REVIEW: HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS – SEASON 1-6

 


MAIN CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)

 

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Clare Carey (Stargate SG.1)
Elizabeth Hawthorne (Cleopatra 2525)
Tawny Kitaen (Witchboard)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Kim Michalis (Jack of All Trades)
John Sumner (Power Rangers Dino Charge)
Norman Forsey (Lord of The Rings)
Bruce Allpress (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Todd Rippon (King Kong)
Peter Muller (Step Dave)
Kelson Henderson (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Mark Ferguson (Power Rangers operation Overdrive)
Lisa Chappell (Coffin Rock)
Lucy Liu (Kill Bill)
Lucy Lawless (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Alison Bruce (Young Hercules)
Jeffrey Thomas (The Hobbit)
Erik Thomson (All Saints)
Reb Brown (Captain America 70s)
Robert Trebor (Universal Soldier)
Tony Todd (Chuck)
Matthew Chamberlain (Avatar)
Dean O’ Gorman (The Hobbit)
Peter Daube (Traffic Island)
Anthony Ray Parker (The Matrix)
Nathaniel Lees (Young Hercules)
Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead)
Kevin Smith (Jubilee)
Liddy Holloway (Without a Paddle)
Simone Kessell (San Andreas)
Simon Prast (Filthy Rich)
Brian Thompson (Hired To Kill)
Bruce Phillips (The Lovely Bones)
Martin Kove (The Karate Kid)
Rose McIver (Izombie)
Paul Norell (Power Rangers SPD)
Teresa Hill (Cruel Intentions 2)
Stig Eldred (Dick Tracy)
Glenn Shadix (Beetlejuice)
Bridget Hoffman (Frozen)
Jed Brophy (District 9)
Karen Sheperd (Cyborg 2)
Latham Gaines (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Willa O’Neill (The Price of Milk)
Audie England (Free Enterprise)
Bruce Hopkins (Housebound)
Corinna Everson (Natural Born KIllers)
Jason Hoyte (Nothing Trivial)
Alexandra Tydings (The Sunchaser)
Stephen Tozer (Trial Run)
Marton Csokas (XXX)
Josephine Davison (Power Rangers SPD)
Joel Tobeck (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Lisa Ann Hadley (Infested)
Paul Gittins (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser)
Owen Black (Netherwood)
Jeremy Roberts (The Mask)
Alastair Duncan (The Batman)
Julian Garner (Home and Away)
Galyn Gorg (Robocop 2)
Cynthia Rothrock (Undefeatable)
Grant Heslov (True Lies)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Sam Sorbo (Andromeda)
Rene Naufahu (Power Rangers Samurai)
Catherine Bell (Bruce Almighty)
Hudson Leick (Tru Calling)
Ted Raimi (Spider-Man)
Renee O’Connor (Boogeyman 2)
Peter Vere-Jones (Bad Taste)
Amber Sainsbury (Hex)
Danielle Cormack (Xena)
Kara Zediker (Rock Star)
Grant McFarland (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Lindsey Ginter (S.W.A.T.)
Ian Bohen (Pearl Harbor)
Claudia Black (Farscape)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Kimberly Joseph (Lost)
Meighan Desmond (When Love Comes)
Alistair Browning (Vertical Limit)
Katrina Browne (Young Hercules)
Stuart Devenie (Jack of All Trades)
David Weatherley (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
Jacinda Barrett (The Last Kiss)
Peter McCauley (The Lost World)
Lacey Kohl (Two Guys and a Girl)
Amy Morrison (Jack of All Trades)
Christopher Graham (Power Rangers Mystic Force)
Roy Dotrice (Hellboy 2)
Chris Conrad (Young Hercules)
Scott Michaelson (Sabrina Down Under)
James Gaylyn (Power Rangers RPM)
Antonio Te Maioha (Spartacus)
Tamara Gorski (Angel)
George Henare (The Dead Lands)
Geoff Dolan (Power Rangers Megaforce)
Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March)
Susan Brady (Without a Paddle)
Jodie Rimmer (Filthy Rich)
Angela Marie Dotchin (Jack of All Trades)
Neill Rea (The Warrior’s Way)
Stephen Lovatt (Cleopatara 2525)
Traci Lords (First Wave)

