
& the Dragon" (1960).
- This was the first Maciste movie of his revival
- Chelo Alonso, the Cuban-born beauty, made a
career for herself of playing sexy evil queens and other femme fatales
in sword-and-sandal films.
- In the English version, we're told Maciste is the
son of Samson. Why would the son of a Jewish hero want to help
out the Egyptians who had enslaved Jews for so many generations?
Quite simply, Samson was a more recognizable name in America than
Maciste for the title, and that's as far as it goes. Many of
these sword-and-sandal movies are historically inaccurate on countless
- This movie debuted in Italian theaters on
November 24, 1960.
- This movie was filmed in Italy, France, and
Toto vs. Maciste (1962)- This was made to be a
spoof and is part of the Toto film
sreies. Not released in the USA; available only in Italian.
Samson Burke as Maciste
- Toto contro
Maciste [Italy; actual title]
Triumph of the Son of Hercules (1961):
TV in the 1960s as a
"Sons of Hercules" movie. In the original film, there is no
connection to Hercules. In the Americanized edit, the opening
narration says Maciste is one of Hercules' sons. The location of
this film is in Memphis, Egypt.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I
don't think Kirk Morris was a great choice for Maciste. He is
physically fit, but he doesn't have a bodybuilder's physique. You
just can't put him against Reg Park or Alan Steel. I will admit
that Morris played Maciste better in this film than he did in "Colossus
& the Headhunters" (1963). He's definitely a better actor in
this movie, and a likable hero. But I can't think of him as
Maciste. He's not the traditional, bigger-than-he** kind of
Maciste, that's for sure.
The plot of this movie and all the major events are
a lot like the later "Maciste in King Solomon's Mines" (1964) starring
Reg Park. The latter film is the better of the two. This
film pales in comparison. It's a good Maciste movie, but the 1964
film is more interesting. I'd still recommend watching this
movie, but I think anyone would enjoy "Mines" more.
An evil queen is killing off people and sacrificing
young women to a false god of fire. The people recruit Maciste as
their savior. Maciste is captured and put through a public test
of torture. The queen, impressed by his studliness, tries to get
jiggy with him. She drugs Maciste and makes him her slave.
Maciste eventually snaps out of it and raises he** in the evil
kingdom. Our hero saves the day while the kingdom literally falls
I love Anthea! She's really racked! I
also thought she was a great character. It's a shame this was
Cathia Caro's last film. She made a total of 13 films from
1957-1961. Why did she quit acting? I'd like to know.
What often happened in the 50s and 60s is that a young actress would
marry and quit acting. I can understand how she found a suitor
after this appearance. Wow!
Kirk Morris as Maciste
Cathia Caro as Anthea
Liuba Bodina as Queen Tenefi
Giullio Donnini as Omnes, the traitorous silk merchant
Piero Leri as Prince Iram, rightful ruler of Memphis
Director- Tanio Boccia
Writers- Arpad DeRiso, Nino Scolaro
Alternate Titles For This Film:
- Trionfo di Maciste [Italy; actual title]
- Triumph of Maciste [U.S.; informal, literal title]
- Kirk Morris real name was Adriano Bellini and he
was a former gondolier in Venice, Italy!
- This was Kirk Morris' first film role! He
later went on to star in over a dozen sword-and-sandal movies!
- This film is basically a prototype of the later
Maciste film, "Maciste in King Solomon's Mines" (1964). In the
later film, Reg Park starred as Maciste. Both films were even set
in Africa! "Triumph" is in Memphis, Egypt. "Mines" is
possibly in Egypt.
The Witch's Curse (1962):
Stupid. They had a great premise, but it was done so bad.
This is a Maciste movie. A good thing is that the character is
actually called Maciste in the English-language version. This is
one of the few times that happened. Most of the time, Maciste's
name was changed to something more familiar to American audiences like
Colossus, Goliath, Hercules, Samson, etc. However, this time, the
American distributor used the English-language track that was recorded
in Italy. That's a plus, because I've always felt the character
should've been called Maciste in all the American releases.
