In ancient Greece, King Amphitryon of Tiryns invades the shores of Argos. The two massive armies face each other, prepared for battle. Amphitryon strikes a bargain with the rival King Galenus: the two will fight to the death, to the victor goes his adversary's kingdom and army. The two engage in combat and Amphitryon easily defeats Galenus and seizes his kingdom. That night, Amphitryon is visited by his estranged wife, Queen Alcmene. He boasts he won the kingdom for her; she protests he won the kingdom for himself and its gold. Alcmene is disgusted by her husband's thirst for power and warmongering. She prays to Hera for guidance. A woman appears declaring herself to be Hera, wife of Zeus, and prophecies that Alcmene will bear the son of Zeus and he will be the savior of her people. The only other witness to this is Chiron, the queen's loyal adviser.
That night, as Amphitryon celebrates his victory, Alcmene is visited by Zeus. She is discovered by Amphitryon who believes the Queen has taken a mortal lover. Alcmene soon gives birth to a healthy baby boy named Alcides, but she secretly acknowledges his true name: Hercules. Twenty years later, a strong and handsome Hercules/Alcides rides along the countryside with his love, Hebe. They frolic along the shore of a secluded lake. Alcides admires Hebe's necklace which was given to her by her mother; she in turn bestows the necklace to Alcides. The two are discovered by Alcides' older brother, Iphicles. A search party was dispatched to look for Hebe, a princess of Crete. Hebes returns to the palace along with her guard while Alcides and Iphicles follow. Along the way the two are attacked by a lion. Alcides wrestles with the lion, strangling it. Iphicles takes all the credit and arrives at the royal banquet wearing the lion's pelt as a cloak. He attempts to humiliate Alcides, calling him a coward but Hebe sees right through him. At the banquet Amphitryon announces the engagement of Hebe and Iphicles. The two lovers are devastated and decide to run away together. They are chased down by the royal guard and Hebe nearly drowns before being saved by Alcides. Alcides is taken back to the palace and is sent away by his father to join a campaign of soldiers to Egypt.
If you throw out the Myth, throw in the Man... or just people getting killed in some horrible ways, then you might enjoy this film. I am a huge fan of films that can become corny getting it's effects in the way of the storyline... this does both. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, though I think the industry needs to start cutting back on the effects and give us depth in story. It kept to a simple nature and gave us good versus evil.
Jeremy [Howlin' Wolf]