Shows based on ancient mythology have been common over the years, both in the written form and other media. The myths were a way for people to deal with the uncertainties of their lives, much like religions help people today. Nearly ten years ago a television show, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, became the latest in this long line of tributes to age-old stories, albeit with a certain modern flair. The show didn’t stick very close to the original material and updated the language, mannerisms, and sensibilities in order to make the legendary strongman more palatable to modern audiences. After all, there wouldn’t be a big market for a show centered on a demi-god that rapes women, enslaves them, killed his family, and solved problems with brute strength alone No, this was a kinder, gentler guy who was as politically correct as anyone coming out of a Southern California ACLU meeting. The series itself started off with this little monologue: “This is the story of a time long ago. A time of myth and legend, when the ancient gods were petty and cruel, and they plagued mankind with suffering. Only one man dared to challenge their power, Hercules. Hercules possessed a strength the world had never seen, a strength surpassed only by the power of his heart. He journeyed the Earth, battling the minions of his wicked stepmother, Hera, the all-powerful Queen of the gods. But wherever there was evil, wherever an innocent would suffer, there would be Hercules.”

The show started off with a series of five made-for-television movies, most likely designed to test the readiness of the market for a series, and it did so well that the series was made as a mid-season replacement. Hercules was shown as a kind, compassionate man who never took advantage of others using his strength. He assisted people in need, usually people that were victims of the gods or other supernatural forces, since he felt a sense of obligation to do so. His father was Zeus, the king of the gods, and his mother a regular human, so he was caught between both worlds. His step mother, Hera (Zeus’ wife) was always attempting to kill Hercules using whatever means necessary, and this led to a lot of people getting hurt because they were pawns in the epic struggle between these two powerful forces.

As one of the most popular shows in syndication history, the show was somewhat preachy in terms of morality, but a fun ride on the camp wagon, if you catch my drift. After season one, a spin off series, Xena: Warrior Princess, found a huge audience and both shows had large followings (Xena was a bit darker most of the time, but that was in line with the character’s past), outlasting all the critics predictions about the campy, quirky humor used to draw in audiences all over the world.

The show’s strong point was that it never took itself too seriously, even when preaching the virtues of friendship, loyalty, tolerance, and justice. The ladies would appreciate seeing Kevin Sorbo prancing around in tight leather pants with loose or non-existent shirts, getting all hot and sweaty while there was also plenty of eye candy for the guys (Cory Everson’s cleavage and ass come to mind that there was a whole lot more as well). The special effects were cheesy, as was much of the writing but it was all good fun without too much thinking needed to appreciate the situational aspects of the show. Season One established the basic characters and situations they’d get in and later seasons would get lighter in terms of what happened more often than not. The movies themselves were slightly different than the weekly episodes in how Hercules wasn’t quite as refined in them.

 

The second season was where the show really got its stride. The darkness of Season One was excised and sent over to the new Xena: Warrior Princess show and almost all of the shows displayed a lighter tone. There was still the fighting and conflict, still special effects all the time, and still the silly banter (especially in the episodes with Bruce Campbell and Robert Trebor) you’d expect of the tongue in cheek show.

 

 

In season 3, the tales of Hercules as depicted by producers Robert Taper, Christian Williams, Sam Raimi, and a horde of writers produce some of the episodes of the series. Perhaps the most exciting and entertaining episode of season 3, “The End of the Beginning”, features the return of Autolycus, the King of Thieves (Bruce Campbell). Autolycus manages to still the Chronos gemstone, a device that gives the holder the ability to manipulate the strands of time! In this episode Hercules chases Autolycus into the past, where they get stuck. In order to return to the future (the present), Autolycus must team up with a five year younger version of himself and steal the Chronos gemstone again. There are also a few comical Army of Darkness references.

The biggest highlight was the Golden Hind Trilogy showing Hercules falling in love Serena (Sam Jenkins) a creature Half Human, Half Deer. It also brought him into conflict with Ares (Kevin Smith). This will always remain one of my all time favorites as it also includes guest appearances with Xena (Lucy Lawless) and Gabrielle (Renee O’Connor).

 

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Season Four was the season where Kevin Sorbo was ill, episodes had to be created around him not being there.These included using Young Hercules (Ian Bohen) flashbacks, bringing back Autolycus (Bruce Campbell) & Salmoneus (Robert Trebor) to showcase episodes. the most strangest of all would be the introduction of Widow Twanky (Michael Hurst) A Dance Tutor who helps Hercules learn to dance. the Dahak storyline from Xena also crossed over in the excellent  Armageddon Now. We also get to see an alternate Hercules in the brilliant Stranger in The Strange World. Season four despite Kevin Sorbo’s illness Season four still turned out to be a great season.

