|408 - Hercules Unchained|
|Air Date||August 1, 1992|
|MST3K Director||Jim Mallon|
|AKA|| Hercules and the Queen of Lydia|
Hercules and the Queen of Sheba
|Movie Director||Pietro Francisci|
|Cast||Steve Reeves, Sylva Koscina, Primo Carnera, Sylvia Lopez|
|Preceded by||407 - The Killer Shrews|
|Followed by||409 - The Indestructible Man|
|“||What scares me is they don't have showers.||”|
While traveling, Hercules is asked to intervene in a quarrel between two brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, over who should rule Thebes. Before he can complete this task, Hercules drinks from a magic spring and is hypnotized by a harem girl who dances the "Dance of Shiva", loses his memory and becomes the captive of Queen Omphale of Lydia. The Queen keeps men until she tires of them, then has them made into statues. While young Ulysses tries to help him regain his memory, Hercules' wife, Iole, finds herself in danger from Eteocles, current ruler of Thebes, who plans on throwing her to the wild beasts in his entertainment arena. Hercules slays three tigers in succession and rescues his wife, then assists the Theban army in repelling mercenary attackers hired by Polynices. The two brothers ultimately fight one another for the throne and end up killing each other; the good high priest Creon is elected by acclaim.
- The tale of Hercules and Queen Omphale is taken from the ancient Greek myth, of which there are several variations throughout history. Character names are drawn from a mixture of various Greek legends and plays, notably The Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus and Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles. Hercules' line "I wove the threads [of my memory] together" is a reference to his task of spinning thread and weaving with Omphale's attendants. The film is only very loosely based on the source material, randomly mixing events and featuring characterizations varying from those depicted in the sources.
- Film critic Howard Hughes argued that due to a better script, "punchier action" and more convincing acting the film was "superior to its predecessor" film Hercules. Concerning the cast, he praises in particular the French actress Sylvia Lopez ("movingly effective") whose career ended prematurely in 1958, when she died at the age of 28 of leukemia (shortly after the completion of Hercules Unchained).
- The film was the third most popular movie at the British box office in 1960.
- As noted by Mike-as-Steve and the Mads during the Invention Exchange, this is the second Steve Reeves Hercules movie, the first of which did not air on the show until the subsequent season (as Experiment #502).
Segment One: While Crow is slightly more worse for wear after his go in the wash and wax, down in Deep 13 Frank and Dr. F's invention of decorator cockroaches gets an unintended boost from the star of today's movie Steve Reeves. Joel's invention is the Steve-O-meter, which can tell if something's already been thought of by Steve Allen.
Segment Two: Gypsy constructs a set to allow her to show her to be the Hellenistic ideal, but her ability in playing a harp brings this into question.
Segment Three: After partaking of the Water of Forgetfulness, Joel & the Bots try other foodstuffs and drinks which trigger other mental and emotional states: the Carrot Shake of Pretentiousness, the Blizzard of Loneliness, the Fruit-Striped Gum of Stability, and the Green Bean & French Onion Casserole of Happiness.
Segment Four: Tom and Crow try to get Joel to explain what Hercules and Queen Omphale are doing all day when they're cuddling and kissing, but he refuses to divulge.
Closing (Segment Five): The SOL crew attempt to discuss why the Hercules series and other fantasy films became popular and the meaning behind them, but Steve is no help in that department with or without gushing fanboy Frank.
Stinger: When Queen Omphale remembers the good times with Hercules, her eyes get real big.
- Steve Reeves: Michael J Nelson
- Jim Mallon's favorite episode.
- Joel Hodgson, in a June 15, 2010 interview found at www.mondo-video.com, states that his two favorite episodes are Hercules Unchained and I Accuse My Parents.
Quotes & References
- "Unchained Hercules? Oh Hercules, my darling..."
- "This week on 'Genesis II'..."
Genesis II was a sci-fi TV movie created by Gene Roddenberry (creator of Star Trek) that aired on CBS in 1973. It was intended as a pilot for a new series, but was not picked up.
- "Have fun stormin' the castle!"
- "Oh-ho the Wells Fargo wagon--- c'mon everybody!"
- "I'm Ralph Richardson!"
Ralph Richardson was a British actor.
- "...I'll send servants and provisions." "And lawyers, guns, and money."
- "Headin' out to Eden... yea, brother!"
- "This place looks like a Maxfield Parrish painting."
- "Oh, they're taking him to the Tiki Room!"
- "The Mighty Pavog (sic)!"
The Mighty Favog was a character from the Muppet segments on the first season of Saturday Night Live.
- "Hey! It's Ting!"
Ting is a Jamaican soft drink.
- "Oh cool, it's like a Thingmaker!"
The Thingmaker was a 1960s toy that enabled children to create their own monster figures.
- "I'm Big Jim McLain!"
Big Jim McLain was a 1952 movie starring John Wayne.
- "It's twue! It's twue!"
- "He's no fun, he fell right over!"
Reference to a comedy album called How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All by The Firesign Theatre. The line "s/he's no fun, s/he fell right over" occurs on both sides of the record.
- "Peace on earth was all it said..."
- "Bend it! If you can't you'll convince me!" "If you can, you're Uri Geller."
Uri Geller is a performer with reputed psychic and telekinetic powers, mostly demonstrated through the ability to bend spoons.
- "It's Madame Trousseau's!"
Crow is mispronouncing the name of Madame Tussaud's , the well-known wax museum located in London.
- "Hobbes, get off me!"
Said while Hercules is wrestling tigers in an arena. A reference to the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, about a boy who imagines his stuffed tiger is alive.
- "It's the Smurfs vs the Skins."
The Smurfs are a race of small blue creatures of comic and cartoon fame. Tom's remarking on how the evil minions in that particular scene are wearing hats with a forward-sticking bulb coming out of the top like the Smurfs' signature hats.
- Commercially released on DVD by Rhino in April 2005 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 7, a 4-DVD set with Hercules Against the Moon Men, Prince of Space, and The Killer Shrews.
|preceded by: Season 3||MST3K Season 4||followed by: Season 5|
|1992 - 1993|
|401||Space Travelers||1992-06-06||409||The Indestructible Man||1992-08-15||417||Crash of Moons||1992-11-28|
|402||The Giant Gila Monster||1992-06-13||410||Hercules Against the Moon Men||1992-08-22||418||Attack of the the Eye Creatures||1992-12-05|
|403||City Limits||1992-06-20||411||The Magic Sword||1992-08-29||419||The Rebel Set||1992-12-12|
|404||Teenagers from Outer Space||1992-06-27||412||Hercules and the Captive Women||1992-09-12||420||The Human Duplicators||1992-12-26|
|405||Being from Another Planet||1992-07-24||413||Manhunt in Space||1992-09-19||421||Monster A-Go Go||1993-01-09|
|406||Attack of the Giant Leeches||1992-07-18||414||Tormented||1992-09-26||422||The Day the Earth Froze||1993-01-16|
|407||The Killer Shrews||1992-07-25||415||The Beatniks||1992-11-25||423||Bride of the Monster||1993-01-23|
|408||Hercules Unchained||1992-08-01||416||Fire Maidens of Outer Space||1992-11-16||424||Manos: The Hands of Fate||1993-01-30|