Hercules in New York
Hercules in New York (also known as Hercules Goes Bananas) is a 1970 low-budget fantasy-comedy adventure film. It is notable for being the first feature film to star Arnold Schwarzenegger (credited as "Arnold Strong"), who was about 22 years old when the film was produced. It is further notable for being one of the few films that Schwarzenegger admits regretting having appeared in.
Hercules, at Olympus, berates his father Zeus for not allowing him to leave the gods' abode to adventure on Earth. Eventually, Zeus sends Hercules, on a beam, to the land of men. After some strange encounters in the air and at sea, Hercules arrives in New York City, where hilarity ensues in the form of interactions with various New Yorkers, who regard him as physically superior but socially awkward. He meets a skinny little guy called Pretzie (Arnold Stang). Hercules becomes a successful professional wrestler. Watching Hercules from the heights, Zeus becomes irritated with Hercules' antics, which he feels are making a mockery of the gods, and calls on Mercury to stop Hercules. After Mercury makes an unsuccessful attempt to bring Hercules home, Zeus orders Nemesis to see to it that Hercules is consigned to the infernal regions ruled over by Pluto. However, Juno instead convinces Nemesis to weaken Hercules with a poison that would strip him of his divinity and then talk to Pluto. Nemesis informs Pluto of what is happening and he bets a large sum of money against Hercules in an upcoming strongman competition with Hercules' gangster manager.
When Hercules loses the strongman competition, his friends try to lead off Hercules' angry manager's henchmen, but Hercules follows them to save them. Meanwhile, Zeus uncovers the truth from Nemesis as to what is happening, but only intervenes at the last minute to restore Hercules' divinity, not wanting any son of his to die at the hands of a mortal. Hercules defeats the gangsters and realizes that he has been disobedient and returns to the heavens shortly after, only saying goodbye to Pretzie over the radio after he leaves. In the heavens, Zeus tells Juno and Hercules that he is not going to punish Hercules for his behavior as they ask him about it and then ask him to be left alone. They leave him alone, and upon their departure, Zeus sneaks out of the heavens and descends to Earth, scaring the crew of a passenger jet on his way down.
Why It Sucks
- Cheesy acting by Arnold Schwarzenegger (in his first appearance in the film industry).
- Most of Arnold's lines were dubbed over by another actor who sounds absolutely nothing like him (A cut of the film where you can hear all of Arnold's original dialogue exists, but it's "so bad, it's good" at best).
- Confusing scenes. For example, why does Hercules use a plank to push out the thugs?
- Poorly done special effects, such as Zeus' lightning bolt clearly looking fake.
- The infamous bear fight scene, where the "bear" is very obviously a guy in a bear suit.
- During the scenes at Mount Olympus, you can hear cars blowing their horns and moving around in the background, despite being set in ancient Greece (though this was due to filming the Mount Olympus scenes in a crowded New York City parking lot).
- There are some awesome moments.