 

The majority of the episodes in season five are used to tell one story. It follows one central theme, where Hercules undergoes a dramatic life changing event and doesn’t end up the same person. After the death of a very close friend, he loses his desire to help others. Instead, Hercules broods and his character becomes slightly dark. This approach holds great intrigue, because it isn’t everyday that we get to see the overly altruistic hero in a dark fashion. This season is stranger for it. It finally brings closure to the Dahak story.

Iolaus_as_Dahak

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: Season 6, the swan song of the show on television. It only had 8 episodes and served to finish the long run with some decent shows. The main highlight of the season is the finale, Full Circle which sees the return of Zeus and Hera. also featuring the Titans. The episode brings nice closure to a great series.  Hercules would also return in the Xena (Season 5) episode God Fearing Child, after that this would be the last time we would see the Hercules and Iolaus. This show will always remain one of my all time favorite shows and i’m glad to have it on DVD.

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REVIEW: HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS THE MOVIES

CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Anthony Quinn (Last Action Hero)
Roma Downey (Touched By An Angel)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
Lloyd Scott (The Exterminator)
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Christopher Brougham (Aftershock)
Timothy Lee (Riding High)
Kim Michalis (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Rose McIver (Izombie)
Murray Keane (Westside)
Simone Kessell (San Andreas)


Three men are walking through the woods, they hear strange noises and catch glimpses of something moving in the undergrowth. Suddenly they are attacked by unseen creatures. Two men are killed, but one escapes and flees the woods. Hercules strolls into a village after returning from one of his adventures, and is greeted by Iolaus. It is established that Iolaus is getting married and that Hercules is the best man. The two men set off for Alcmene’s house. While walking through the woods, they reminisce that it has been a long time since they last saw each other. Iolaus tells Hercules about his bride-to-be, Ania. They stumble upon a little girl crying alone near an altar. She tells them that a monster killed her father while they were placing an offering to the goddess. Hercules tries to comfort the girl and asks if he can help, but the girl transforms into a monster. Hercules chops off its head, and thinking it is now dead, he and Iolaus begin walking away. Amazon_women_07They hear a noise and turn around to see that the monster is not dead, and has now grown two new heads in the place where the previous one was. The monster is a Hydra. Hercules tells Iolaus to grab the torch from the altar, Hercules cuts off the heads and burns the Hydra, preventing it from growing new heads, thus killing it. After the Hydra is destroyed a peacock feather remains in its place, and Hercules tells Iolaus that Hera is responsible for the Hydra. Hercules and Iolaus finally reach his mother’s house. Iolaus invites them both for dinner, then leaves. While the four are enjoying dinner, Ania glimpses a man outside the window and Hercules goes to investigate. It is the Gargarean Pithus, the man who escaped the creatures at the beginning of the film. He explains to Hercules about his village being attacked by creatures and Hercules agrees to help. Iolaus persuades 0000175864Hercules to let him go along for one last adventure before he is married, Hercules reluctantly relents and says that he can come along. The three men set off for the village. When they arrive Hercules asks where all the women are, Pithus tells him that they were stolen by the creatures in the forest. Hercules and Iolaus head off to find the beasts and rescue the village’s women. In the forest they are ambushed by the beasts, managing to stave off the attack for a time until Iolaus discovers that the beasts are really women. He chases after one but is fatally injured in the fight, and dies in Hercules’ arms. Hercules is then surrounded by several of the ‘beasts’. Two of them approach him with spears. One of the ‘creatures’ cries out and says “No Stop!”, and then raises her mask. It happens to be a woman, who then says “The queen will want to kill him”. Hercules is in utter shock to discover the true nature of the ‘beasts’.


Hercules is then seen being taken captive by the women, bound in chains and gagged with a black leather strap. He is surrounded by the “Amazon Women Warriors” and led through the village full of women. An older woman offers to buy Hercules and several taunt him along the way to see the queen. When he arrives Hippolyta tells him that she knows he is here to defeat them. Hercules tells her she is wrong. Using a magic candle, Hippolyta turns Hercules into a baby telling him she will show him what he is really like. As Hercules reverts to infant form we are shown flashbacks to Hercules’s youth and times when he has been told by people how to behave toward women. Later he returns to adult state, realising that Hippolyta is right and that his attitude toward women is wrong, he tells her that he can change. She says that he cannot change and that all men are the same. Hippolyta goes to consult with Hera, she tells Hippolyta to lead an attack on the village.