I understand that Italian producers liked to take
Maciste and put him in different time periods to fight evil. But
they were so dumb when they did it. Okay, first of all, how can
he go from Ancient Greece in one movie, to A.D. China in another movie,
and then 17th century Scotland in this movie? It's okay for
him to do this, but they should have explained it. Did he have
some sort of time-travelling device? How did he do this?
And why? Wasn't there enough evil in his own time to combat
without jumping around through time?
Another thing, an almost-naked dude in a loincloth
just appears in 17th century, fully-clothed Scotland...and nobody
notices? Doesn't anybody think that's weird? Why do they
act like he's just another guy on the street? That's stupid.
Kirk Morris is good enough as Maciste, but he's not
the best. He's got a good
enough build and he acted well enough for this kind of movie. But
why did the writers make Maciste such a wimp? This Maciste
certainly isn't as super as other Maciste versions. He's
super...but just barely. This Maciste gets beat up, burnt up,
clawed up...and it's incredibly hard for him to do anything like
bending bars, pushing doors, lifting rocks, or even fighting off wild
animals and thugs. I think Maciste should have been tougher if he
was going to Hell to get a witch.
Helene Chanel is delightful as the evil Martha Dobbs
aka Tania. She's the witch whom Maciste seeks and falls in love
with, not knowing she is the one he is looking for. Chanel is
beautiful and gives a good performance in this movie. She really
was the best written and best acted character.
The movie starts in 1590s Scotland. A witch
named Martha Dobbs is burnt at the stake, but not before placing a
curse on the village. One hundred years later, a descendant of
this witch, also named Martha Dobbs, comes to live in her ancestors'
castle, and all the women of the village start acting strange, even
attempting suicide. The new Martha Dobbs is not a witch, and does
not understand why the villagers want to execute her. Just as she
is about to be hanged, Maciste shows up and saves the day. She is
somehow given a two-day stay of execution. Maciste uses this time
to go to Hell to find the evil witch so she can remove the curse and
save the innocent woman's life. Maciste more or less wanders Hell
until he can find her, but time is running out. Fania, the witch
who seduces Maciste, is actually the evil Martha Dobbs. But as
Maciste meets all her challenges, she falls in love with him.
Ultimately, she confesses and surrenders to Maciste. With a kiss
from the muscle-dude, the witch turns into dust and the curse is
over. The innocent Martha Dobbs and husband, about to be burnt at
the stake, are saved by a rain shower that douses the flames.
Maciste makes a final appearance and mysteriously vanishes from the
town on his horse.
This story had a lot of good elements, but they were
so weakly put together. The plot holes are big enough to drive a
truck through. Earlier in the movie, Maciste makes out with Fania
the witch. But at the end, a kiss is all it took to turn her to
dust? Why didn't that work earlier on? Also, why would she
turn to dust in Hell? Where does she go from Hell? Hell
Part 2? Why couldn't the kiss have just ended the curse?
Why would the witch even have had to be destroyed? Her spirit was
already in Hell. Then, we see the witch as being ugly. She
turns herself into looking beautiful as she did when she was
young. If she could do this so easily, why didn't she keep
herself beautiful all the time?
I did, however, like the fact Maciste could enter
Hell by simply pushing over an evil tree and jumping down. That
was a cool idea. The main story idea for the film was great and I
think this could be remade into a much better film. But to make
such a movie plausible, they really need to flesh out the character of
Maciste. He needs to be worked into the time period better, and
given a reason for what he is doing.
Kirk Morris as Maciste
Helene Chanel as Evil Martha Dobbs/Tania
Vira Silenti as Good Martha Dobbs
Angelo Zanolli as Charley Law, husband of Good Martha Dobbs
Andrea Bosic as Judge Parrish, evil judge and Evil Martha's cohort in
Charles Fawcett as Doctor, the man who helps Good Martha Dobbs and
Alternate Titles For This Film:
- Maciste all'inferno [Italy; actual title]
- Maciste in Hell