Hercules in New York is a movie from 1970 starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (under the name Arnold Strong) as Hercules. Tired of Olympus, he goes against his father Zeus’ will and travels to New York where he befriends a timid pretzel salesman and an aristocratic young woman and her father.
Adventures arise, and we see Arnold fighting thugs, gangsters and the worst fake bear on film (a man in a bear suit who walks and looks more like a gorilla than a bear).
The acting is incredible stiff, especially from Arnold (this was his first movie) who has absolutely no feeling whatsoever when he is speaking. In the original theatrical version, they actually had a voice actor dubbing over his audio track. The original soundtrack with Arnold’s voice wasn’t reintroduced until the DVD release, by the time Mr. Schwarzenegger was already a well known actor. Speaking of sound, this has to be one of the worst sound mixes in a major (if you can call it that) movie ever. The scenes in Olympus is shot in a park in a city, and you can hear heavy traffic and car horns in the background. There is a loud hiss/buzz in many scenes which suddenly disappears and comes back – this is from when the director was shouting something to the actors and only that sound was cut out. This is particularly obvious when a scene is cut back and fourth between two angles. When this happened, the camera was also out of focus from time to time.
The props are terribly done; when Zeus is throwing lightning, the lightning arrow is made out of bent concrete steel rods. The makeup is also very bad, and Zeus’ fake beard is obviously made from wool.
All in all, this is a lousy movie. But that doesn’t make it unwatchable – quite the opposite! Me and my friend Martin (with whom I watched this movie) laughed a lot and were grinningly shaking our heads even more.
Hercules in New York is a perfect example of a movie that is so bad that it becomes good, almost on par with Batman: The Movie from 1966.
Highlights: Arnold in Hercules in New York
IMDb: Hercules in New York