Hercules escapes from the Amazons and warns the men of the village of the forthcoming attack. He prepares them for when the women arrive. The women ride into the village and order the men to remove their clothes, telling them they are here for only one thing. The men tell the women to sit and talk with them for a while. Pithus’s wife enters her home, and her son Franco asks if she really is his mother. He tells her he often dreams about her but she has no face, she removes her mask and shows her face to Franco. Hercules stands up to Hippolyta, who says she’s not afraid of Hercules. He kisses her, she tells him she’s not afraid and kisses him back. The two make love. The following day the women are still with the men. The Amazons return to their city and both men and women reminisce about the night before. Hera tells Hippolyta that Hercules has tricked her and orders her to attack the village again, this time killing all the men and boys. Hippolyta refuses but Hera possesses her. Hera, now in control of Hippolyta’s actions, orders the women to attack the village.

Hercules stops Hippolyta and realises that she is possessed by Hera. She rides off and Hercules goes after her. As they fight Hercules tries to get through to Hippolyta, telling her that she is stronger than Hera. Hercules bests her and is about to deal the fatal blow, but cannot because it is Hippolyta’s body and not really Hera. Hercules leaves and Hera follows him, goading him. He tells Hera that if he or Hippolyta have to die then he will give up his life for her, saying he couldn’t live his life without her. Upon hearing this Hera runs Hippolyta’s body over the edge of a waterfall, killing her.

Hercules returns to the City of Amazons, and retrieves the candle Hippolyta used to send him back to his childhood. Zeus appears and tells him the candle doesn’t work in the way Hercules wants it to. Hercules replies that Zeus could make it work that way. Zeus tells Hercules that if he did that he would be in big trouble with Hera, but Hercules persuades him anyway. Zeus blows out the candle and Hercules is taken back to the night of the dinner. Ania sees Pithus outside the window and Hercules goes to tell him that the village doesn’t need the help of Hercules. He explains that all the men need to do is treat the women with respect and things will sort themselves out. Pithus returns to the village and when the women come the men sort out the problems that have been occurring. Alcmene asks Hercules if there is a woman out there who will make him happy like Ania did for Iolaus, Hercules replies that he is sure there is.

This was the very first of the TV movies that led to the wonderful action/adventure series. It does include the first appearance of Herc’s companion in arms Iolaus played by the brilliant Michael Hurst who with Kevin Sorbo created the greatest twosome in genre television history.Anthony Quinn who was presumably cast to add gravitas to the project is overshadowed by these two men whose partnership takes off from the get go.Also cast is Xena in waiting Lucy Lawless as one of the more aggressive of the Amazons and she gives just enough to the role to hint at the glories to come when she headed her own show

CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Anthony Quinn (Last Action Hero)
Renee O’ Connor (Xena)
Robert Trebor (Universal Soldier)
Eric Close (Without a Trace)
Elizabeth Hawthorne (Cleopatra 2525)
Nathaniel Lees (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
John Sumner (District 9)

Three men are running along the riverside, one of them stops to take a drink from the river. As he stoops down to quench his thirst a female figure composed of water rises out of the river and pulls him under, drowning him, the other two men run on. While running, one man is hit by a boulder and killed. The remaining man escapes. Elsewhere a young woman is collecting water, when the ground begins to shake. She flees back to the village to warn them that a giant is coming. The giant follows the woman to the village and rips the roof of the tavern. Hercules presents himself to the giant and the giant challenges Hercules to a fight. Hercules goes outside and he beats the giant. As the village celebrates the defeat the man from earlier in the film arrives in the village, he asks for Hercules’ help. He explains to Hercules that his people have been driven from their city, the lost city of Troy.

