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What's Happening: Hercules saves good people from evil queen and rock-like Moon Men
Famous For: Sword-and-sandal picture with sci-fi elements in second half
Strange throughout and half-successful most of the way, Moon Men makes for enjoyable viewing because of the high percentage of action, low percentage of talky interludes, and unforgettable Moon Men at the climax. The Moon Man leader has a metal mask that resembles the mummy mask from Mexico's later Aztec Mummy films. Residing in the Mountain of Death, two dozen Moon Men (who landed in a meteorite) hold the city of Samar in thrall, demanding sacrifices to restore their queen who lies in suspended animation. Somehow their queen looks human. Good townsfolk call for help to Hercules (" Maciste" in the Italian original), but their own queen intends to betray them.
Everything is simple, as if aimed at adolescents. Yet there is an obvious attempt at style, a purposeful artificiality, the type achieved with success in Hercules in the Haunted World or Giant of Metropolis. Alas, this stylization lacks both unity and atmosphere here. The Italian bodybuilder Sergio Ciani (" Alan Steel") plays the hero. He is handsome, bearded, and tanned, but lacks the stature and build of the most famous pepla stars. The three women - redheaded evil queen, blonde princess, and brunette heroine - are all beautiful, and the queen wears several stunning dresses. The Moon Men look like humanoid rocks, strong, yet awkward and slow. VideoHound calls it "visually striking" but also "painful to watch." I thought it was fun, but I admit it was painful to watch the pulsing rock at the conclusion that resembles a giant prune.
Goldweber, David Elroy (2012-06-14). Claws & Saucers: Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Film: A Complete Guide: 1902-1982 (Kindle Locations 34455-34488). David E. Goldweber. Kindle Edition.
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