Zeus appears and Hercules asks him if he will help him. He asks his father how to find Troy and he says that Hera vanished it and to find it Hercules must find the one true compass which will point the way to Troy. Hercules heads off to find the compass, he finds a tribe of men preparing to sacrifice a young virgin to their water god. Hercules saves her from being sacrificed, while unknowingly being watched by a mysterious robed figure. The woman tells Hercules that her name is Deianeira. Later in the evening as they camp for the night, Deianeira tells her a story that she is the daughter of a King. She sees the dark figure and asks who he is and why she is being followed, but the figure does not answer. Later Hercules and Deianeira arrive at the slave market looking for Queen Omphale of Lydia, the last person to have possessed the compass. In order to get to see the Queen, Hercules sells himself as a slave, and the Queen buys him. After spending the night with the Queen Hercules gets the compass and he and Deianeira continue searching for Troy. Deianeira gets attacked by some men but the figure in the dark robe saves her and tells her to follow her destiny.
hqdefaultHercules and Deianeira head on to Troy, they arrive at the ocean and the figure standing on the cliffs summons a sea serpent to do Hera’s bidding. It swallows Hercules and Deianeira. Hercules kills the monster from inside and they are washed up on the shore. Deianeira sees Troy in the distance and tells Hercules that she now remembers and this is where she is from. Deianeira and Hercules get caught in a trap and taken to the king. The king is ill and he and his daughter are reunited. He tells her that the Cult of the Blue Priests have taken over the city and the people have taken refuge in the woods, he tells Deianeira to rule them well, and then dies.
Hercules tutors the people of Troy and prepares them to battle to take back Troy. Deianeira realises that the people cannot beat the Cult of the Blue Priests and goes looking for the Blue Priest. The people notice that Deianeira is missing and Hercules and the people use an underground tunnel to get into the city. As the people fight the cult members Hercules goes looking for Deianeira, he finds her about to be sacrificed to Hera and saves her. The Blue Priest and Hercules fight and Hercules cuts off the Priest’s head. A huge storm approaches, and Zeus tells Hercules that Hera is coming for Deianeira, Hercules saves her and Hera takes Hercules instead. As Deianeira is crowned Queen of Troy, we see Hercules thrown down from out of the sky, a man approaches him asking him for help, Hercules agrees and the two men walk off to the next adventure.Lost_kingdom_02

I really liked Hercules and the Lost Kingdom. It was a great story and kept me glued from the beginning to the end. It was also wonderful to see Renee O’Connor before she became Xena’s best friend, Gabrielle. I think she did a wonderful job as Princess Deianeira. The effects were great also. There is a scene with Deianeira and her father that was really touching.

CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Anthony Quinn (Last Action Hero)
Tawny Kitaen (Witchboard)
Kevin Atkinson (White Fang)
Stephanie Barrett (Warehouse 13)
Christopher Brougham (Absent Without Leave)
Simone Kessell (San Andreas)
Mark Ferguson (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
Lisa Chappell (Coffin Rock)
Kim Michalis (Jack of All Trades)
Amy Morrison (Xena)

Hercules is walking through a snowy mountain top where he finds a woman in the cold, and goes to help her. He sees Zeus in a cave and a rock closes over the entrance. Hercules turns around and the woman calls out to him and freezes and explodes. Hercules wakes from a dream. He turns over and goes back to sleep. As he sleeps his camp-fire goes out. Next day Hercules and young man are walking through a cave with dead bodies strewn all over. The man tells Hercules that they are all men from his village and that the witch who guards the Fountain of Youth killed them for their youth and strength. At the heart of the cave they find an old woman. Hercules sees she is chained up, and is hit over the head by the man, who is actually a warlock. He says to Hercules he will now have Hercules’ strength. Hercules and the warlock fight and the warlock appears invincible, but then Hercules notices a beating heart among the items in the warlock’s cave. Hercules rips the warlock’s shirt and sees that the heart belongs to the warlock.

Hercules takes a knife and plunges it into the heart and kills the warlock. With the warlock now dead, the old woman reverts to her true form, that of a young woman. Hercules frees the woman from her chains and takes some water from the fountain. After this the fountain begins to boil and begins dissolving everything in the cave. Hercules grabs the woman and they leave the cave. Outside the cave Zeus appears and Hercules tells Zeus the water will cure Chiron of his wound. Later Hercules arrives at Chiron’s house, he gives him the water and he drinks it. The wound heals, but after a few seconds the wound worsens. Hercules tells him he will find a cure for his wound. Meanwhile, all over the village fires are being inexplicably extinguished. Hercules and Chiron are talking by the fire side and the fire goes out. Hercules realizes that something is amiss. He decides to investigate. He approaches Hera’s temple which still has fire. A woman is trying to persuade the priest of the temple to let them light their torches, the priest refuses. Hercules kicks down the door, Hera’s priest fight him, he beats them, and lights the torch.

Three women appear and tell Hercules that the torch is of no use, because Hera has stolen the Eternal Torch and plans to kill mankind once and for all. Hercules knows that humans cannot survive without fire, and if he does not get the Torch back all life will die. Later on the woman from the temple comes to Chiron, it is revealed she is Deianeira. Chiron says only Hercules can help her and points her the man from the temple. Hercules says they need to talk to Prometheus, so he and Deianeira set off. They find Prometheus frozen, he says that Hera has stolen the Eternal Torch and that Hercules must get it back. Hercules and Deianeira travel onto Mount Aepion, where Hera has the Torch. While traveling, Hercules is attacked by a giant named Antaeus and with the help of Deianeira manages to kill him.

As they camp for the night, Hercules reveals to Deianeira that he was the one who accidentally inflicted Chiron’s wound. The next day as they are crossing a gorge they arrive at a point where Hera has removed the bridge. Hercules says they can continue if they use the rope which still remains. Deianeira reluctantly agrees. The two finally arrive at Mount Aepion, Hercules walks through the snowy mountain top, just like in his dream. He finds Zeus and Hercules asks him what Hera has done. Zeus says that Hera has put the Torch in the center of a ring of fire, and the fire has the power to kill immortals. Zeus warns Hercules from going through with his plan to get the Torch back. Hercules says he will do it anyway. The two men battle it out and Zeus tells Hercules that he is trying to save him. Hercules asks his father if he cares about humanity, Zeus replies that he does, but he loves Hercules more. Hercules tells Zeus he loves him too. Zeus accepts what Hercules must do, and lets him go. Hercules goes through the fire and retrieves the Torch, he throws it and it lands in Prometheus’s home waking him. Fire begins to return. As Hercules lays dying in the circle, Zeus begs Hera not to harm Hercules or he will haunt her for eternity, and even threatening to give up his own immortality. Hera stops the flames and Zeus helps Hercules, who thanks him for saving his life. Before leaving the cage Hercules picks up a stick and makes a torch. Zeus asks if he knows the power of the flames, Hercules acknowledges that he does. Hercules takes the torch to Chiron’s house and asks him to step inside a circle of straw. Chiron stands in the center of the circle and Hercules lights the straw with the torch. Chiron drops to his knees and cries out. As the flames die out Chiron exclaims that his wound is healed, the flames had burned away his immortality and healed the wound.simo_h_deia_cof_01This is the third pilot TV movie that jump-started the “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” TV series, where Hercules (Kevin Sorbo). The plot of the movie goes at a fairly fast pace and, like the previous movie, Hercules travels with a woman which happens to be named Deianeira (Tawny Kitaen), but I am assuming it is a different character than the one with the same name played by Renee O’Connor in the previous movie. There is less action in this movie than the previous entry, but you still see Hercules fight a few bad guys here and there. There is also less emphasis on subplots; this story mainly focuses on Hercules’ journey to find the torch with Deianeira, leaving few plot twists and a predictable outcome. However, you do see Zeus showcase his powers more than in the previous movies, blasting Hercules away with his hands, generating a windstorm and hurling lightening bolts at people. As the King of the Gods, it is great to see him demonstrate his mighty powers more.

CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Anthony Quinn (Last Action Hero)
Tawny Kitaen (Witchboard)
Marley Shelton (Sin City)
Cliff Curtis (Training Day)
Jorge Gonzáles (Thunder In Paradise)
Timothy Balme (The Almighty Johnsons)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
Rose McIver (Izombie)
Simone Kessell (San Andreas)
Stig Eldred (Dick Tracy)
Mark Ferguson (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)

Underworld_09In the centre of a village, the ground begins to open up and a strange green light emanates from within. Two drunken men see the light and walk over to take a closer look. As they approach, a gaseous vapour begins pouring out of the fissure and in a flash of light the two men are charred with only their bones remaining. The next day in a village square, a man challenges the villagers to fight Eryx the boxer. One man agrees but he is tricked when he is introduced to the real boxer, a towering brute of a man. The challenger dies fighting Eryx, so an old man from the village tells a youth to find Hercules. After a short while, the boy returns with Hercules, who challenges Eryx. They begin to fight and it appears that Eryx is going to beat Hercules, but then Hercules finally ends the fight by killing Eryx. With the man dead, the man who first made the challenge gives Hercules a peacock feather, Hera’s symbol. He goes to Hera’s temple and asks if they can call a truce; Hera defies Hercules, so he destroys her temple. Zeus appears and tells Hercules that he will only make things worse between him and Hera. When Hercules arrives home, Deianeira tends to his wounds.

The following day, Hercules is working in the smithy with Nessus, the centaur. He watches the children playing outside when a woman, Iole, comes looking for him. She says she’s from the village of Gryphon and that they need Hercules’ help. Hercules agrees to help, but Deianeira tells the girl to rest first. During the night, Iole tells Deianeira that she thought she saw someone outside her window. Deianeria tells her no one is there. Deianeira gets a lantern and goes outside; she finds Nessus in the smithy and he tells her that she cannot trust Hercules with Iole as she is a young woman, Hercules will not be able to resist. She defends him saying that Hercules would be faithful to her. In the morning Hercules, Iole and Nessus leave for Gryphon. Before leaving Iole gives Deianeira a necklace to thank her for looking after her the night before. Deianeira goes to the market where a woman tells her that the necklace is a sign that she has lost her husband and tells Deianeira about the necklace is given to women whose men are to be killed by Nurian maidens. Deianeira goes after Hercules to warn him and finds the three at the river bank. She tells Iole to leave, but Hercules says he already knew she was a Nurian maiden, but that he loves Deianeira, and would never be unfaithful to her. After reassuring Deianeira, Hercules and Iole continue to Gryphon, but Nessus begins to stir doubts in Deianeira’s mind, and after she tries to get away he attacks her. She calls for Hercules, who shoots an arrow which strikes Nessus in the back. As he lay dying, Nessus tells Deianeira that his blood is powerful and will prevent Hercules from being unfaithful. She gives the cape to Hercules and tells him to wear it if he gets cold.

Hercules and Iole continue onto Gryphon, when they arrive the people take him to the area where the hole has opened up in the ground. He walks through the village seeing fire and destructions and dead bodies strewn on the floor. He approaches the fissure and looks into it and see spirits coming out from deep within the Earth. Zeus appears and tells him that it is the Underworld. Hercules asks if he is mortal or not, Zeus tells him he is mortal, but tries to prevent Hercules from going down the hole. Hercules prepares to go into the hole and puts on the cape that Deianeria gave him. It begins to choke him and tries to kill him, he struggles free and throws the cape, which disappears leaving only a peacock feather. Hercules runs and jumps into the hole. As Hercules travels to the Underworld, a man arrives at Hercules’ house and tells Deianeira that Hercules is dead. He explains about the cape trying to kill Hercules and that he jumped into the hole. Hercules arrives in the Underworld, where he meets Charon, who transports him across the River Styx. On the other side of the river Hercules finds Cerberus’ collar, he enters a doorway and vanishes.

Meanwhile, Deianeira, distraught by the thought that she caused her own husband’s death, goes to a cliff top; while standing there she sees a vision of Hercules and reaches out to him; as she reaches out she falls from the cliff to the rocks below. After being attacked by different monsters, Hercules meets Eryx the boxer and some other people he sent to Hades. He fights Eryx again and then sees Nessus, who taunts him by showing him, via a portal, that Deianeira is dead. Hercules ask for Nessus to show him again, when Nessus shows Deianeira again Hercules jumps through the portal into the Elysian fields. He finds Deianeira but she has no memory of him, Hades appears and tells Hercules that he erased her memory about Hercules because of the thought of killing her husband. He begs Deianeria to remember him and their children and then kisses her. With the kiss her memories return and Hercules makes a deal with Hades that if he can capture Cerberus, then Deianeira can go back to Earth with him. Hercules goes after Cerberus, he finds Hades’ men trying and failing to capture him. Hercules fights and defeats Cerberus and chains him up again. Once Cerberus is chained the hole in the ground closes up and Deianeira appears. Back on Earth the villagers thank Hercules for helping them and he and Deianeira go home.

This was an excellent tv-movie. All the fighting scenes were great and well done. The story has action, adventure, some suspense and a little humor. Like in the series, people call Hercules for help. In this adventure, he goes to help the people of a village that are being threatened from a split in the Earth that reveals the mouth of hell. In between saving people, Hercules faces seduction, betrayal, saving his wife and capturing Cerberus. Excellent tv-movie.

CAST

Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Anthony Quinn (Last Action Hero)
Tawny Kitaen (Witchboard)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
Anthony Ray Parker (The Matrix)
Rose McIver (Izombie)

In a sun-dappled forest, two men are searching for buried treasure. They pace out the step given with the map, and discover a cave overgrown with bushes. The two men break through the plants and enter the cave. In the cave they find a huge wooden door, as they try to get through the door, a monster breaks through the door and chases after them. One man is captured and the other flees as the monster tells him to bring Hercules. Meanwhile, Hercules works on his farms, he sees his sons fighting and tells them that they should not fight. They say that Hercules fights, Hercules explains that he only fights when he has to and only to prevent other people from being harmed. He tells about the time when he had to fight Eryx the boxer to stop him from killing anymore people. He asks the boys if they understand, and they say they do. Later that evening, Hercules is working in the stable, Zeus appears and they chat. Hercules tells Zeus that there have been no monsters for a while, which is good as he has now settled down with Deianeira to raise the children. Zeus gives him a scale from a sea serpent and Hercules remembers the time when he and Deianeira were swallowed by a sea serpent while looking for the lost city of Troy. While day-dreaming he snaps back to reality at the dinner table to find the dog eating his dinner. Back in the cave, the Minotaur broods in wait for Hercules.

At night the children ask their father to tell them a story, Ilea asks for Hercules to tell her about when he and Deianeira first met. Hercules begins relating how the fire had vanished from the Earth and that Deianeira’s village needed fire, and how he got the fire back from Hera’s temple. Halfway through the story Hercules realises the children are asleep. He and Deianeira retire to bed and she asks him if he misses his adventures and battling monsters, he says truthfully that he does miss it. The following day, Hercules is working in the stables and sees something flit past the door, he goes to look but sees nothing. As he walks back into the stable a man jumps down upon him, Hercules turns to see it is Iolaus. They begin talking about their adventures and the time when they had to fight the Lernaean Hydra that Hera had sent to kill them. The two men go inside to get a drink, Iolaus tells Hercules that he met a man who taught him some new moves that allow smaller men to overpower a bigger man. Hercules says he won’t fight Iolaus, but he is eventually persuaded. The two men strip off their tops and prepare to spar. When Hercules attacks Iolaus he is overpowered by the smaller man, but after a short while Hercules gets the best of Iolaus as he sees Deianeira and Ilea standing in the doorway. Deianeira tells Iolaus that since Hercules gave up his adventures he has become depressed. A man arrives at the stable looking for Hercules, he tells him that he must help his village and that a monster has taken his brother. Hercules says he can’t go and the man says he has to because he is Hercules. Later that evening Deianeria asks him why he refused to help and he tells her that he promised to stay and raise the children with her. She tells him that he shouldn’t try to stop being Hercules, not for her or the children. She tells him to go and the next day her and Iolaus set off for Alturia. As they travel to Alturia a young couple are looking for somewhere quiet, they find the cave and enter. While they are making out the Minotaur comes and attacks them.

When Hercules and Iolaus arrive in Alturia they ask a woman where the monster is and she tells Hercules that there isn’t any monster. Underneath the village the Minotaur swears that Hercules will pay, Zeus appears and tells the Minotaur that he still has not learned his lesson, he replies that he has been feeding on hate. Minotaur taunts Zeus because he was unable to kill the Minotaur. Hercules and Iolaus are in a tavern and end up fighting some men because they don’t believe that he is really Hercules. Outside the tavern three men are killed and Hercules goes to investigate, only to be found by the villagers. They think he killed the men and chase him and Iolaus. The man who had asked for Hercules’s help comes and takes Hercules to the cave where his brother was captured. Zeus appears and tells Hercules what the monster is and why he wants Hercules. He asks Hercules to kill the Minotaur, and he enters the cave. In the center of the cave he finds the Minotaur, who challenges Hercules. They begin fighting and as Hercules is about to kill the Minotaur, the creature reveals that he is really Hercules’ brother Gryphus and Hercules cannot kill him. The Minotaur then attacks Hercules and Hercules ends up killing him by throwing him onto a stalagmite as Zeus arrives. As Gryphus lies dying, Hercules says he is sorry Zeus had to lose a son this way. Zeus says to Hercules that Gryphus was lost the day he tried to lead the people against him and that it didn’t have to be this way. When Gryphus begs for Zeus not to let him die like this, Zeus changes Gryphus back to mortal form as a mist covers over Gryphus’ dead body. As Zeus declares that Gryphus is now “free,” Hercules helps Iolaus and the other people being held by the Minotaur and the two brothers are reunited. With the people of the village now safe and Iolaus freed, the two men journey back home.


Of all the Hercules tv-movies that were made, this one manages to achieve the tone and theme of the Legendary Journeys. Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst have good chemistry with each other. My only problem with this tv-movie was the flashbacks. In my opinion, they really just slowed things down. Other than that, this pretty good and should be seen.